Alert! A candidate may not schedule an examination until they have been notified that their accommodation(s) request has been approved by the Board. Due to the specific number of seats and time slots available at the examination sites, neither NCARB/Prometric nor PSI can apply accommodations to already scheduled examinations.

Reasonable Testing Accommodations

Policy of the Board

The California Architects Board (Board) recognizes its responsibilities under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide reasonable, appropriate, and effective testing accommodations, including auxiliary aids to qualified examination candidates with disabilities. However, the Board will not fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge the examination is intended to test.

All examination sites will be physically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual (such as seeing, hearing, learning, reading, concentrating, or thinking) or a major bodily function (such as the neurological, endocrine, or digestive system). Mental impairment includes any mental or psychological disorder, such as organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

A candidate who seeks a testing accommodation has the responsibility to submit the request to the Board and provide reasonable documentation of the need for accommodation at least 60 days for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) or 90 days for the California Supplemental Examination (CSE) prior to the desired test date. The information supplied to substantiate a candidate’s request for an accommodation will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. However, your signature on the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form is authorization for the release of this information to the provider of the national examination to document the need for an accommodation. The Board will evaluate each request individually, in accordance with the guidelines set forth herein, in order to provide an appropriate and effective accommodation. Any request for accommodation must be submitted to the Board on the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form.

  • Both the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) and California Supplemental Examination (CSE) require a candidate to utilize a computer and select an appropriate answer. All examinations are designed to measure a candidates’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as a result of an occupational analysis of the profession.

    In order to protect the integrity and fairness of the testing process, the Board requires documentation of the existence of a disability and how the accommodation sought is necessary to provide the candidate with an equal opportunity to exhibit their knowledge, skills, and ability through the examination.

    A candidate’s evaluator (e.g., medical professional) will need the following information in order to provide an accurate assessment a candidate’s needs:

    Architect Registration Examination (ARE) 5.0

    Each division of the ARE utilizes five different item types throughout the exam’s discrete and case study items:

    • Multiple Choice
    • Check-all-that-Apply
    • Quantitative-fill-in-the-Blank
    • Hotspot
    • Drag-and-Place

    Each division of the ARE includes one 15 minute break (not included in the division testing time length below).

    • Construction & Evaluation
      (3 hours 15 minutes for 95 multiple-choice questions)
    • Practice Management
      (2 hours 45 minutes for 80 multiple-choice questions)
    • Programming & Analysis
      (3 hours 15 minutes for 95 multiple-choice questions)
    • Project Development & Documentation
      (4 hours 15 minutes for 120 multiple-choice questions)
    • Project Management
      (3 hours 15 minutes for 95 multiple-choice questions)
    • Project Planning & Design
      (4 hours 15 minutes for 120 multiple-choice questions)

    California Supplemental Examination (CSE)

    The CSE consists of individually timed sections with approximately 100 scorable multiple-choice items. Each section of the examination will have a designated time limit for a total of 3 hours and 30 minutes. Once a section is completed, a candidate must proceed to the next section of the examination and may not review prior sections. There are no breaks included while taking the CSE.

    1. Conditions Applicable to All Candidates Requesting Accommodation

      The Board requires documentation of the existence of a disability and how the accommodation sought is necessary to provide the candidate with an equal opportunity to exhibit their knowledge, skills, and ability through the examination.

      Beginning with the initial submission, all candidates requesting a reasonable accommodation must submit a complete Reasonable Accommodation Request Form for the ARE (PDF, 337K) or Reasonable Accommodation Request Form for the CSE (PDF, 339K) . If a candidate has previously received the same or similar accommodations for previous administrations of a similar standardized exam or high-stakes test, the candidate may submit a signed statement under penalty of perjury that the disabling condition has not changed in any way that would modify the accommodation that was previously provided. This prior documentation shall be deemed acceptable; however, for candidates who claim a learning disability, the prior documentation will be acceptable only if it meets the criteria set forth in section II below.

      An evaluation and supporting documentation of a disability shall be valid for a period of three years from the date on which it was submitted to the Board, except that no further documentation will be required in cases where the evaluation clearly states that the disability will not change in any way over time.

    2. Candidates with Learning Disabilities

      A learning disability is defined as individual evidence of significant learning problems that substantially affect or limit one or more major life activities and that are not primarily due to cultural, emotional, or motivational factors.

      Note: While an emotional factor may be involved in other types of disabilities, such a factor is excluded from the determination of a learning disability.

      The individual must demonstrate (a) at least average overall intellectual functioning, and (b) show evidence of a significant impairment in one or more of the following areas of intellectual functioning:

      • Attention and concentration
      • Reception (perception and verbal comprehension)
      • Expression
      • Memory (ability for new learning)
      • Cognition (thinking)

      Significant impairment is generally determined by a discrepancy of 1.5 standard deviations between the individual’s expected level of achievement and actual performance on reliable standardized measures of attention and concentration, memory, language reception and experience, cognition, reading, spelling, writing, and mathematics.

      Further, determination of the learning disability shall be based on reliable standardized psychometric tests and a complete clinical history including medical, family, education, and occupational information. Listed below, in the section titled "Most Commonly Used, Reliable, and Standardized Psychometric Tests," are the most commonly used, reliable, and standardized psychometric tests to assess learning disabilities. If a measurement instrument is used that is not on this list, it will be considered if it is published in the Buros Mental Measurements Yearbook and is used for the purpose for which it was developed.

    3. Required Information Necessary to Evaluate Disabilities

      A candidate who requests an accommodation and/or auxiliary aid must provide the Board with the necessary information to assist it in evaluating the request. The Board will, of course, evaluate each request on an individual basis. The following is intended to provide guidance as to the type of documentation that will be necessary:

      1. Identification of the type of disability (i.e., physical, mental, or learning disability)
      2. Credential requirements of the evaluator. The Board will accept evaluations form qualified evaluators. A qualified evaluator cannot be the spouse of the candidate and cannot be related to the candidate by blood or marriage. A qualified evaluator is one of the following:
        1. For a physical disability or medical condition, the evaluator must be a licensed health care practitioner who is qualified to make the diagnosis and has expertise pertaining to the disability or medical condition.
        2. For a mental disability or diagnosis, the evaluator must be a licensed mental health care professional who is qualified to make the diagnosis and has expertise pertaining to the diagnosis.
        3. For a learning disability, a qualified evaluator must satisfy the requirements of either a or b of the following:
          1. A licensed psychologist or physician who possesses a minimum of three years of experience working with adults with learning disabilities and who has training in all of the areas described in subsection c.
          2. A professional who possesses a master’s or doctorate degree in special education or educational psychology from a regionally accredited institution and who has at least three years of equivalent training and experience in all of the areas described in subsection c.
          3. Required Training and Experience of Qualified Evaluator:
            • Assessing intellectual ability level and interpreting tests of such ability;
            • Screening for cultural, emotional, and motivational factors;
            • Assessing achievement level; and
            • Administering tests to measure attention and concentration, memory, language reception and expression, cognition, reading, spelling, writing, and mathematics.
      3. Professional evaluation of the disability, which must include:
        1. The nature and extent of the disability;
        2. The test(s) performed to diagnose the disability (if applicable);
        3. The effect of the disability on the candidate’s ability to perform under standard testing conditions;
        4. Whether the disability is a condition expected to change over time;
        5. The accommodation recommended and how the accommodation is related to the candidate’s disability, given the format of the examination;

          Note: Be specific, for example, if a candidate requires additional breaks, the length and frequency of each break should be provided (e.g., 10-minute break per hour). In addition, NCARB allows up to 50% extended testing time for approved reasonable testing accommodations.

        6. The evaluating professional’s name, title, phone number, professional license or certification number, educational credential, and original signature of the professional; and
        7. A description of the evaluating professional’s experience that qualifies them to make the determination.

      The evaluation and supporting documentation shall be valid for a period of three (3) years from the date on which it was submitted to the Board, except that no further documentation will be required in cases where the evaluation clearly states that the candidate’s condition is not expected to change over time in any way that would reduce the need for the requested testing accommodations.

  • If a measurement instrument is used that is not on this list, it will be considered if it is published in the Buros Mental Measurements Yearbook and is used for the purpose for which it was developed.

    Area of Functioning Test(s)
    Attention and Concentration (Arithmetic) Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R) (Digit Symbol) (Digit Span)
    Wechsler Memory Scale (Attention/Concentration Subset)
    Halstead-Reitan Seashore Rhythm
    Test of Variables of Attention
    Learning Efficiency Test (LET)
    Memory/New Learning Ability Wechsler Memory Scale–Revised
    Learning Efficiency Test (LET)
    Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability
    Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude (DTLA)
    Reception Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R) (Verbal Subset: Comprehension) (Perception and Basic Comprehension)
    Reitan Aphasia Screening Test
    Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Revised
    General Cognitive Ability Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (Recognizing, Thinking, Problem Solving)
    Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Revised (WAIS-R)
    Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)–III
    Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability
    Test of Nonverbal Intelligence (TONI)
    Ravens Standard Progression Matrices
    Halstead-Reitan Category Test
    Expressive Abilities Verbal Expression Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Revised (WAIS-R)
    Reitan Aphasia Screening Test
    Writing Peabody Individual Achievement Test–Revised/Written Expression
    Test of Written Language (TOWL)–2
    Other Development Test of Visual-Motor Integration
    Woodcock-Johnson Revised-Writing Samples
    Processing Speed/Efficiency Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Revised (WAIS-R) (Digit Symbol)
    Halstead-Reitan Trail Making Test
    Woodcock-Johnson Visual Cluster (Spatial Relations/Visual Matching)
    Academic Achievement Reading Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement
    Wide Range Achievement Test–Revised (WRAT-R)
    Peabody Individual Achievement Test–Revised (Reading Comprehension) (Reading Recognition)
    Gilmore Oral Reading Test
    Nelson-Denny Reading Test (Vocabulary) (Comprehension)
    Degrees of Reading Power (DRP)
    Spelling Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement
    Wide Range Achievement Test–Revised (WRAT-R)
    Peabody Individual Achievement Test–Revised (Spelling)
    Math Arlin Test of Formal Reasoning (ATFR)
    Key Math Test
    Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement
    Wide Range Achievement Test–Revised (WRAT-R)
    Peabody Individual Achievement Test–Revised (Math)
  • Candidates are not permitted to bring a personal calculator into the test center (see information in the ARE Guidelines (PDF, 944K)). All divisions of the ARE include an on-screen scientific calculator. A calculator is not required to take the CSE.

  • Foreign language difficulty does not fall under the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and language translation dictionaries are not permitted at the test center.

  • Per the ARE Guidelines (PDF, 944K) and CSE Handbook (PDF, 610K), please do not attempt to schedule any examination until you receive notification from the Board that the reasonable accommodations request has been approved. Due to the specific number of seats and time slots available at the examination sites, neither NCARB/Prometric nor PSI can apply accommodations to already scheduled examinations.

  • Candidates must submit their testing accommodation request and all required information and documentation to the Board at least 60 days before the desired testing date of an ARE division or 90 days before the date of their CSE.