Architect Registration Exam Blog

ARE 5.0 Tips

How to Prepare for an Online ARE 5.0 Appointment

In an increasingly digital world, online proctoring has become a common method for administering exams. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has – finally – embraced this trend, offering online proctored Architect Registration Examination (ARE) 5.0 appointments. This article provides a guide on how to prepare for an online ARE 5.0 appointment with PSI.

Technology Requirements

To take an online proctored ARE division with PSI, you need specific technology. This includes a desktop or laptop computer, but touchscreen monitors, iPads, Chromebooks, and other tablets are not permitted. Your computer should be connected to a 19-inch or larger external monitor with a minimum resolution of 1920 by 1080. The laptop lid must be closed during the exam, so you'll also need an external keyboard and mouse.

An external webcam with auto-focus and flexibility is also required. During the exam check-in process, the proctor will visually inspect you, your ID, and your surroundings. Therefore, your webcam must be able to auto-focus and provide the proctor with a 360-degree view of your space, including under your desk and behind your monitor.

A stable internet connection is crucial for your exam. It's recommended to connect using an ethernet cable, not Wi-Fi, and you'll need a minimum of three megabits per second of dedicated bandwidth. Check your bandwidth and connection before your appointment using online tools.

Workspace and Environment

Your workspace should be a hard surface, such as a desk or table, with only your technology visible. Remove all non-essential items, including cell phones, handbags, wallets, headphones, earbuds, pens, pencils, snacks, beverages, and non-essential computer accessories.

The broader testing environment should be private, indoors, and free from people or pets. It should have doors that can be closed to minimize disruptions. If the room has an entrance without a door, cover it with bed sheets or paper. Windows or glass partitions that provide a view of other people or give them a view of you should be covered. The testing space should be uncluttered, free of background noise, and well lit.

Do's and Don'ts for Test Day

On test day, bring your ID, which must match the first and last name in your NCARB record. Launch your appointment 30 minutes before the scheduled time to complete the check-in process and begin testing. Adjust your microphone level before launch, and avoid wearing large jewelry or accessories.

Check your network and computer security settings prior to your exam. You'll need administrative permissions on your computer to close any prohibited programs identified by PSI's secure testing browser. Be prepared to remove your eyeglasses for inspection at the beginning of the exam.

If you experience any issues while testing, report them to NCARB's customer service team in writing within 15 days of your test. Do not wait until receiving your exam results.

When scheduling an online proctored ARE appointment, you're taking full responsibility for setting up a testing environment that meets the technical and environmental requirements for the exam. If you have any doubts about whether you can meet NCARB's and PSI's online proctoring requirements, consider testing in person at a physical test center. Consult NCARB's ARE 5.0 guidelines and PSI's online proctoring guide for ARE candidates for more information.