To better ensure the quality of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) when the online proctoring option is launched, NCARB has delayed the launch of online proctoring. The new expected launch date is Dec. 14, 2020.
Both the online proctored testing option and the anticipated changes to the exam are now expected to launch Dec. 14, 2020. This includes the reduction in the number of items, adjustments to exam appointment times, transition to the digital whiteboard tool, and the updated break policies.
NCARB’s staff, architect volunteers, and testing consultants have been exploring the viability of an online exam for several years. Throughout the development process, ensuring that state licensing boards can continue to trust the security of the exam has been a top priority. The organization is also addressing concerns that have troubled other disciplines regarding security, technical glitches, accessibility, and privacy.
As a reminder, once implemented, all exam changes will apply to both in-person and online exam appointments—including those scheduled to take place on Dec. 14, 2020.
- The new expected launch date for online proctoring and related exam changes is Dec. 14, 2020.
- Once implemented, all exam changes will apply to both in-person and online exam appointments.
- The new launch date will allow NCARB to ensure a higher quality online testing experience.
- Exams scheduled to take place now through December 13, 2020, will be in the current format.
- Candidates are now required to have an external webcam as part of their online proctored testing setup.
- To offset the potential cost of purchasing a webcam, NCARB is providing a one-time, $50 e-gift card to all candidates scheduling their first online appointment.
Why is NCARB updating the timeline?
As part of our quality assurance process, NCARB has identified potential improvements to the updated exam that we believe will enhance the candidate experience. Moving the launch date helps ensure a higher quality testing experience and may provide more time for candidates to adjust to the upcoming changes.
What does this mean for me?
If you have an exam appointment scheduled between now and December 13, 2020, the version of the ARE you experience will be the current version, with the policies, tools, and number of items outlined in the current ARE 5.0 Guidelines and ARE 5.0 Handbook. You will receive immediate provisional feedback before leaving the test center, and your score report will not be delayed.
If you have an exam appointment scheduled to take place on Dec. 14, 2020, or later, you will experience the updated version of the ARE, with the exam changes detailed in our “Guide to Online Proctoring and the ARE,” and policies/content outlined in the newly updated version of the ARE 5.0 Guidelines and ARE 5.0 Handbook. If you are testing within the first four weeks of the launch, your score report will likely be delayed until the new cut score is established.
The option to schedule online proctored exam appointments, as well as the option to reschedule existing in-person appointments to be taken online or vice versa, is expected to be available on Dec. 14, 2020.
What can I expect next?
NCARB anticipates launching the updated demonstration exam no later than mid-November. This update will feature the new digital whiteboard tool, as well as additional changes aligning with the launch of online proctoring, such as the new break feature and navigation.
In addition, NCARB will be lengthening the demo exam to include 75 practice items (addressing topics from all six divisions), with a testing time of three hours, to help better prepare candidates for a real test experience. The updated demo exam will be accessible through your My NCARB account.
Update to Webcam and Cable Requirements
In finalizing security procedures for online proctoring, NCARB has updated the webcam and cable/cord requirements for taking an online proctored exam. Candidates testing via online proctoring are now required to have an external webcam to facilitate a “cable-by-cable” assessment of their computer setup at part of their check in. Candidates will not be allowed to use their laptop’s internal webcam because it cannot facilitate this security review. A laptop or CPU and all cables must be on the worksurface and fully visible. Updated webcam specifications are provided in the updated ARE 5.0 Guidelines.
$50 Rebate on First Scheduled Online Proctored Appointment
NCARB understands that requiring an external webcam may create an additional expense for candidates. To help offset this, NCARB will provide all candidates who schedule their first online appointment a $50 e-gift card. Every ARE candidate is eligible to receive one rebate. This gift card will be issued automatically after a candidate schedules their first online proctored appointment. Candidates who do not schedule an online proctored appointment will not be eligible. NCARB will provide additional details as we approach the launch.
If you have questions, please contact NCARB online or on the ARE 5.0 Community.