All Six Divisions of the ARE 5.0 Explained

  • 10 August, 2021

In addition to earning a degree from a National Architectural Accrediting Board® (NAAB)-accredited program and documenting the real-world experience through the Architectural Experience Program (AXP®), architects are required to pass six different divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE® 5.0) on their journey to becoming licensed. Even after architects have completed all three of these requirements, they still need to meet additional conditions based on the jurisdiction in which they live. The ARE is "a multi-division exam used to assess your knowledge and skills regarding the practice of architecture."1 The exam process helps ensure that all licensed architects uphold certain standards, principles, and ethics within their field. Licensure also allows architects to position themselves for career advancement and income generation. Many states allow only licensed architects to design buildings over three stories or commercial buildings.2 Curious to know more about what topics appear on this exam? We have summarized the six divisions below:

All Six Divisions of the ARE 5.0 Explained
  1. Practice Management is all about the business side of architecture. You will learn how to assess objectives relating to the management of the architectural practice, including business operations, finances, risk, and development of practice; practice-wide delivery of services, and practice methodologies.
  2. Project Management focuses on what it means to run and manage a project. You will learn the processes and procedures for managing architectural projects, which include resource management, project work planning, contracts, project execution, and project quality control.
  3. Programming and Analysis reviews opportunities, constraints, and requirements for projects. You will become familiar with environmental and contextual conditions, codes and regulations, site analysis and programming, and building analysis and programming.
  4. Project Planning and Design concentrates on the preliminary design of buildings and sites through conceptual design, sustainable design, and universal design in reference to codes and regulations. You will learn about environmental conditions and context; codes and regulations; building systems, materials, and assemblies; project integration of program and systems; and project costs and budgeting.
  5. Project Development and Documentation reviews building system integration, materials and assemblies, and their selection in a project. You will gain knowledge about the integration of building materials and systems, construction documentation, project manual and specifications, codes and regulations, and construction cost estimates.
  6. Construction and Evaluation focus on the process of construction administration including contract administration, execution, and services such as submittal reviews, construction observation, and payment requests, project close-out, and post-occupancy activities. You will learn about preconstruction activities, construction observation, administrative procedures and protocols, and project closeout and evaluation.

To become a licensed architect, you must report a total of 3,740 hours of experience within the six ARE divisions3 through the AXP. After you pass your first division exam, a "rolling clock" will start. You will need to pass the other five divisions within five years after this clock is triggered. When you have met all requirements from your jurisdiction, you will be able to apply for a license to practice architecture!

EduMind offers exam review courses for all six divisions of the ARE. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help you achieve your career aspirations and goals!


1 "Pass the ARE." NCARB. Accessed July 1, 2021.

2 "Three Reasons Why You Need to Get Your Architecture License." Archinect, March 14, 2017.

3 "Experience Requirements." NCARB. Accessed July 1, 2021.

About the Author: Martha Hunsucker

Martha Hunsucker is a content writer for EduMind. She received her BA in English from Stetson University and has experience marketing, copywriting, editing, and blogging. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books by Jon Krakauer (her current favorite author), hiking with her two dogs, and sleeping in on weekends.

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