This website is an archive of study materials for the
Architectural Registration Exams

This info is free to access for anyone preparing for the AREs.

Found here are: vignette alternatesvignette tips and 
recommended study material lists 
from / member: sbyrktct.

(Be sure to Bookmark this page for future reference.)
The links below (or the tabs above) will take you directly to recommended study materials for each exam:



I have compiled a list of errors / issues / discrepancies I found on the
NCARB Exam Guide's "
Passing Solutions" for the vignettes. 
Please visit the link below:

"How the ARE is Scored"

From the horse's mouth... NCARB describes how it scores the multiple choice and the vignettes.  Particularly interesting to note is the fact that 15 to 20 MC questions are "pre-test" (aka experimental questions that don't count)... those are most likely the WTF? questions you will encounter.  Link below:


Architectural History study materials

This is a helpful list to brush up on for each exam because history questions are included in all of the multiple choice sections. 
Follow the links:

Having issues with confusing Multiple Choice questions?

Check out this helpful guide to understanding multiple choice testing...

This info is via Ironwarrior's website (see link below).


Additional study materials may be found on Ironwarrior's website: 

[temporarily(?) unavailable...]

Also, if you want to post vignette solutions for review (highly recommended), visit Coach's website:


Please let me know if there is any other material

you wish to see archived here.

I will do my best to keep updating this site to

make it as useful as possible.


Exam Order

Many people prepping for the exams, or after taking a few exams, are curious about the "best" order in which to take the AREs.  The "best" answer to that question is... it depends on you.  It depends on your strengths, weaknesses, your study schedule and how your personal life dictates your ability to study.  However, if you think it may help you, I can tell you what my exam order was and what order I would have done it, in hindsight...

My actual exam order:
PPP       - One month of study... I would rethink taking this broad of an exam first

         - Two months of study... I wanted to take the hard ones [BS & SS] towards
                    the front so I could take others if I
needed to wait six months

SD         - Two weeks of practice... a good break from memorizing for MC questions

SS         - One month of intense study... the exam I feared the most

BDCS    - One month of study... this one is all about the parts that come together to 
                 create the systems that you are
tested on in SS... I would put this before SS

CDS       - One month of study... contracts, ugh...

SPD       - One month of study... I wanted to take an "easier" exam last

My recommended exam order:

BCDS   - Take this before SS, and of all the exams you probably already know the  

                   most about this one

SS        - Take the "hard" ones early

SD        - Take a break from memorizing

BS        - This is a stand-alone exam... with lots of content

CDS     -  Docs & contracts... info feeds into PPP

PPP     -  Very broad exam, encompasses concepts from others

SPD     -  Next to SD, arguably the easiest... less stress to finish up


You look like you need a quick break...

Here is Monty Python's "Architect Sketch"... a true classic...

And check out this Tumblr blog for a different take on architecture:

And don't miss this site full of architect themed cartoons:


Shout outs to other helpful ARE websites:


NCARB Disclaimer:

This is an independent website that is not affiliated with NCARB and is not endorsed or sanctioned by NCARB. NCARB, however, has asked that the following reminder be given to those using websites to prepare for the ARE.

Each time a candidate takes each division of the ARE, he or she agrees to the following Confidentiality Agreement:

"I understand that the content of this examination is confidential. I agree that I will not divulge any questions on this examination to any individual or entity. I understand that the unauthorized possession, reproduction, or disclosure of any examination materials, including the nature or content of examination questions, before during or after the examination is in violation of law. A violation of this type can result in a civil liability and/or disciplinary action by my Board of Architecture."

If an examinee cannot abide by this agreement, they should not take the exam. A violation of this Confidentiality Agreement, as it expressly states, can lead to civil liability and disciplinary action, as well as the temporary or permanent suspension of test taking privileges. Furthermore, disclosure of the content of examination questions at any time is unethical, unprofessional and a violation of the professional standards that NCARB, its member boards, certificate holders and your fellow candidates seek to foster and protect. In addition, disclosing the content of examination questions or using such information gives some candidates an unfair advantage and is extremely unfair to fellow candidates who rightfully choose not use such improper help.

NCARB believes candidates are and should be free to share their general experiences with the ARE, and to help fellow candidates with their test taking skills and the examination process. Such communications are part of the normal examination process. Disclosing the content of examination questions, however, either by direct quotation or paraphrasing, crosses the line separating general help from improper conduct. Simply put, it is cheating.

The integrity of examination process, which is part of the larger certification process, is integral both to NCARB's mission and the profession's obligation to protect the public's health, safety and welfare. If certain examinee's receive improper help, this threatens to diminish the ability of NCARB and state boards to protect the public's health and safety. Accordingly, NCARB will take all steps open to it, including civil and disciplinary action, to protect the examination process and to discipline those individuals who violate the Confidentiality Agreement, those who seek to share, use or disseminate exam questions, and all those who seek to give or obtain an unfair advantage over fellow candidates.

This site is moderated by sbyrktct.  For questions or comments, email: [email protected]


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