Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

Brightwood Architecture Frequently Asked Questions

Brightwood Architecture Education Frequently Asked Questions

Brightwood College purchased Kaplan Architecture Education in September 2015. Kaplan Architecture Education is now Brightwood Architecture Education. You will still receive the same high-quality education you’ve come to expect from Kaplan Architecture, written and led by the same industry-leading authors and instructors.

Brightwood College is a new school that now includes campuses that were formerly Kaplan College. The goal of Brightwood College is to prepare you with the education you need to pass your exams and excel in today’s job market. You can learn more about Brightwood College at www.brightwood.edu.

A committee of architects made up of representative members from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), Committee of Canadian Architectural Councils (CACC), consulting engineers, and code officials.

You can take the exam whenever you want. The exam is administered Monday through Saturday, year-round, at authorized test centers around the country. Hours of operation vary, so contact your test center of choice to verify business hours.

There are more than 350 standardized test centers across North America. Once your application has been processed, you will receive a list of test centers with your approval notification.

The exam is computer-based. There are six different divisions of the ARE 5.0 exam. Six divisions (Practice Management; Project Management; Programming & Analysis; Project Planning & Design; Project Development & Documentation; and Construction & Evaluation) are comprised of multiple-choice, check-all-that-apply, fill-in-the-blank, hot spot, and drag-and-place questions. Case studies are also included.

Calculators are allowed into the exam only for the multiple-choice divisions. (The graphic divisions have a calculator built into the software interface.) However, calculators are not provided at the test centers, so you will have to bring your own. Only non-programmable, non-communicating, non-printing calculators are allowed, and the center administrator has to approve the calculator before you begin the exam.

The examination is closed book.  In other words, no reference material is permitted. For some exam divisions, reference material can be accessed electronically. This material may contain excerpts from sources such as the AISC Manual of Steel Construction and the UBC. Candidates should therefore obtain copies of these books prior to the exam in order to become familiar with their scope and format.

Each multiple-choice test has a fixed number of questions that must be answered within a fixed time period. A tutorial is delivered before each exam to explain how the program works for that particular division.

To pass the ARE and become a registered architect, a candidate must pass all divisions of the ARE. Scores from the individual divisions are not averaged.

Test scores are reported to candidates by their state boards as pass or fail several weeks after the exam. Actual arrival times vary between the states, but a good approximation is to allow two to four weeks to receive results from a multiple-choice division exam and four to six weeks for results from a graphic division exam.

If you fail a division, you will have to retake it. However, you will not be allowed to retake the same exam until at least 60 days has passed from the time of the first administration. Candidates may only take the same division of the ARE three (3) times within any 12-month time frame.

Brightwood makes every attempt to make our websites and products mobile- and tablet-friendly. However, not all features are compatible with all tablets and phones.

  • When working on regulated course material, we recommend using a Windows- or Mac-based desktop or laptop computer.
  • We recommend the use of Windows 7-10 or macOS 10.9 or later operating systems.
  • We recommend the use of current Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browsers. We also support Internet Explorer 11 and Edge.
  • For business customers, please verify the browser choice and use with your manager or IT department.
  • We recommend online learners have the latest version of Flash (until Aug 1st 2018), when it will no longer be needed.
  • We recommend online learners have at least a 2MB connection.