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

ARE 4.0 Question Formats

ARE 4.0 Question Formats

Posted by: Brightwood Architecture Education
July 9, 2015


It is important for exam candidates to familiarize themselves not only with exam content, but also with question format. Familiarity with the basic question types found in the ARE will reduce confusion, save time, and help you pass the exam. The ARE contains four basic question types.

Multiple-choice
The first and most common type is a straight-forward multiple-choice question, followed by four answer choices (A, B, C, and D). Candidates are expected to select the correct answer. This type of question is shown in the following example.

Which of the following cities is the capital of the United States?

A. New York
B. Washington, D.C.
C. Chicago
D. Los Angeles

Negatively worded multiple-choice
The second type of question is a negatively worded multiple-choice question. In questions such as this, the negative wording is usually highlighted using all caps, as shown below.

Which of the following cities is NOT located on the west coast of the United States?

A. Los Angeles
B. San Diego
C. San Francisco
D. New York

Check-all-that-apply
The third type of question is a combination, or check-all-that-apply, question. In a combination question, more than one choice may be correct; candidates must select from combinations of potentially correct choices. An example of a combination question is shown below.

Which of the following cities are located within the United States?

I. New York
II. Toronto
III. Montreal
IV. Los Angeles
A. I only
B. I and II
C. II and III
D. I and IV

Fill-in-the-blank
The last type of question is a standard fill-in-the-blank. An example of this question type is shown below.

The Washington Monument is located in ___________.

A. Washington
B. New York
C. Massachusetts
D. Washington D.C.

Graphic Vignettes
The vignettes require candidates to create a graphic solution according to program and code requirements. The single most important thing candidates can do to prepare themselves for the vignettes is learn to proficiently navigate NCARB’s graphic software. Practice software can be downloaded free of charge from their website. Candidates should download it and become thoroughly familiar with its use.