ARE study materials for all kinds of learners

Whether you learn best by listening, reading, or talking it through with a friend, Black Spectacles has NCARB-approved study material to help prepare for you for every division of the ARE® exam. 

Study Materials

NCARB-Approved ARE 5.0 Study Materials

Black Spectacles is the first NCARB-approved online test prep provider for all six divisions of the ARE 5.0. We work hard to align our materials with what's actually on the exam, so you can feel confident going into your exam. Our versatile resources accommodate every learning style and are available for you build the study program that works best for you. 

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ARE 5.0 test prep videos

Sit back, tune in, and prepare for all divisions of the ARE® with our video lecture series. Our licensed instructors walk you through different questions and concepts that'll show up on the exam, and give real-world examples for how to solve them. You can also view the transcript for each lecture to read along, and download the lecture slides to take notes and refer back to later. 

Extensive video lecture series for each division

Downloadable lecture slides to follow along

Quiz breaks throughout to test your knowledge

On-demand videos can be viewed any time, any place

Video LEcture
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ARE 5.0 practice exams that look and feel like the real thing

Our practice exams are designed to replicate the real thing, so come test day you'll know exactly what to expect. 

Take practice exams to check your understanding and practice timing, pacing, and case study strategy for test day. Use the answer explanations (which cite the references approved by the ARE Handbook for each exam) to further understand the concept behind each topic. Use the exam summary to guide which objectives you should go back and study more.

4 forms for each of the 6 divisions

Source material citations

Correct/incorrect answer explanations

Easily identify weaker areas to go back and study more


ARE 5.0 flashcards to master key terms and ideas

If you learn best by repetition, digital flashcards are for you. Learn key terms and vocabulary, all hand-picked to tackle a concept on the exam. Choose from our expertly-curated library of existing cards, or create your own to help focus on concepts you need to spend more time with. Review, shuffle, and mark your cards as mastered anywhere you have internet.

Hundreds of cards for each of the 6 divisions

Accessible from your mobile device for on-the-go review

Create custom flashcards for areas you want to focus on

Track your progress by marking cards "mastered"

Flash Cards
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Time for a quiz break

Throughout the video lecture series, you'll see short quiz breaks to help you review and retain what you just learned. Use the quizzes to check your progress and knowledge at shorter intervals, and to go back and review any topics before moving on to the practice exams—or the real one. 

Multiple quizzes for each division 

Track your scores to see your progress

Get a score report with correct answers and explanations

Source material citations for further review


Take a hands-on approach

Sometimes studying on your own can feel isolating and confusing. That's why we created virtual workshops—to give you the opportunity to work through difficult problems live, with the support of your peers and a licensed architect. 

Weekly live video workshops for each division 

Submit your questions to be answered live during each session

Join breakout rooms to work through problems together in real-time

Connect with other candidates at the same stage as you

Virtual Workshops
Practical Application

Apply your knowledge to the real world

Sure, studying and passing exams is important—but how do these concepts apply in real life? Practical application videos take you into the minds and firms of world-class architects so you can see how the concepts you're learning might look during the course of a real project. 

Learn from real-world experience of leaders in the field

Gain a deeper understanding of concepts by seeing them in practice

Discover which focus areas you identify with most


Set a study schedule

Create a schedule for what to study when with our study guide. See your upcoming month laid our with our suggestions for how to pace our study material, and then adjust it if you need, so it works for you. 

Get a suggested study schedule for each division

Uncover expert tips for how to approach the exam

Learn general study and self-care tips to prepare for the exam

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