ARE 5.0 practice exams just like the real thing

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ARE 5.0 practice exams with the rigor of NCARB 

The Black Spectacles team creates all our practice exam questions using the same process, standards, and rigor that NCARB uses to make sure our practice exams actually prepare you for test day. 


Our team of licensed architects, learning experts, and a psychometrician all get together to create exam sample questions that target NCARB objectives and prepare you for passing the ARE.


The Black Spectacles team studies materials released by NCARB to make sure that our questions are meeting their standards, aligned with their objectives, and are actually relevant to what the exam will cover.


The practice exam questions are then constantly reviewed and adjusted to make sure they’re up-to-date, accurate, and reflective of what NCARB will be testing you on.


Using our interactive test interface, we’re able to pull from anonymous results data to make sure our questions match the level of difficulty of the actual ARE.

More ARE practice questions for deeper understanding

Black Spectacles has three forms for each division, compared to just one from NCARB, and around 2,000 unique questions. All this means is you can take each form without repeating a question—creating a broader knowledge base for you and helping you avoid just memorizing the answers.

Exam Forms
Review ARE 5.0 practice exams

Explanations to help you learn, not just memorize

Each answer option, whether you got it right or wrong, has an in-depth explanation diving into the source material, so you can use every question as an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the material—not just to mark your answer correct or not.

Take a holistic learning approach

The Black Spectacles ARE 5.0 practice exams are an integral part of our learning ecosystem. They’re meant to work in tandem with our other ARE 5.0 study materials to give you the deepest understanding of the lessons and make the practice exams even more impactful. Use the practice exams in conjunction with the other study materials—like the video lectures, flashcards, and virtual workshops—to round out your knowledge in a holistic approach to learning.

Learn the ARE 5.0 exam interface early

Once you start Black Spectacles practice exams, the interface exactly matches the real ARE 5.0 exam, so you can get acclimated to the tools and study the material at the same time.

Utilize our Practice Exam Tools:

  • Practice the whiteboard and calculator as you take the practice exam, so you don’t have to worry about figuring them out on exam day.
  • Black Spectacles practice exams are timed, just like the real thing, so you can work on your pacing.
  • You can mark questions for review at the end of the exam if you’re stuck, so you can keep moving and come back to any that need more thought.
ARE 5.0 construction and evaluation practice exam
Review ARE 5.0 CE practice exams

Review your answers & deepen your knowledge

At the end of each practice exam, review all your answers—whether you got them right or wrong. Each answer option includes an explanation and a reference to source material, so you can use all the answers to fully understand the concept behind each question. Take advantage of the explanations for both correct and incorrect answers, and use them as a material resource as well as a tool to test your knowledge.

See what our students have to say: 


  • "It just provides a good framework for understanding the tough questions on the exams without actually having to know the specific information. You can tease out the answers as you would in real life just knowing where to look thanks to the Black Spectacles method."
  • “Taking the practice exams and exposing myself to all the questions was key for me! I think Black Spectacles practice exams are as close to the real exam as someone can get. Also appreciate the digital whiteboard option included—gaining familiarity with that really helped.”
  • “Black Spectacles Practice exams really helped me get accustomed to the question format and the testing software. They taught me what to look for and were very similar to the real thing. I recommend taking the exams multiple times to get comfortable with the material and exam timing.”

ARE Practice Exam FAQs


How many ARE 5.0 practice exams are available per division?

There are three unique practice exam forms available for each division.

How many questions are there for each practice exam?

Each form varies, just like the ARE does. Each practice exam has between 65 and 100 questions depending on the division.

Does Black Spectacles have the same features as the real exam?

Yes! Our practice exam exactly mimics the real ARE, so you can practice using the whiteboard and calculator. There are also questions to help you get used to case studies, drag and place, and hotspot items in the practice exam environment.

How many times can I take each practice exam?

There’s no limit to how many times you can take each exam, and you’ll be able to track your score progress in your dashboard.

Do you include reference material in the answer explanations?

Yes. Our practice exams provide explanations for both the correct and incorrect answers, as well as the source material for reference. We encourage you to review your exam results, read all the explanations, and use them as a learning tool!

Get your licensure over with, once and for all