Architectural Registration Examination

As developed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE) assesses a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide the various services required in the practice of architecture. The ARE has been adopted for use by all U.S. registration boards and the Canadian provincial architectural associations as the registration examination for all candidates seeking architectural licensing.

NCARB tracks the pass rates for the ARE in two ways—one by division or ARE section and the other by NAAB-accredited schools of architecture. The pass rates by division are for all candidates, both first-time and repeat, who took the ARE. The pass rates by schools also include all candidates testing during the calendar year. The pass rates by schools are not tied to the year of graduation but to the year the division was administered.

The last year for which results are available is 2015. The table below shows the Cal Poly and division pass rates for that year, along with the number of Cal Poly candidates sitting for the ARE.

ARE Divisions Cal Poly Candidates Cal Poly Pass Rates Division Pass Rates
Programming,Planning & Practice 186 61% 60%
Site Planning & Design 135 70% 66%
Building Design & Construction Systems 128 66% 64%
Schematic Design 114 79% 77%
Structural Systems 104 73% 66%
Building Systems 113 69% 67%
Construction Documents & Services 181 62% 58%

Cal Poly pass rates exceeded division pass rates in every case. The difference in pass rates ranged from 1% for Programming, Planning, and Practice to 7% for Structural Systems).

Since 2011, with only two exceptions, Cal Poly pass rates have stayed very close or exceeded division pass rates. In the case of Structural Systems, the Cal Poly pass rate exceeded the division pass rate for every year. In two cases, there was considerable improvement between 2011 and 2015 — 11% for Building Design and Construction and 14% for Building Systems.

Click on the thumbnail images below to view a detailed graph of these results.

Programming, Planning & Practice graph 2011 to 2015
Programming, Planning &
Practice 2011 to 2015

Site Planning & Design graph 2011 to 2015
Site Planning & Design
2011 to 2015

Building Design & Construction graph 2011 to 2015
Building Design &
Construction 2011 to 2015

Shematic Design graph 2011 to 2015
Schematic Design
2011 to 2015

Structural Systems graph 2011 to 2015
Structural Systems
2011 to 2015

Building Systems graph 2011 to 2015
Building Systems
2011 to 2015

Construction Documents & Services graph 2011 to 2015
Construction Documents &
Services 2011 to 2015



Readers should keep in mind that the ARE is a practice-based examination founded on education enhanced by experience. A candidate's performance on the ARE is not based on education alone; it reflects a combination of factors above and beyond the granting of a degree. Many jurisdictions require a minimum of three years of monitored practical experience prior to sitting for the ARE.

For more information on the ARE, including other pass rates, go to

Updated 07.28.16

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