With last week’s release of the ARE 5.0 transition plan and the associated credit model, many of you may have already picked up on a surprising opportunity. By using a combination of ARE 4.0 divisions and future ARE 5.0 divisions, candidates could complete the ARE in as few as five tests.
Since this is fewer divisions than either ARE 4.0 or ARE 5.0, some may wonder if this option is valid. The answer is, yes! The examination committee that created the credit model investigated this issue once the opportunity was realized. They evaluated the credit model and confirmed that completing the exam using ARE 4.0, ARE 5.0, or a combination of both versions will ensure a valid measurement of competency.
Remember, ARE 5.0 is still years away so don’t assume your best option is to wait to take fewer tests. The only way to achieve your goal of becoming an architect is to complete the ARE as soon as possible. Don’t press pause on your career goals just to take fewer tests. And don’t forget about your Rolling Clock.
To minimize any impact the future transition may have on you, if you do eventually transition, be sure to make a testing plan that addresses three key divisions of ARE 4.0:
- Construction Documents & Services (CDS)
- Programming, Planning & Practice (PPP)
- Site Planning & Design (SPD)
Completing CDS will immediately position you to earn a credit for Construction & Evaluation in ARE 5.0. It’s a one-for-one credit. CDS content also addresses four future divisions of ARE 5.0, so you are well on your way.
PPP is also an important division to pass, because content will address three divisions of ARE 5.0. Combining a passing score in PPP with a passing score in CDS will earn you two additional credits in ARE 5.0: Practice Management and Project Management. With PPP complete, you can earn another ARE 5.0 credit by combining it with a passing score in SPD.
After successfully completing CDS, PPP, and SPD, you will have already set yourself up to earn credit for four of the six ARE 5.0 divisions. By focusing your plan on passing these three critical ARE 4.0 divisions, you can position yourself to transition more seamlessly—if you are unable to complete all divisions of ARE 4.0 before it is retired.
Being strategic doesn’t mean that once you have these three divisions of ARE 4.0 complete you simply wait for ARE 5.0. Being strategic also doesn’t mean you have to take the divisions in this order. We all approach the ARE differently based on our experiences. Just be sure you properly plan to address these critical divisions sooner than later when mapping out your success plan.