Screenshot of the ARE 4.0 Community forum.
Screenshot of the ARE 4.0 Community forum.

In February, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) introduced the ARE 4.0 Community, a new Google Plus resource designed to help candidates studying for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The ARE 4.0 Community provides a forum for candidates to connect with each other and architects who have already taken the exam, lists sample exam questions, offers video tutorials on all ARE 4.0 divisions, and presents information on how the test vignettes are scored.

The forum could be used as a study tool by the 28,000 candidates that NCARB estimates are currently preparing for the exam. 

The ARE 4.0 Community will also be adapted to the new test version, which is expected to debut in late 2016. ARE 5.0 will differ from the current test version, ARE 4.0, in the division structure. ARE 5.0 will include six divisions, eliminating the graphic vignettes section. The test will incorporate graphics throughout the exam with new performance metrics, which will test "high levels of cognition through analytical, synthetic, and evaluative exercises," according to NCARB’s website. ARE 4.0 will remain available for at least 18 months after the 5.0 launch.

"The community enhances an already rich body of test materials that NCARB provides," NCARB director of examination Jared Zurn said in a press release. "Now, in addition to providing exam guides, updates via ARE e-news, and the My Examination portal, for scheduling, report access and more—licensure candidates can further their understanding of the exam on Google Plus and share their examination experience with others."