How Winter COVID-19 Spikes May Impact Your ARE Appointment

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise and many areas anticipate additional winter spikes, Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) candidates may experience more local Prometric test center closures in the weeks ahead. Over the past two weeks, Prometric has already been forced to cancel exam appointments to remain in compliance with tightening state and local mandates.

Your health and safety are our primary concern, which is why we’re working to launch online proctoring as soon as possible. If you do not feel comfortable testing in person, please consider waiting to test after the launch of online proctoring on December 14, 2020. Remember, NCARB has waived all rescheduling fees through December 31, 2020, so candidates can adjust their schedule as needed at no additional cost.

If you are planning to test in person, please keep the following information in mind.

Are test centers expected to close nation-wide?
NCARB and Prometric are not expecting new nation-wide test center closures at this time. However, some states or counties may close test centers as protective measures are reinstated by local governments. NCARB candidates continue to be identified as essential testers and will be allowed to test at all Prometric test centers that remain open.

When will I know if my local test center is closing?
Because of the unpredictability of local or state mandates being put in place, your appointment may be canceled with short notice.

  • In some cases, Prometric may have to act quickly in response to mandates, so please be prepared for last-minute updates. You can check Prometric’s list of closed test centers on their website.
  • If your exam appointment is canceled, Prometric will contact you informing you that your appointment has been canceled. Please confirm that your contact information in your NCARB Record is up-to-date and add Prometric as a safe sender in your email settings. NCARB will provide you with a seat credit allowing you to reschedule the canceled division or any other division.   

Do I have to wear a mask at the test center?
If you are testing in-person, keep in mind that you must wear a mask at the test center at all times. This can be a cloth or medical grade mask and cannot have an exhale valve. If you arrive at your test center without a mask, you will not be allowed to test and will not be offered a free seat credit to reschedule.

Does Prometric require its employees to wear a mask at the test center?
Yes, Prometric staff must also wear a mask at all times. If you encounter staff at your test center who are not wearing a mask, please contact Prometric.

Will my test center be following social distancing protocols?
Prometric test centers are enforcing social distancing in compliance with state or other local restrictions require. Your test center may not follow social distancing standards if not required by law. You can check to see if your test center is enforcing social distancing by contacting them in advance, or checking the status on Prometric’s website. In most cases, test centers that are social distancing will be listed as “Limited Occupancy.” If your test center is not social distancing, you may reschedule your appointment free of charge through December 31, 2020.

Will Prometric take my temperature at the test center?
No, Prometric is not currently taking temperatures at the test center. For more information about Prometric’s COVID-19 policies, visit the Prometric website.

What should I do if I’m diagnosed with COVID-19 before my appointment?
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of your appointment or are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, please reschedule your appointment. As a reminder, rescheduling fees are waived through December 31, 2020.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms within three business days of your appointment and are unable to reschedule, please contact us as soon as possible.

Will Prometric let me know if someone at my test center tests positive?
Prometric will notify any individuals that may have been exposed to the virus while at a Prometric test center based on the timing of a known infected individual’s presence at the specific location. Prometric will notify candidates directly if they have been impacted.

Once a COVID-19-infected individual at a test center has been confirmed, Prometric will close that location for no less than 48 hours to complete a deep cleaning of the site.  Candidates with appointments scheduled during the test center’s closure will be contacted by Prometric regarding the rescheduling of their disrupted appointment.

Is NCARB offering additional rolling clock extensions?
The previous 15-month total rolling clock extensions applied retroactively to March 1, 2020, are still in place for all candidates. NCARB does not have any additional rolling clock extensions planned at this time. However, we are watching the ongoing health crisis closely, and will consider additional extensions as necessary. 

Will NCARB continue to waive rescheduling fees in 2021?
NCARB has waived rescheduling fees since the COVID-19 pandemic initially shut down test centers in mid-March. NCARB will reinstate fees for rescheduling exam appointments beginning on January 1, 2021. However, the fees will be charged at a reduced rate, as NCARB will continue absorbing its internal administrative cost for rescheduled appointments. It is anticipated that the reduced rates will remain in place for the foreseeable future.