Online Proctoring: How to Set Up Your Testing Space

Before you schedule an online-proctored Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) appointment, please take the time to make sure your computer and testing environment meet the requirements established by both NCARB and Prometric. These requirements are outlined in the updated ARE 5.0 Guidelines and in NCARB’s Online Proctoring Requirements document.  

Check Requirements

These requirements help ensure that all ARE divisions are administered under comparable conditions, and that the results represent a fair and accurate measurement. Keep in mind, if you schedule a division of the ARE to be taken via online proctoring, you are acknowledging that both your system and testing environment meet all technical requirements and policies.

Step 1: Check Prometric System Requirements
To test using Prometric’s ProProctor application, you must meet the requirements outlined in the Prometric ProProctor User Guide. You can check the system requirements using Prometric’s Systems Check, which typically takes a couple of minutes.

Prometric’s minimum systems requirements include:

  • Operating System: Windows/MacOS
  • Web Browser: Latest Google Chrome
  • Webcam Resolution: 640 X 480 pixels
  • Microphone: Enabled

When you run the check, replicate the conditions under which you expect to take your test. Use the same computer, at the same time of day, in the same room, and with the same setup.

Step 2: Check NCARB’s Systems Requirements
Because the ARE includes many graphic elements, NCARB has several systems requirements that exceed Prometric’s minimum requirements. Be sure your system also meets these requirements, including:

  • Computer: Laptop or desktop computer in a single monitor configuration. Tablets and touchscreen monitors are not acceptable. Tablet/laptop hybrids must be configured in laptop mode with tablet mode disabled. All cables connected to the computer and/or peripheral devices must be accessible and visible for full inspection prior to testing.
  • Laptop Setup: Laptops are required to be plugged directly into a power source and unattached from a docking station. If you wish to use a single external monitor configuration with your laptop, connect a computer monitor cable directly from your external monitor to your laptop and close the laptop screen. You will not be able to use the laptop’s integrated keyboard or trackpad.
  • Webcam: External webcam with the flexibility and cord length to provide a 360-degree view of your testing environment including under your workstation and behind any monitor. Integrated webcams are NOT acceptable. To help offset the potential cost of purchasing an external webcam, NCARB is offering all candidates a one-time, $50 prepaid card the first time they schedule an online appointment.
  • Keyboard: Laptop or external keyboard. If you use a wireless keyboard, ensure the batteries are fully charged and can last for the duration of the exam.
  • Mouse: Laptop trackpad or mouse. If you use a wireless mouse, ensure the batteries are fully charged and can last for the duration of the exam.
  • Monitor: Graphics and text on the ARE are designed for a single 19-inch or larger monitor displaying at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Smaller monitors and monitors at lower resolutions will reduce image clarity and necessitate additional scrolling throughout your exam.
  • Internet Speed: A minimum of 3 mbps of dedicated bandwidth. Make sure there is no additional load (video streaming, gaming, music, etc.) on your internet connection during your exam administration. Consider scheduling your exam at a time when other individuals in your household/secure testing location will not be online.
  • Internet Connection Type: An ethernet cable connected directly to your router is recommended for an optimal ARE experience. If using a wi-fi connection, ensure you have a strong signal throughout your exam administration. You are responsible for ensuring internet connectivity

Step 3: Check Your Room Setup
In addition to the technical requirements, your testing environment must meet the requirements within the Prometric ProProctor User Guide. Please ensure the room you plan to test in meets all the following conditions, and any others outlined by Prometric:

  • Indoors: You must test indoors in a walled environment.
  • Privacy: You must have a private space, preferably with a single closing door. No people or animals can be present in the room while you test. If your testing room does not have a door, you can block the entrance with a bed sheet.
  • Lighting: Your testing environment must be well-lit.
  • Quiet: Your room must be free of background noise.
  • Workspace: Your computer must be placed on a table or desk. You cannot test with your computer in your lap.
  • Free from distractions: The room must be as uncluttered as possible. Your workspace and the surrounding area must be free of:
    • Cell phones or other electronic devices
    • Calculators
    • Paper or notepads
    • Books or study resources
    • Purses
    • Food or drinks
    • Tobacco or other smoking products

If the room you plan to test in has other screens (such as a television) or clutter, please cover these areas with a bed sheet.

Step 4: Familiarize Yourself With Prometric’s Testing Policies
Keep in mind, you’ll also need to be familiar with and adhere to the policies outlined in Prometric’s ProProctor User Guide, including those regarding:

  • Launching an exam
  • Check-in procedures
  • Prohibited items
  • Candidate conduct

Before you schedule an online proctored division, please read these policies and confirm you can abide by them. 

Step 5: Download the ProProctor App
To test via online proctoring, you will need to download and install Prometric’s ProProctor app. If you are using a work computer, please ensure you have the permissions to install this application.

You should download and install the application before your test appointment.

If you are using a computer issued by your workplace, a Mac, or a personal computer with antivirus software or a firewall, please note the General Instructions for Corporate Computers covered in the technical information in Prometric’s ehelp website.

During your appointment, your Prometric Readiness Agent will ensure you meet the required conditions before you are released to a proctor and can begin to test. Please keep in mind, if you do not meet the requirements, your appointment will end and your exam fee will not be refunded.