Should the ARE Exam and other US Professional Exams be English Only?

ARE exam

The ARE exam, a series of tests which evaluate the knowledge and skills necessary to become a licensed architect, is nationally recognized in the US. By passing this exam, aspiring architects demonstrate that they have the technical and personal skills needed to succeed in the field. However, is it fair for this exam to only be offered in English? There is no official national language in the United States, but English is the most commonly spoken language. It may be beneficial for those working in the US to demonstrate the ability to communicate using English.

are exam drafting

Would you trust a licensed doctor to do a procedure on you even if they didn’t speak any English? They have proven that they at least have the skills necessary to complete the procedure. Likewise, the ARE exam evaluates technical skills that don’t require verbal communication. On the other hand, architects must also have equal strength in responsibilities such as project management and teamwork. If an architect in the US couldn’t speak English, there would likely be a communication barrier that would interfere with doing their job effectively.

Likewise, the ARE exam evaluates technical skills that don’t require verbal communication. On the other hand, architects must also have equal strength in responsibilities such as project management and teamwork. If an architect in the US couldn’t speak English, there would likely be a communication barrier that would interfere with doing their job effectively.

Other Languages for the ARE Exam

Consider this: Someone may have learned English as their second language, but they aren’t fully comfortable with the nuances of the English language in a technical sense. Maybe taking the exam in their native language would be beneficial to them. The ARE exam is a test of architectural skills and knowledge not an English exam after all. What other languages, then, could the ARE be offered in?

The NCIDQ, a certification for interior designers, is offered in English and French. This certification is recognized in the United States and French-Canadian territories. The ARE is also recognized in all jurisdictions of the US and some Canadian provincial architectural associations. Therefore, it may be beneficial for the ARE exam to be offered in French for those practicing in Canada. Nowadays, it is common for employees to also speak Spanish, since it is the second most common language in the US. It is some people’s first language, so it might make sense for the ARE to also be offered in Spanish.

office meeting after passing are exam

In Conclusion…

Since English is the most commonly spoken language in the United States, it makes sense for professional exams to be offered in English. Board members that regulate standards for these exams only regulate US standards. If standards were internationally set, offering exams in multiple languages would make them accessible to more people. Professional exams such as the ARE, NCIDQ, and NCEES assess the ability to practice and communicate in their respective fields. Communication and a firm understanding of industry specific terms is key in any business, but is it fair to only offer the ARE exams in a single language?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

24 Comments

  1. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    Hello there and thanks for your information, I have certainly picked up allot new info from right your post. You are also provided information about best tips for exam,Which is very helpful to me and other people also.

  2. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  3. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  4. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  5. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  6. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  7. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  8. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  9. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  10. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  11. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  12. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  13. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  14. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  15. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  16. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  17. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  18. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  19. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  20. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  21. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  22. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Paige,

    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.

    Best,
    Tony

  23. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  24. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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