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.
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.
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!