Case Study

Supporting Architects in preparation for ARE 5.0 

The Need:  Develop a practice exam for candidates practicing for the new version of the Architecture Registration Exam 5.0.   

The Solution: We developed an item bank of over 400 questions, recruited and trained item writers, developed an item bank solution to maintain the creation, review, difficulty rating and revision of items remotely by SMEs, psychometricians and project manager on a rolling basis

The Result: Developed practice tests that test preppers could access via a mobile app

  • Greatly improved the quality of practice questions 
  • Created systems, and processes, unique to company culture

The test preparation industry for Architects who are studying to pass the Architectural Registration Exam 5.0, is a fast growing niche.  While several organizations had written test prep content to support the older version of the exam, the race was on to create new content to match the dynamic new item types in the 5.0 exam which include hotspots, multiple choice, check all that apply, drag and place, fill-in-the-blank and case studies.  

Leverage stepped in to offer a solution for this professional development company that would allow it to become a strong competitor in the test prep space.  The creation of the Mock ARE 5.0 exam began in phases.  

First, we created structure and flow for the item writing and review process that would accommodate the rolling schedules of the Sub Matter Experts (SMEs), all of whom are full time Licensed Architects.  We used the job task analysis and handbook to breakdown the content of the new exam.  

We then created a video based item writing series for the onboarding and training of SMEs.  

we created a web based solution that would facilitate a remote item writing and review process to accommodate flexible team schedules and allow for seamless collaboration.  This solution would allow SMEs to select difficulty levels, categorize content by item type, offer explanations for correct response choices and record source citations.  This solution served as a test plan.  

Written instructions were created for each phase of the item writing and review process which would offer SMEs reminders as they completed their work.  SMEs were able to ask for support around the clock.  

Each item was reviewed before publication, we reviewed the spelling grammar, structure, content, estimated difficulty levels, Task and KSA linkages.  Our process was the first to be approved through NCARB test prep certification program.

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