ARE 5.0 | Study Materials

ARE 5.0 | Study Materials

I’m beginning the process of studying for the Architecture Registration Exams (ARE) version 5.0.  My plan is to read through content on all divisions and then take the Practice Management Exam.  Below is a list of resources that I am finding helpful when studying for the ARE 5.0.  When you see an Amazon link please know that, at no cost to you, I will get a small referral fee if you use the link and complete your purchase within a day.   I will update this list as I find more sources.




  • Cost?  FREE
  • What is it?  Online digital flash cards
  • Cool feature:  It generates tests based on the flash cards
  • Search for ARE 4.0 or ARE 5.0 to find cards others have already entered (use with caution)
  • They also have a phone app, I use Android.
  • Where?

Black Spectacles

Ballast (PPI)

  • Comments:
    • I own this.  I bought it because my engineering professor co-authored the book.  As of writing this I have only made it through Division 1 reading.
    • You may be ok using the 4.0 version to study for the 5.0 but the information will not be in the correct divisions for easy review.  I sold my 4.0 copy and bought the 5.0…why make studying any harder?

Brightwood (Formerly Kaplan)

  • Cost? $Varies, can get expensive
  • Where?
    • Their Website:
    • Amazon sometimes has better deals, especially for used copies.
    • You may be able to borrow copies from you local AIA chapter office.
  • Comments:  I plan to purchase the practice exams.

ARE Bootcamp (Young Architect)

ARE 5.0 Miscellaneous Sources:

ARE 5.0 Books Referenced by NCARB:

These books are listed in the last pages of the ARE 5.0 Handbook.  You should verify the books and versions listed yourself and this is not all of them: