For those of you out there looking for the ARE vignette practice software on a Mac, you may finally be in luck!
For the longest time, the practice software for the vignette section of the ARE was only available for a 32-bit Windows computer. It wouldn’t work on a 64-bit Windows computer and certainly would not work on a Mac.
This basically means that anyone who has purchased a new computer in the past 5-7 years probably can’t run the ARE practice software on their computer!
Not very helpful if you ask me.
In the past, ARE candidates really only had 2 options when it came to practicing the vignettes: find a 32-bit computer laying around somewhere or not practice the software at all.
Before I get into the different options for the practice vignettes, I quickly want to touch on the importance of the vignettes because I feel that a lot of ARE candidates don’t prepare enough for them!
Importance Of The ARE Practice Software
To me, there are 2 main reasons why using the ARE practice software can benefit you come exam day.
Again, I certainly recommend trying to use this software weeks before your exam so you have time to take full advantage of it.
- Getting Used To The NCARB Software
Anyone considering not practicing the ARE vignettes before an exam should certainly reconsider. The software is VERY different from any other drafting program that you may be used to from school or work.
The software was developed specifically for the ARE exam so there’s really no way that anyone would have experience using this software.
Since time is so limited on the vignette portion of each exam, candidates really can’t afford to waste any precious time figuring out the software so take the time before the test to figure out how to actually use the program.
- Practicing The Vignettes
In addition to learning the actual software, the NCARB practice vignettes actually give you the opportunity to solve an actual problem similar to what you’ll see on the ARE exam.
You’ll be given a practice problem, programmatic requirements, code requirements and existing conditions with each vignette.
This gives you the opportunity to not only practice the specific tools of each vignette but you can also take your time to make sure you’re satisfying all of the requirements.
Again, I would recommend that every ARE candidate take the time to practice the ARE software as well as the practice vignette well before your exam date.
One little mistake on the vignette section of the ARE could cause you to fail the entire exam, no matter how well you did on the multiple choice.
This is why I personally feel that the vignette sections are so critical to passing the ARE.
Make sure you take the time to practice!
How To Get The ARE Practice Software
Now, back to the issue that I started talking about above; the fact that the ARE practice software has only been available on really old computers (only 32-bit windows).
After years of struggling to find ways to get the ARE software on other types of computers, it seems as if there are finally some options for ARE candidates looking to practice.
- NCARB Beta Testing
As of January of 2013, NCARB has began beta testing for a new service that allows both 64-bit Windows computers and Macs to access the ARE practice software!
In order to be eligible to use the beta testing service, all you need to do is have an active NCARB record account.
To access the beta testing service, simply log into your “My NCARB” account and click the “Add” button to begin your trial.
According to NCARB, this software will be available from January 22, 2013 to March 18, 2013.
Although I have not tried out this beta testing service yet, I’ll be sure to touch base with anyone who does.
I’ll also see what NCARB decides to do once the beta testing service is over in March and keep everyone posted on that.
For more information on the NCARB Practice Software Beta Test, see here!
- How-To Video For Macs
For any Mac users that are looking for the ARE practice software, I just discovered a video that explains an easy step-by-step process to download it on your Mac for free.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to get everything set up, but you don’t have to purchase any other programs or run Bootcamp or Parallels to get the programs.
I just tried this on my Mac at home and it worked without any issues!
I certainly recommend giving this a try for anyone looking for the vignettes on a Mac.
If you’d like to see the link to the video for running the NCARB Software On A Mac, please follow the link. I found it extremely helpful when installing everything.
So it finally seems that getting the ARE vignette practice software on a Mac or 64-bit Windows computer is finally possible.
Like I’ve mentioned above, I would absolutely use this practice software to your advantage when preparing for the ARE. It is really a valuable resource because it will ease a lot of your nerves come test day.
By practicing with the software and practice vignettes now, you will definitely save yourself a lot of time and stress down the road.