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May 23

How To Retake A Failed ARE Exam

If you’re one of the many people that have failed an ARE exam somewhere along the way, retaking the exam is something you will have to do. Before we get into how to retake a failed ARE exam, it’s important to remember that it’s not that big of a deal to fail a section of the ARE. It’s hard to pass all 7 exam divisions on your first try so it’s important not to freak out if you receive your fail letter in the mail.

  • According to NCARB, you have to wait 6 months before being eligible to retake any failed exam. I think the reason they make you wait is so you don’t see repeat multiple choice questions. In my opinion, waiting 6 months before taking it again is a good thing because you’re able to focus on other ARE exam divisions that you haven’t gotten to already. Of course, if you fail your last exam, waiting those 6 months may seem like forever.
  • The 6 month time period will begin the date that you TOOK the failed exam. This is nice because sometimes you won’t find out your test result until a month after you have taken it anyways. So in some situations, you will really only have to wait what feels like 5 months.
  • After 4 months or so, NCARB will send you an “Authorization To Test” letter in the mail saying that you can now schedule your exam. If you would have tried to schedule your ARE exam through Prometric before getting your authorization, it wouldn’t have let you sign up.
  • Once you’ve received your authorization, you can now schedule your exam BUT it must be scheduled for a date that is 6 months or later than the date you first took your failed exam. You should still have plenty of test dates available if NCARB sends you the authorization after 4 months so don’t worry that you won’t be able to get a test date in time.

Final Thoughts

If you happen to fail a test towards the beginning or even the middle of your test process, then waiting 6 months for a retake may be a blessing in disguise. You now have time to re-shift your focus and knock some other ARE exams out of the way while you wait. A good rule of thumb would be to schedule your next exam right after you receive your pass/fail letter, no matter what the result is. You could easily knock 1-3 exams out of the way in the 6 months that you’re waiting for a retake while still leaving yourself ample time to study for the retake.

If you would like additional information about failing an ARE exam , see here for more details.

Remember, it’s not the end of the world if you have to retake a failed ARE exam. It happens more than people think and that’s certainly understandable considering you are asked to pass 7 different exams.


For additional questions regarding the ARE, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.