What Questions are on the ARE Practice Exams?

December 13, 2023

Are you preparing for the ARE® Practice Exams and feeling overwhelmed by the various question formats? You’re not alone. The Architect Registration Examination (ARE®) is an essential stepping stone for every aspiring architect, but its diverse question formats can be a significant challenge. In this article, we’ll demystify these formats, giving you the confidence and tools you need to succeed.

Understanding different question formats is not only essential for passing the exam but also for gaining a comprehensive understanding of architecture concepts. While multiple choice questions are the most well-known, there are other formats like fill-in-the-blank, hotspot, and drag-and-drop questions that candidates should be prepared for. Being able to navigate these different formats effectively is crucial to demonstrating your knowledge and skills in architecture.

Join thousands of students who are acing their Architect Exams!

Get Started

I. Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple choice questions are perhaps the most familiar to most exam takers. On the ARE® Practice Exams, these questions are designed to assess your understanding of various architectural principles. They consist of:

  • A single question or statement: This leads to the options provided.
  • Four possible answers: Among these, only one is the correct answer, while others are cleverly designed to mislead you.
  • Special categories like “all of the above” or “none of the above”: These can often be tricky.

Multiple choice questions are perhaps the most familiar to most exam takers. On the ARE® Practice Exams, these questions are designed to assess your understanding of various architectural principles. They consist of:

Tips for Approaching Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple choice questions can be deceptive. Here’s how to approach them effectively:

  • Read the Question Carefully: Understanding what’s being asked is half the battle.
  • Eliminate Obviously Incorrect Answers: This narrows down your choices and increases your chances of selecting the correct answer.
  • Watch Out for Common Traps: Some options might appear correct at first glance but are designed to mislead you.

Discussion of “All of the Above” and “None of the Above” Options

These special options can be particularly challenging. Here’s how to tackle them:

  • “All of the Above”: If you can confirm that two answers are correct, this option is likely the right one.
  • “None of the Above”: This requires careful consideration and elimination of all other options.

By understanding and mastering these aspects of multiple choice questions, you’ll be better prepared to face this common yet often complex question format on the ARE® Practice Exams.

II. Fill-in-the-Blank Questions

Fill-in-the-blank questions in the ARE® Practice Exams require candidates to type an exact answer into a blank space. These questions are designed to test specific knowledge and recall of terminology, calculations, or other specific aspects of architecture.
Here’s how they are structured:

  • Double-Check Spelling and Units: A small mistake in spelling or incorrect units can lead to a wrong answer.
  • Review the Context: Ensure that your answer fits the context of the question.
  • Take Your Time: Rushing can lead to mistakes, so read the question carefully.

Strategies for Guessing on Fill-in-the-Blank Questions if You’re Not Sure

Sometimes, a guess may be necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, consider these tips:

  • Use Logical Deduction: Think about what would logically fit in the blank.
  • Avoid Wild Guessing: If you have no idea, it’s often better to leave it blank, as wild guesses may not serve you well.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

III. Hotspot Questions

Hotspot questions are unique to computer-based exams like the ARE® Practice Exams. They require candidates to identify a specific area on an image. The structure and content coverage include:

  • An Image with Multiple Parts: This could be a floor plan, diagram, or another visual representation.
  • A Question Related to the Image: You’ll need to click on the correct part of the image in response to the question.
  • Topics Covered: These may range from design elements to identifying specific construction components.

Tips for Approaching Hotspot Questions

Hotspot questions may seem daunting, but with these tips, you can approach them with confidence:

  • Zoom in on the Image: This ensures that you can see all the details clearly.
  • Read the Question Thoroughly: Understand what’s being asked before you click.
  • Practice Using Similar Questions: Familiarize yourself with this format by using practice materials.

Discussion of How to Avoid Accidentally Clicking on the Wrong Area

A wrong click can lead to an incorrect answer. To avoid this:

  • Take Your Time: Don’t rush to click; carefully analyze the image first.
  • Use the Mouse Carefully: Ensure that your click is accurate.
  • Double-Check Before Submitting: Review your answer before moving on to the next question.

Hotspot questions assess your ability to interpret visual information accurately, a key skill for architects. With practice and attention to detail, you can master this unique question format.


Don’t just passively read or watch your study materials. Engage with them by taking notes, discussing with peers, or teaching the content to someone else. Active engagement can boost comprehension and retention.

VI. Drag-and-Drop Questions

Drag-and-drop questions on the ARE® Practice Exams are interactive and test your ability to match or sequence items correctly. These questions require:

  • A List of Items to Drag: These could be terms, images, or other elements.
  • A Destination to Drop Them Into: This might be matching categories or placing items in the correct sequence.
  • Content Coverage: Topics can include ordering construction phases, matching materials to properties, and more.

Tips for Approaching Drag-and-Drop Questions

Drag-and-drop questions demand careful reading and understanding. Here are some helpful strategies:

  • Read All Options Before Starting to Drag: Understand the entire context before beginning.
  • Consider Each Item Carefully: Think about where it fits before dragging it.
  • Use Process of Elimination: If you’re unsure, eliminate options that don’t fit.

Discussion of How to Avoid Accidentally Dropping an Item in the Wrong Spot

Mistakes can happen, but here’s how to minimize the risk:

  • Drag Carefully: Ensure your cursor is over the correct spot before dropping.
  • Review Before Submitting: Check your answers to make sure everything is in the right place.
  • Practice with Similar Questions: Familiarity with the format will help you feel more comfortable on exam day.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Ready to conquer the ARE® Practice Exams with confidence?

Exploring the different types of questions on the ARE® Practice Exams can feel like a journey through uncharted territory. But with this guide, you have a roadmap to navigate multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, hotspot, and drag-and-drop questions. Remember, practice and understanding are your allies in this endeavor.

PrepArchitect provides tailored practice materials and expert guidance that align with these diverse question formats. Whether you’re looking for targeted practice or comprehensive exam preparation, PrepArchitect has you covered. Discover more today, and take the first step toward building your architectural future.

Join thousands students who chose Architect for their Architect License Exam Prep!

Get Started