Skip to content
ARE Prep


Don’t just study. Pass.

pass the ARE guarantee

We’re so confident in our materials that we’ll even guarantee you pass the ARE. If you don’t we’ll pay for your retake.

How It Works:

  1. 01

    Purchase an Expert membership, which comes with our “Pass the ARE Guarantee”.

  2. 02

    Use our study materials to the fullest to meet the guarantee qualifications listed below.

  3. 03

    Take your exam! If you don’t pass, you can claim your guarantee right from within your Black Spectacles Dashboard.

  4. *

    If you don’t pass and have met the guarantee requirements, we’ll call NCARB and give you a seat credit for you to use towards your retake, because we still have faith in you.

Why are we so confident?

  • NCARB Approved

    NCARB Approved

    Black Spectacles offers the only online ARE test prep materials that are NCARB approved for all 6 divisions of the ARE.

  • Higher Pass Rates

    Higher Pass Rates

    Black Spectacles members pass the ARE at higher rates than the NCARB national average across all six divisions.

  • icon-learning

    Hands-On Learning

    Our Expert membership also includes access to Virtual Workshops, where you can work through the toughest exam topics in a group setting led by a licensed architect coach.

Take their word for it.

With Black Spectacles we really get to see who has been using the materials, how long they’ve been using it, and get a much better accuracy about the progress that has been made with them.

Architectural Designer, KPF

Testimonial: Alexander Huseman


  • How long do I need to hold an Expert membership for?

    Individual Expert members must have an active Expert membership for a minimum of one month. You do not need an active subscription to apply after taking your exam. Your study progress and Guarantee application must fit into the timeframes listed in our Guarantee requirements above.

  • I've studied all of the content and failed my exam, do I get free Black Spectacles access for my re-take?

    The terms of the Guarantee cover the NCARB retake seat credit only and do not cover the cost of study content for the retake.

  • The requirements state that I must study the specified content within 60 days before my exam date. What if I started studying with Black Spectacles a few months ago?

    If you've previously watched videos or mastered flashcards in your Dashboard from more than 60 days before your next exam date, you should clear the previously logged progress for all viewed Videos and mastered Flashcards. If you don't take this step, you will not meet the Guarantee requirements in the chance that you fail your exam.

Qualifications of our ARE Guarantee

You do the work, and you get rewarded. To meet our guarantee standards, adhere to the following requirements:

  • Attend 3 Virtual Workshops within 60 days before your exam date.
  • Watch 100% of Video Lectures and Practical Application videos within 60 days before your exam date.
  • Master 100% of the Flashcards within 60 days before your exam date.
  • Secure 80% or better on a Practice Exam within 60 days before your exam date.
  • You must be an Expert subscriber with an individual membership*.
  • Report all pass/fails in your Black Spectacles Dashboard along with scheduled exam dates.
  • Make your claim within 30 days of the exam date of the failed division.
  • Submit NCARB ARE® Score Report for proof of fail within 30-day claim period.
  • Apply the NCARB seat credit to the retake of the division in which you’ve met all requirements.

*For members registered under a Firm or Group Membership, speak with your Account Manager, or learn more about our Firm Expert Guarantee.