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27 of the top 50 architecture firms in the United States use Black Spectacles as a test prep resource for their staff.


Black Spectacles is the only NCARB approved online test prep materials for all 6 divisions of the ARE 5.0.

Interested in a firm membership?

How it works:

Firm memberships are available for as few as 2 testing candidates with a minimum of a 1-year commitment.

  • Save Money

    Cost Effective

    Save 60 - 80% compared to purchasing individual memberships for your staff.

  • High Pass Rates

    Higher Pass Rates

    Candidates who use Black Spectacles report 46% higher ARE 5.0 pass rates than NCARB’s national average. View our pass rates.

  • Easy to Use

    Easy to Use

    Easily check on the progress of your staff, and enable them to study on desktop or mobile devices with a built-in dashboard that helps them track their individual progress.

Schedule a Demo
Kim Aguilar Gregor
Black Spectacles is tailored to our specific firm size, to my departmental budget, and truly to the needs of this company. This was very refreshing. I found that Black Spectacles listened to the needs we had and were able to come up with a solution that benefited both parties.

Kim Aguilar Gregor

Manager of library + Archival Services, GGLO

What's included:

  • video lectures

    video lectures

    Candidates get a comprehensive lesson with full outlines and explanations of core topics in each division, led by veteran architect Mike Newman, one of the most engaging and informative instructors in the business. Black Spectacles offers over 120 hours of video lectures, all built in alignment with NCARB’s exam objectives.

  • practice exams

    practice exams

    Our practice exams simulate the look, feel and time constraints of the real exams and include 3 distinct forms to practice with, so there aren't any surprises on test day. We use the same process as NCARB to design our ARE® practice questions, which are developed and vetted by leading learning designers and test question experts.

  • digital flashcards

    digital flashcards

    Hundreds of built-in flashcards allow candidates to memorize relevant content, words, and objectives with each card linking to a video lecture for further explanation. In tracking progress, candidates can shuffle the deck, mark flashcards as mastered, and create their own.

  • virtual workshops

    virtual workshops

    Your staff will get hand-on experience with key concepts in live-streamed workshops guided by licensed architects. Our virtual workshops focus on the top topics that testing candidates struggle with the most, and offer a unique opportunity to participate in group exercises, get one-on-one help, and have questions answered on the spot.