General FAQ

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Can I print a copy of my NBC electronic edition and bring it with me for the Section 2 of the ExAC?

Please refer to the license agreements of your National Building Code of (NBC) electronic version. It is your responsibility to bring at the exam session a copy of the NBC that respects the Canadian Copyright Act.

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Can I print and bring the revisions and errata of the NBC to the ExAC session?

Yes. We consider that the revisions and errata published are part of the National Building Code (NBC). You can then print them and have them on hand when you go for your examination session.

However, as mentioned in Section 12 of the Preparation Guide, it is not possible to bring other separate sheets that are not considered part of the NBC.

NOTE. Revisions and errata are available free of charge as PDF files that can be downloaded and printed.

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Is the ExAC offered more than once a year?


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Will I be given credit for the ARE divisions I have completed if I change over to ExAC?

Refer to Table of Equivalencies on the EXAC website.


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If I successfully complete the ARE, do I have to take the ExAC to obtain my licence in a Canadian province/territory?

No. All participating Licensing Authorities will accept ARE 3.1 and ARE 4.0 as meeting Canada's reciprocity requirements

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If I complete the ExAC and I want to become an architect in the U.S., do I have to take the ARE?

Yes. At present, the ARE is required to receive certification from NCARB and is required to obtain a licence to practise in most US jurisdictions. In the future, it is anticipated that Canadian provinces and territories will renegotiate the terms of the reciprocal agreement to define the admission criteria for US architects seeking licensure in Canada and for Canadian architects seeking licensure in the US, that will include ExAC.


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What is the passing score for the ExAC?

The passing score for the examination is not established prior to the marking session. A group of expert architects who have participated in the preparation of the objectives and the questions will meet to determine the passing score. A passing score will be selected for each of the four sections of the ExAC. The passing score for each section will be determined following a statistical test analysis of the results for each part of the examination. Certain questions may be withdrawn from the ExAC after the measurement parameters for the questions have been analyzed. The process for determining the passing score will be undertaken following a preliminary analysis of the questions and the results.

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How is the passing score determined?

The determination of the passing score will take into account the content and the difficulty of the examination questions. A group of expert architects will meet to determine the minimum performance level that an architect must attain in order to perform his role. Several statistical methods will be used. The Angoff method and variations on it are examples of the methods that can be used by a panel of experts. The panel members will examine each of the ExAC questions to determine its degree of difficulty as a function of the minimum level of competence required to practice the profession. Experts in statistical test analysis use statistical data to ensure that the passing score is valid and reliable. Since this is an examination which is intended to determine professional competence, only the descriptions “requirements met” and “requirements not met” will be provided to the candidates. The candidates will not receive a score or a percentage.

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Are all of the questions in the ExAC used to determine the final score?

Experts in statistical test analysis review the results of the ExAC sessions and make recommendations concerning the quality of certain questions based on an analysis of the measurement parameters. Consequently, certain questions may be excluded from the determination of the final score. In addition, for the purpose of gathering statistical data about new questions, the Committee for the ExAC may include a certain number of pilot questions in each section of the examination. These questions will not contribute to the final score and the candidates will not be able to distinguish the pilot questions from the other questions.

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Is each question in the ExAC be worth the same number of points?

The ExAC questions will not all be worth the same number of points. The number of points for each question has been based on the level of knowledge and competence required to answer them. Thus, a question that requires a greater level of knowledge and a higher level and variety of skills will be assigned a larger number of points. The number of points allotted to each question will be indicated in the examination. 

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Is it possible that an error has been made in the marking of my examination?

The sections of the ExAC will generally contain two parts: one part will be corrected by optical scanning (computer) and the other part will be corrected by expert architects.

The first part, with multiple choice questions, will be marked by computer. This is a very precise method. The experts in statistical test analysis use several methods during the marking process to insure that the answer sheets have been correctly completed and that the corresponding result is attributed to the proper candidate. As a result of these verification methods, the risk of an error is virtually nil.

The second part of the examination will be corrected by expert architects. These architects will be provided with valid and reliable correction grids that have been created in close co-operation with the persons who prepared the questions and with experts in statistical test analysis. They have been reviewed and approved by the Committee for the ExAC. The architects who perform the marking will receive prior training to help them to avoid errors in marking and to ensure that the marking is performed in a uniform manner for all of the candidates. Each answer will be marked by at least two independent experts. Measures to ensure consistent marking by the experts will be taken during the entire marking process. In the event that the two experts do not agree on the mark to be awarded to a candidate for a specific question, the question will be marked a third time. 

For more details about the development, administration and scoring of the ExAC, see the Technical and Statistical Report.

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When will I receive the results (Pass or Fail) for the sections of the ExAC?

Please refer to the ExAC Preparation Guide.



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Is the level of difficulty of the ExAC the same for both the English and French versions?

Whether you take the ExAC in English or in French, there will be no difference in the level of difficulty. An equivalency procedure has been devised to insure uniformity in the degree of difficulty. The questions are translated into both languages by architect-translators who consult the reference documents regularly.