To be eligible for licencing as an architect, all candidates must successfully complete a slate of professional examinations. Interns in all jurisdictions in Canada have a choice of two different examination streams. In Manitoba, you must be an Intern Member of the MAA to be eligible to sit for either the ARE or the ExAC.


The Architect Registration Examination (ARE) is developed jointly by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and the Canadian Architectural Licencing Authorities (CALA) and is intended to evaluate a candidate's competence to provide architectural services.

The ARE is administered exclusively on computers at a network of test centres across the United States and Canada. There is no specific experience requirement that must be met, prior to sitting for the ARE and it is recognized for licencing elsewhere in Canada and in the USA.

The ARE is now comprised of seven divisions, which may be written in any order, as follows:

  • Programming, Planning & Practice
  • Site Planning & Design
  • Building Design & Construction Systems
  • Schematic Design
  • Structural Systems
  • Building Systems
  • Construction Documents & Services

Study materials for the ARE are available from the MAA office. Free tutorial software (Exam Guides and ARE Practice Programs) is available on the NCARB website.

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The Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC) was jointly developed by the Ontario, Quebec and Alberta Associations of Architects and is intended to test the minimum standards of competency acquired by an Intern during the Internship period, to ensure both public safety and the professional and skilled delivery of architectural service. It was delivered for the first time in fall of 2008 and all provincial/territorial associations in Canada have now adopted the examination as an alternative to the ARE.

The ExAC is administered in a paper and pencil format. Interns must have 2800 hours of experience recorded in the Canadian Experience Record Book and submitted for approval to one of the provincial/territorial associations in Canada, to be eligible to sit for the ExAC and it is recognized for licencing throughout Canada.

The ExAC is comprised for four sections, which must be completed over a period of two consecutive days, as follows:

  • ExAC Section 1
  • ExAC Section 2
  • ExAC Section 3
  • ExAC Section 4

Study materials for the ExAC are available from the MAA office.

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