UPDATED 2021

Architecture and Design Test Guide

All architects and many designers in the United States must be licensed to practice in their home state. Professional licensing exams help state licensing boards determine if an individual is qualified to practice professionally. Licensure is important in architecture and design work, as states want to ensure the public is kept safe from faulty design, electrical systems and construction.

An architect's exam may include questions on design, structure, force, electrical systems, materials and construction. Candidates may take both a multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank test as well as one in which they must demonstrate design skills to a review board.

Landscape architects are tested on project management, construction, inventory, design and documentation. Like architects, landscape architects also must demonstrate skill in graphics and will have to perform design tasks on-site related to site design, grading, drainage and storm water management.

Interior designers will face questions on contract administration and documentation, design, professionalism, programming and schematics. In addition to multiple-choice questions, candidates will be asked to create design plans to be reviewed.

For most architecture and design exams, test takers must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as completing a bachelor's degree in the given subject, or performing a minimum number of work hours under the guidance of a licensed professional.

Candidates for licensure exams can register with the administering organization. Most exam registrations can be completed online. Tests are usually offered in local test centers. Exam costs range from $150 to over $400.