Arb Part 1 exam


Has anyone taken the ARB Part 1 exam in the UK? Is it extremely difficult to pass? Any helpful suggustions and advices will be great. thanks

Reason for taking the exam:
to go directly into diploma without repeating 3rd year.

Aug 23, 07 10:04 pm

It is not extremely difficult to pass but they do look at where are you graduate.

If you're graduated from a recognized school, then the passing chance is higher.

Also they care about the technical training more than 3d skill or conceptual skill. Therefore, prepare to present a project which looks convincingly buildable and if you have construction detail it would be a plus.

Aug 24, 07 6:58 pm

i did not graduate from a recognized school. So i assume it will be better to bring in more projects from work?

Another option that i'm considering is to first take the diploma (since there are schools that accept students without Part 1. However, by the time i graduate, i will not have Part 2)

After that, I will then have to apply for Part1 & Part 2 accreditation altogether. Not sure which option would be better...

Aug 25, 07 2:04 am
I love archinect

if your coming from abroad, its probably impossible to get. :)

Aug 25, 07 11:18 am

i took the ARB part 1 exam last year for reasons similar to yours, i.e. entry directly to a Diploma programme, rather than a repeat of 3rd year. Even though I was coming from abroad, and was not from a 'recognised' school, the exam wasn't tough, so don't be discouraged.

The application procedure is a bit bureaucratic, but I'd suggest following their rules to the letter. To me it seemed that a well-written essay, and neatly organised portfolio are key. Since one has to submit the essay prior to submitting the portfolio, I'd suggest splitting the essay into the same sections as their checklist (i.e. Design, Technology, Environment, Management etc.), and tailoring your text to leave them no doubt that you're ticking all of the boxes on their checklist.

I went one step further and filled the essay with numbered references to specific projects/drawings in my portfolio, as proof as meeting specific requirements in their checklist. I also had a project/drawing schedule in which everything in the portfolio was carefully numbered and indexed. This helped, as the interviewers/assessors found it easy to verify that I had indeed, met all the necessary requirements.

I included 2 academic projects and 3-4 professional projects. Between the 5-6 of these, I managed to cover their entire list. Do keep in mind that your portfolio need not be restricted to drawings and model images. My portfolio content included such things as a letter from my employer testifying to my professional experience, a tender drawing package for an interior project, minutes of meetings, as well as printouts of correspondence with our structural consultants and contractors. All of this served as proof of office management experience, as well as knowledge of how a practice is run.

Since questions of authorship arise when it comes to professional work, I was quite careful to specify which drawings were my own and which were my colleagues'. I got my boss to write another letter confirming this. To be on the safe side, do take care to include at least 1 project that is your own from start to finish, i.e. from concept design to design resolution. I'd recommend showcasing 1 or 2 of your academic projects in this way, since they will doubtless be of your sole authorship.

When you go in for your interview, stay calm and enjoy it. Treat it like a forthright chat about your work, rather than a cross-examination. My interviewers were 3 young(ish) and very pleasant people, and it was a fun conversation. At the end, I took care to mention my reasons for taking the exam, just so they knew.

Right, so after all that, my only advice is to relax and be organised about your application. It seems daunting, but really its not too bad. It IS somewhat irritating having to reconfigure everything to please a bunch of bureaucrats at the ARB, but it isn't a very difficult task. Organisation is key. All the best.

Aug 26, 07 2:16 am


Iam planning to prepare for Arb Part 1 exam.I have done my 5 years course from India.

Is it possible to get any portfolio kind of samples, so that I get an Idea how to prepare mine.

Thanks in advance


Thanks for the informative reply TickerTocker! It sure boost up my confident, knowing that they do grant a pass for students aboard. I'll keep in mind of your advice when i prepare the portfolio. Thanks again.

Aug 26, 07 3:27 pm

Hey TickerTocker, that was the most optimistic piece of advice i have read in a any forum regarding examination for Part 1. Thanks fot that!!

The only problem i see is how be able to go straight to the point, when the criteria is so generic and open.

I specially am struggling to fit all this codes of practice, health and safety and so on with the academic portfolio. How did you manage all that? any advice much appreciated as i am lost in this at the moment..



Jul 21, 11 2:57 pm


I just received a letter from ARB after taking the ARB Prescribed examination for Part 2. I have not cleared one specific criteria and have been referred to a lead examiner. Has anyone gone through the lead examiner process? 

Please advice.


Jan 24, 14 2:31 pm


Hi there! Thank you for the informative advice! You do mentioned that organisation is key which I am really sucks at. If you don't mind, can you share a link to your portfolio? Just need some good reference to prepare mine in the future. Thanks!

Jun 26, 14 9:15 pm

Hi alienateme,

I am currently preparing for arb part 2 exam. It would be very helpful if you could please share your thoughts on how it was like or any pointers that would lead me to the right direction. 

Did you finally got through with the last bit examiners asked for? Thanks in advance!

Jun 1, 15 10:31 am



I am about to bite the bullet and go for ARB prescribed exam part 1. (Did part 1,2,3 in Sri Lanka ) Is it possible to have a look at your portfolio? I really am clueless and worried.

I would really really appreciate it if you could. 

Thank you 

Bhagya Silva

Feb 10, 17 12:45 pm

Hi would like to know more about your experience with the ARB.

From India. Ive been wanting to sit the examination. 

Can you email me?



I have completed my bachelors in architecture (equlient part II) five years degree from Pakistan. I have moved to England now. I wanted to ask how can I get a job or even internship here. I know I have give part 1 and 2. Can some one help me? How difficult is part 1? Can some one guide me to this please?

Mar 14, 17 12:17 pm
khaled ezz

hi annie : i think i am in your same situation ... but moved to london from egypt .. i am making researchs for making the examination of ARB and we can exchange our knowledge 




Sure that would be great.. send me you email and mine is


Hi all,

I have been through this daunting process and obtained equivalence for both part 1 and part 2. I thought sharing my experience might be of help for some.

I sat part 1 in November 2016 and part 2 in April 2017. I used the same portfolio for both submissions however for part 2 I incorporated my PEDRs and extended further to GC10 and 11.

A well organised portfolio will make it easier for them to look through as they have only 1 hour and trust me they do miss quite a lot, which you will then be given the opportunity to talk during the interview.

They do judge on what they see so if you think you comply with the criteria but have not enough supportive information then it’s not a pass so be prepared for extra work.

Prepare well for the interview as that may save you a referral to the lead examiner.

Good luck everyone.

May 16, 17 11:06 am

This all is very informative for ARB part 1 and part 11 exam. I would also like to appear for the evaluation. my concern  is, i am not moving to London or Europe. I am Singapore based. Is there any way , if i can appear for part 1 online?


May 23, 17 2:16 am

Can someone help in Arb part 1 exam please. 

Jun 6, 17 12:01 pm

hi all, 

I have gone through this entire process and passed both ARB prescribed examination part 1 and part 2. The process is not difficult but your supporting material needs to cover all of the criteria set-out in the comparative matrix and you need to cross-reference both documents so it's easy for the examiners to find the information they are looking for.

The oral exam was relaxed and the examiners gave me time to think about my response or was able to ask if i did not understand their questions and they would re-frase it.

If you need further information contact me at:

An important point is that you need to make sure you are eligible to apply to the exam.

All the best!


Sep 25, 17 2:47 am


I am one step away from preparing for ARB part I and II.

The major reason forcing me to apply for the exam is because, Ive been wanting to work and practice in the UK. Currently I reside in India holding a 5 year degree from Hindustan University. 

Anyone in my scenario, please feel free to email me.

Jan 19, 18 12:18 am


I am planning to prepare for ARB part 1. I have done my bachelor's in architecture from Bahrain and have moved to Uk recently. Can anyone guide me on how to prepare the comparative Matrix and the portfolio.

My email is

Mar 7, 18 4:16 pm

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