ARB Part 1 examination


Hi there,

I completed my Part 1 and applied my Part 2 in UK and received an unconditional offer from Glasgow School of Art (GSA). I really consider my placement in the university since it is my dream school however the school require me to take ARB Part 1 examination anytime before I graduate since i graduated with only RIBA Part 1. If I fail the exam, I could not graduate with my Part 2. As far as I know, that exam cost a fortune and only take place in London. What do you think? Is it a risk that worth taking? Do any of you have experience of taking the exam? Is it tough to pass? I also received an offer form other school such as Oxford Brookes and Manchester which did not require me to have ARB Part 1. Thanks

May 14, 14 11:15 am

Hi did you take it today? I took mine today as well. My condition is a bit different from yours. I did my part ii in Bartlett two and a half years ago without having my part I done. That was why I am going through this at the moment. I would advise you to get it done before that, because it would actually save you a lot of trouble later on. Plus, architecture education is already expensive enough, so make sure you are happy with the school and education you choose eventually. Alternatively, there are some school not require your part I before enrolment, but If you want to apply for them maybe you have to do it for next year. 

May 14, 14 5:12 pm

Hi @ecclipse28,

No, didn't take the exam yet but will do after my final year in GSA. I didn't enroll in the school yet but a bit worried if i fail the ARB exam later and end up without my Part 2. In your case, will Bartlett grant you your Part 2 if you fail your Part 1? How was the exam? Is it very tough? Thanks

May 14, 14 9:35 pm

Hi Puteri Meredith,

I think you should contact the school and ask them whether it will be the case if you fail your part I. But by the time you will have a comprehensive set of portfolio to submit for part I, which i think would help you a lot on passing it since it would certainly indicate UK experience. In my case, my part 2 will automatically validated once I got my part I. The exam was yesterday, so somehow I thought you posted it because you have done it in the afternoon. I think they are quite friendly, asking a lot of question required reflective answer such as design thinking, design precedents and legal process.... We will know in 10-14 days, i will update you how it is going.

May 15, 14 10:48 am

GSA only gives you a Diploma verses a MArch so just like the AA, that's why they require you to have the part 1.

I would do it if that's where you want to go - in between the 2 years, work is a solid UK practice so you can pull that experience into you application.  I know 6 students last year who applied for part 1 using their part 2 work - all got it except 1.

May 17, 14 12:34 pm

Hi @TED!

Thanks for the advice. Probably it won't be that hard to pass. I will keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. Thanks!

May 19, 14 9:09 pm

Any chance you can share some info on what type of questions the committee asked you ? so I can get a rough idea what the exam is like and what to expect...since I might be taking the ARB Part 1 & Part 2, if I decide to move to the UK, and the info is kinda scarce.

Thank you! 

May 20, 14 7:32 am

Hi there, 

I am planning to do ARB part 1 examination.

I graduated for Syria/Arab university and our building culture and architecture  is different from building in the UK. 

I would like to know about what kind of projects are required ? is it ok if we build differently?

any advice!!!

If somebody apply to part 1 and passed it, is it possible for more depth and details about the process and the nature of the projects?

Many many thanks all of you

Jun 24, 14 6:39 am
OP, I am deeply sorry about what happened to GSA, and if you are there I wish you the best. Good luck with your test, and keep at it!
Jun 24, 14 11:56 pm


this is May , am an architect graduated from fine arts architecture depArtment in Egypt, i have 7 years of experience in Dubai and egypt.. I can apply for ARB 2 but i have been told that i should apply for part 1 first.. But i tried to search ALOT about any useful advices about the exam and interview and i didnt find much.. 

So can you pleaseeeeeee share some useful tips with me?




Aug 6, 14 2:57 pm


this is May , am an architect graduated from fine arts architecture depArtment in Egypt, i have 7 years of experience in Dubai and egypt.. I can apply for ARB 2 but i have been told that i should apply for part 1 first.. But i tried to search ALOT about any useful advices about the exam and interview and i didnt find much.. 

So can you pleaseeeeeee share some useful tips with me?




Aug 6, 14 2:57 pm

Ok, i posted a comment a while ago about my exam and i passed that time. the exam experience differs from person to person. Before i went to the exam, i talked to some people who did the same but they failed several times, a few of them passed once. It very much based on whether your portfolio matched their 11criterias. before going to the exam,some people told me they would ask you very technical question and some people told me they would ask you about procurement. I realised there wont be a standard question set you could prepare before your exam. in my case, they did not ask any technical question since i believe i had demonstrated enough in my portfolio and they were quite friendly in the conversation. They asked about design precedence, how would i evolve in the future and my current placement. Therefore, i think it is pretty much based on what you have presented. in terms of preparation, i spent one month writing the essay, 2 weeks putting the portfolio together while i am working on a demanding project. I think it is all doable. Hope this is helpful.

Nov 15, 14 8:06 pm

Hi there,

I studied architecture in Istanbul, Turkey, and living/working in London for 7 years now. I have decided to go for part 1 and later part 2 arb examinations. I was thinking to maybe set up a study group as we all hear that we need to dedicate/commit our time if we really want to pass, and I thought group of few people who are going through the same process might encourage each other. Is anyone interested? I am planning to start in September.

Thank you!

Aug 24, 15 6:00 am

Yes Please am so interested,

You can make it whats app group? my number is 07990455266



Aug 24, 15 6:31 am

Hi May,


Great! I have already added you from whats app. Btw this is Sinem

Thank you

Aug 24, 15 6:51 am

Wonder how is everyone going since then?

Just a quick update of my current status, I recently passed my part III and got my architect qualification. Just want to let you guys know that if you guys need the Part I external exemption resource and Part III resource folder I do have one.

But I will only share with people willing to share their submission after they have successfully pass the exam. That is how we could keep this open resource growing.

message me your email if you would like to be part of this dropbox member.

good luck with your exam!    

Oct 22, 15 9:13 am

Hi ecclipse28,

Could you please add me to the dropbox ( I am completing the Part 1 exam this August and would be happy to share my submission




Hi ecclipse28,

First of all, congratulations on passing the exam after all of these efforts!

I am in a very similar situation than the one you were in. Did my part I in Australia, my part II in the UK at the Cass and I am about to get on with Part III at the Bartlett. Only thing is that I need to sit the Part I exam as you probably guessed. I would like to do that prior the Part III so that I have access to the RIBA membership as well. Did you do the ARB/RIBA Part III or only the ARB one?

I am seeking for your help in order to prepare for this as effectively as possible. Could you please allow me to be part of the Dropbox, I would happily share my submission if I were to be successful (

Also, you have mentioned an essay. I have read a few times the documents available and I can't see anywhere that an essay is mandatory... Do you mean the descriptive sections of the matrix? Or did I miss something here?

Thank you very much.

Sep 1, 16 7:51 pm

Hi Sebastien, the essays are mainly to cover the architectural history or urban criteria in the matrix. There is no right or wrong as long as you cover the criteria somehow.


Hi Everyone, 

My name is Haris, I am from India and have been working at UK for past 3 and a half years. My friend and I are willing to do Part 1 and 2 soon, but we do not have any concrete information regarding what is required from the ARB. Is it the portfolio only or portfolio with essay and how many projects are required. Can we use office projects or they have to be strictly academic. Also, is there a way if we could exempt the Part 1/2 exams or both depending on the work experience we have. We would really appreciate your help. Here is my email address - Also, if anyone is willing to start a study group to prepare for the exam, we are up for it.

Thank you very much for your time.



Nov 20, 17 2:21 am

Hi Haris, I'm Siham an Eritrean architect graduated from Egypt. I Just saw your comment on Archinect and would like to ask you if you did the examination or not yet. If you did the study group I would like to join while I'm intending to do the examination soon. Sincerely, Siham

Hello Harris,


Hey guys, I'm ZhengYi from Malaysia who just get my HONS Degree in architecture (which mean the cert is accredited in Malaysia LAM) and I would like to study MARCH Architecure in U.K. Should i need to have the exam from ARB/get some cert  before getting into any university ( like Newcastle or cardiff)? Or i can just getting in the university by using my hons architecture degree certificate?

Jul 1, 18 12:31 pm

Does any of you want to join me and work together to prepare for the exam for this coming Spring, get at me. 

Jul 29, 18 4:11 pm


Does anyone know where I can find submission examples? Does anyone have access to the below mentioned dropbox file? I have recently done my Part 3 and I can share my submission and books with people who can share their successful Part 1 submission examples with me.

Sep 13, 18 7:06 am


Is there anyone who has studied Bach. of Architecture in Turkey and wants to register as an architect in UK? If so please let me know if you want to start a study group where we can share information and work together.


Oct 1, 18 1:00 pm

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