Failing an exam is never fun! Most of us, unfortunately, experience a few failing attempts during our ARE journey. I had a few of those myself, too. In my opinion, they are not failures. They are attempts on the path to achieving something extraordinary. But that is another post’s discussion.
I feel like the ARE community needs to know how they performed, in numbers, after their tests. I see posts on the NCARB forum and Facebook complaining about this every day. That is why I spent some time creating a calculator to help you assess your score reports. If a test taker knew approximately how many correct answers they did, that would help them tremendously. That gave me the motivation to work on this little project.
As you all know, NCARB provides the percentage range of each section for all six exams in the ARE 5.0 Handbook. So we can approximately guess the number of questions we receive per each section using this data. There is another vague data provided in the score reports, which are called Levels. From 1 to 4, they indicate your level of success in each section. Levels 3 and 4 are considered as fail, and Levels 1 and 2 are considered as pass. NCARB also provides the score range that is required to pass each ARE exam here. I created the calculator using all of these data BUT taking averages of each range provided by NCARB.
As you know, you are not required to pass all exam divisions to pass a test. As long as you achieve the passing score with enough correct questions, you pass the test. So, I believe this calculator will help you better understand your score report and, more importantly, approximately how many more correct questions you will need to pass on your next attempt.
I should warn you, though. This method is based on the arithmetic average of questions that a test taker can potentially receive per exam section. There is no way to know these numbers exactly. NCARB provides ranges, not the exact percentages/numbers. Also, in the calculator, the percentages of each Level are based on the arithmetic average of potential success rates and cannot be accepted as 100% accurate data. It is an approximation based on the given information. In this method, Level -1 is accepted as a success level around 20-25%, Level-2 is accepted as a success level around 40-50%, so on and so forth. They are all approximate assumptions. This method will not give you a 100% accurate/final result. They should be accepted as APPROXIMATE results to provide you with SOME numeric ideas based on your score report. I have no data provided by NCARB or another person/entity to support this method. This method is totally produced by me, Elif Bayram. Please do not forget that the results you will find in the calculator should not be considered the exact number of questions answered correctly. When using this method, the user assumes and accepts full responsibility.
The calculator is a “view-only” Google Sheet document with 6 pages, and each one of them is dedicated to an exam. The document cannot be modified. You can copy and paste it into another google sheet or print it and use it by adding up the numbers manually. For each exam, you will either add up to 4 or 5 numbers to find the result, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble. There is a “how to use” text in every sheet, and the first sheet (PCM) includes a small example showing how to use the calculator. Please read the text carefully.