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Architectural Practice Examination

To register as an architect, many applicants take the Architectural Practice Examination (APE), which assesses their knowledge and understanding of architectural practice in Australia.

About the Architectural Practice Examination

Most people seeking to register as an architect in Victoria complete the Architectural Practice Examination (APE). It is a national examination conducted twice a year in all states and territories.  

The APE assesses your knowledge and understanding of the practice of architecture in Australia and your capacity to exercise the professional skills required to be an architect.

If you successfully complete the APE, you can register as an architect.

The ARBV administers the APE with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) and other state and territory architect registration boards.

The APE is open to overseas graduates of architectural courses, however they must meet the requirements in the Overseas Qualification Assessment (OQA) conducted by the AACA. For more information visit Overseas Qualification Assessment (OQA).

Various coaching courses aim to help applicants complete the APE, but please note that such courses are not compulsory and are not accredited by the AACA or affiliated with the ARBV.

Parts of the examination

The APE comprises 3 parts:

  • Part 1 – Logbook and statement of practical experience
  • Part 2 – National Examination Paper
  • Part 3 – Examination by interview

You must complete the three parts in order. You can complete Parts 1 and 2 in any state, but you must complete both parts in the same state. Part 3 can be completed in a different state, then part 1 and 2.

Part 1: Logbook and Statement of Practical Experience

To complete Part 1 of the APE, you must submit a logbook, a statement of practical experience and other documentation outlining your experience.

The logbook must show that you have completed at least 3,300 hours of architectural experience, as well as two years' practical experience. Your experience must demonstrate the 15 performance criteria outlined in the National Standard of Competency for Architects.

The table below outlines the documents you will need to submit.

1 Candidate summary Summary of your personal details, academic qualifications, final results and practical experience.
2 Logbook Logbook documenting your hours of architectural and practical experience.
Download the AACA APE logbook template
3 Statement of practical experience

A concise statement outlining your practical experience, the scope of work you have undertaken, and key projects that demonstrate your experience.

View AACA guidance on preparing the statement of practical experience

4 Statutory declaration

A signed and witnessed declaration attesting to the accuracy of the logbook and documents you have provided.

View guidance on who can witness a statutory declaration

5 List of supervising architects A summary of the architects who have supervised your architectural experience, including registration numbers.
6 Qualifications Scanned colour copies of your tertiary qualifications and/or your AACA overseas qualified assessment outcome letter if applicable.

View AACA guidance on the logbook and statement of practical experience

Part 2: National Examination Paper

The second part of the APE is the National Examination Paper (NEP). It is a 90-minute exam that assesses your professional knowledge against the performance criteria in the National Standard of Competency for Architects.

In the NEP, you will be asked to consider nine scenarios, with five multiple-choice questions for each scenario.

You cannot take notes or summary sheets into the exam.

Note:

  • Returning Part 2 candidates are required to resubmit all Part 1 documents updated with any recent experience as well as a newly signed and witnessed statutory declaration.
  • Candidates are required to resubmit during the Part 1 submission session listed in our key dates below.

Results

You will receive results approximately 4 weeks after you take the exam.

If you do not pass the NEP, you can apply to sit it again within two years. If you wait longer than two years, you will need to complete Part 1 again, with updated documentation, before you can sit the NEP again. 

View AACA guidance on the NEP

Part 3: Examination by interview

The final part of the APE is an interview with two experienced examiners. In the interview, the examiners will ask you questions based on hypothetical situations, to assess your practical knowledge and experience.

Interviews typically take 45-60 minutes and will be conducted during the scheduled interview period (see key dates below). Once your interview has been scheduled, you cannot change the date or time. If you cannot attend the interview at the scheduled time, you will need to apply for the next round of interviews.

Results

If you do not pass the examination by interview, you can apply to sit it again within 2 years. If you wait longer than 2 years, you will need to complete Parts 1 and 2 before you can take the interview again.

Key dates for APE 2021

The ARBV runs the APE in 2 sessions each year. The dates below are indicative only and subject to change. For Part 3, we will email you a date and time for your interview closer to the interview period.

If you are applying for Parts 1 and 2 of the APE, you do not need to submit a separate application for Part 3. If you are applying for Part 3 only, you will need to submit a separate application for this part.

APE 2021 Session 1, 2021 Session 2, 2021
Applications open: Applications open:
Part 1: Logbook and Statement of Practical Experience 22 January –
5 February
14 May – 28 May
Part 2: NEP 20 April 17 August
Part 3: Examination by interview submission dates 10 May – 13 May 6 September –
16 September
Interviews conducted:
June
Interviews conducted:
October

APE fees

Part 1 and 2 Part 2 Part 3
$525 $245 $435

Apply for the examination

There are 6 documents that must be submitted for Part 1:

  1. APE Candidate Summary sheet
  2. AACA Logbook
  3. Statement of Practical Experience
  4. Statutory declaration
  5. Architect List
  6. Architectural Qualifications

These documents are uploaded electronically. Hard copy documents are not accepted.

The documents must be:

  • saved into a single PDF (apart from the Statutory declaration which must be a separate document)
  • be in the order listed above
  • be no more than 5MB in size.

You can only submit Part 1 documents during the submission dates. See above Key dates for APE 2021 for the submission period.

Submit your application via the ARBV Portal.

Reviewed 22 June 2021

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