California Supplemental Examination (CSE) - Test Plan

The Board is mandated to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. The California Supplemental Examination (CSE) assesses whether candidates for licensure demonstrate minimum standards of competency necessary to meet the requirements of current architectural practice in California.

The CSE Test Plan is developed using the results of a periodic statewide survey of architectural practice in California. This survey is called an occupational (or practice) analysis (OA). The intent of an OA is to eliminate redundancy in the coverage of general areas of practice already addressed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ Architect Registration Examination (ARE) and to increase the focus on California-specific aspects of practice. It is therefore neither comprehensive nor representative of the full scope of architectural practice.

The CSE Test Plan consists of the critical task and knowledge associated with entry-level of practice, as identified in an OA. The task and knowledge statements in the Test Plan retain the numbering assigned to them during the OA.

In the development of the Test Plan, teams of architects served as subject matter experts to review the task and knowledge statements and eliminate those related to tasks and knowledge either already addressed by the ARE, or not related to California-specific practice. Accordingly, not all the task and knowledge statements included as part of the OA will be found in the final Test Plan.

The Test Plan covers important knowledge and ability areas that are tested using a computer-based, multiple-choice format, and it is organized into primary knowledge categories. The CSE Test Plan can be found in the CSE Handbook.