1. I recently paid my deposit, when will my group be meeting up during the program?

Check your email for a deposit confirmation message from us. In this message we list out all dates to take note of leading up to the start of the program (including your first meeting date).
During your first meeting, the group majority will determine what weekend day and time you'll be meeting up for the remainder of the program. 

2. I just saw two charges come through, why was I charged twice?

Due to state tax laws, we divide the cost of the Group Coaching Program into two charges (Group Coaching Access & ARE 5.0 Pro Access). 

If you chose to pay in full, you'll see these two charges on your card but you’re only charged at the beginning of the program. These two charges add up to the cost of the entire program (3 months or 7 months). 

If you chose to pay monthly, you’ll see these two charges every month. These two charges equal the full monthly cost of the Group Coaching Program. 

You can always view all charges and download your billing history in your member profile

3. I received an email that my subscription was cancelled, but I’m about to start the Group Coaching program this weekend - what happened?

Great question! 

You still have access to ARE 5.0 Pro study content through the Group Coaching subscriptions that were just added to your account. 

We're working to eliminate these system emails that are generated when you're automatically switched over from your personal subscription to the program. 

So, no worries - this was just part of the process to switch you over to the Group Coaching Program. 

4. The firm I work for has a group license with Black Spectacles, I use my work email address to login to Blackspectacles.com already. Is the Group Coaching Program included in this?

Good question! We will automatically adjust your monthly cost so you are not paying for what you have access to through your firm’s group license. Just ensure you registered with your firm email address

If your firm has a firm license with us, just ensure you’ve already been added to the firm license (check with your firm's Black Spectacles administrator).
You’ll only have to cover the Group Coaching Service fee ($150 per month) and any additional subscription access your firm doesn’t cover. The Group Coaching Program uses ARE 5.0 Pro access to prepare for the ARE. 

For example, if you have access to the video lectures & practice exams through your firm, you will only be responsible for paying an additional $30/month for ARE Pro access alongside the $150/month for the Group Coaching Program fee.
$30 + $150 = $180 per month.
5. Does Black Spectacles guarantee that I’ll pass my exams if I enroll in the Group Coaching Program?

Great question (and a tough one to answer). Since ARE candidates come from such varying educational and professional backgrounds, it's tough to guarantee that candidates will pass if they use our content or join the Group Coaching program.

The Group Coaching program provides support for those that need the extra push and structure or for those that can't find or make the time on their own. Your group is also lead by a licensed architect who'll guide the group and provide insight into topics and the specific objectives of each exam. 

You can read dozens of customer reviews on our Google Business listing. Here, many of our customers explain how they either solely used us to prepare or how and when they needed to dig deeper into other resources based on their weak points and study habits. 


NCARB has approved all six divisions of our content to appropriately cover the objectives of each exam. As a side note: The same as candidates taking the exams, we also are not privy to the actual questions or content of each exam and have built our content around the NCARB objectives, we do not cover actual questions from the ARE. 

6. I paid in full, why does my member profile reflect my subscription will renew?

We’re working to customize your member profile to accurately reflect that the paid in full, Group Coaching charges will not renew. If you’re on a monthly payment subscription, you will not be charged again after your group’s last meeting. 

In the meantime, just know your subscription will automatically end on the day of your group’s last meeting. If you’d like to continue studying with your ARE 5.0 Pro access, reach out to us and we’ll help you continue to study!

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