TESTING CENTER - Connection Error - Not Able to Test

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    Justin Pelland

    Folks,
    As many of you are aware, part of the ARE content covers the AIA Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct. If you've studied it or are generally familiar with the content, you'll know that amongst the many ethical standards are responsibilities to be professional to your colleuges and to take care in representing the profession. I'm not sure what some of you seek to gain out of the witch hunt rhetoric, but consider for a moment that when commenting, you're logged in to your NCARB accounts - a company, as you know, which is responsible for creation of the test which measures your understanding of those very ethical standards. I suggest everyone tone back their message and attempt to treat the NCARB staff with respect and consideration. Admonishing them for not forseeing this event or responding within hours of it doesn't get anyone any closer to a resolution. Be patient. Or better yet, be productive. But above all be respectful.

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    Darci Lorensen

    Ahh yes, thank you for the reminder, Justin. As young, professional individuals, we should be conducting ourselves as such. Pair stress with a more stressful event, and things are said that people probably didn't quite intend. That being said, my biggest issue with this whole thing is the lack of communication. I am understanding that there was a malfunction- I work on a computer every day, I get that sometimes they just don't cooperate, crash, and work is lost. However, we are essentially all clients of NCARB- we pay them for a service. We deserve to know what was going on. Now NCARB may not have known to what extent this issue was yesterday when it happened, but, they should have known who it affected, and contacted everyone to let them know the issue was being worked on.

    What especially set me off mid morning today is that NCARB had seemingly ignored this thread in particular- questions about this issue were somewhat answered on another thread, and with conflicting information from what customer service had stated yesterday when individuals (including myself) had contacted them. This thread has the most activity in all of the 5.0 community I do believe, surely they would have seen all of the comments. In my eyes, their lack of communication and mis-information was the most frustrating. 

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    Sonja Antunovic-Curcic

    I would just like to make a short note by stating, the same problem you all dear collegues apparently experienced yesterday, I have been exposed to while taking PA this last Friday (Jan 27th). I completed about 75 percent of the exam, when screen went gray, and I've received a message about 'lost connection'. After Prometric office administrators fixed the problem, I was able to get back to the computer station and complete the test, but since the clock did never stop, I did not have enough time to finish all the questions remaining. I was given ticket from the Prometric center, after which I followed up with NCARB by filing the 'case', .... but I held back from reaching to this community and 'screaming out-loud', thinking it would be right thing to show understanding and respect, while allowing NCARB time and opportunity to work on resolution finding.
    Although it really sucks to be at this end (I know, as I stand here, too), unforeseen things do happen. There is nothing that already has taken place neither side can change, but how do we act during resolution finding, is where we could influence difference. I hope not only for us 'test takers' who found to be hurt, but also for all 'administrators', to hear and understand, and express genuine and professional respect for each other.
    Let's have some fait and hope resolution forthcoming will be worth our, at the very least, (mutual) and unpleasant experience.

    Very Best to All!

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    Jared NCARB

    Wednesday Morning Update

    First, I'll start by saying that we've learned a bit more about candidate expectations regarding communication on this forum. NCARB waited to post on this thread yesterday until after we could provide more specific data to our list of impacted candidates. We've heard that you'd prefer to get early engagement even if we can't fill in all the details. Lesson learned - we'll move forward using this philosophy and adjust as need be. Since we're going to engaging as we we're actively working through issues - please expect some unknowns to be identified in our reporting.

    Where we are at on getting things remedied:

    NCARB has manually created new eligibilities for the known impacted division delivered on January 30. This list is being handed off to Prometric customer care to begin reaching out to impacted candidates today to reschedule appointments.

    NCARB is now researching the individual candidate performance on these exams. We're going to be sending emails out to all impacted candidates to provide you some feedback on your performance. As some of you have noted, you may want to wait until after your exam is scored to avoid retesting in the case you passed. You certainly have that choice.

    I'll give you all another update today around 2:00pm EST. Stay tuned and thanks for your ongoing patience.

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    Darci Lorensen

    Thanks for the update Jared! And thank you also for addressing some our previous concerns, that means a lot to me!

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    Adam Ferguson (Edited )

    I too had my PDD test go down on me on Monday. When the Prometric people finally got it up and running again, I had lost an hour and a half of the test. Since I had taken a whole day off of work I didn't want that time to go to waste so I rushed through the test. I finished just in time, but I definitely did not have near the amount of time that I needed for each question. The Prometric people said they wrote up a report on my test and I sent the NCARB customer service a message about my issues. Jared says, "We have just received a full list of impacted candidates and have reached out to all impacted candidates." but I have not been contacted by NCARB at all yet.

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    Erin Baird

    Yes, thanks for the update Jared.  I am with Adam though, I emailed NCARB customer service and have not received any correspondence that I was indeed an "impacted candidate".  I have tried to call NCARB, but all I get is a voicemail box. Hopefully I can get ahold of a someone today to confirm.  

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    Justin Pelland

    Jared - thank you for the update. I'm glad to hear the candidates' individual tests will be reviewed for possible passing score prior to issuing the re-test option. Certainly takes a weight off knowing we won't have to automatically re-test if we managed to squeak out a passing score!

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    Joseph Miller

    I too am with Erin and Adam, No contact since I called from prometric the day of my exam. 

    I contacted NCARB by email with my information and I am still waiting for a response. I don't mean to seem impatient, but I am hoping to get this test rescheduled ASAP.  

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    Brittany Winnike

    I noticed that Jared NCARB said Prometric will be contacting impacted candidates. I have received notice from Prometric that they will contact me to reschedule within 72 hours from this morning.

    @Jared NCARB, I am interested to hear whether the early tester incentives will still be offered to Monday's impacted candidates. This decision will likely impact when I reschedule my test. I'm staying tuned for more news at 2:00 EST.

    Thanks!

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    Darci Lorensen

    Brittany-

    How did Prometric contact you? Via phone or email?

    Yes, the early tester incentives will still be applicable to affected testers, NCARB has stated that I believe on this thread if you read though all of the comments, also in another thread, and they stated it in the webinar yesterday as well as in an email I received from Customer Service yesterday. So basically, counting this past Monday, you could take this test 3 times for free. We will also be receiving the $100 gift card, regardless of when we reschedule our test for.  

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    Brittany Winnike

    Darci - Prometric sent me an email saying they'd contact within 72 hours for rescheduling.

    Thank you for the information on the tester incentives! I should have read all the way through!

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    Darci Lorensen (Edited )

    Brittany-

    Ha, sorry, I wasn't trying to scold you for not reading all the way through, there are like 65 comments, it would take a while!  I was just letting you know that NCARB has stated it many times, so it's for certain! :)

    Prometric hasn't contacted me yet, but I'm sure they will soon. Does your test from Monday still say "awaiting score"?

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    Marlee Brabin (Edited )

    Thank you for the response, Jared! As you mentioned, any updates are greatly appreciated while this is sorted out.

    I also have not received a response from NCARB or Prometric regarding rescheduling. I have called NCARB and verified they received my email with my claim/ticket number, but it seems I am not alone in looking for confirmation that I am part of the "list" that got handed off to Prometric.

    A couple other questions I have that might benefit others, as well:

    If we choose to wait to get our results with the hopes of passing even with an incomplete exam, are we then required to wait 60 days to reschedule if we fail or will we still be allowed to immediately retest?

    Also, rather than waiting 72 hours to be contacted by Prometric, is there a way for us to call in ourselves to schedule an exam sooner? I would also like to reschedule ASAP while there are time slots still available.

    I will look for your 2pm update. Thanks again!

    EDIT: I did receive an email directly from Jared discussing my individual exam. See his update below for answers to my questions. Thanks!

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    Brittany Winnike

    Darci - No. Mine says "pay and schedule" and does not show a history of having taken the test. When I click "pay and schedule" it is asking for actual payment information. I should note that I was scheduled at 1:00 CST, so I did not get to start the test. Thank you for the information!

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    Joseph Vraspir

    Marlee, I just tried calling Prometric Candidate Care. They said they are unable to reschedule my exam until NCARB has issued them the new eligibility numbers for those affected by the 'technical issue" on Jan. 30. The time frame told to them by NCARB was 72 hours (to get the new eligibility numbers). Nothing we can do but wait now.

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    Jared NCARB

    Wednesday afternoon update.

    NCARB (meaning me) sent out a flurry of emails to candidates identified as impacted thus far which included some feedback on how your exam results were looking. Most of you will definitely take advantage of the free and immediate retest as the technical issue limited any possibility of earning enough points to pass. Some others that were farther along were in a much better place and are choosing to wait to see their score before deciding to use the free and immediate retest.

    Prometric has all your contact information along with fresh eligibilities to reschedule you if you so choose. Some of you have tried to reach out to Prometric but found that doesn't work. You do need to wait for them to contact you as their customer care team manages these types of reschedules differently than regular issues.

    Let me answer a few of the questions above:

    If we choose to wait to get our results with the hopes of passing even with an incomplete exam, are we then required to wait 60 days to reschedule if we fail or will we still be allowed to immediately retest? You will be able to reschedule immediately.

    Also, rather than waiting 72 hours to be contacted by Prometric, is there a way for us to call in ourselves to schedule an exam sooner? Unfortunately no, but Prometric should be reaching out to everyone much sooner than 72 hours. We are hoping most of you will be contacted yet today.

    Thanks all for hanging in there with us as we get this resolved for each of you! Some of you have shared with me some great ideas on how can streamline managing these types of issues in the future - we'll certainly work to minimize any future impact.

     

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    Joseph Miller (Edited )

    Jared, when you gave us feedback about our exams, did you just look at how many questions we had answers? 

    Or did you look at the amount he had answered correctly? I assume it's the former, but I hope it's the latter as that will help us strategize how to proceed. 

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    Daniel Widlowski

    Jared, 

    It seems some of us experienced issues on Monday, and are not included in the list of people that were counted as being affected by the outage. Although the technical issues were different perhaps, we experienced the same result, i.e. not being able to complete the exam as designed. I feel as though some of us may have gotten lost in the weeds, as I called NCARB immediately after leaving my exam, and have not received any word from NCARB since, despite having a ticket # from Prometric. 

    If a candidate is not able to complete the exam, for whatever reason, they should be granted the same resolution as others are granted, and I feel like that is not the case at this time. Can you clarify how many people that were affected on Monday do not count in regards to your comments above?

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    Jared NCARB

    To follow up on Joseph's question above, feedback given on item performance of impacted exams was based on total items answered correctly. Your feedback was based on how many points you earned by answering questions correctly.

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    Jared NCARB

    To follow up on Daniel's post, you too will receive all the same benefits as others impacted on that day. Stay in touch with customer service as I know you've been dealing directly with them.

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    Sonja Antunovic-Curcic

    Jared,

    I have experienced problem while taking test Friday (Jan 27th), not Monday as all the others candidates did. I have received ticket from the Prometric center, reported issue to NCARB, received email from NCARB on Monday advising my information will be forwarded to Prometric center. I have not heard from Prometrics, nor I have received any further correspondence from NCARB; in particular not the email you noted was sent to 'candidates identified as impacted'. What would be the best way to verify if I am considered to be an 'impacted candidate' and  how my exam results are looking? I am concerned I could be 'out of radar', since I tested Friday. I appreciate your help!

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    Nathan Anderson

    Hi Jared,

     

    Thank you for guiding us through this thread this week. I too was affected this Monday (Jan 30) with the PM exam. Can you provide:

    • Information how to email you  (or)
    • Instruct those who are affected and not posting to post in order to receive a follow up from you with test results, feedback, and information on rescheduling.

    Thanks again for all the help!

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    Jared NCARB

    Nathan, I'll reach out to you directly through email in just a minute.

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    Sonja Antunovic-Curcic

    Jared,
    My post was just above Nathan's,.. but got missed again. Could you please, review and contact me as well. I appreciate all help in advance!

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    Jared NCARB

    Sonja,

    To help clarify, I've been reaching out to all of the candidates impacted by the technical issue that took place on January 30 as we're managing those as a group. Your case appears to be outside of this issue which is why you haven't been contacted directly by me.

    I will follow up with our NCARB customer service team and Prometric as to why you have yet to be contacted related to your issue so they can provide you an update.

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    Sonja Antunovic-Curcic

    Jared - Thank you for this reply! I hope while the priority is given to the group impacted on Monday, just because I was most likely the very first one to experience (the very same) technical difficulty and make report to NCARB, I do not get to receive a different treatment. I have understanding and I support approach chisen while dealing with issue, but my problem is no different, if not more mature, than others. I appreciate again, your effort given to this case! Respectfully, Sonja

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    Lidia Szydlowska

    I had the same problem on January 30th. I took Practice Management. I had problem at the beginning of the test as it did not start and when I finished my case studies it froze on the last case study question. Also, my count of questions went back to 80 out of 80 with 38 minutes left.

    I really hope I do not have to take the case studies if I passed as it is unfair. If I did not pass that portion I can try again. I was given a notice that I can retake but I do not want to retake what I had passed. I lost 10 minutes as thinkgs were being fixed and what drove me crazy is the fact that the woman was saying to me the time stopped while there was a problem. It did not stop while she was walking or calling me from waiting room! Every minute counts on these tests.

    Trully, with the case studies there is not enough time to finish the test. The case studies took me two hours and I was going fast.

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    Jared NCARB

    Lidia, thanks for following up with a description of what you experienced. When you retest, you will have to retest on an entire form of the exam which will include case studies. The case studies are not graded separately from the rest of the division. A final pass or fail determination is based on total points earned across the entire division. On this same point, you don't have to try and "pass" a case study - what you want to do is maximize your points as you take the test.

    Because case study items can take longer to answer, it is a good strategy to save those until the end. Go through the individual items first answering as many as you can. You can always mark for review items you are unsure of, but it is a good idea to always attempt an answer just in case you don't get back to the item. After you have all the individual items answered, then work on the case studies. Take them one at a time, again navigating through them, attempting an answer on each item.

    Only after you have attempted each question, should  you start to spend longer amounts of time per item delving into the more complex items. If you do happen to then run out of time, you will have at least attempted each question and maximized your opportunity to earn points and pass the division. 

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    Lidia Szydlowska

    Jared,
    I had no choice because the woman in the center went to case studies first. I guess I was not familiar with the program enough to know I can change that.
    Also, I took the test on Monday and nobody called me so I can reschedule. Should I call them or wait?

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