Rotation of items by Right Click

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    Michelle NCARB

    Hi again everyone,

    Following up on my earlier post, we hear your concerns about not being aware of the rotation function.  One thing to remember here is that every division has pretest items - and during this current cut score process, those are typically the items that aren't performing well.  Pretest items do not count toward your final division score.

    The drag-and-place video I had mentioned was released in February 2016.  Be sure to right-click in the demo exam so you can practice before arriving at the test center.  And moving forward, we're going to look at ways to ramp up our communication about the rotation functionality.

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    Michelle NCARB

    Hi Darguin,

    That's right, you do have the opportunity to rotate items in the drag-and-place questions.  This was explained in the drag-and-place video, and you can also try it out in the demo exam.  Give it a shot and let us know if you have questions about how it works.

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    Darguin Fortuna

    I had no idea and I think many folks didn't know at all. I believe this has hurt many of us.

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    Aaron Honsaker

    I agree that this was not communicated properly. I did not realize this was a feature of the drag-and-place questions, and looking back, I know it hurt me on at least one exam question.  The fact that this is implemented almost like a "hidden" feature is perplexing and a bit angering. This ability to rotate is not mentioned anywhere in the written ARE 5.0 guidelines or handbook. This is what it says in the Guide to ARE 5.0 under Drag-and-Place:

    For these questions, you’ll be presented with a base drawing and a series of design elements. To answer these questions, simply drag the design elements to the correct region on the base drawing.

    That is all. Nothing about the ability to rotate.

     

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    Darguin Fortuna

    Aaron,

    I think no one tester has been aware of this through NCARB's communication. I guess it hurts us all but the future testers. That is why being an early tester is a BIG commitment. 

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    Darguin Fortuna

    Michelle,

    Thanks for the link. I also noticed that in the video even though it shows us how rotation takes place (As in other videos) it does not really warns us of how this may apply. I mean the video has us drag and place elements as they are with no modifications. Why not use a video that actually matter to understand all of the capabilities and uses of the interface. I almost felt like Neo in the Matrix when I rotated some words. It felt wrong and surreal since I had little warning.

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    Yasser Osman

    I had no idea also for such feature exist. So many questions would make sense if I knew about this earlier. Really don't know what skill is being tested here.

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    Patrick Zimmerman

    I was also not aware of the rotation tool, and in thinking back to the PPD exam I am certain that I could have solved a problem correctly had I been aware of it. Instead of it being a "hidden" feature, as someone else said, the problem could easily contain a statement along the lines of, "some elements may need to be rotated." This kind of statement seems no different to me than the statement "not all elements will be used." It simply alerts the tester to the possibility of rotating an item, whether it needs it or not. I am going to submit a formal complain to NCARB about that question, and recommend others do the same. We only have a few days left before the scores are released. 

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    Michael Maciocia

    Ditto! Took PPD yesterday and had no idea! Same as Patrick, I can think of at least one question with arrows that would have been great to rotate if that had been obvious!

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    Darguin Fortuna

    Patrick,

    You should get paid. (I guess the early tester incentive covers it). You just solved the problem for NCARB as of how to display that. I have developed multiple softwares and these things take years and get only fixed with early testers and subjects. Let's go to the exam with the idea of also improving it. If it annoys one it probably annoys millions of testers. Let's say something if you see something. We are NCARB's most priced clients when it comes to the exams. 

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    Matthew Harris (Edited )

    Ok, So I can write off a lot of the complaints about 5.0 as inherent in a new launch. This is a completely different matter. It is mentioned 1 place, and written nowhere. I was honestly giving the benefit of the doubt to NCARB on a lot of these issues...This one in my mind is just poor communication, and honestly extremely detrimental to those who had no idea...which I would wager is a large number.

    Please remedy this by making it more clear for future testers. Please make it clear that these suggestions an complaints from early testers are not falling on deaf ears. Something like "Yes we will be changing this", or "No we will not be changing that." Not only this issue, but all issues that have been brought up multiple times.

    I understand this is tough...but we depend on you in a professional capacity, and it is extremely frustrating for many candidates.   

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    SHAWN RYAN

    Glad I read this post! I also had no idea. I've been pretty diligent reading all of NCARB's instructions, blog, etc, and watching their informational videos and totally missed this feature. Luckily I can't recall any spots on the tests I've taken so far that really needed rotated items for the drag and drop, so no harm for me personally, but as I enter the more technically oriented ones I imagine this will come up much more often.   

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    Michael Maciocia

    I echo Shawn's post too, I was very diligent in perusing all of NCARB's available resources, videos etc. The drag and place video mentioned by Michelle was published to YouTube on the February 17th, much too late for most of us to have picked up on. Very frustrating I must say.

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    Justin Pelland

    Wait............ What??

    I've taken 4 exams this month and had no idea that you could rotate items on the drag and place questions. I definitely just got a question on today's exam where that would have made PERFECT sense and I kept scratching my head about how to solve the problem with just the objects given (all horizontal lines in my case).

    Well this seems problematic. NCARB - as you establish the cut scores, you may want to identify any questions that would have required rotating an object to be correct and discount those questions on everyone's exam until the issue is addressed. Posting a video about it and expecting test takers to have seen the video isn't really acceptable for something like this. Hopefully there's some consideration here for those of us who've taken tests without knowing this feature existed.

    It'd be like making the calculator accessible only by pressing F3 and not indicating anywhere on the exam software that this was the case.

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    Jeremy Schoenfeld

    While it is true that you can try the rotate function in the demo exam, none of the sample questions requires you to rotate an item. So the only way to find this it through the demo video. 

    (To make it worse, the Ballast guide tries to imitate drag-and-drop questions, and they provide multiple rotated versions of items to choose from!)

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    Gregory Struna

    I've taken three 5.0 tests and had no idea you could rotate the objects. Definitely a few items on PA and PDD that needed to be rotated!!!  I'm still confident I passed them all but know it cost me some points. Thanks for bringing this up.

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    Yen Vo

    I didn't catch the ability to rotate objects until several questions in I noticed that the question SPECIFICALLY asked that none of the objects should be rotated in the solution. I then had to go back and review ALL the drag in place questions. Felt mislead and maybe the statement in the question was a last minute band aid to the problem. 

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    Darguin Fortuna

    I noticed the same Yen. The same note seemed as an after thought.

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    Michelle NCARB

    Yen and Darguin,

    The statement about not rotating objects is by no means a band-aid on a problem.  As we've said before, you have the option to rotate objects in a drag-and-place item, if you think it's necessary for your solution. Statements like "do not rotate the objects" or "check the three that apply" or "round to the nearest tenth" are there to help you during the exam.

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    Yasser Osman

    I took my PDD yesterday and this is my opinion. I think whomever designed the interface did a great job as I noticed the following:
    1) the time delay between the questions is added to the clock.
    2) I absolutely did not need the rotate option and I think if it is available it will only confuse me
    3) the zoom of drawings is very flexible and you need just to choose persentage. I found that 100 % is very clear to look into text and small dimension and details. Going to 300 % happen but you just readjust it.
    4) the questions that does not allow zoom really does not need zoom and need you to focus on the overall to find a location or a general understanding. If a zoom option is provided in those questions I think will exhaust time and may affect other questions
    5) I believe that exams moved to way better methods than ARE 4. And whomever behind this simply. Thank you.

    Just wanted to share my opinion as I based it this time on actual experience.

    Let's be positive and move on and comment in a positive way so expert matter can enhance more.

    Regards

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    Justin Pelland

    Michelle,

     

    I think that what most people are trying to say on this thread is that while NCARB has said the option to rotate objects is available to test takers, that option is not clear in any of the published literature, demo exam, or actual exam questions. Obviously all of us on this thread now know that this is a feature we can use to answer questions, there are likely hundreds of test takers who have not read this thread. I took 4 exams without knowing that option existed, and I made sure to read the entire ARE 5.0 Handbook and prepare for the exams with as much care as I could.

     

    I believe what people are suggesting is that any questions which require the use of the rotate feature should be revised to include language that says "Some objects may need to be rotated to complete the problem, right click on an object to rotate it," similar to the text that says "Check the three that apply," or "round to the nearest tenth." Those statements aid test takers in determining the correct answer, and adding something to indicate items may be rotated will help make it clear that the feature exists.

     

    If you polled everyone who's taken a test, I would be surprised if you found more than a very small percentage of people knew this feature existed, as it has not been clearly identified. Since this sort of feedback is the whole point of the early tester program, it seems that the next steps are determining how to make it more clear and what to do about the people who got questions wrong where it wasn't clear item rotation was an option.

     

    If I'm wrong about this feature not being published anywhere (other than the previously mentioned video) then please correct me.

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    Jeremy Schoenfeld

    While I agree that the rotate feature is not intuitive, I'd also say that the 5.0 exams are very intuitive overall, and I love the new item types and case studies. These tests are better aligned to the way architects actually think and work. 

    To those testers who think they may have missed a question because of this issue, here's my two cents: This rotation issue only applies to a tiny number of questions, and those may not have even required it. I'm not going to worry too much about it.

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    Matthew Harris

    Jeremy:

    Th issue inst about it being intuitive or not. The issue is with it not being adequately explained that it was even possible. These tests are the barrier to a professional licence, and as such we as test takers should have all the information to do as well as we possibly can. 

    "To those testers who think they may have missed a question because of this issue, here's my two cents: This rotation issue only applies to a tiny number of questions, and those may not have even required it. I'm not going to worry too much about it."

    Its fine not to worry..but it ABSOLUTELY should be better explained in the future. Its akin to saying "oh, well ADA only applies to a tiny number of people, so Im not going to worry much about it".  It is a big deal, no matter the perceived lack of consequences. 

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    Patrick Zimmerman

    Jeremy, I agree with you that overall the test is much better than 4.0, but that does not mean there is not room for improvement or constructive criticism. NCARB needs to be made aware that some of the questions are not functioning as they should, and that is what this post is doing. The more people who express that they were not aware of the rotate function, the more likely NCARB is to take notice. I passed PPD, so while this one question did not have a negative effect on my result, I did spend a disproportionate amount of time on that question trying to figure out how to solve it. That, in turn, can affect the way you approach the rest of the exam.

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    James Glenn

    I would recommend to anyone preparing to take this exam, that they try the demo version and really just play around with various buttons and options to have a great understanding of how it operates. I believe this understanding will help ease tension and reduce the time needed when testing so focus can be on getting the correct answer and not fumbling with the interface.

    I learned the rotate option was available in the demo exam prior to taking any tests and actually used it a few times. I also figured out the most efficient method of zooming and re-zooming, searching, switching between reference material and questions, using the calculator, and case study references.

    All of this helped keep me focused on the questions and not getting frustrated or confused by the program (interface) while testing.

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