Project Development & Documentation Exam Issues

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    barry ballinger

    I got my fail letter in the mail yesterday. The tests are garbage in its content as well as its design. No one but NCARB could get away with producing such rubbish.

    What is the process for creating the questions? If the exams were really relevant, the questions would be created from memory by one experienced architect. If this is stuff we need to know, then any random experienced architect should know it right? My guess is they divide the question creation process among several architects who create questions for a particular subject with references on hand.

    This process is absolutely absurd, and I seriously doubt I'll participate in it anymore.

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    Elizabeth Cremer

    I also experienced issues with my PDD testing experience as well - in my case I lost connection to the exam altogether after several minutes of very laggy behavior from the exam.  This took place on Friday, February 24th.  I called and emailed NCARB immediately after I returned from the Prometric center, and also received the same "high volume of messages" auto-response.

    Two comments on the thread below were not answered to my satisfaction, in fact NCARB just never responded to my second comment - regarding why exactly the new test is web-based if it is clearly resulting in *so* many issues nationwide.

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/115000803767-Prometric-Test-Center-Server-Crash

    I agree Noah, that the 5.0 exams are far sleeker looking and laid out than the 4.0 exams were, and that the testing content seems to be more on-point in regards to what an architect does in an actual office. 

    However, these pervasive (moreso than NCARB will admit) issues with the technical aspects of the test on the back-end make me think that it is not yet ready to be rolled out even to early testers - let alone those who will get neither a $100 gift card nor a free retake if they fail.

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    Jessica Tseng

    Hi all, 

    I took PDD on 2/21 and experienced similar issues that Noah described. Each question took 3-5 seconds to load, if the question had images, it took longer. At one point, I thought one of the questions had glitched since it was just a complete blank page after waiting about a minute -- I tried moving backwards and skipping ahead and coming back to the problem thinking that might be able to "refresh" the problem, but it was still blank page so I called for help. After about 5 minute waiting for the staff to show up, the question finally revealed itself.

    Each case study document had to be reloaded after every question, which is extremely inefficient as well. I sent an email to NCARB customer service after the exam, but still have yet to receive any comment aside from the automated "Due to a high volume of messages recently, we are experiencing a slight delay in turnaround" message. 

    Overall I do appreciate the new question format and layout and prefer the 5.0 over the 4.0, but this loading time issue is a major problem that I hope will be fixed asap. I've read posts of others experiencing similar issues so I really doubt that this was an isolated incident or a localized problem of the test centers.

    Best of luck to everyone else taking the exams.

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    Shawn Viator

    To all the brave ARE 5.0 candidates:

    Thank you all for sharing any information on this.  

    I myself am trying to decide if I should transition from 4.0 and these stories are critical to all ARE candidates trying to make this decision.

    What I am reading is that the ARE 5.0 test is a step forward in content, BUT, the technical issues / loading time are unacceptable and affecting the actual time needed to take the exams.

    NCARB suggestion:  Either fix these technical / loading issues -or- double the time allowed per exam to accommodate the unpredictable technical / loading issues.  And for those ARE candidates who ventured out and took the ARE 5.0 prior to these issues being fixed, they deserve a free re-take, regardless the "deadline" NCARB had set.

    We are all investing in: study material-cost, study time-cost, exam time-cost (off of work), exam cost, and travel time & cost depending how far the nearest Prometric location is.

    Please continue sharing so that everyone including NCARB can be aware of these issues!

    I am hoping to transition soon depending on the NCARB responses.

    Thanks,

    Shawn

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