I recently took PD&D on the last day of the incentive period for that exam (February 28th) and I experienced major issues with the exam:
1. The questions themselves took way too long to load.. which translated to not enough time to actually think about the question and answer it in a thoughtful manner, especially the Case Study questions.
- This is a 4hr 15min exam and the Case Studies section took me about 2hr 30mins, which is a section of only about 20 questions. More than half of my time was spent waiting for the questions to actually load.
- This problem also persisted throughout the multiple choice section, which I took after the Case Study Section.
2. The reference for the Case Studies, again, took way too long to load and definitely affected the amount of time I felt I had to address and answer each question.
- I was prepared for this material to take awhile to load but when you need to use multiple pages/documents from the reference materials for a question when each document takes an excess of a minute or more to load it certainly affects your ability to answer a question in a time sensitive manner.
All of the problems I had translated to me not being able to actually finish the exam – I had about 20 multiple choice questions I didn't have a chance to answer and I also had to answer questions (towards the end of my testing time) much more rapidly than I wanted to in order to move to the next question and let it load.
I was expecting some load time issues from what I had read on the ARE 5.0 Community posts and from my experience taking PP&D about a month ago but the load issues I experienced with PD&D were much worse than I expected.
I emailed NCARB the day after my exam (Wednesday, March 1st) and I have yet to hear back from them as of today (Saturday, March 4th) "Due to a high volume of messages recently, we are experiencing a slight delay in turnaround." which I am assuming means that others are having these same issues.
I hate to write a post like this because I do really like the new formatting of ARE 5.0 and I think NCARB did a great job writing the exams to give relevance to our work experience, which I think is really important. But, if you don't have the opportunity to show that you know the material that's a problem and I'm not sure I can recommend taking these exams until NCARB solves this problem.
I really hope this is an isolated incident and others didn't have the same experience I did.
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