I am just wondering is everyone across the country experiencing similar problems I have with the ARE 5.0 testing software. Or is it just the computers at the test centers I took the exams are too old.
A month ago, I took PPD at a Brooklyn, NY test center, it was my first 5.0 exam (I am on the 4.0 + 5.0 path). I noticed the delay between questions after you click next. It was up to 2 or 3 seconds, and the screen is white (besides the blue ARE icon across the top of the screen). After 2+ hours into the exam, these kind of delays just wear you down, and the clock is ticking. For most of us who are on the computer everyday, this kind of delays is significant and it makes you begin to worry about the system crashing, and raises your anxiety level. At the Case Study sections, the PDFs took time to load, and they didn't remember where you left them--each time you click on the drawings tap, for example, you are back to the first page of the mini set they provided you; in addition, when you zoom, it zooms all the way to 300% then you have to zoom back out. I took 3 exams in 4.0 with the vignettes, dealt with the cumbersome "drafting" software, but these kind of delays and technical problems seem to have cause a new kind of test anxiety.
Today, I took PDD at a test center in Manhattan, the one in the One Penn building, the computer problem has gotten even WORSE. Delays between questions up to 5 seconds, to a point, I was about to raise my hand to call a test center personnel to come check on my station, but each time it's when i am about to raise my hand, the next question popped up. I watched and counted it, 5 seconds. PDFs in the Case Study section were additionally slow to load, even when I used the recommended Search function to locate key words -- the computer found the key words, but still took awhile to display the information. I believe this is an older test center, maybe it's the Prometric facility that needs upgrade.
At this rate, if nothing changes (too expensive to upgrade test center facilities or data connections), NCARB needs to consider at least adding 30 min to the exam.
It's quite disappointing that we can't even get a test software right and have such basic technical/hardware problems. Mean while, each year, when I pay my NCARB fee, the simple page of entering my credit card information was completely animated. Shouldn't we put our fee money to better use? (even it was a very cheap plug-in the software team found, we have to do better than this, please?)
An exhausted Test Taker....
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