Issues with Online-Proctored Exams
The new online-proctored exam procedure is so problematic and flawed, I personally would not recommend people to take it remotely from home. Life during the pandemic has been tough, but if passing the exams is imperative to you, I would avoid taking it remotely at all cost esp. at this time despite the fact that COVID is a huge concern for many people. Below is the email I sent to firstname.lastname@example.org while still haven't received any response.
To whom it may concern,
Jin - Good luck with getting a response from NCARB.
I just received an email saying my in person (because at the time there were no virtual appointments available before 11pm EST) exam had a person who tested positive for COVID. NCARBs response is to always contact Prometric and Prometric's response is to always default back to NCARB...I'm still on the phone with Prometric and have been since the past 1.5 hrs! my exam is tomorrow -_____- ...hope i dont get COVID!
My grandmother also passed away, and there is no way I can reschedule this exam without out a fee. I think this is ridiculous.
Four days after my email to both Prometric and NCARB, I have not yet received a single response from either one. I finally called NCARB today, and what startled me again was them expecting me to justify for myself what had occurred was my own fault. I'm so tired and disgusted by what they're trying to do. It's a shame and mistake for them to keep complicating the situation than actually doing their job, which is simply to request Prometric to provide the video recording and chat massages I had during the ridiculous check-in process with the two overseas support agents (not the exam proctors) "trained" to conduct the check-in procedures which had consumed nearly fours of my time due to the extensive wait time, their human & system errors, and incompetent technical support. I had to call technical support twice, and it was the same guy. I get the sense that the people who work for Prometric are so understaffed and underpaid. It's very SAD that Prometric doesn't even want to step up and own their flaws and failure as I was informed by the NCARB rep that technical support guy from Prometric had falsely blamed me on my internet for allowing the Pro-Proctor application to timeout and forced me to exit the application. How dishonest and ridiculous is that.....I was using a hard-wired internet cable connection from Xfinity the entire F*** time !! My bandwidth was at around nearly 150 mbps, the internet speed was blazing fast and steady without a doubt. Obviously Prometric had no intention to admit their system failure and the tech doesn't want to put his job in jeopardy either. Just to fast forward to the very beginning of what happened, the first support agent said he my webcam was unable to auto-focus and he can't read every single letter on my ID, then I had to quit the check-in application Pro-Proctor and start all over while contacting tech support for help. When I finally got to the second agent, he had no problem reading the information on my ID. But just about 45-mins (~95%) into the check-in process, Pro-Proctor timed out on me which had disabled both my webcam & microphone/speaker. Interestingly the app's chat box was still active to communicate through typed messages, and I had no issue seeing and hearing the support agent from my end while the communication with the agent had continued via the chat box. That clearly shows it has nothing to do with the internet. To sum it up, they basically screwed up the whole process right from the start !!!
I've invested tens of thousands of money and many years on this ARE marathon with NCARB and Prometric exams, no exaggeration really. Although I only have PDD & PPD left to pass, I've come to realize this is such a huge waste of money and time for a profession I have no faith in, enjoy and count on whatsoever. In fact, I'm already on a different career path that's more promising and rewarding. The very few reasons which still motivated me to pass exams and get licensed are simply the huge sunk cost I've already invested in my education and up to this point, and the title of RA, not really what the title can bring as it's really not that substantial lol. With all due respect, there's a lot of dedicated & intelligent professionals in this discipline. I just find it very cynical about this profession and esp. my experience with NCARB, it's so hard to believe that it's more challenging to be able to take the already scheduled exams than actually passing the exam. Time is of the essence for me, surely for many others as well. I think it's time to reassess the values of what this license could meaningfully bring to your life and career, is it really worth it ? At least I know I'm through with NCARB.
I had a very similar and infuriating process on pro proctor. Similarly, I have just PDD left and am starting to feel the same way as you about the huge sunk cost and time and even the meaninglessness in regards to my career which like you, isn't even traditional architecture anymore. Just want to offer my support and solidarity in your frustrations with NCARB, Jin.
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