Wanted to give an update on the new ARE Dec changes. I took my CE exam Jan 4th, 2021:
1. The exams were always a little glitchy and laggy. However, this time I had full seconds of delay between questions whether there was a graphic included or not. Some of the case study references would not load while zooming, it took a couple of minutes for the PDFs to load enough to be legible. It was honestly long enough that I assumed I wasn't supposed to be able to read the details.
2. Once I got to the case studies the exam would give me an error message and crash. this happened a total of (4) times. Prometric did try to troubleshoot and moved my seat to a different computer however the problem still persisted. In the end, they were not able to get a hold of anyone from NCARB to help resolve the issue and I was unable to finish the exam. It seems that with the new online proctor option and new digital tools, NCARB's testing server capabilities were not upgraded to accommodate.
3. I am reasonably tech-savvy and was hopeful that with some adjustments the whiteboard would not be an issue. However, I spent a majority of the time switching from text and pen trying to do my minor calculations- ended up just trying to do everything in my head.
4. It would be helpful if the whiteboard was just part of the testing screen. For example, a split-screen so it does not cover the questions/information. Also, I feel like the point of a "digital" whiteboard is infinite space- there is a lock on the zoom out for the whiteboard. While you can zoom in you can't zoom out to get all your notes on the screen. You have to take the time to resize everything individually or pan around awkwardly. You can zoom in and try to notate, however, the text stays the same default size so you will need to manually drag re-size again.
5. I would recommend just closing the whiteboard instead of trying to stretch or resize the window. The couple of times I tried the entire screen would turn white for a couple of seconds... like it was thinking of crashing...
6. The kicker was waiting through these reboots and unable to use the bathroom as it would lock my already viewed questions. What should have been 3-hour exams ended up taking close to 4-5-hours.
7. The constant flagging down of proctors and rebooting of my computer broke the testing rhythm. By the 3rd reboot, I was frustrated, annoyed, and unable to focus properly. And as I mentioned above- in severe need of the restroom.
In the end, they canceled my exam to be rescheduled. It crashed for the final time with 3 questions to go and I was unable to finish.
To date I have passed (2) other ARE exams and have never experienced such technical issues before.
I am reaching out to NCARB with hopes of rescheduling without waiting the typical 60 days...as I technically did not fail.
Are there any other steps that we, as test candidates, can take to make our voices heard?
Please sign in to leave a comment.