3 out of 4 of my online proctored exams have crashed, all during the case study. Today was the first exam appointment that didn't crash.
What I changed:
- Didn't take a break: This would be my prime suspect in determining the cause of my past crashes. In all past exams I would return from a break, begin the case studies, and experience crashes. This time I flew through PjM and didn't stop for a break.
- Didn't use the white board: I avoided using the digital white board during this exam. It is an annoyance to try to use it as seamlessly as a pen and paper, and it's scarily laggy.
- Restart your router before your exam: When I crashed in the past, Prometric would instruct me to restart my router and rejoin the exam. I did this preemptively this time.
- Connect to ethernet, "disconnect" from background Wi-Fi: Despite being connected through ethernet in the past, I still experienced crashes that Prometric diagnosed as internet interruptions. This time I noticed that even though my ethernet was my primary source of network connection, my Wi-Fi network was still "Connected". Just in case my computer decided to toggle between ethernet and Wi-Fi, which could cause a blip in connection, I "Disconnected" and "Forget" my Wi-Fi network to not give it the option to do so.
- Changed Network Adapter Settings: I found this tip online. Under your device manager, find your ethernet driver, go to properties, power management and un-check "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power", then restart your computer.
I feel like a guinea pig in the dark. However NCARB did say there were improvements to the ARE's performance being rolled out in late-March...
- March 22 NCARB sent the email "ARE Update: PSI Migration Timeline" which included a sentence about improving the software performance of the AREs as administered by Prometric: "We’re actively completing quality assurance reviews of Prometric updates that should improve the overall performance of the ARE and will be deployed later this month."
Whether it was my system/strategy adjustments or NCARB/Prometric's performance improvements that made this my first exam to not crash... I suspect we will never know. Just wanted to share to help the next test taker.
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