Test Prep Provider Interactivity on the ARE 5.0 Community



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    I'd also like clarification on this. I'm a candidate, not a test prep provider. I totally agree that constant spamming is obnoxious. But NCARB has repeatedly said it will not release any kind of official index of approved test prep sources (at least not for the foreseeable future). So, barring that, we're kind of on our own to vet potential providers before paying for their services. A lot of these smaller companies advertise themselves in large part through direct advertising like these forums. For me, a reasonable amount of branded content would be acceptable and even helpful.

    A company that is consistently monitoring the boards and helping provide actual answers is one that I'd be interested in buying services from. The previous post that Kevin is referring to was clearly spam, and I agree with your decision to remove it. But I feel like the posts Kevin is referring to would be relevant and important. If Kevin gave a solid answer to a question I had and did what he did above (included a quick citation/ link to the company he is associated with at the end) I'd have thanked him for this help and likely clicked through to his website. I feel like my couple seconds of clicking through his website and getting a feel for what he offers adds to the utility of these forums, rather than detracting from it. I'd personally like to see providers like Kevin be an active part of these forums, and allow them a reasonable amount of leeway to advertise the services they provide.

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    Joseph Vraspir

    I agree with Shawn's comment regarding posts by test prep providers. The more access we have to study resources, the better. But I also do agree that the obvious spam should be eliminated.

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    Ryan NCARB

    Kevin and others,

    Good question(s).  Test prep providers are not allowed to promote or solicit the sale of their products or services. Any person associated with test preparation is certainly encouraged to answer questions, assist users, and ultimately be a part of the community. Any person is allowed to provide links to outside resources, which in the case of a test prep provider may be their own resources.

    Answers to your specific questions Kevin:

    • May we include a signature to our prep materials at the end of our legitimate response to a question?
      • We do not see this as a problem.
    • May we include a link to our resources that provides a direct response to a candidates question?
      • If the response is part of the public area of website this is not a problem. It should not be a link that requires an individual to purchase something to gain the response.  Test prep providers should also not be creating initial posts that advertise a blog entry or resource they have, even if those are free.  Posts should be in response to specific candidate questions.
    • May we include branded imagery embedded into our response?
      • I don’t see this as a problem.

    Hope this helps.


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