I had a suggestion that I thought I might pose to you. One of the things that I think people would greatly benefit from is more sample questions for each of the 5.0 tests. The 5.0 Demonstration Exam is great. It definitely gives a good representation of the types of questions we will encounter on this new format, it allows us to practice the software, and I personally do feel going into these tests that I’ve at least tried each type before on that exam. However, I feel that while it does a good job of presenting us with the types/formats of the questions we’ll encounter, it lacks in its coverage of the actual content material.
At the end of the day, the Demonstration Exam has only given us 20 questions that are intended to cover the content of 6 individual exams, all of which range from 90 – 120 total questions. In the Guidebook, under each individual section, there are very few questions provided that specifically are intended to cover the content of that test. I question that this is truly enough, and after having spent many, many hours on this forum and reading people’s feedback, I think the main thing that is common among most of the posts is that people are struggling with truly knowing the content that will be on each of these exams and how it will be presented. Look at what people are doing: everyone is reading 6-7 long books to try and prepare for these tests. No one can retain that much information. Who can read the entirety of Graphic Standards and say to themselves “I now know that I can detail any situation?” The resources you’ve cited are excellent and very, very helpful, but it would be helpful if we could know how to better utilize them rather than reading them in full cover-to-cover. Have you really looked at that MEEB book? It is a phone book of Mechanical and Electrical Equipment.
I truly believe that providing more example questions specific to each 5.0 test would go a long way. Case in point: look at what you did for the 4.0 tests. I took four 4.0 tests, and one thing I thought was extremely helpful was that NCARB provided a practice multiple choice exam for each section, each with 25-30 questions. That amount of questions really helped me get a better grasp on the content that would be covered, and more importantly helped me focus my study efforts better. As a result, I passed those tests. I would further offer that I don’t think that those 25-30 questions made the tests “too easy” as a result of having provided so many. In fact, I knew in taking that practice exam that I should NOT walk into the testing center thinking that I was going to get something just like that exam. The actual questions I encountered were more difficult, and the test was still challenging. But – I felt way better prepared.
Here’s a specific example, straight from the Guidebook for PDD: Section 1 has 6 Objectives provided, but you’ve only provided three total sample questions. How about 1 for each objective, or better yet, 2? Wouldn’t that help us test takers A) understand more concretely what each objective is and B) give us some sense of how it will be presented?
I think NCARB has done a better job of creating a test that is more in line with our field, and I did not feel that way when testing under 4.0. However, this 5.0 format is new to us all, and I simply ask that you keep that in mind and maybe consider ways to help us all better navigate through it, just like you did for 4.0.
Thanks for listening.
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