Testing center crashes

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    Canuto DeLeon

    Holy smokes, I thought I had it bad with my poor IAQ (indoor air quality) I felt like I was suffocating the whole exam ... this last exam I took first thing in the morning and it was a lot better.

    Jared Zurn (Director of Examination) visited recently and informed us that rates for exams will be increasing in October (to $235). However you can still purchase "your seat" in september at the $210 price and it will hold your spot for a whole year.

    My recommendation for your experience is to email him directly. He's a very personable and understanding guy and I'm sure he can get the wheels moving to make sure your whole experience is rectified. It may or may not yield any fruit, but it's worth a shot. You can contact him at jzurn@ncarb.org

    Good luck with your exams!

    [70's DMV & New prison inmates] Can't stop laughing about these!

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    William May

    Ok so the DMV, Inmate treatment and poor IAQ are not entirely pointed at ARE candidates, I can get through those issues.  What I can't accept is that computers are crashing in a timed test that does not stop the clock.  That is absolutely wrong. 

    I ( all test takers ) are paying roughly $60 an hour ( 21 hours of testing / 6 divisions ) for a service.  That service is based on receiving an outcome that is 100% acceptable by the client.  

    As a provider of architectural services, practitioners are tasked to make sure their services are free from Errors and Omissions.

    If their services are not free from Errors and Omissions, they are held accountable.  They might be ordered to provide services to rectify the E & O; they might be ordered to pay for corrective services.  Though not forced to carry E & O insurance, they might be required to pay a fee out of pocket.  I know of one architect who after a guilty judgement was ordered to pay a settlement.  The architect simply filed for bankruptcy and the client received no settlement.

    If I ( anyone testing ) go into a test center and a computer crashes - 1.) I get to walk out of the test with a chit that entitles me to take the test on another date of my choosing at no fee; 2.) I get to start the test over on another computer but the clock is stopped until the next computer is found to be functioning and the clock restarted. 3.) I get my money back and can walk out of the test and can make a new appointment at a date of my choosing.  On all three scenarios NCARB must have on record a document that indicates there was a crash listing the testing site, specific computer, time, date, network identification, site administrator and actions taken to rectify the situation.   

    For NCARB to state that it is not aware of any crashes is not acceptable.  If this happens with any frequency and little is known with nothing being done then little will be done to ensure it does not happen.  NCARB and the testing centers are responsible and accountable to ensure the ARE is functioning at 100%.

    And for the record, I'm not laughing.

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    William May

    Geoffrey,

    Did you PASS the division?

    What would have happened if the clock ran out and you didn't complete the test? 

    Now I am even more freaked out. 

    I wonder how many people have experienced computer crashes didn't PASS because there wasn't enough time to finish or not.

    I also wonder if a person who experiences a crash and doesn't PASS has a corrupted test.  AND what is maybe worse, what if a person has a crash and gets a PASS.  Was that result corrupted in favor of a PASS that might really have been a FAIL?

    If NCARB is saying that as of March 14, 2018 you were the first that has ever reported a computer crash, not once but 4 times with 3 different computers in a testing site, how much faith should I have in the process?

    Just saying.

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    Geoffrey Grice (Edited )

    William,

    I did pass the PcM exam...though I was somewhat certain, at the time, that I had not.  This was partially because I had set aside a number of questions that I had answered but wanted to come back to and reread with fresh eyes, but I really didn't have the time to give each the amount of attention I wanted to.  

    As an update, this week I received an unexpected email notification from NCARB stating that I had been given a credit for an exam seat.  There was no explanation as to what it was for, or who had authorized it...it just arrived.  Thinking it had "conditions" of some sort, I logged in and tried to schedule another exam, and it let me through the process without payment.  So, I assume NCARB is listening, at least...and I thank them for that, and for the exam credit.  I would love to know that the issues are being addressed, though, which really is my primary concern.  Had I failed, my general attitude now might be different.

    As far as having faith in the process, it's still just an exam.  For me, when it happened, I mostly tried to focus on just remaining calm, trying not to get flustered, as I know i do not work well in that situation.  I don't think there was anything amiss in the grading of mine ("corrupted", as you noted).  I studied some, but not as much as I probably should have, but I've also been fortunate with my breadth of work experience, and I think that helped more than some of the studying.  I would LOVE to see what I did miss (any amount of feedback would be great...% correct, which sections I had errors in, etc), but there is virtually no chance of me ever paying to see results.  I have better things to spend cash on.  :)

    Best of luck with your exams.  I have PjM scheduled for early April, and PA scheduled for early May.  Trying to hit it hard until I fail one, and will adjust my pace, if/as needed, at that time.

    Cheers,

    Geoff

     

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    William May

    Geoff,

    Whew, had me on pins wondering what happened. 

    To be reading how many problems there seem to be is a bit daunting if not darn frustrating.  As I am newly starting the process I am reading as much as I can about what people write, for better or worse.

    When one tells their children about rules growing up and the children grow up following the rules then see the parents failing to follow the rules it is frustrating and hypocritical.

    We are trained to follow rules as architects.  We are trained to be organized and detail oriented.  when I read of the Prometric issues and the NCARB test issues I feel that they both should be held to a very high standard and be both accountable and transparent.  Afterall, a lot of people are paying a lot of money for accuracy, organization and attention to detail.

    To tell a candidate that they have not heard of any issues with computers crashing does not instill a sense of trust. 

    Best wishes to you.  Your response is greatly appreciated.

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    Geoffrey Grice

    Update:

    Took PjM today. System crashed at about 25%, and again when I had finished my last question, and tried to go back and review my flagged questions (with about 8 mins left on clock).  I could tell that I was not the only person in the room that had similar issues.  The employees were polite and seemed to have their response and process down...which says something (good or bad, I'll let you decide).

    Got it done, regardless, and with a provisional pass...but seriously, this issue needs to get fixed.  It may be Prometric's issue, but it's NCARB's badge on the hood...and there are cars I won't ever own for reasons much less frustrating.

    Cheers.

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