Case Study Questions vs T/F - Multiple Choice - Fill In Blank

Comments

9 comments

  • Avatar
    Scott Barber

    Hi William,

    My approach has always been to save the case studies for last, for the reasons you listed - they take more time and are worth the same amount as the other questions. If I'm going to run out of time, I'd rather miss answering 2 case study questions rather than miss answering 10 non-case study questions.

    The only two somewhat compelling reasons I've heard for others to start with the case studies is that:
    a) You're more fresh at the start of the test so you can think more clearly to think through all the reference material
    b) You know what reference material is available in case it's useful for a question outside of the case studies

    Personally, I still like to save them for last. To be honest I don't completely agree with point 'a' above, but I haven't given it too much thought...Also, I'm over-enthusiastic about flagging questions, and since I review them after I work through the case studies I can apply any reference material to those questions I was unsure of (negating point 'b'). 

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    I too agree.  I left the case studies for last as well because I knew they took the most amount of time but were still only worth the same as all the other questions - one point each.  Plus, if I was going to experience any computer lagging issues (which I thankfully did not but I know many others have), I wanted to get through the first, quicker 80 questions and then tackle the last 20 with potential time lag issues. 

  • Avatar
    William May

    Thanks guys.

    I'm reading a LOT of threads that case studies lag and even lock up/freeze so I'm hesitant to do them in light of them worth only one point.

    However, if I do go thru 80 questions only to wait to do the case studies and Then have a machine freeze then I've lost 80 questions.

    I'm wondering if the case study questions are so computer hogs that they are detrimental to the overall stability of the test as evident from all the posts in all divisions AND that the clock is NOT stopping as is factual contradiction to NCARB's understanding.  

    Case studies appear to be 3 to 5 times more wordy that the other types of questions.  That amount of information is overwhelming older computers in Prometric test sites.

    Thoughts?

  • Avatar
    Scott Barber

    In my experience (3 exams thus far), the exam in general just takes a couple seconds to load each question at most, unless a computer issue has occurred. Unfortunately it seems to be on Prometric's side as the experience for each candidate varies based on their location. I would mentally prepare for lag so it doesn't increase your stress, but I think most of the time (for the main portion of the exam) it's not a major impact. 

    The time issue with the case studies is the reference material that needs to load. The challenge is that each sheet loads separately and can take longer to load, and if you switch from one reference document to another it has to re-load again. Not ideal, but if you can avoid flipping back and forth it'll reduce the time it takes to load. That isn't always feasible but is something to consider when possible. 

    In general, the questions take longer to load when they have images or graphics. The text-only questions are pretty quick from what I remember (less than a second) but images can slow it down to 1-3 seconds on average. I'm sure it's a balance between quality/legible graphics and file size...a lot of people were frustrated with the legibility of graphics, which NCARB corrected, but maybe the Prometric computers can't handle too large of a file. I'm sure the images in the exam weren't saved at 1200 dpi, and I tend to think it's the older Prometric computers that are the issue, but who knows.

  • Avatar
    William May

    Would it be fair to ask for a show of hands on the idea of case study questions being a positive experience or negative experience:

    Case Study Question rating: 1 2 3 4 5, 5 being the best answer

  • Avatar
    William May

    Case Study Questions are a negative experience

    1 - Totally agree

    5 - Totally Disagree

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    5.  I found the case studies to be extremely fair and a proper test of tasks that I do every day as an architect.

    I have a recommendation: call up the Prometric Center that you are planning on testing at (or if there's a few around you call them all) and ask them if anyone has reported issues with the ARE while they are testing.  I don't see why anyone there would lie to you either, if they had a problem or if computers seem slow they should be able to tell you.   If there haven't been any reported issues, then I would offer to you that you could probably ignore a lot of the posts about the computer issues on here.  My experience was not that of others - I had no lagging issues whatsoever, even during the case studies.  Maybe 1 second for a page to load - maybe.  Graphics were all crystal clear as well.  For my PDD test which is graphic-heavy, I was able to navigate various drawings quickly and without issue.  Any photos that appeared in questions were all high resolution.  I do think it is entirely dependent on the exam center's computers themselves.  I guess my center must have newer or more updated machines.

    Call them up and find out, and maybe ask them about their computers too.  You might be able to make any anxiety about this go away. 

  • Avatar
    RJ

    The case studies are horrible in my opinion, especially on PA and PDD. The drawings were distorted and difficult to read and I found it hard to wrap my mind around them in such a short period of time. I Definitely feel more time should be allocated to answer these, that paired with a 30 minute break to re-fresh your memory with a little outside fresh air, (but that's just me:) 

    Another issue with the case studies on a personal note is I am mentally fatigued after answering 99 questions so when I reach them, I feel like i've been in a 'tumbling' cycle in a washing machine for the past 2 hours. I'm thinking of starting my next re-take with case studies as an experiment to see If I can get through them easier. Some folks say this work has worked for them so maybe there's hope for me yet.

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    RJ - I think that starting with the case studies in your case sounds like a good idea, it probably would be good to get those out of the way with as fresh a mind as possible, and then jump into the rest of the questions.  Many people on here have said that it's beneficial as well to see the reference materials provided.  Let's say they give you a bunch of building code excerpts on egress, and then when you dive into the multiple choice questions you find that you could actually go back to the case study reference material to find the answer.  Try it out - just be careful not to spend too much time on the case studies or you'll be rushing through the rest of the questions!

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk