I took PPD exam slightly over two weeks ago. My experience driving home after the exam was surreal.
I transitioned from ARE 4.0 with only one exam left to find out I had to take two exams. NCARB was helpful in the past about this and I appreciate their approach from one of their managers at the calling center.
My current experience has been less than acceptable...
As a veteran test taker at prometric, I went in with my usual heightened senses to move quickly through questions because I usually end with a few minutes to spare with most of the exams in the past from 4.0. I went through the exam like normal, flagging what I had the slightest notion of being incorrect to quickly pass through it again before exiting the exam. As i got to the case study questions, I started reviewing my flagged questions: the questions were now loading slowly and by the third or fourth question i was reviewing the system crashed. All of the buttons went gray, the time still counting and me raising my hand like my seat was on fire... a proctor restarted the workstation which felt like an eternity... I was finally back to the exam screen and attempted to continue to quickly scan the remaining flagged questions only to have the system start lagging and moving as if i had a dial-up modem, which after a few more questions, i gave up and went into the study cases. The reference material was loading slowly and taking a long time to load one page at a time - again, at dial-up modem speed. I was through the first case study and into the second case study only to click next for a question which kept reloading the same question over and over... and it crashed, with the timer counting away at my remaining time. Once the proctor reentered the passwords the screen showed my exam was over. I was hoping so much that someone would jump out of the cubicles and say, "look! You're on candid camera and this is a joke!" But that never happened. I asked the proctor if this was common which he hesitated but affirmed it was an ongoing problem with the new ARE exams (5.0) since they have been issuing them.
I was given a prometric case number and a phone to call. I called prometric who were very professional, then NCARB who told me i had to wait till the exam results were out until something was done - I told them, I know the outcome, my nerves were shot so please let me reschedule the exam ASAP, but they refused to do anything.
After speaking with NCARB over this issue a few times in the past two week, NCARB is telling me I have to contest the exam at my own out of pocket expense. I do not think an examiner should be allowed to issue an exam with known flaws without warning or at least announcing what testing centers have been going through this issue.
I feel like this is abuse from an accreditation agency which has had over a year to fix this issue. I do not appreciate being told that "you got to finish, so your problem."
If anyone else has gone through this issue, would you please let me know what happen to you? Or maybe what the outcome was for you?
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