Delays faced during an exam: How are delays "accounted for" during NCARB's review of an exam?



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    Scott Barber

    Others have posted about this, and the answer I've seen before is that it's accounted for in the length of the exam. So, technically, if there were no delays, the time to take the exam would be shorter. My only argument against that is that means people with fewer delays have an advantage when taking the exam, with more time being provided. Maybe I'm wrong, and someone else can shed light on the matter.

    However, that being said:

    - My perception is that very few test takers have significant delays/crashes that impact the exam. It's a frequent conversation on here because most people that experience issues post about it on this forum, and people rarely post to say "my test had zero technical issues!"  In general, people are ten times more likely to tell someone about a bad experience than a good one. 

    - Case study questions take a long time to load (for everyone). In all the exams I took, the case study content took 5-10 seconds to load as well (at least it felt that way - some pages were quicker than others). It's unfortunate, but that's one of the test-taking tips that people share frequently on this forum and elsewhere: know where you're looking for information so you can go to the specific page, avoid flipping back and forth between case study content as much as possible, etc. Zooming in and out, changing pages, and flipping between the resources is a pain (one of the reasons the Demo Exam is helpful). 

    I wish Prometric could have better computers and networks so that ARE test takers wouldn't have these issues. It also would be nice if the AREs weren't taken online but loaded onto the Prometric computers so internet connection wasn't an issue (my understanding from other conversations on this forum is that's the issue). I don't know all the logistics and potential issues that would involve, but unfortunately that's the way it is at this point in time.

    In all of this, know you're not alone, and don't give up. There are always factors to frustrate us that are beyond our control, but don't let it distract you from preparing for these exams and passing them. I've seen others get angry about these issues and it seems to distract them from progressing and developing as future architects. It's okay to be frustrated and ask for answers, but don't let it slow you down. You got this!

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    Brandon Estes (Edited )

    Brian, I feel for you!  You won't get a clear answer because NCARB intentionally does not publish a clear policy regarding this.  NCARB corp makes $$ on exam irregularities.

    The test-taker who experiences the irregularity also experiences a stress level increase because he/she does not know what to do in the event of an exam malfunction: will you have to take the entire test again?  Spend another $235?  Take time off work?  What else about the exam is malfunctioning?  Should you push through the exam or insist on leaving?  You don't know what to do, Prometric won't tell you, and NCARB has no policy other than a suggestion to wait for Prometric staff.  Meanwhile, you are locked in a building and have no idea of what is going on.

    I experienced exam malfunctions during PDD Case Studies.  After losing exam time and my mojo, I moved forward with the exam because I did not know what else to do.  Like you Brian, NCARB used this against me, saying that since I chose to finish the exam there was no problem.  Prometric staff told me that NCARB exams frequently have issues.  As I have encouraged others on this forum and in my community, reach out to your elected reps, state and federal.  Emerging professionals should not be taken advantage of like this.  Try to focus on getting these exams behind you but continue to speak about this.  This is bull-puckey and people should know about it.

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