Case Studies - Illegible

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    Jennifer Schuler

    I completely agree, Ana. I have tried to write NCARB about these issues for months and have received zero response. I strongly believe putting forth an exam with illegible drawings, incomplete sentences or utilizing words which simply do not make sense is not right and really shouldn't be allowed. One would think a national accreditation agency would have quality control measures put in place to correct and avoid these sorts of issues before releasing them to test takers. 

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    James Harrison

    I just took the PDD exam and failed it a second time and I am convinced a big part of it was the difficulty in seeing the drawings and notes etc.  It really is illegible at times!  I agree with Ana and Jennifer!  Do any testing centers have larger monitors with better resolution?  I suspect that may not even help as the drawings look terrible when blown up anyway.  The zoom mechanism is so painful to use it just makes matters worse.  This is not what the test should entail and it is not something that simply makes you tougher, it makes you question why it has to be this way.  Has anyone received any worthwhile feedback from NCARB about this topic?

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    Julie Brown

    I definitely spent too much time zooming and panning with the drawings graphics, and failed PDD. However, on the retake, I realized that the "search" function of the PDF viewer also works for the drawings, not just the code references. So wherever possible, if your question is asking you to find a specific material or you know you're looking for a detail callout (like if a question has detail graphics in it for you to check against plans?), type in the numbers or material word you're looking for and save your eyes a little time!

    Hope this helps, even though I agree with you that the presentation of the graphics and the testing center hardware is a challenge in and of itself.

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    Ana Leshchinsky

    The PDF search function only works if it's an actual PDF format, not if it's a scan of an old drawing. The compromised quality of the drawings in the case study portion is clearly an issue for many people and I hope NCARB can address this in the near future. These exams are challenging enough for many reasons, not being able to read the drawings because of low resolution shouldn't be one of them.

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    Mariam Rafigh

    It’s pretty sad that instead of testing knowledge of Architecture, the bulk of the exam is testing one’s psychy, and how much they can withstand their anxiety level and race against time.

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    Suchitra Van

    we need a larger group formed and then write together to NCARB, they went from bad vignettes to worse case studies.

    Arthur, we don't necessarily need tough skin, I think we need to be more gentle and efficient.  The world is getting too mean.

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    Joseph Petrarca

    Historically NCARB has very little concern over whether their electronic formats/software are glitchy or present difficulty.  I wouldn't expect them to respond or do anything about it frankly.

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    Brandon Estes

    I, too, have experienced this.  Some leader lines arrows point to a shared line as well, making it impossible to know which item is being called out.  Also, during the case studies the program froze multiple times.  NCRAB will not acknowledge any of this.  If you choose to finish the exam and rush because you lost time or you are not sure what to do, they use it against you and say, "You chose to finish so screw you..."  Every glitch and illegible question is a potential for more $$ in NCRAB's pockets.  This will never be fixed without regulatory oversight or litigation.  I have written my state representatives asking for state-level regulatory oversight, since it is the state that requires us to interact with with this corporation.  I suggest you do the same.  The bottom line is $$, not protecting the health and safety of the public - that's just a PR pitch.

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    Arthur Molinari

    Well, even though I agree with you both, what they don’t teach you in school or when studying for the ARE is how to be tough and make your skin leather. Situations like this make us stronger and ultimately better Architects.

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