What can be done about computer glitches during an exam?

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    Sarah Rinehart

    I'm so sorry to hear you were experiencing these issues. Unfortunately, you experienced what many of us have gone through. So while it's sort of nice to know that you're not alone in this.... the reality is there isn't much of anything we can do as consumers to right this wrong.

    The first time I took PDD the program would not load the PDFs for the questions. I requested help after the 2nd question because I knew there would be no way I could finish in time while waiting for the screen to load. After much struggle with the personnel at the testing center and many phone calls later, NCARB eventually let me forfeit the exam because I raised my concern so early into the exam. I would suggest that if this happens again - raise your hand as soon as you sense a problem. At least you might be able to retake without a fail.

    That being said, there is no guarantee you would have the same outcome as mine. Plus, everything might be going along just fine and dandy until the very end... which is what happened to me the last time I attempted PDD. I lost about 5 or so minutes off the clock and I was waiting around for the testing center tech person to resolve the issue for about 15 minutes. Surprise surprise, I failed.

    I still haven't passed PDD (my next attempt is next month luckily before the online proctoring changes) and every time I've taken it since (3 times) there has been software issues. It's completely absurd and we really do seem to be at the mercy of NCARB.

    There seems to be a complete disconnect between the folks who work at the testing centers and folks at NCARB. They love pointing the finger at each other. There's no way to know prove this, but my very strong suspicion is that it's a software issue and not hardware. Many other test takers will agree with me on this.

     

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    Jonathan Chertok

    all three - or four, i can’t even remember at this point - of my exams have been like this.

    crashes. black drawing loads. very very very long drawing load lag times. 30 minute long crashes while sitting in the waiting area to restart. i has a corrupted drawing load at one point and i stared at it got like a minute trying to figure out what it was only to conclude it was corrupted raster graphics.

    the only thing i learned during this process is to not bother holding your hand in the air to show prometric the issues, don’t bother trying to make sure prometric documents this and definitely don’t waste time contacting anyone to get them to address it properly.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    i re-read this post and should edit mine. my drawing lags were on the order of a minute or longer. long enough time stare at the ceiling, stretch, hang out and a actually forget what the question was so had to go back to re-read the question.

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    Sarah Rinehart (Edited )

    Jonathan - That sounds like such a nightmare. I'm curious... why do you say the only thing you learned was not to have Prometric help resolve issues? Is it because you think it's better to just contact NCARB directly? In my experience, Prometric staff seem to be the least able to help sort out the issues/errors so I do agree with you on that. I am curious to know if you had any luck dealing with NCARB on this.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    hi sarah.
    my recommendation to testers would be to expect this kind of thing and not be surprised or frustrated by it.
    don’t spend any energy or time trying to document this at the testing center.
    don’t spend any time or energy on trying to follow up on the phone after the exam.
    if you get a test like this just write down any questions you found confusing or graphics you did not understand so you can study what you are supposed to understand or why the wiser ion was consuming or whatever and chalk it up to the cost of doing business.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    that should read ...or why the question was confusing”...

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