Whiteboard… Seriously…

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9 comments

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    Agreed!  It's just awful!  

    NCARB should really select a pen/stylus type of mouse if they want to continue using that whiteboard.

    Rebekka O'Melia, Registered Architect, NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, Step UP, Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses

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    Christina Berlanga

    Agreed! The whiteboard does not work, and writing with the mouse takes time away from our test. The test is already stressful enough to add the stress of a malfunctioning pad. I do not understand why we can not have the option of physical paper and pencil when taking the test in person. We are visual learners in this career, and pencil and paper are essential!

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    Laura Bustillos

    NCARB, please understand that the whiteboard takes time away from our test!
    I have spoken to 3 people about the test, and they all warned me about the whiteboard; how is the whiteboard even a part of the conversation for an architecture licensing test. It should be an essential tool for tests, not an obstacle.


    In our careers, we are praised for thinking and sketching through our hands, but when we test for our licensure tests, the very tool that is our livelihood is replaced with a... mouse. Please explain to me how this is even logical.No other career writes with a mouse, not even graphic designers. Keep in mind that every other person taking any other test other than the ARE gets a physical Calculator and unlimited paper.


    And I will paraphrase my colleague.
    "If you haven't already (and I'm sure you haven't), please have your board members sit down and take an exam, even this practice exam, and with a straight face, tell us that it doesn't hinder the process."

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    Nick Johnson

    I completely agree and both times I've used the whiteboard it's been serviceable at best and downright scary/frustrating at its worst. Often time the board will freeze up and refuse to close. There's a delay in sketching with the mouse - not to mention the horrible dissonance between sketching by hand and through an awkward digital medium. Nowhere near as quick and precise as pen and paper.

    Is there any formal explanation for their reasoning to take away the physical paper? Is COVID legitimately the source concern? Or is it a remote proctor security issue? For an industry where the value of pencil/pen and sketching is lauded so often, it's pretty unbelievable that NCARB can let this fly as is. Hoping they reconsider.

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    Susan Anderson

    It's like making accountants take the CPA exam with an abacus.

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    Hermeet Kathuria

    Agreed, physical paper should be allowed at the exam centers for in person exams.

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    Victor Ralph Moreno

    My turn...... After all this studying, I have been doing research to see about pencil and paper as in past testing. To much my disgrace, I went thru the practice test and quit after question 3 because of the onscreen whiteboard. I have no idea how to write electronically and don't know how to even study for that and become effective, and then not to use it ever again. Does anybody have any idea on how to practice using this demanded, frustrating, and archaic source?

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    The whiteboard is in the Demonstration Exam, which you can access on the right hand side when you log into your NCARB account.  Practice until it's easier!

    Hope this helps!

    Rebekka O'Melia, Registered Architect, NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, Step UP, Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses

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    Natalie Thomas (Edited )

    The whiteboard -  didn't behave, during the exam, the way that it behaved during the practice / demonstration exams.. 

    It wouldn't scroll down... wouldn't make more space for me.. to .. explore .. anything 

    To organize any information.. In any kind of coherent way at all.  

    And what is up w the Text tool? Every time you click back into the whiteboard window, it makes a new text block ON TOP OF the text block that you just recorded... 

    And why can't you at least allow the whiteboard to be in a totally different window than the exam questions?? Why does it have to be on top of the questions? And then DISAPPEAR every time a new question is opened? 

    Only for me to waste my time, once again, RESIZING the window, that won't give me new white space unless I delete everything I've recorded henceforth. And won't let me zoom out and change the text size. And I spend 3 hours trying to not overlap every resource that I need to solve these problems instead of actually solving the problems. 

    I knew the content. 

    I just had no tools with which to do the calculations and organize the information. 

    So, I failed my PA test yesterday. 

     

    .. And how am I supposed to gather the heart to retake it? 

    I guess I have to now study for another exam called 'Passing the ARE with Your Hands Tied Behind Your Back' 

    And I have to wait 60 days to do it. 

     

     

    Just Realized:

    I took the exam using a 49" wide screen monitor. And I think that the NCARB software did not work well with that. It's unfortunate that I didn't know that that would be the case. And that that would prevent me from having the tools that I needed to pass an exam that I was prepared for and paid for. 

     

    At least. I hope that the normal experience isn't what I experienced yesterday.

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