I just got back from my PPD test. Likely pass, so happy there. But wow, what a cluster* the proctor intro was... I logged in 45 minutes beforehand because I'd heard about delay and issues.
The first was on me... I didn't test my sound beforehand, and somehow my laptop defaulted to my webcam for playback... which doesn't exist as a real speaker device. I had to exit the session and reset my laptop speakers as the correct output. I know the Prometric software is designed to lock you out of anything else entirely, but some sort of rudimentary access to control panel functions like sound and webcam would be nice.
Second (major) issue, the next proctor somehow couldn't read my ID. He kept asking me to bring it within an inch of the camera so it'd fill the whole screen, and of course it would be blurry at that proximity.... because my webcam isn't a macro lens. The text was clearly visible on my thumbnail webcam image when it was slightly back. It felt like the proctor was being unnecessarily difficult because the small text wasn't the full screen and hyper sharp... Eventually he said I should get a magnifying glass (who has one of those lying around??) or try using a glass of water. This still did not appease him even though it was visible much clearer on my screen through the water. He told me to exit and call tech support and they'd help with my webcam settings - I knew this would be no use, my webcam wouldn't suddenly have macro focus abilities and was already set to max resolution.
I exited, called support, was on hold for about 10 minutes, and in the meantime was watching the clock tick down and got worried my time would expire, so I tried logging in to get a new proctor. Of course as soon as the support line gets through the the setup and jargon with a ticket, my new proctor is already on the line waiting... so I end that call and try again with the new one. Thankfully he was much more reasonable and had no issue reading the ID with the glass of water (how nice...). We go through the room scan and get to the final part where he asks me to lift my laptop lid... Somehow this just shuts off my webcam and I couldn't get it back up. I have no idea how it happened as I had previously tested opening and closing my laptop in this method before with no interruptions. All of the connections were securely in. Reconnecting was no use, so I had to exit for a 3rd time.
Finally I was connected to a proctor who was super speedy and understanding, noting that I'd used up my 3 re-connections and any further would result in a cancellation... He got me through the same ID check and room scan, just had me peak up my laptop for inspection, and got me setup into the test. Finally. The rest of the exam was smooth sailing without issue.
My frustration is in two parts here. One with the annoyingly unreasonable first proctor who somehow couldn't read the ID. And two, most of all, that the 3 limit reconnections start counting BEFORE you start the test. I can totally understand the limit as a means to curb any kind of cheating DURING the exam. But before it's even started?? That seems a little absurd. There shouldn't be a limit on support there unless you've gone past your time allotment by a certain number of minutes.
You're probably thinking 'well he should have scheduled one of the setup test sessions beforehand' - and you'd be completely correct. If I had found out about those prior to a couple days ago, I would've tried. I also had the issue of my testing room not being home or very close by (a friend's spare room), so lugging over all the equipment for that test run seemed a little insane. But to anyone reading this, ABSOLUTELY try to schedule one. It might have identified my ID issue earlier.
But unless there's some wild availability issues for my next 2 exams, I'll be scheduling in person going forward.
Please sign in to leave a comment.