Alright ya'll just had my first exam experience with Practice Management via online proctoring and despite receiving 'provisional pass' I'm pretty miffed about my experience with the proctor(s):
First, the first proctor was not correctly informed regarding the break policy - during my exam I messaged her to let her know I was ready for a break (per the instructions), and was informed that I couldn't take a break until "after the first part of the exam". I confirmed her instructions, suggested that was not in fact the way the break was supposed to happen, and continued taking my exam as instructed by the proctor. A few minutes later, after continuing with the exam, she spoke up to say that she was incorrect and that I could now take a short "less than 10 minute" break, but that my test would not be paused during that time and the clock would continue. Having no other choice but to urinate on myself, I elected to use the offered break despite my exam timer continuing. Once my break was concluded I returned and submitted to another full security check-in, and then returned to complete my exam. Again, the timer was not allowed to be paused during this break - aside from that, I'm pretty sure that's not how breaks are supposed to happen per NCARB ARE guidelines and Prometric's own policies.
Second, during the course of my exam I was interrupted on 2 separate occasions for the proctor to ask "what are you looking at?". Of course I replied honestly and frankly "my screen", to which I was again interrupted on both occasions to stop what I was doing and instructed to remove my camera and show the proctor the contents of my screen. Both times I had given absolutely ZERO indication that I was doing anything other than taking the exam as instructed (eyes on screen the entire time, not glancing around or moving my head, literally just starring at my screen the whole time, and dear Reader please note that I was testing within a fully plastic enclosed envelope with ZERO visibility to anything beyond that envelope), and was only allowed to resume the exam once the proctor had seen my screen again via the camera I was instructed to remove and show through - TWICE!
Given the extremely meticulous and thorough exam pre-screening I was subjected to, the fact I was fully visible and in full view of the camera the entire time, and the fact I had given no indication of any reason for them to suspect I was looking at anything other than my screen, I find this sort of disruption to be absolutely unacceptable and antithetical to the testing environment prescribed by NCARB, especially when it happens multiple times during the exam and my exam time continued to count down during these interruptions.
These exams are already nerve racking, extremely challenging, and require immense focus and concentration to successfully complete in the time limit without being interrupted on multiple occasions for what seemed like frivolous and unnecessary disruptions.
Further, I would characterize my experience with the Prometric proctor's in general as negative. As mentioned above they were not correctly informed about the rules for breaks, nor did they allow me to follow prescribed procedures for taking my entitled break time. Additionally, I found their non-native English accents very difficult to understand and had to ask for repeated clarifications throughout the process to ensure I fully understood their instructions, requests, and responses.
I certainly hope these concerns will be addressed through the migration to PSI, but in the meantime exam candidates should not be made to suffer for lack of quality control and/or inadequate training of the Prometric proctoring staff.
...end rant I guess
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