I took PPD yesterday (6/20/22) at PSI for the first time and it was by far the worst experience I have ever had. I am in New York, and the test center I attended was in Melville, Long Island.
First of all, I am annoyed with NCARB because I was told they would reach out to me on why other test sites listed on their website was not appearing as options for me. With that said, I had to choose a test center farther away from home. The PSI location I went to has a super small parking lot and some street parking. On the door (after you hunt for a spot for who knows how long) there is a sign claiming you can use a specific buildings parking lot. Would of been nice to know prior...
The test center is very small and very dated. I gave the proctor (there was only 1 person working) my license to verify who I was. He gave it back with my launch code (NCARB ID) and seat number written on a post-it. He told me to place my items in a locker and let him know when I was ready. I let him know I was good to go and he said "go in the room". No security checks, no confirmation of items, just go in the room. The room has no windows and to top it off... the air conditioning was broken... it was 80 - 88 degrees in NY. I had to sit at my desk and launch my own exam which was preset on microsoft edge... when I followed the steps I got a "URL failure" notice. Upon looking around, so did everyone else. The proctor stated there were 15 NCARB testers coming in and the exam was not launching properly. He kept asking me NCARBS 3 digit exam code... and I clearly did not know it. He called someone to get it going, and changed my exam to google chrome...but for all 15 of us.
To clarify... I was viewing and taking my exam...on google chrome... I had full access to the PC buttons (start, folders, search, etc.). He did not care that we brought water in which... in hindsight I am glad because it was uncomfortably hot in the building. I could not focus at all. I was constantly anxious as I felt like I could not breathe. I had to re-read my questions / answers over and over again because I was struggling to comprehend. NCARB stated this switch was to be a great experience, much better than prometrics. However, I failed an exam and wasted my time in a very hot and uncomfortable situation. There were flies in the room I had to constantly swat out of my face. The room smelled of sweat and BO with people all sweating. They had all of us in a tiny room that felt like a closet. Our testing space was super tight and tiny. They basically split a 60" desk in half with plexiglass.
I am more mad at the experience than the failure. I spoke to an NCARB representative this morning, and I was told, they were to use a program called "Bridge" to launch our exams... not google chrome. They had no idea how unsecure my location was.
I am asking for a retake at this point because it was an unfair experience. Looking at my results I was on the cusp of passing. Had I had better focus and proper air...I may have got this exam over with. NCARB stated they would get back to me today by end of business... shocker...so far I have not heard anything. I will be calling again.
NCARB needs to do a better job at vetting the centers and providing them with the information they need to get us going. I have to test again next month at the same center... I really hope the experience is better. Also - my exam time slot was 1pm along with the other 14 NCARB testers... why didn't PSI cancel and reschedule us?
If anyone was there with me in Melville, NY - please comment or call NCARB. There is no reason why we should of sat for hours in a room with zero air conditioning... or air flow. It made you want to rush so you can get out of there.
NCARB how will you rectify this?
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