NCARB Chronic shortage of testing slots for ARE 4.0

NCARB Chronic shortage of testing slots for ARE 4.0

Postby techtonix » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:43 pm

As of last week there are no more testing slots for ARE 4.0. for the city of Tucson.
One has to travel to Phoenix to take the test.

My requesting more testing slots be made available ended up with either no reply or a hung up phone by NCARB.

There is no affordable public transportation from Tucson to Phoenix.

One has to take a train, fly, and also stay in a hotel to make it to the Prometric testing center by 8:00 am. That turns a $220 test into a $600 test if you include lost wages due to time off.

How is this okay? How is it okay that they hang up on you when asking for a reason all the slots are filled?
Who is NCARB accountable to, anyone?
Last edited by techtonix on Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NO MORE TESTING IN TUCSON for ARE 4.0

Postby kerzzo » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:50 am

This is frustrating...I am i NY and the problem here is availability of seats...I have to sometimes go to NJ (not as expensive as your trip) but it is annoying--gas cost and time off non-paid add up and yes, lodging, too.
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Re: NCARB Chronic shortage of testing slots for ARE 4.0

Postby techtonix » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:19 am

I have written an open letter to my the Board of Registration in my state:

If you have experienced the same problems in your state SPEAK UP!!!

THIS ISSUE WILL NOT GET RESOLVED BY ONE PERSON!

Do not expect NCARB customer service to resolve your issue, call your state registration official instead. Complaints to NCARB customer service do not go up the ladder in my experience.

----------------------------
Dear Board of Registration Director,

I am contacting you in regards to the NCARB licensing program for Tucson residents.

I've been taking the ARE 4.0 tests for four and a half years now and only have one test left to pass.
Last year NCARB contacted candidates to tell them that the 4.0 tests would be 'sunset' in June of 2018.

As I went to schedule my last 4.0 test, there were no testing slots available in Tucson for the next 18 months. This effectively ends ARE 4.0 tests an entire year earlier for Tucson, thus illegally breaching their commitment to all Tucson candidates.
Over the last 4+ years availability in Tucson has been incredibly difficult to begin with. There is only one Prometric testing center available and no other proctor companies to choose from. Testing slots were generally filled up five weeks into the calendar and occasionally I have experienced 10 week wait times. When you couple this with the $240 test fee, unpaid leave, the $80 fee for rescheduling, no-refunds for missing an appointment, and the 6-month wait time to re-schedule a failed test, it shows a needlessly prolonged and expensive test-taking regime.

As you know Arizona is a large state with no active efficient public transportation between it's cities. If a Tucson candidate, like myself has no access to a reliable car, that increases a single $240 test to a $600 test, if you include a plane ticket, hotel accommodations, taxi to testing center, meals, two days of unpaid leave. This also takes away from valuable test-taking time prior to the test itself. When I called NCARB to ask about the lack of testing seats, I was repeatedly treated with a curt answer of "choose another testing center". Even after explaining the inexcusable expense of doing such, lack of another local testing center, and received no apology, no explanation, and no alternatives were given. I also submitted a "Freedom of Information Act" request to NCARB in regards to their selection of testing centers and testing seats, which has also gone unanswered.

At this point I'm out of options and my (and possibly many others) licensure is in jeopardy. I am wondering who is NCARB accountable to? Certainly I can reach out to the AIA, for whom I am a member, though they have no official legal ties to NCARB. I believe It is only your office which has a legal connection between Tucson candidates and NCARB. If you feel there is anything you can do, like write a letter, it would be greatly appreciated. I understand that your office does not control testing seats, does not manage tests, and has limited interaction within the process itself.

Thank you for taking the time to read and consider this letter. I will personally be following up on this matter as best I can, time provided.

----------------------
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Re: NCARB Chronic shortage of testing slots for ARE 4.0

Postby nickedemus » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:26 pm

techtonix wrote: I also submitted a "Freedom of Information Act" request to NCARB in regards to their selection of testing centers and testing seats, which has also gone unanswered.


Since NCARB is not a government agency, they are not required to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

techtonix wrote:I am wondering who is NCARB accountable to? Certainly I can reach out to the AIA, for whom I am a member, though they have no official legal ties to NCARB.


It's my understanding that the two organizations, though (perhaps) legally unrelated, are very much in collusion. That's why there is a movement to create an alternate path to licensure.
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Re: NCARB Chronic shortage of testing slots for ARE 4.0

Postby techtonix » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:13 am

It's my understanding that the two organizations, though (perhaps) legally unrelated, are very much in collusion. That's why there is a movement to create an alternate path to licensure.


Wow I had no idea, do you have any more info on this? For me, almost 5 years into this process I won't be getting off the train. But I am very interested in hearing about some way around NCARB, especially if they are beholden to no one (apparently).
-----------------------------------------------------------------
I found the alternative push here
https://www.architectboard.org/about

Here are some juicy quotes from the mission statement.
"Maintain a separation between ABA and the state boards to prevent a financial monopoly, conflict of interest, and give hierarchy to public safety"
Reform state boards to ensure a transparent, non-conflicting, and qualified representation of the public. State board members should not serve as agents of confederations or conflicting organizations collecting revenue from candidate failure

I wish them the best of luck!!! Godspeed!
Last edited by techtonix on Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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