MAJOR Testing Center Anomaly!! Did anyone else experience this?!?

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Aug 9, 2011
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Hey Guys,

So I recently took my exam and experienced major problems at the testing center. I was wondering if anyone else had a similar experience as I did. Basically, I was given a water-soluble marker and no eraser (not that it would help anyways because the marker was not dry erase) during my exam. Also, my proctor told me I had to go outside during my test to swap the laminated papers should I need more room. Standardized exams are stressful as it is, but having the additional stress of not being able to erase and worrying about having to leave your test (as the timer continues) to swap papers is ridiculous. I basically had to use my saliva throughout the test, which was a gross and of course unsanitary. This whole experience really shifted my focus from my test. :/

The ADA guidebook clearly states on P. 13 that we will be provided with two note boards, two DRY ERASE markers, and one eraser. I've already filed an official complaint to ADA about this and my case is under investigation. However, I'm sure if more people do so, they will take this matter more seriously. Also, I found out that Prometric changed their policies about what supplies they will/will not hand out to students recently (as in July 2011) and supposedly ADA was not aware of this until my complaint. What I'm having difficulty understanding is how such a major organization such as ADA had no idea that their sub-contractor company (Prometric) was changing their testing policies. Its almost as if the people that are administering the exam have the upper hand over the people that designed/make the exam. Anyways, as I said earlier, the more people that contact ADA about this matter, the faster this issue will be resolved. This is not right, and that those of us that took the test under these circumstances were not given a fair testing environment.

Did anyone else have a similar experience as me?
 

indigenoustw

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Apr 10, 2011
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I didn't have the same experience as you but I did notice the change since I took the DAT once in Feb 2011 and another time just recently July 2011.

Just like you, I was not given any erasers but two yellow boards printed with grids + thin markers. However, different from you, my proctor told me to raise my hand if I need to exchange my boards for a clean one so she can come over and exchange them. I didn't have to leave the testing room in order for it to happen. So I think you should definitely inform ADA about your center.
 

crax

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i had to raise my hand also, but the break between sections is a great time to swap out the scrap paper. I was aware of the situation so i made sure to not go over the full two double sided sheets within the first two sections of the exam. Then during my break, i got two new ones.

Not sure why you were using spit instead of getting up for the 10-15 seconds it would have taken to get two brand new sheets, instead of smearing around flem on your paper. sorry it was so stressful for you though :(
 
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Aug 9, 2011
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Pre-Dental
How were you able to erase by hand? The marker was water-soluble and hence extemely difficult to erase without water. I tried my best to do that but without spit, I couldn't do much besides just smudging a little.

This was my first time taking the test, so I was just nervous, especially about time. I write larger than most people so it didnt make sense to me to have to go outside every 10-15 minutes to swap sheets. Plus my proctor wasn't the kindest lady, so I'm not sure it would have taken her a few seconds to get new sheets. Also, I was considering the fact that she could potentially be assisting someone when I go outside, which would waste more time. Anyways, how did you know about this? The ADA's official guidebook still says two note boards, two dry erase markers, and an eraser. Plus, ADA itself told me that they were not aware that Prometric changed their testing center policies. :/
 
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May 31, 2011
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yoo if this bullsh** happens to me im gonna bug out on these ppl. Were paying 320 dollars to take a damn test we better have a fully functional windows 97 calculator and a motherfuc***in dry erase marker that works
 

LetsGo2DSchool

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yoo if this bullsh** happens to me im gonna bug out on these ppl. Were paying 320 dollars to take a damn test we better have a fully functional windows 97 calculator and a motherfuc***in dry erase marker that works
LOL, what are you going to do... punch the locker and put a dent in it?
 

tayloreve

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Feb 17, 2010
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yoo if this bullsh** happens to me im gonna bug out on these ppl. Were paying 320 dollars to take a damn test we better have a fully functional windows 97 calculator and a motherfuc***in dry erase marker that works
hahahaha :thumbup:
this made me lol.

i agree though. i'd be pissed also...

what did you score on the DAT?
 
Aug 9, 2011
4
0
Status
Pre-Dental
yoo if this bullsh** happens to me im gonna bug out on these ppl. Were paying 320 dollars to take a damn test we better have a fully functional windows 97 calculator and a motherfuc***in dry erase marker that works
They won't give you dry erase markers anymore. That was the major problem. Instead they will give you a water-soluble marker and no eraser.
 
May 29, 2009
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I got wet erase markers too. but the two sheets of laminated paper were enough to last me through the first half of the DAT and then I got new ones during the break. Its a good idea to call ahead to your local prometric center and ask them what the testing conditions are.
 
Jul 4, 2011
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I got dry erase markers, but some weird eraser that made the sheet harder to write on. I ended up using my shirt sleeve.
 
Jul 15, 2011
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yoo if this bullsh** happens to me im gonna bug out on these ppl. Were paying 320 dollars to take a damn test we better have a fully functional windows 97 calculator and a motherfuc***in dry erase marker that works
^^^ this made me LOL.

To the OP: this sounds like an absolutely awful DAT experience, you were definitely right in reporting it. I haven't heard of one this bad! My testing experience was exactly as it should have been, I got dry erase markers, erasers, laminate sheets and everything. I guess I got lucky?
 
May 26, 2011
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Gawjuh
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I got the water insoluble markers and the two grid-like laminated papers. The markers SUCKED. In most stressful timed situations, such as this test, you dont have the time to cap your pen back up every time your done using it. The markers would dry out minorly and write horribly. This especially sucked on RC/QR when I would put down the pen for a minute or two between reading sections/questions and then make notes or work out the problem. I started using the calculator after a while because the markers both began to barely write, even though they seemed brand new when I first got them. And the calculator is horrid too, hence my 17 in QR dropping my AA to a 20, I was rushed/stressed/mentally drained and my tools were faulty.
 
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May 31, 2011
108
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Pre-Dental
LOL, what are you going to do... punch the locker and put a dent in it?
lol noo i dont punch inanimate objects anymore i learned my lesson once b4. im just gonna let them know about the situation n what im suppose to have. It sounds like a lotta ppl dont speak up about it
 
Jun 28, 2011
38
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Pre-Dental
My testing center gave me 2 dry erase markers. When I took off the tip, I knew there was going to be a problem right away. The tip was fat, but it initially wrote OK. However, halfway into the chemistry portion, it stopped working properly. I'm not sure if it was because I had erased the board once, or if I left the lids off, but it was incredibly frustrating.

All in all, I got up 4 times during the test to exchange the markers and both sheets. I started freaking out, and someone finally gave me a wet erase marker about halfway through the QR portion (when I was almost in tears). That finally worked.

I politely protested with prometric (because they were all nice to me) and then called ADA. They said the only option was to take it over and have my score wiped out. However, I did not want to do this because I did well enough on gen chem and ochem to raise my overall AA. So, I had to swallow it and be happy. I can't go around complaining about my DAT score saying I "could have gotten a higher score" because I'm sure the school interviewers just don't want to hear it. "Could of, should of..."

Its unfortunate that so many people have had this problem. There has to be a better system put in place here. Adding additional unneccesary stress like this during the test is unfortunate. Having to push around little pieces of dust with your markers and trying to figure out algebra and other math problems from this dust is just absurd.

Moving forward, good luck everyone, and if anyone gets a petition or something going on this, I'm in.
 

LetsGo2DSchool

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My testing center gave me 2 dry erase markers. When I took off the tip, I knew there was going to be a problem right away. The tip was fat, but it initially wrote OK. However, halfway into the chemistry portion, it stopped working properly. I'm not sure if it was because I had erased the board once, or if I left the lids off, but it was incredibly frustrating.

All in all, I got up 4 times during the test to exchange the markers and both sheets. I started freaking out, and someone finally gave me a wet erase marker about halfway through the QR portion (when I was almost in tears). That finally worked.

I politely protested with prometric (because they were all nice to me) and then called ADA. They said the only option was to take it over and have my score wiped out. However, I did not want to do this because I did well enough on gen chem and ochem to raise my overall AA. So, I had to swallow it and be happy. I can't go around complaining about my DAT score saying I "could have gotten a higher score" because I'm sure the school interviewers just don't want to hear it. "Could of, should of..."

Its unfortunate that so many people have had this problem. There has to be a better system put in place here. Adding additional unneccesary stress like this during the test is unfortunate. Having to push around little pieces of dust with your markers and trying to figure out algebra and other math problems from this dust is just absurd.

Moving forward, good luck everyone, and if anyone gets a petition or something going on this, I'm in.
This is a great way to retake the exam at no consequence. If there are testing irregularities which is nearly apparent in every case (no erasers: violation of DAT testing guide; non fine-tipped markers: violation of DAT testing guide; wet-erase markers instead of dry erase markers: violation of DAT testing guide; markers drying out: not a violation but feasible irregularity), and you have a low score, then you claim foul and retake it while having the scores expunged.


Btw, it says verbatim in Paragraph 3 on Page 13 of the Testing Guide:

The test center will provide two erasable note boards, two low-odor fine tip dry erase markers, and an eraser to use during the test.


To the OP: Did ADA allow the retake without having to wait 3 months and without an additional $320 fee since this is a special case?

Also, the new policy by Prometric has been in effect before the July 2011 date. My buddy took the exam earlier back in February and had no eraser. And when I called the local Prometric in June inquiring about markers, they told me they got rid of the erasers many months ago.
 
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Dusk

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Jun 23, 2010
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There seriously seems to be such a problem with this these past few months. Is it that hard to make every center somewhat consistent? I mean, how hard is it to provide the right markers/board to freaking write!? The test is stressful as it is.
 
Jan 15, 2011
244
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from my experience the prometric people can care less. actually they try to screw you over. i came out to get new sheets while my time was counting and she was chcking someone in, i was like please i just need a new sheet, shes like wait till i finish with him!!!!!!!!!! MIND YOU i had already raised my hand during the exam and asked for paper, but was ignored!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Jun 1, 2011
70
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Status
Pre-Dental
My testing center was the same. They SAID all I would have to do was raise the papers up and they would come swap them, but they didn't. So I just kept going because I was in the PAT section and didn't have any extra time to go get them! This made cube counting take even LONGER which was really annoying and stupid. I used my noteboards wisely for the math section.
 
Aug 9, 2011
4
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Hey guys!

I thought I should update you all on what happened on my case. So after I sent a formal appeal to ADA on this matter, the Sr. Manager of Testing Administration called me this morning and basically said that there was nothing she could do about it (which I don't believe). The only accommodation I really asked for in the letter was an opportunity to re-test under the published specifications mentioned on P. 13 of ADA Guidebook. In fact she sort of blamed me by saying "all you had to do was ask for multiple sheets of paper". Seriously? As if Prometric will do everything I ask them to do on test day. I even told her that I felt that ADA was misleading students into believing that they would get dry erase markers and an eraser and I did not feel that that was ethical. She basically ignored my statement, and said that they will keep investigating this and probably change their guidebook next year. But, what about us who took the exam this year?!

After reading all these posts about everyone's unique testing experiences, I am SO surprised at inconsistency in the testing standards. How is this fair? Like I've said before, more people should write a letter to ADA. Telling me "I'm sorry, there is nothing we can do" is not enough. I am quite upset about this matter, and I don't think I'm going to give up on my appeal. I never expected such a horrible experience from a professional organization as ADA whom is responsible to test students nation-wide and internationally (Canada).

Also, thanks for the kind wishes, and support though. This is why I really wanted you guys to know about my experience. I don't want other people to get mislead like I did. Remember to call your testing center in advance and double check on what they will be handing out to you on test day because apparently its not the same all across the board. Oh and from my experience in calling a few centers, a lot of them say "dry erase" but it really turns out to be "water-soluble" when you ask them to double check. So be careful guys.
 
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