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Question about PCAT

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by Sparda29, May 15, 2008.

  1. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
    Pharmacist Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Maybe I'm just being really dense, but what is the reasoning for a few of these rules?

    Why is it that you cannot move on to the next section of the exam if you are done with the previous section? Meaning, instead of timing every section, why can't they just give you a maximum time limit of 5 hours for the whole exam and you leave when you are done?

    I mean, it's not like you're gonna be able to contact a buddy who is not done yet and tell him/her the answers when you're not allowed to have phones or other things out.

    Like, today I took the PTCE. The environment was strictly controlled. I had to take all items except for my ID out of my pockets and placed into a locker. Then, I had to give a series of fingerprints. When I entered the exam room, I had to give my fingerprint. If I had to go to the restroom, I had to give a finger print, and when I was leaving I had to give a fingerprint.

    Not to mention, my workstation was monitored by video and audio. But yet, when I was done with the test, I was allowed to walk out instead of having to wait out the clock.
     
  2. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Part of the "standardized" of a standardized exam is that all test takers have the same conditions for every section. Comparing scores between applicants can be skewed if one person took two hours to complete a section that took only one hour for another applicant.

    Now, the logical question you could ask is "why does it even matter how long it takes to finish a section". In addition to keeping the testing standardized for every student, I think there is an efficiency component. The logic is that a person who can get 90% of the questions right in the same time as a person earning a 50%. I agree that this practices somewhat penalizes people who understand the problems but is slower to come to the answer. I know this after constantly being pushed to finish the reading section.

    Of course, one flaw in my reasoning is that the test doesn't reward those who finish a section earlier than everyone else.
     

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