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  • switch to computerized tests

    I had noticed earlier that someone wrote about their computer freezing numerous times when they took their test and that they almost weren't allowed to bring a calculator in as well. When I took my test, they didnt even check my calculator -- they just asked, "so, do you have your calculator with you?
    I could have brought in a heavy duty graphing calculator with stuff in the memory which did all the integrals for me and they would have never known, because they didn't check it when I left either. And, the computer froze on me once as well. It might have just been my center, but I hope they go back to the paper and pencil tests. It was cheaper, I didn't have to drive a long way to find a test center, and if we still aren't getting the results back for 6 or 7 weeks I don't really see the overall benefit to doing it by computers, other than the notion that it better eliminates cheating. I was just wondering if anyone else had any opinion on this. I know I'll be hearing it from all the computer lovers out there (haha).

  • #2
    Originally posted by bad4183
    I had noticed earlier that someone wrote about their computer freezing numerous times when they took their test and that they almost weren't allowed to bring a calculator in as well. When I took my test, they didnt even check my calculator -- they just asked, "so, do you have your calculator with you?
    I could have brought in a heavy duty graphing calculator with stuff in the memory which did all the integrals for me and they would have never known, because they didn't check it when I left either. And, the computer froze on me once as well. It might have just been my center, but I hope they go back to the paper and pencil tests. It was cheaper, I didn't have to drive a long way to find a test center, and if we still aren't getting the results back for 6 or 7 weeks I don't really see the overall benefit to doing it by computers, other than the notion that it better eliminates cheating. I was just wondering if anyone else had any opinion on this. I know I'll be hearing it from all the computer lovers out there (haha).
    On your end, it may seem different that what you're accustomed to. But from the SOA's point of view, this is a initial step in the direction of streamlining the administrative aspects of the exam process. Although it may take "the same amount of time as with paper and pencil exams", consider that the number of candidates is increasing, which allows for more of a chance of losing a candidate's exam here and there. With the increasing number of test-takers in many different areas around the world, something needed to be done to make the process go by faster and easier. CBT seemed like the desirable solution.

    The problems you're reporting with your testing site seem to be the proctor's unfamiliarity with SOA procedures. And it's good that you weren't tempted to bring in a graphing calculator with you.

    Also note that beyond the first four exams, a lot of the remaining ASA/FSA syllabus will be administered online. That's the direction the SOA is headed towards, so if you prefer paper/pencil tasks, take the preliminary exams while they're still P/P, since the ultimate goal for those are to be administered on a CBT basis.

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    • #3
      They didn't check my calculator either, other than to make sure it was a Texas Instruments calculator.

      As for the benefits of using computers, starting in Spring 2006, you're supposed to get an unofficial score as soon as you are done with the exam, though you'll still have to wait 6-8 weeks for the official score.

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      • #4
        That'll be nice...At least we'll have some idea of whether we passed it or not. This wait is torture, especially for people that figure to be right on the line between pass/fail. I got answers for 23 or 24 of them, and guessed on the others, so I'm sweating it here.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bad4183
          That'll be nice...At least we'll have some idea of whether we passed it or not. This wait is torture, especially for people that figure to be right on the line between pass/fail. I got answers for 23 or 24 of them, and guessed on the others, so I'm sweating it here.
          That should be pretty good. Generally (and this is not set in stone), 60-70% has been adequate to pass the exam.

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          • #6
            Even if it's not quite enough to pull out a pass, P is offered what, 3, 4 times a year now? You'll be able to take again within a couple months, and retention of what you've already studied will also be higher with the shorter wait. Plus, you may easily get an 8 with another round of studying instead of a 6. Could help in the end.

            Just trying to help you get a little more sleep at night

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