Online musings of everyday life....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I had to go to Macon, GA yesterday and take one part of my (6 part) Landscape Architect Registration exam (and, yes, I get scared outside the fruit loop of the big ATL). I [somehow in the past] already passed two parts of it and now have been working on the other 4. Two of these exams are graphic where you have to actually draw out your solutions by hand. The section I took yesterday was the one of the graphic sections - Site Design, which I have already taken twice prior and not been able to pass.

It is really hard not to think that the whole state testing process is a way of “gate keeping” to keep more people from entering the profession and being competitive to the ones who are already registered.

Not only the gate keeping but this organization makes it very hard on the people actually taking the exams.

One, we have to drive to the state capitol to take all the graphic exams (there are two plus, the Georgia exam - which, thankfully I have passed already).

Two, all the reference and study material for the exams is outdated. Some of these books and references you can’t even find anymore. And, when you do it turns out to be a book that is a little paperback that costs $100. A person could spend a $1,000 easy in just buying all the reference materials [if they can find them].

Three, once you do take the exam, you have to wait for months to find out your score. There are actually 3 people who grade the graphic exams. 3 people!! Have you ever known 3 people to agree on anything? [Except, for women buying shoes, of course]

Four, once your exam is graded you just get a slip in the mail with your score – which is a pass or fail. If you fail you can pay almost the same amount of money you paid to take the exam and drive all the way back down to Macon and be allowed to simply look at your test but you cannot make any copies or notes.

And, so the cycle begins again. Can you see how this process can be frustrating and disheartening?

Yesterday, I arrived at state testing facility [which, appropriately looked like a JAIL] and sat in the car and drank as much coffee as I could possibly drink before I had to go in there. I needed the caffeine fix for the 5 hours of drawing that was about to ensue.

Once inside, a woman in a [appropriately adorned] security uniform corralled us like cattle into the foyer of the building and wouldn’t let us into the building until 7:45 exactly. Then, we had to show picture I.D. and our confirmation letter before we could go any further. All cell phone’s, pagers and CERTAINLY blackberry’s were forbidden. In fact, instant failure if found on your person.

Once inside we each had our own table to use to prepare our graphic sections. We had to take out all our drawing equipment and put on the table so they could see it. We were allowed to use scratch paper in preparing our solutions but had to throw away all of it once the exam was finished. If anyone got caught with so much as a scrap of paper on them upon leaving it would be instant failure.

Once the ladies running the test had passed them all out, we had to fill in a barrage of information on the score sheets. It wasn't until one of them read all of the directions [could we not read?] to us we could begin. It was 5 hours to do 4 graphic solutions and I drew my ass off. I felt good about it but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s all subjective.

Anyway, it’s over now and so I have to wait until February until I get my results back.

And so the cycle begins again – either over the test I just took or the next test – Grading and Drainage. Aaaaaaaaaah! Just shoot me!


Blogger Zoe said...

Just when I thought I figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I feel this way about about a lot of testing programs. Good luck!

12:03 PM

Blogger Maggie said...

Holy shit! And I was bitching about AutoCAD 2007!

You did great. I know it.

12:56 PM

Blogger afuntanilla said...

good for you for taking on the challenge!
what did u do without your blackberry that whole time? i bet that made u crazy. and yes, i hate when proctors read the instructions. that is a total waste time

1:41 PM

Blogger Mandy said...

Oh good luck Trin!! I'm crossing my fingers for ya... And I'll be toasting to you when you hear that you've passed it in February!!!


5:13 PM

Blogger r.d. said...

Geez, makes me want a drink after reading all that. Good luck to you t2-

7:43 PM

Blogger Dharma said...

Oh com'on 3 women can't agree on shoes either! {lol} The testing for all this stuff is so hard and impossible. Once I'm finished with school it will take me probably 3 years of interning to be able to take my test by which time I will be reading NONE of my books. I hear they gouge you again by having test prep course. Great!

Hang in there. You can pass this.

8:01 PM

Blogger poet said...

very best of luck to you. poet

8:37 PM

Blogger Kelly said...

Wow, sounds like Catholic school. Yikes!

I'll be thinking good thoughts from now until February.

10:51 PM

Blogger Trinity2 said...

Thanks for all the encouragement all!
r.d. - if I didn't have to drive the 60 miles back to ATL I woulda had a drink! I think the test would go alot better if we could have beer in there!

8:13 AM


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