Awful accomodations

When I took the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam in October 2007 I requested special accommodations. I didn’t know if I would need them, but figured since the process to request them was in place I might as well try it. What did I ask for? I asked to sit in the front row so I could see the exam proctor easier and also requested a copy of any instructions so I could read them. Simple enough, you’d think.

When I got to the exam nobody knew why I didn’t have a seat number on my admission ticket. They finally found the head proctor who brought me to the front, and had me sit at a table In Front Of the front row. It was so far to the front that it was practically Behind the Podium! I tried to tell them I wanted to sit in the front row, not in front of the front row by myself, but they couldn’t let me do that since all the other seats had been numbered and assigned ahead of time. They said I could move my table wherever I wanted, but that was it. It was a nuissance and embarrassing and not helpful at all since I was straining my neck to see the person reading the instructions when she was next to and behind where I was sitting.

I’ve actually found that the 2nd row is usually the best place to sit because people avoid the first row and the speaker wanders back behind the front row.

Anyway – why am I thinking about this now? Because I’m taking the Principles and Practices of Engineering exam (the PE) in 2.5 weeks and I just got a phone call message from someone who wants me to call him. “please call me regarding pe exam in april and special seating my name is adam” was the message I got. This is despite the fact that all the exam paperwork says that accommodations must be requested for Every test you take separately. I didn’t request anything and seeing as how it went last time I don’t plan to. I don’t need to hear them drawl on about the exam. I suppose since they contacted me I should share what I’ve written here and help them improve their process for next time. It’s just a pain to be singled out on a day that you’re nervous about facing an 8 hour exam anyway.

ETA: Not to mention I had to provide a letter from a medical professional in order to get special seating last time!

4 Comments

  1. Rita
    Apr 7, 2009

    Yes, share your comments. Tell them exactly what you have written here. They probably never thought about the being singled out part and thought that if front row is good, in front of the front row is better. Make things better for the next person who needs accommodations.

  2. Ann_C
    Apr 7, 2009

    *head banging on wall*

    Sheez, some hearing people can be really dense when it comes to common sense…I know exactly what you mean, requested special accomodations only to find myself in really weird spaces at seminars and management meetings. Disadvantaged spaces, I call ’em.

    Ann_C

    Ann_C’s last blog post: -isms Run Amok

  3. Speakuplibrarian
    Apr 9, 2009

    What happened with the written instructions? Those would have been truly useful. I agree with Ann and Rita that you should share your experience witht he person who contacted you. Good luck on your exam!
    Sarah

    Speakuplibrarian’s last blog post: A Day for Laughter, A Day for Tears

    • Sara
      Apr 9, 2009

      I found the guy’s email from the last test and sent him a note about why I wasn’t requesting any accommodations this time. Here was his reply.

      Hi Sara,

      I’m sorry about the experience you had with FE and the special seat accommodation.

      What we have done this time is given you a seat number in advance, one that’s near the podium. Unfortunately, we are no longer permitted to provide a copy of the announcements unless you put in your request through NCEES (the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying).

      There should not be any confusion this time on the day of the exam. When you arrive, you will just need to locate your assigned seat like everybody else.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      Still kind of strange and annoying… but whatever. If I recall, all of the so-called instructions are a repeating of things sent to you ahead of time, like what not to bring to the test (a bit late since we are already sitting there!) and how much time we have and all that. Pretty pointless. I am annoyed about their policy anyway though. What harm can it be to have an extra hard copy??

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