Yep, almost five weeks ago I sat for a college challenge exam and yesterday I got the news. But before I fill ya in on the yea or nay, let me take you on a little journey. Picture it….Sicily 2012, oh wait….that would be Sophia from the Golden Girls.
I felt confident it was going to be an easy test as it was based on the Microsoft Suite of products that I have used for the last two decades. Two hours to complete 100 multiple-choice questions (1.2 minutes per question), simple huh? Yeah! Not quite. (Side note: I do not mind taking exams, it is when there is a time limit attached to it that makes my palms sweat. Oh well, on with the story.)
So…knowing I had a very short 120-minutes to complete the test, I made sure everyone in the house was well aware that “I WAS TAKING A TEST” and was not to be interrupted. Dogs fed…check. People fed…check. TV off and no distractions…check and check! Time to get serious. I settled into my chair with the three study guides that I reviewed for months. They were cracked open and poised to yield information in case I needed to quickly verify anything that I thought I knew. I started the exam and everything was progressing nicely, and with a quick glance at the clock I had enough time to continue on the relaxed pace I was strangely enjoying. I read a question and clicked the answer…read a question and clicked the answer (you get the picture.)
60 Down, 60 To Go
Hitting the half-way mark, I read a question, read it again, and again. I thought about the question, looked in the book to see what I could find on the subject, nothing. Thinking I was stressed knowing time was ticking, perhaps I read the question wrong. Nope, I was reading it correctly; the problem was, the question was incomplete and I NEEDED more information in order to answer the dang question! I probably would not have been so wigged out if it was a yes or no question and I had at least a 50% chance of picking the correct answer. Nooo…this particular question had four choices. WONDERFUL!!! NOT! As frustration crept over my body, I frantically flipped though the guides again for some morsel of information and hoping something would jump out at me. It was not to be; I accepted defeat and checked a box. Some guess is better than no guess, or so I figured.
I am steadily moving along reading questions and checking boxes, I made up some time from the snafu question and was certain all was good. I’m in the home stretch with roughly 40 minutes on the clock and then WHAM…I read a question and read it again, and once more. NOT AGAIN!!!! An ambiguous questions on the exam. This question was yes or no, but that was of not help. Why? Well in short, the question went something like this. Can a Windows’ window (software manufacturer/component of the software, respectively) be repositioned on the screen? Well, yes and no! “Yes” if the window is in “restore down” mode and “No” if it is in maximized mode! HOWEVER, the dang question did not give the state of the window. I checked yes and proceeded on.
Looked at the clock, 8-minutes and 7 questions back to work. HOLY CRAP!!! NOT AGAIN!!! REALLY???, another incomplete question. I did not have time to consider this question or even try to look for an answer that I would never find so I marked a box and put it behind me.
When the test was completed, I sent an email to the online exam portal department as well as my dean, informing them of the questionable “questions”. No response from them for four days so another email was sent, addressing the same problems, and inquiring about my grade. The next day I logged on to the student portal and saw I failed the exam, missed passing by one freaking question.
WELL…that just got my blood boiling. I started shooting off emails, trying to get someone to review my exam to see if any of the “incomplete” questions were answered incorrectly. Emails continued back and forth, nothing informative or new was coming from the college. Last Friday (4/27/12), at 4:30 I received an email that basically said that all of the exams are carefully reviewed for accuracy and that it is not their policy to review student exams for correctness of answers after it was graded and I could not retake the exam without paying another $100 fee. To say the least, this last correspondence from the ACP (Academic Credit Portal) department, which was the 16th email between us really P*SS*D ME OFF!!!
I promptly composed email #17 to the ACP department and my opening sentence was “Unfortunately your response to my correspondence is unsatisfactory and unacceptable.” I went on to say NOW this correspondence, along with the prior 16 emails would be forwarded to the Academic President’s office and someone with authority had fifteen calendar days to contact me personally to discuss this matter. Blah, blah, blah…“…in addition, if no contact was made within 15-days, I would have no other option than to inform the organizations that the college receives their accreditation; informing them of the matter, that it takes 30-days to receive a response and when received, it pretty much stated we could really care less about your issue and we’re not putting forth any additional effort in this matter.”
Wadda ya know…less than one full business day later I received an email from the ACP department stating an Advisor reviewed my exam and confirmed that at least one of the “confusing” (nice choice of words on their part) questions was answered incorrectly. So in the end, they gave me additional credits, and I passed the exam! YAY!
Boy what a crazy ride; one that I am happy to be off.