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    Why Tests Suck

    By hillarylu
    Feb 24, '21 4:31 PM EST

    If you’re like me, you probably grew up going to classes Monday's through Friday's from 7:30am to 2:45pm. I remember dreading school because I hated feeling “less educated” compared to my peers. Yeah, I was a terrible test taker. Test-taking was never my strong suit, I thought I had no actual talent. I started high school and started to take some hands-on courses including architectural drafting, woodworking and auto body, things that my 4.0 GPA friends could never do. I started to realize that I was actually really good at designing and making things but since my grades were not as strong as others that I would get nowhere in life. This was until Woodbury University accepted me into their school based on the portfolio I was able to put together that I finally had the chance to do what I wanted to do, they gave me a chance. 

    This really got me thinking, if college acceptances were only based on whether you were a straight-A student or if you were ASB president, where do all the design based and hands-on people go? I hate that to be able to obtain an architecture license that one has to pass the NCARB test. If we just based our ability to become a licensed architect on our portfolios and the projects and talents we acquired through the years that should be enough. I could be the best architect in the world and still hate the thought of taking a test in order to legally call myself an “architect”. All I’m saying is that the NCARB test is really just a test of approval, you can be a great designer  without taking a test.

    • 1 Comment

    • oatmealraisin

      NCARB is a test of professional competence, and a baseline at that. Somehow you've been lead to believe exams stifle designers when the profession deals with building code requirements daily. NCARB is not testing for design, it's making sure at the very least its candidates understand that a licensed professional holds responsibility and liability. What you do and make and say has consequences, no different than a wrong diagnosis by a doctor or a failed fix by a plumber. 

      You can be free to be a designer, no one is out to regulate that. But the "architect" title is the one earned through experience and examination. One does not need a license to have a fruitful career. Plenty can often partner up with someone else and focus on their own best skills. The world is not so binary or constricting as to disallow unconventional means of practice.

      For all those who stumble upon this post, do understand the exams and experience hours required are not some meaningless bureaucratic obstacles. Licensing and enforcement is how a codified society works, for better or worse; other countries may have different methods but that is their choice within their jurisdiction. If some building fell and it turned out the designer was unregistered and unqualified, what would you response be to ensure future tragedies do not occur?

      Dec 24, 21 12:23 pm  · 

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Just seeing architecture through my perspective.

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