[IPAC-List] Does the day you take an oral exam matter?

Mark Hammer Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Wed Apr 1 12:31:48 EDT 2009

I gather the complaints are predicated on the assumption that the examiners all commence and end on the same day. In which case, they may be more stringent at the outset, and grow more lenient over candidates as they "warm up", and be in a hurry to "get it over with" on the last day, hence more likely to overlook things (i.e., the candidate's finer points).

That's not an entirely unreasonable set of assumptions, and has some face validity....IF the examiners all begin and end on the same day and engage in no assessment prior to or after those days in question. And I suspect that is where the information/transparency aspect that Don notes comes into play. If examiners have plenty of warm-up time or practice before, and are simply moving on to another set of examinees once finished this lot, then the considerations noted in my opening don't apply nearly as much as people think they do. And if there are safeguards built into the process to systematically combat the warm-up and fatigue factors and produce comparably stringent ratings over the entire testing period, then that's worth pointing out to candidates. It's not like they're the very first people to ever consider that evaluators can drift. People HAVE thought about this stuff before.

Mark Hammer

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