Tuesday was a monumental day for cheese, the thousands of hours the candidates studied for the ACS CCP exam – the third exam – was tested that afternoon. The exam-takers came from various fields within the industry: cheese makers, retailers, educators and distributors. The exam was administered and proctored by the ACS Education and Outreach Manager, Jane Bauer, the CCP committee members, and several current CCPs.
The candidates did not appear to be particularly nervous going into the exam. Most of them seemed to be cool, calm and collected, fully prepared. This suggested that this group had been studying the many facets of cheese for many months; their eligibility to sit for the exam was thoroughly vetted.
Exiting the exam was a little more harried. Not that the candidates felt that they had fared poorly but that the process of uploading their scores was impeded. Our first thought was that there was a bandwidth shortage – with 228 exams entering into the software simultaneously – might this be the problem? Candidates began to wonder whether or not their exam scores would be saved; attempts to upload scores on hard wires were also blocked. It became apparent that there was a larger problem than bandwidth. Understandably, the temperature in the exam room began to rise and the commotions surely impacted the concentration of those still taking the exam.
But no worries: We have assurances that all will be well, that the scores will be secured.
Once this is verified the exam review process will begin, perhaps delayed a few days due to the software glitch. Regardless, it will be a few weeks before the candidates will know whether or not they passed. It’s worth the wait. Each question on the exam undergoes statistical analysis. Anomalies among the answers must be checked; the integrity of the exam and of the entire certification must be upheld, for the sake of the CCPs and for the entire cheese industry.
Many thanks to all the proctors, the CCP committee, the ACS office, and to the patience of the exam-takers. We anticipate there will be nearly 200 more CCP’s to join the 253 who have already passed. Good for cheese!