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Getting to the ASQ Exams at MD&M Chicago, 19 Sep 11

  • Thread starter CertifiedDataJunkie
  • Start date
C

CertifiedDataJunkie

#1
Just prior to the Quality Expo/MD&M Chicago conference on 20-22 September 2011, the starting time is 8:00 am on Monday morning at McCormick Place. For the Chicagoland folks, does it sound difficult to arrive at this downtown location given the challenges of a Chicago commute? Is there a preferred station that one could park and ride coming from the south (originating from the direction of Michigan/Indiana) to make it to this examination?
 
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Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#2
Just prior to the Quality Expo/MD&M Chicago conference on 20-22 September 2011, the starting time is 8:00 am on Monday morning at McCormick Place. For the Chicagoland folks, does it sound difficult to arrive at this downtown location given the challenges of a Chicago commute? Is there a preferred station that one could park and ride coming from the south (originating from the direction of Michigan/Indiana) to make it to this examination?
You can check directly with two sources for official information - Chicago visitor and convention Bureau and Chicago Transit Authority.

Typically, folks take the train to downtown station and either public transport (bus) or cab the 3 miles back south to McCormick place. You need to check the Chicago Transit Authority for transit time tables. Otherwise call a Chicago Cab Co and ask for travel time - that 7:00 am time is the beginning of the morning rush hour.

An alternate is to check into the McCormick place hotel the night before and WALK to the test.

When I return to Chicago from my sojourn, I can get you more details (sometime in early August)
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#3
Just prior to the Quality Expo/MD&M Chicago conference on 20-22 September 2011, the starting time is 8:00 am on Monday morning at McCormick Place. For the Chicagoland folks, does it sound difficult to arrive at this downtown location given the challenges of a Chicago commute? Is there a preferred station that one could park and ride coming from the south (originating from the direction of Michigan/Indiana) to make it to this examination?
I can't imagine what could have made anyone think that having an exam at McCormick Place at the height of rush hour was a good idea. Nonetheless, you should check with Metra, the local commuter rail line, as there's a Metra stop at McCormick place and most likely a station to the south where you can park and ride the train.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#5
Where are you coming from? There is no convenient way to get there. The hotel idea is best. Otherwise I would drive, but give a lot of extra time.
Because of the hassles and walking distance from parking, count on up to half an hour from the time you pull into the parking lot entrance to the time you get to the test registration desk. Parking at McCormick is NOT CHEAP!

Jim's idea of a Metra Station at McCormick Place is correct, but the farthest south that line runs is University Park in the south Suburbs of Chicago. OP says he is coming from "originating from the direction of "Michigan/Indiana" which may be beyond the end point of the Metra Electric which stops at McCormick Place.

You can call/internet Metra at
http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home.html
312-322-6900 (main)

The encompassing transportation authority is the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)
RTA Travel Information Center (312) 836-7000
7 days a week
5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m

Hearing Impaired: (312) 836-4949Information on RTA, Metra, CTA and Pace. Plan trips on Metra, CTA and Pace by accessing this web-based itinerary planning service. Users receive a detailed itinerary.

MY tips:
Give yourself plenty of time, no matter what you choose to do. The psychological impact of rush and hassle of getting to a test site has derailed many test takers, causing them to fall below the cutoff point.

Personally, I would not be in a proper frame of mind to take a test after a two- or three-hour drive through traffic, heat, strange routes, but here's the second tip:

Drive in (or drive + train) for a trial run on the same day of the week as the test just to see for yourself whether you are fit to take a test after the travel or if you should bite the bullet and get local lodging the night before. It will be expensive, but you can figure that you will probably save the retake fee and if you fall below the cutoff point because you were too tired and cranky from the travel, you'll probably stay in lodging the second time you take the test;)
 
C

CertifiedDataJunkie

#6
I can't imagine what could have made anyone think that having an exam at McCormick Place at the height of rush hour was a good idea.
Thanks for your reply Jim and it's a good point. In fact, I had petitioned ASQ Certification Offerings concerning their 8 am start time. My petition includes many of the concerns expressed by the local Chicago area folks as shown in the following excerpt:

... My question is regarding the starting time of 8:00 a.m. on a Monday at Chicago's McCormick Place.

While I understand this is the traditional starting time for ASQ exams and there may be other reasons requiring it to be scheduled at this time that may not be readily apparent (e.g., room availability, etc.), this time does present some logistical concerns for an exam candidate to travel to the site. Reasons include that this exam schedule occurs pre-conference and transportation arrangements for the conference such as the shuttle will not be available on that day. Also, while Chicago is blessed with many transportation options including bus and rail, the morning rush (which is legendary in Chicago) will be on-going in the time prior to and during the beginning of the exam administration. Also, while someone may be fortunate to arrive at McCormick Place at about 7:30 a.m., difficulty in parking and finding the exam room location will place additional stress on the exam candidate that morning. Finally, other factors exist such as the high cost of lodging and parking in Chicago (that are on the order of the exam cost) and the likelihood that someone couldn't find reservations at the hotels closest to McCormick Place. These costs also make staying for the conference less favorable for those of us who are financing this trip on our own, (as opposed to any employer sponsorship) as ...

These issues did not exist to this extent at the conference's former location in Rosemont, IL. Moreover, for the October 12, 2011 Society of Women Engineers 2011 National Conference, also in Chicago, it appears that many of these factors may have been considered in scheduling the start for this exam administration at 1:00 p.m.

Please consider my request for ASQ Certification offerings to consider whether the concerns discussed in this letter need to be factored into the starting time for this exam. While 8:00 a.m. isn't impossible, my thoughts are whether this time is in the best interest of all stakeholders and whether it will decrease the chance for a positive outcome for exam candidates ...
and of course received a polite "take no action" response for a problem that is limited to just you ...

... Thank you for your note regarding the 8 a.m. start time for the MD&M Midwest Conference special administration. I am sorry that the 8 a.m. start time is a concern for you. I can certainly understand your reasoning as listed below.

Many factors are taken into consideration when developing a start time for a special administration. The availability and cost of the exam rooms and, of course, the availability of our proctors are two of the primary concerns. Another factor is the conference schedule. Putting all these together created the start time of 8 a.m.

Even if we were able to change the time, the marketing pieces have already gone out and we have people already signed up for the exam. I am sorry that we cannot honor your request, but we will see what can be done in the future to avoid this if possible.

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns.
However, the Society of Women Engineers 2011 National Conference arranged the starting time for their pre-conference certification exams, it seems they were able to anticipate my concerns.
 
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