Passed :)

Passed :)

Postby lyn219 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:01 pm

This is my first post in the CSE section of the forum, but I can guarantee you guys that I was on it every day, pretty much reading through every post, even though it's not as active as the others. Reading through all the pass posts helped bring up my spirits, so wanted to help it along by posting mine as well :) I also wanted to just decompress after the long day, and post about my studying/testing experience, before I let it slip away.

I basically started studying seriously in April - got my letter to schedule a test at the end of March, so as soon as I scheduled it, it was go time. I gave myself 12 weeks, which is the longest I have studied for any test in my life, so the sheer endurance of it all was overwhelming. A couple people from work created a study group, so they really helped push me along the process. Having people for complaints and vent sessions about the test was also helpful, in general.

Study materials I used:
-Doucette TWE + OMCES
-Woo Study Guide and both practice exams
-Various references in the CAB Test Plan/Doucette's links (CEQA, Wetlands, etc)
-Gang Chen Mock Exam
-This forum

Doucette was my main guide, with Woo as a nice quick read 2 weeks before the test (his sections on CalGreen and Energy Code saved me for test day). The questions themselves, as mentioned in other posts, were definitely a measure of how you, as the architect, would react in a specific situation. Doucette's guides prepare you in a broader sense, and for me, the reference links and Woo's guide filled in the detailed gaps. Took OMCES until I was scoring in the high 90's the weekend before the test. Woo's practice exam, I literally got a 70% yesterday, but I realized with those exams, take it with a grain of salt... they're not 100% accurate. Same with Gang Chen... I just took the mock exam so I could have another resource, but it wasn't my favorite.

A strategy I utilized during the exam, was to go through and answer all the questions as quickly as possible so every question at least has an answer marked. Then I went through and, on my scratch paper, made a list, and gave each question I thought I had 100% correct, a check mark. That way I had a sense of how definitively well I was doing. I wasn't aiming to get an A on this exam... in fact, I was mentally prepping to get a fail notice once I left the room! One of the most difficult parts of this exam was having a panic attack every 10 minutes, knowing I would get the result immediately after.

Backstory - I have been working for 5 years, and I started my ARE's 2.5 years ago, and sat for those exams 13 times... yes, failed 6 times. I knew deep down that my mental capacity was running too short to get another fail, so I really buckled down for this one, so determined to get it right on the first try. By some miracle, here we are... can't wait to submit my next set of fees :P

I owe so much to Coach and all the people on this forum, from the AREs to the CSE. It really helps to get feedback from the people who are going through the same challenges. Good luck to you all!
lyn219
 
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Re: Passed :)

Postby winifreddy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:10 pm

Congratulations! This is such a huge achievement. I hope you are taking some well deserved time to celebrate and relax.

Do you know if we should expect 1 or 2 project scenarios?
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:20 pm

Re: Passed :)

Postby gbalaka » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:49 am

lyn219 wrote:This is my first post in the CSE section of the forum, but I can guarantee you guys that I was on it every day, pretty much reading through every post, even though it's not as active as the others. Reading through all the pass posts helped bring up my spirits, so wanted to help it along by posting mine as well :) I also wanted to just decompress after the long day, and post about my studying/testing experience, before I let it slip away.

I basically started studying seriously in April - got my letter to schedule a test at the end of March, so as soon as I scheduled it, it was go time. I gave myself 12 weeks, which is the longest I have studied for any test in my life, so the sheer endurance of it all was overwhelming. A couple people from work created a study group, so they really helped push me along the process. Having people for complaints and vent sessions about the test was also helpful, in general.

Study materials I used:
-Doucette TWE + OMCES
-Woo Study Guide and both practice exams
-Various references in the CAB Test Plan/Doucette's links (CEQA, Wetlands, etc)
-Gang Chen Mock Exam
-This forum

Doucette was my main guide, with Woo as a nice quick read 2 weeks before the test (his sections on CalGreen and Energy Code saved me for test day). The questions themselves, as mentioned in other posts, were definitely a measure of how you, as the architect, would react in a specific situation. Doucette's guides prepare you in a broader sense, and for me, the reference links and Woo's guide filled in the detailed gaps. Took OMCES until I was scoring in the high 90's the weekend before the test. Woo's practice exam, I literally got a 70% yesterday, but I realized with those exams, take it with a grain of salt... they're not 100% accurate. Same with Gang Chen... I just took the mock exam so I could have another resource, but it wasn't my favorite.

A strategy I utilized during the exam, was to go through and answer all the questions as quickly as possible so every question at least has an answer marked. Then I went through and, on my scratch paper, made a list, and gave each question I thought I had 100% correct, a check mark. That way I had a sense of how definitively well I was doing. I wasn't aiming to get an A on this exam... in fact, I was mentally prepping to get a fail notice once I left the room! One of the most difficult parts of this exam was having a panic attack every 10 minutes, knowing I would get the result immediately after.

Backstory - I have been working for 5 years, and I started my ARE's 2.5 years ago, and sat for those exams 13 times... yes, failed 6 times. I knew deep down that my mental capacity was running too short to get another fail, so I really buckled down for this one, so determined to get it right on the first try. By some miracle, here we are... can't wait to submit my next set of fees :P

I owe so much to Coach and all the people on this forum, from the AREs to the CSE. It really helps to get feedback from the people who are going through the same challenges. Good luck to you all!


I'm glad to hear you passed...i'm on the flip side of that coin. Missed the pass score by 2 or 3%. Frustrating....but i'll just have to retake this in half a year (sounds like an eternity away).

The questions were certainly very tricky and I found that "most" of the answers were "almost" correct. Not really sure how I could have possibly studied more....i knew the study material, but the questions were way out there and i guess it was hard for me to apply what I had learned to all the different scenarios ("what would you do" types of questions). At least taking the test was beneficial as i now have a better idea of what's on the test for next time.
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Re: Passed :)

Postby gbalaka » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:50 am

winifreddy wrote:Congratulations! This is such a huge achievement. I hope you are taking some well deserved time to celebrate and relax.

Do you know if we should expect 1 or 2 project scenarios?


I had one project scenario. That may be the norm.
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Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Passed :)

Postby Coach » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:39 pm

I've seen reports of one and two scenarios.
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Re: Passed :)

Postby passpasspass » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:36 am

Coach wrote:I've seen reports of one and two scenarios.


If we have 2 scenarios, will the total number of the questions are still 125?
Thanks!
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Re: Passed :)

Postby lyn219 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:09 pm

Sorry for the late reply, but I had 1 project scenario, fully expecting to have 2. I'd say be prepared for anything.
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Posts: 130
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