Pass in Walnut Creek

Pass in Walnut Creek

Postby VMan » Wed May 23, 2018 11:11 am

After sacrificing my free time for the past year and a half, I can now legally call myself a licensed Architect in the great state of California!!! I passed it last April 30. Thank you to ARE Coach for being one of my resources to navigate both the ARE and CSE. This forum has definitely been a beacon! Anyway, time to pay it forward.

Here are the resources I used:
1. My main material is The Whole Enchilada by David Doucette. I mainly used the audio companion while I was driving to and from work pretty much 5 times a week. I only read the main study guide once and visited most of the links once. I also bought the app and used it every time I had a chance to sneak in 15-20 minutes of study time here and there. I took the mock exams and made sure I scored in the high 90's.
2. I bought 2 of Archibald Woo's mock exams but didn't purchase his study guide. I took the mock exams with about 2-3 weeks left (I studied for about 2-3 months) and found the answers not to be correct. I didn't agree with some of his answers but they helped me research more so in the end, they were still useful. I initially scored in the 60's but eventually got 90's.
3. I reviewed my PPP and CDS materials and took the sample exams because I felt like there were a lot of coverage overlaps between the CSE and the PPP/CDS review materials (my ARE sequence was PPP, CDS, SPD, PPD and then PDD).
4. I read Ching's book "Building Codes Illustrated". This was very helpful. Also check out Marty Huie's YouTube channel. His voice might put you to sleep but if you can keep your eyes open long enough, he's good at illustrating the Building Code. :D
5. I read the AIA Documents with the commentaries and also listened to Schiff Hardin lectures on the B201 and A201. This was really important!
6. I also read CalGreen and the process of doing Energy Calculations. I felt like this helped me a lot.
7. Lastly, I asked the help of my colleagues. I work as a job captain for an A/E Firm so I am fortunate to ask the engineers about their fields of expertise. It also helped that the principals and the bosses were 100% supportive of my licensure. I would often pick the brains of my PM, pestering her with questions regarding how we got the project, how much we've spent on the project in terms of time, money and manpower. She would actually set aside 15-20 minutes of her time to walk me through the entire process from RFP's, SLQ's up to Project Closeouts. She would "open the book", so to speak, to me to show me the timelines, correspondence and etc. In doing so, I came up with the "what-if" questions in my head and applied them to the projects I was handling. This process of applying my exam reviews to my actual work really was the most helpful because it made the abstract part tangible to me. Consequently, it made me better at my job so it was definitely a win-win!

I think I said enough. Once again, thank you to all of you who contributed to this forum one way or another. Good luck to all the candidates and never lose heart! :)
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:12 pm

Re: Pass in Walnut Creek

Postby mrsxag » Sun May 27, 2018 5:29 pm

Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:25 pm

Re: Pass in Walnut Creek

Postby Moniky » Mon May 28, 2018 3:24 pm

I have heard that the Douchette materials are not updated per the new CSE Test Plan or the 2017 AIA documents. I was wondering did you still find them to be helpful?
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:14 am


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