PjM Pass! Here's What I Did!

PjM Pass! Here's What I Did!

Postby choskison » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:01 pm

2 exams down! 4 more AREs to go! I took PcM back in October and just took PjM yesterday. Very excited to have two exams under my belt before 2019 hits. This is the approach I took to help me pass PjM, but remember, what works for me may not work for you. Best of luck studying!

Study Schedule:

Study duration – 6 weeks (5 weeks of studying, 1 week review) – there were 5 objectives for PjM, so I gave myself 1 week/objective and then 1 week of review (total 6 weeks).
Weekdays, Monday-Friday, 2-3 hours/day. (1 hour during lunch and 1-2 hours after work)
Weekends, 4-6 hours/day (practice exams/review)
Take the exam on a Monday so you don’t have work on your mind. Really helpful to have two full days before the exam and not have the worries of emails and getting backgrounds out to consultants right before you take the exam. DO NOT take the exams on Friday if you can help it. Your mind will be all over the place.

Study Material:

I felt that Ballast’s information was well put together, but if the only thing you did was read Ballast, you would not do well on this exam. Pairing it with the more detailed AHPP and the broader scope of Black Spectacles proved to be a good amount of overlapping material. The contracts are not covered as heavily in Ballast as what you will need on the exam. Schiff Hardin Lectures (especially those on the AIA A201 and B101) are incredibly helpful to cover the contracts.

Ballast Practice Problems/Practice Exam
I used these practice problems and practice exam to help gauge my knowledge at the beginning, before I started to study the material, and once at the end to help me realize that my studying was actually paying off. I found the Black Spectacles Exam to be more like the ARE, but the Ballast Practice Exam was also incredibly helpful to point out some specific weak areas in my knowledge.

I highly recommend using AHPP to complement your studying for this exam. The book is honestly boring and bit overwhelming. I broke it down into 20-30 pages/day so I didn’t feel so overwhelmed studying. This means you’ll be reading from AHPP pretty much daily for 5-6 weeks. However, it’s a great resource and goes way more in to depth on objectives than Ballast or Black Spectacles.
Study Ch. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 (focus on 10,12,16,17)

Black Spectacles
I know a lot of people do not like Black Spectacles, but I LOVE to use their videos, flashcards, and practice exams. The lecture videos are definitely very basic and broad level knowledge, but they are helpful at breaking down the hard questions into simpler ones. This helped me hone in on what the ARE questions were really asking. At the end of the practice exams, they tell you what sections you succeeded in and which ones you need more work on. It also explains why you got questions wrong and why you go other ones right. The interface is almost identical to the AREs, so that is very helpful to get used to. You can highlight/strikeout and mark questions like you can during the exam. This helped me get into the mindset of the exam every time I took a practice exam.
The flashcards are a great tool. You can also create your own flashcards to add to the deck which is incredibly useful.

Schiff Hardin Lectures
I cannot stress enough how important the Schiff Hardin Lectures are. LISTEN TO THEM CONTINUOUSLY. I listened to them on my commute to/from the office. I made sure to take notes ferociously on the lecture slides and sample contracts once I arrived at my destination.
Focus in on the lectures on the A201 and B101 for this exam

AIA Contracts
Read them and know the B101 and A201 like the back of your hand.
C401 also important
B201 – read through, but don’t know this as well as the B101.
A101 – understand the major points.

Final note – make sure to know the financial equations (project labor budget, how to adjust a schedule and budget per changes in scope, utilization rate, etc).
Best of Luck!
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