So none of us could pass SPD?

So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby bobarhett13 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:04 pm

Tried three frakking times to pass SPD since 2016. Since I started I only passed SD, CDS, and PPP. After the 30 June "snap" and 4.0 faded away, I took a two month solid break. I've started studying again tonight. I'm easing into it with some Black Spectacles PA 5.0 videos (only 5.0 material I've bought so far). I'm hunting down new 5.0 textbooks, but from what I'm reading here, I could get away with my PPP and SPD 4.0 Ballast and Kaplan books. HOWEVER, has anyone actually purchased 5.0 material and found it to be helpful or containing anything I don't already have?

Let's help this 5.0 community grow! Good luck, Archimates
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby thd7t » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:25 am

I was too gunshy to try SPD, so I transitioned without it. I didn't use any 5.0 materials. The best stuff I had was Archiflash 3.1 flashcards. Pre-design is very in line with PA. I also recommend the secretary of the interior's Historical Restoration Guidelines (the one page version). Finally, go over Problem Seeking one more time.

PA has a lot of logic problems that are less about what you know and more about how you answer questions.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby bobarhett13 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:18 am

Thanks bud. Finally taking PA in two days. Do these case studies have a certain number of incorrect answers that triggers a fail? I can’t seem to provide the proper question but I mean, the old vignettes had minor and major and critical errors. If you get 3 for in a case study, for instance, is that a test fail?

Also, I saw one of your other posts; do you get your test results immediately?
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby thd7t » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:13 am

bobarhett13 wrote:Thanks bud. Finally taking PA in two days. Do these case studies have a certain number of incorrect answers that triggers a fail? I can’t seem to provide the proper question but I mean, the old vignettes had minor and major and critical errors. If you get 3 for in a case study, for instance, is that a test fail?

Also, I saw one of your other posts; do you get your test results immediately?


The case study questions are just like regular questions. No automatic trigger for a fail. The case studies aren't even graded separately. Their questions fall into regular categories. I felt like this made the grading system more clear.

You can get instant feedback (results). They'll say most likely to pass/fail. It's optional and NCARB says that it's always going to reflect the official result.

It's been a pretty common misconception in ARE's for a long time that you have to pass every section. It's not the case. NCARB has said that the passing cut score is between 57% and 64% on each exam in 5.0.

As a side note, apparently in 4.0, you could fail a minor vignette (like site grading) and still pass the exam if you did really well.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby bobarhett13 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:20 am

You've got some good gouge there. Thanks again. Glad to hear the case studies are not graded like vignettes. Oddly enough, I always made level 1 scores on the SPD vignettes, but jacked up the questions. Can you tell me more about what NCARB says regarding "cut scores between 57% and 64%?" As in, say I get a 57% on the PA tomorrow, that's a pass?
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby thd7t » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:45 am

Here's the link to NCARB's explanation:
https://www.ncarb.org/blog/are-50-what-score-do-you-need-pass

Basically, they know that some questions are harder than others. If you get a really hard exam, you can pass with 57%. If you get a less hard exam, you can pass with 68% (my earlier number was off). You won't know what kind of exam you have, but it can help you gauge how you've done.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby bobarhett13 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:52 pm

Good read. Thanks.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby bobarhett13 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:06 pm

:twisted:

Well, this test sucked. It, of course, said I failed at the very end. I practically ran out of time, but I don't think that was all that killed it. Plenty of questions were familiar, or at the very least I was familiar with the topic and could strike out wrong answer and highlight maybes. After taking SPD 3 times, PPP twice (miracle I ever passed that one), and some decent studying of additional material (ARE 5 Review, Designer Hacks PA practice exams and quizzes, Black Spectacles flashcards, videos, and practice exam) I still felt like most questions were very left field - or maybe it was my choices for answering them?

I realized on question 16 of 95, I was taking took long (about 30 minutes at that time). The case studies SUCKED. The questions weren't so bad, but I was strapped for time by then. Zooming in and out to see the site plans and then switching to one of the code books or zoning plans just to realize I was naturally using CTRL+Mouse Wheel to zoom instead of the - and + buttons, then having to zoom back out with CTRL+Mouse Wheel and click the + several times...ugh. Though, well done, NCARB, on improving the interface to at least look newer than Windows 3.1. I'm not going to lie, the vignettes were a worthless test of knowledge but I always got Level 1 on vignettes in my 4.0 fails reports. Seriously, the first time I took SD I forgot one element and ran out of time trying to fix it, but that was the only vignette I ever failed.

I have no choice but to move on to PPD or PDD in the meantime. I'm under a career crunch and I really need to pass these three by summer 2019. FML
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby thd7t » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:27 am

Sorry to hear about your exam experience. Was this your first run through a 5.0 exam?
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby bobarhett13 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:34 pm

Yes, thanks, bud. I've cooled off now. The score report came back with:

E&CC: Level 1
C&R: Level 2
SA&P: Level 2
BA&P: Level 3 <----- Made me feel a little better that I was fairly close...at the same time, I WAS CLOSE!

I suppose just keep going. I believe the content was there, but I was just taking too long on the first 71 questions. If I had some more time, I might have been able to properly finish the Case Studies.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby thd7t » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:25 am

bobarhett13 wrote:Yes, thanks, bud. I've cooled off now. The score report came back with:

E&CC: Level 1
C&R: Level 2
SA&P: Level 2
BA&P: Level 3 <----- Made me feel a little better that I was fairly close...at the same time, I WAS CLOSE!

I suppose just keep going. I believe the content was there, but I was just taking too long on the first 71 questions. If I had some more time, I might have been able to properly finish the Case Studies.

I thought that of the three 5.0 exams I took, the PA questions took the longest. They required logic/deduction that was not part of 4.0 and it made time management much more challenging. It sounds like you have the knowledge, but the test format threw you for a loop.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby nickedemus » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:11 pm

bobarhett13 wrote:Zooming in and out to see the site plans and then switching to one of the code books or zoning plans just to realize I was naturally using CTRL+Mouse Wheel to zoom instead of the - and + buttons, then having to zoom back out with CTRL+Mouse Wheel and click the + several times...ugh.


Do they have practice software for the 5.0 like they did with the 4.0? If so, going through practice tests a few times could help you with this issue. That's what I did for the vignettes and I found it very helpful. I agree with you that the vignettes were basically a worthless test of knowledge.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby thd7t » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:27 am

nickedemus wrote:
bobarhett13 wrote:Zooming in and out to see the site plans and then switching to one of the code books or zoning plans just to realize I was naturally using CTRL+Mouse Wheel to zoom instead of the - and + buttons, then having to zoom back out with CTRL+Mouse Wheel and click the + several times...ugh.


Do they have practice software for the 5.0 like they did with the 4.0? If so, going through practice tests a few times could help you with this issue. That's what I did for the vignettes and I found it very helpful. I agree with you that the vignettes were basically a worthless test of knowledge.


5.0 does have a practice exam that's identical to the real format. It's essential to practice with it.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby nickedemus » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:19 am

thd7t wrote:5.0 does have a practice exam that's identical to the real format. It's essential to practice with it.


That's good to hear. I would definitely recommend a couple of go-throughs with it. For the vignettes, I used the practice software to build muscle memory. I would set myself up in a situation as close to test circumstances as possible: two sharpened pencils, 11x17 scrap paper booklet, timer, etc. Then I'd just go through the steps. There's only one solution on the practice software, so I didn't waste any time contemplating the problem. I just focused on setting up my scrap paper with whatever tables I needed and ran through that one solution over and over again until using the software became second nature. That way, when I got to the test, I could focus on solving the problem and didn't hit any time consuming snags with the software. I would recommend this set up to anybody.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby Sarcasmo » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:10 am

There is -- technically -- "practice software", in that NCARB does provide a practice exam.

Note, however, that there is essentially nothing in the 5.0 exam that is equivalent to the 4.0 vignettes -- not in content or format.
The provided practice exam gives a good idea of the format of the 5.0 exam questions, the case studies format, and several specific bits of information about the process of dragging and dropping, pointing and selecting areas or components in a diagram, and selecting and rotating objects within the answers.

So -- what I'm saying is that 5.0 exam requires very little in terms of format preparation. Where 4.0 candidates spent hours and hours practicing for the vignettes, 5.0 requires about 30 minutes of using the practice exam software to understand all you need to know about exam format.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby thd7t » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:21 am

Sarcasmo wrote:There is -- technically -- "practice software", in that NCARB does provide a practice exam.

Note, however, that there is essentially nothing in the 5.0 exam that is equivalent to the 4.0 vignettes -- not in content or format.
The provided practice exam gives a good idea of the format of the 5.0 exam questions, the case studies format, and several specific bits of information about the process of dragging and dropping, pointing and selecting areas or components in a diagram, and selecting and rotating objects within the answers.

So -- what I'm saying is that 5.0 exam requires very little in terms of format preparation. Where 4.0 candidates spent hours and hours practicing for the vignettes, 5.0 requires about 30 minutes of using the practice exam software to understand all you need to know about exam format.

This is true, but people who ignore that thirty minutes complain endlessly about the format of the exam and how there's no way to know that you can rotate objects, search case studies, or a bunch of other items that are really clear from the practice exam. It's a brief, but critical piece of studying.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby nickedemus » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:04 pm

Sarcasmo wrote:The provided practice exam gives a good idea of the format of the 5.0 exam questions, the case studies format, and several specific bits of informatio


But actually, that's what I was practicing with the vignettes. The vignette 'problems'' they gave were irrelevant. I was just building muscle memory (and thus efficiency) to maximize my time.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby thd7t » Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:37 am

nickedemus wrote:
Sarcasmo wrote:The provided practice exam gives a good idea of the format of the 5.0 exam questions, the case studies format, and several specific bits of informatio


But actually, that's what I was practicing with the vignettes. The vignette 'problems'' they gave were irrelevant. I was just building muscle memory (and thus efficiency) to maximize my time.

I continue to agree with you.
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Re: So none of us could pass SPD?

Postby bobarhett13 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am

Been away for a while. Glad to know the PA had the most "time consuming" questions. They really took longer than expected. I don't just mean the Case Studies but the main portion of questions just took a long time to deduct incorrect choices. I need to ensure I have a safe 45 minutes by the time the Case Studies questions begin. 20 minutes for each Case Study (there were two in mine) and 5 minutes to review the whole test. I think I only had around 30 minutes (or less) left when I got to my first Case Study.

ALSO, I assumed there would be a mandatory break like we had between questions and vignettes. I should have read up more on the basics of the test. So that's 3 hours and 15 minutes straight. I used the whole time and didn't finish.

FYSA, Designer Hacks has a practice exam, but it is questions only. No Case Studies.
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