PPD First Time Pass and Strategy

PPD First Time Pass and Strategy

Postby tarynbone » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:37 pm

I woke up this morning to a PASS after taking my first 5.0 exam yesterday and since I use this forum pretty heavily to learn everyone else's study strategies, I wanted to give back by offering my study and testing strategy for anyone who might be interested.

I studied for 6 weeks, 1-2 hours a day weekdays, taking practice exams/quizzes on the weekends.
-Jenny's Notes BS and Structures
-Kaplan BS quizzes and Exam
-Kaplan Structures Exam
-Building Construction Illustrated - cover to cover
-MEEP - intended to read a lot more from this but only made it through maybe 5-6 chapters
-Designer Hacks PPD quizzes
-Taking my own notes and making flash cards of key terms
And of course coming from passes on PPP, CDS, SPD, so "knowing" all that material.

I also want to add that I'm not one of these first time passers. I failed CDS and SPD the first times. So I am over the moon about passing this exam on my first try.

For the exam itself, I started by skipping directly to the case studies. I had two. I spent about 1.5 hours doing those, then began from the top with the normal questions. I took my break when I had 2 hours left. Came back and powered through the rest of the questions. Then I had a whole hour remaining to go back to the few questions I had marked and then took my time going through the case studies again, changing a few answers because I had more time to think them through. I finished the exam with over 30 minutes left. I just can't sit there re-reading questions and second guessing myself. Time has never been an issue for me with these exams, I always have extra time when I sign off.

Overall, I must say that I really prefer the 5.0 exam and I'm super glad that I transitioned. I like the hot spot type problems the best. I didn't get too many calcs, and the ones I did I was comfortable with and confident about. The case studies were probably the hardest/most brain racking portion, but they felt pretty legit, like what architects actually do. I didn't feel that I had a single wtf question. Sure there were many questions I wasn't certain of the answer, but every time that happened I felt it was something I would have known if only I'd studied structures or materials a little bit more intensely, for example.

And for those who care, a little about me: I got my BS in Arch Studies from the U. of Missouri and practiced in hospitality interiors for 2 years after that degree. I'm 3 years out of M.Arch at Sci-Arc. Had internships at various firms during school. I worked at a smallish firm after grad school where I was able to do a ton of CA and project management that I felt confident enough to start my only solo practice, of which I have been doing for a year and a half now. I count myself lucky that I'm able to work for myself, as doing so does give me a lot more flexibility in studying. I've passed 4 exams this year and am scheduled for the final one (PDD) in 4 weeks.

Hopefully this is helpful to some of you! Onward to the PDD forums for me now. :)
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:13 pm

Re: PPD First Time Pass and Strategy

Postby kblucas » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:37 am

I also found out that I passed PPD this morning. It was my first attempt and first test in 5.0. I primarily used Ballast practice tests and Building Construction Illustrated and review of my notes from studying for PPP, SPD and CDS in 4.0.
I didn't feel particularly confident leaving the exam and wish I had spent more time on structural and MEP concepts (or studying in general). I do a good amount of pre-design, feasibility work, and code analysis at work and feel that that experience was more beneficial than any studying I did. If you are not familiar with this type of work I would suggest running through several scenarios with IBC and Zoning requirements and be comfortable with analyzing both for any given situation and determining the most restrictive requirements (ie building code says one thing but zoning says another -- which limits your design?). Perhaps 5.0 is actually better at testing for real practice as they are hoping?

The biggest difference I felt like I was seeing with 5.0 was questions that were trying to test your knowledge of more than one concept or topic at a time. For example can you incorporate an understanding of allowable building type/code/or zoning restrictions and limitations of various structural systems in the same question? Basically -- read the questions thoroughly and make sure you are addressing everything. Unfortunately, there are also questions where more information than what you need is provided -- seemingly to throw you off.

Good luck everyone.
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:02 pm

Return to PPD - Project Planning & Design

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests