PASS!

PASS!

Postby randar82 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:52 am

Just waiting on my PDD score. If that's a pass, then I am done! I like that you get your score within 24 hours... was a nice treat to wake up this morning and see 'PASS'!

PROCESS:
- Since I've already done PDD and PPD once-ish (was part of the server black out on 1/30, so I only did 50% of the exam) - I'm pretty familiar with the set-up now. I opted to take a pass at multiple-choice first, leaving blank anything that required more than a 30-second calculation or that I couldn't answer quickly and flagging what questions I was unsure the answer and wanted to review again later. I like the new set-up allows you to now go back and just review unanswered, flagged, or all. The 98 MC took about 75 minutes to complete. Then I moved on to the first case study, which I think took about 50 minutes. I took my break with 2 hours left, did the final case study in an hour (which could have been shorter but I didn't fully read a question before jumping into calculations only to realize I could have answered with minimal math), and spent the last hour doing the MC calculation questions, reviewing my flagged, and then reviewing every question one last time. I left feeling pretty good - I knew there were a few things I had to make a guess on, but overall, I felt confident. I did feel like I had a few questions that were lacking in necessary information and at least one that was so specific and detailed, I don't know how anyone would know the answer.

WHAT TO STUDY:
As others have pointed out on this forum, this exam covers a wide range of content (based on the NCARB 4.0-5.0 chart), but I would say that's fairly accurate. I would think of it as a SD-DD exam... essentially what would you need to do to advance a project from programming through 50%DD. Site, Planning, Building Systems all come into play, with SD/DD level decisions, so to that end, there are some calculations, but without giving away content, they were all fairly straightforward and could largely be done without the provided resources. Finally, you don't need to memorize IBC, but don't let this exam be the first time you've cracked it open. If you haven't done code analysis at work several times already, you should probably find a way to practice before doing this exam. There was some structures content, but again, this is a SD-DD exam, so it's really about big picture concepts. I will say that I probably answered a good 10-15 questions based on experience, which I think is actually a big improvement over 4.0

I had already studied all of the 4.0 Ballast and Kaplan content as I was planning to take SS, BDCS and BS, and then transitioned to save myself a test, so I already had that background. I skimmed some sections of Ballast 5.0 and some of the Black Spectacles videos (both available at work)... I don't know if either are worth it if you already have 4.0 materials. I also have found that Building Construction and Building Codes Illustrated to be very useful for these exams, sometimes more so than Ballast and Kaplan that often get too bogged down into details and calculations that are beyond the scope of the exam. I spent the day before reviewing all of notes from every 4.0 division (CDS, PPP, SPD, SS, BDCS, BS) and the BS sections of BCI. Given the wide range of content covered, I felt it best to cast a wide net.

Overall, I think these are a huge improvement over 4.0 - I think they are much closer to how architects actually work.
randar82
 
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Re: PASS!

Postby tmston2 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:29 pm

A Big congrats on the pass!!!
Im scheduled to retake this exam on april 8th. I under estimated this exam, in fact i think this exam is more challenging than PDD, hopefully I passed that one so I can be done with this brutal process
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Re: PASS!

Postby randar82 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:21 am

I actually found this exam to be more straightforward and slightly easier to study for, although I took PDD with little study time to make sure I could get it done and get the early-tester incentive.
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Re: PASS!

Postby dklorensen » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:53 am

Awesome, congrats randar! I'm in the same boat with PDD, I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for next week's results!
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