Transition and take PPD right away?

Transition and take PPD right away?

Postby sammytentoes » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:11 pm

Hi all,

I just took the 'big three,' still waiting for results on SPD but passed CDS and PPP first try.

I've heard here and there that the PPD content has a great deal of overlap with CDS, PPP and SPD.

I have two thoughts on how to proceed in 5.0 and would appreciate hearing what other people have done:

1. Has anyone attempted to just 'go for it' with PPD with minimal studying after taking the CDS/PPP/SPD 4.0 and had success?

2. Others suggest studying PPD and PDD and taking them within a few days of each other.

So far, what have others done and had success with?

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Re: Transition and take PPD right away?

Postby aperelstein » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:59 pm

Hey Sam,

I think it depends on how much and how broad your experience is. Also, you should do what feels comfortable for you, but here are my thoughts.

I didn't take any 4.0 tests and just transitioned to 5.0 when the first incentives were announced. I shotgunned them all during December and January. At the time there were no 5.0 specific study guides and I didn't have much time to study with a test every other week. This gamble has worked out so far with four passes. Just waiting on the cutscores for the other two. I felt comfortable with the material based on 6 years of experience at firms with MEP and civil in house.

Personally, I felt a week break in between each test was nice to recharge and make sure my workload could support time off. It didn't seem too far apart for retention of information.

The biggest thing I would recommend based off of forum comments, is to be comfortable with the software. It is nowhere near as bad as the vignette software, but time has been an issue for a lot of people.

I think a few keys are:
- Do not read all the case study supporting materials, but to understand the program and what resources they have given you. Then just read the questions and find the answers.
-I preferred the case studies towards the beginning when I felt fresh and I could write down what resources might answer other regular multiple choice questions from each case study.
- Create a plan for how long you want to spend on the case studies and each multiple choice question to keep yourself on track.
- If you read the question, answer it. There is a delay between questions, so jumping around can slow you down.

Good luck and I hope that helps,
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Re: Transition and take PPD right away?

Postby Zanno » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:19 pm

I had passed all three 4.0 exams (CDS, PPP, SPD) and became eligible to transition to 5.0 about 5 days before Feb 28. Figuring I was 'playing with house money' as it were, I went for it and took PDD the very last day I was eligible for a free retake. I spent an afternoon familiarizing myself with the software, getting comfortable with the awkward zoom tool, and getting a sense of the pace of the questions. Like others have said, a lot of the content overlapped with planning, site design, etc, but what allowed me to pass this exam was having a handful of years of experience with and knowledge of construction detailing. Knowing that the content for PPD is similar (I've heard) to PDD, it seems that the test taking order is somewhat arbitrary and could be interchangeable between the two tests.

I also agree that being comfortable with the software is probably your biggest challenge. I took the case studies first, focusing always on the question, and 'putting on the blinders' to non-relevant information (because yes, the PDF's will take forever to load). I spent about 1.5 hours on the case studies, then took my break, then jumped into the MC questions. It's good to flag any questions that require calculations and save for the end--after all, the questions are all weighted the same. I didn't have as much time to review my questions as I had on the 4.0 exams, and you'll be moving along at a pretty quick pace. For questions that I flagged, I mostly stuck with my first instinct after reviewing a second time. So, if you have a solid background of experience to draw from, you could probably spend 4 weeks(?), maybe even less, studying any content you've not encountered at work.

Good luck!
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