PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby Lvfowler » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:51 am

I just woke up to a big fat fail. This is my first post in this forum, but I've found it very helpful along the way just reading others messages. So here's my cry out for help and hopefully it helps you too.

A little about me- I did the transition. I took CDs with about a month of studying, passed, studied for ppp and SPD for about 6 weeks and took them 1.5 week apart. I discovered this forum the night before my site planning exam and I don't think I would have passed if I hadn't seen so much info on the vignettes here. So thanks!

So....1 month later I moved into 5.0 and took PPD (may)
It was a fail and I figured I was just getting confused with the new "system"
Moved onto PDD - pass. Feeling much better now.

Well I did my ppd retake yesterday, a little more than 60 days after my first try, and exactly 1 month after pdd.

FAIL. Wtf?

I keep failing in the environmental category?!?! I think structural questions could have been answered better too, as that category has been low on both fails....but the other categories are passed. So .....wtf with the environmental/sustainability...after passing 4.0 PPP and SPD?!!?! It's the same content. There are some "pond questions " that really piss me off. Without saying too much, I know I got them wrong both times. If you have taken the exam you know what I'm taking about. Anyone have any ideas on how to improve my environmental-ness? God I feel like I've read just about every resource mentioned. There's obviously something I'm missing.
Lvfowler
 
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby vrcat25 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:27 am

Lvfowler wrote: There are some "pond questions " that really piss me off. Without saying too much, I know I got them wrong both times. If you have taken the exam you know what I'm taking about.


first off, i'd like to say sorry to hear about your recent fail, but it seems as though the majority of people fail PPD and even PDD so at least you passed PDD. Another positive for you is that at least you're failing the same category. Most people are all over the place with their fails and it doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason. I've known people to pass 1 area and fail another and after 3-4 attempts, it changes every time. At least there's some kind of logic to your fails which is very rare. My situation is similar to yours in that i have 2 fails in 5.0 also. The difference is, i have only failed PPD once and PDD once...I found that BOTH tests are very subjective so don't beat yourself up and think it's something you did wrong when there are in fact MANY "best guess" type questions. i contacted NCARB and they basically said that they have never had a bad question and that they do quality control and there's nothing that can be done about the pond questions or any other question that you think is bad. Basically, you have to trust that the pond questions are "good" questions and if not, they are most likely "trial questions" that don't count. I find this to be pure hog wash and it really sounds like the test is constructed so that most people will fail.

Just to play the devil's advocate, how do you know that you in fact missed the pond questions both times and if you knew you missed it the first time, why didn't you correct your answer the second. You see, my issue was that with my pond questions, there was missing information and the wind pattern was not give, but i was simply told the climate area...HOW IN THE HECK DO YOU ANSWER THE POND QUESTION CORRECTLY WITHOUT WIND PATTERNS?? IS THERE A SOURCE THAT SHOWS THE METHOD FOR THIS???

All we can do is keep retaking until we pass...It sounds like you have done as much studying as you can do and all we can do is to do our best to figure out the trick questions and hope that enough reasonable questions are on the next test attempt. I will retake PPD in about a month along with PDD at the same time and i'm hoping that some of the errors are resolved, but i won't hold my breadth. I really think the bottom line is about NCARB making enough profit and what other way than to make these tests more difficult than they need to be....Better luck to us both next time.
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby Lvfowler » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:46 pm

THanks for the response. I'll be interested in hearing how you do in a month. I have to wait my 60 days so I've already scheduled for Sept 24.

Well, the only reason that I believe I missed the pond questions both times is because I did not have many environmental questions in general..especially on this retake. (I think?? I'm trying so hard to remember all my questions so that I can learn from the mistakes.) So I'm concluding that I must have failed those questions in order to do so poorly in this content area. I personally do not believe they were "trial questions." I just don't know what else could have made up that 10-16% of environmental/ sustainble questions on my exam.

I did change my answers this time. In fact, I spent a whole day solely trying to figure out how to better answer these pond questions. Felt like i was getting nowhere and decided to MOVE ON to other items that needed studying...and hope for the best. Like you said, no wind in the problem. I think it was all about the views....so then what are THEY looking for.
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby Zanno » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:01 pm

Hi there Lvfowler,

I feel compelled to chime in because I think I have experienced the exact same situation you are describing on the PPD -- the dreaded 'body of water' question. I got four of them, and on each one I felt I was not able to give a proper answer (or rather pick the correct location) because I did not have any information about the direction of wind. And I am quite sure that this cost me a pass on PPD, which is the only exam I've failed.

See this thread in the 5.0 community forum... https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-u ... y-of-Water (also, I think I saw your post in the PPD forum today?)

You are not alone in your frustrations on this question, and it has a lot of folks wondering how to crack the nut on this one. I myself do not feel that adequate information has been provided, and I've successfully passed all of my previous exams doing the same transition as yourself, including PPP and SPD which I ROCKED. I'm a graduate of the University of Oregon, where I studied with Alison Kwok (co author of MEEB, which is practically the bible at U of O). The thing is, I still don't know how to correctly answer this question. I've looked at Sun, Win, and Light, at MEEB, at Design with Climate...nothing conclusive in my opinion. They all confirm that being near a body of water will moderate extreme temperature variations, and that this is more effective when the building is on the leeward side of the body of water. As far as views are considered, I don't recall any information on the exam that would indicate a specific view is important to the placement of the building (a la the site planning vignette).

I am rescheduled to take PPD again in a couple weeks. Like you vrcat I am re-studying all concept areas, not just the one I failed, but truth be told I am quite worried I will get this question again and NOT feel confident about my answer. Whatever it is that you are missing, I'm missing it too.
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby Lvfowler » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:54 pm

Thanks for your rseponse too -

Yes i did see the thread that you are sharing the link to! Saw it on Saturday...still didnt help. From the link, Michelle at NCARB says we were supposed to "maximize the view" (see below). My exam definitely did ask for that....but i still didnt ...and still dont get it.

"
Michelle NCARB
June 28, 2017 13:57
Hi Carlos,

I'll start with your first question - what if you're merely asked for the best location for a building? Questions on the ARE are written to have only one correct answer. There will always be enough information provided so you can make an appropriate judgment in answering the question. A question that asks for a "best" whatever will also give you at least one criterion on which to make that judgment.

Consider PA Sample Item 5 in the ARE 5.0 Handbook (pp. 62-63). That question asks you to locate a building, and there's a lake nearby, and there's also a bunch of other factors you need to consider. But the climate isn't provided, and there's no information on prevailing winds or acoustic issues. So it's entirely safe to assume that those issues are not relevant for this question. The only impact of the lake on the site selection is that it helps maximize the required view. Reading anything more into this question unnecessarily complicates it.

Sean, I appreciate your sarcasm! But you're also correct. Sometimes the right answer is also the simplest answer."
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby vrcat25 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:12 pm

Lvfowler wrote:Thanks for your rseponse too -

Yes i did see the thread that you are sharing the link to! Saw it on Saturday...still didnt help. From the link, Michelle at NCARB says we were supposed to "maximize the view" (see below). My exam definitely did ask for that....but i still didnt ...and still dont get it.

"
Michelle NCARB
June 28, 2017 13:57
Hi Carlos,

I'll start with your first question - what if you're merely asked for the best location for a building? Questions on the ARE are written to have only one correct answer. There will always be enough information provided so you can make an appropriate judgment in answering the question. A question that asks for a "best" whatever will also give you at least one criterion on which to make that judgment.

Consider PA Sample Item 5 in the ARE 5.0 Handbook (pp. 62-63). That question asks you to locate a building, and there's a lake nearby, and there's also a bunch of other factors you need to consider. But the climate isn't provided, and there's no information on prevailing winds or acoustic issues. So it's entirely safe to assume that those issues are not relevant for this question. The only impact of the lake on the site selection is that it helps maximize the required view. Reading anything more into this question unnecessarily complicates it.

Sean, I appreciate your sarcasm! But you're also correct. Sometimes the right answer is also the simplest answer."

That doesn't make any sense. what does a pond and the climate zone have to do with a view??
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby nickp1085 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:40 pm

I have literally spent hours trying to figure out these 'body of water' questions since I also believe I have failed PPD twice solely because of these. If 10-16% of the test is on environmental that means there are a minimum of 12 environmental questions. I have had 3 'body of water' questions on my first exam and 4 on my 2nd. No one knows how NCARB grades but one can assume that getting all of these wrong would most likely fail that section and therefore fail the entire exam. I can't believe our professional licenses could come down to these ridiculous ambiguous questions.

Here's to hoping 3rd time is a charm and do not have any of these 'body of water' questions. However, since I'm sick and tired of looking into this topic, it makes absolutely 0 sense and anyones guess is as good as the next persons on these questions, my next test strategy is to only go North for those Southern looking views in any climate. Hopefully, there is a view of a PASS!
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby Lvfowler » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:47 am

Hey I'm right there with you. I KNOW i failed because of this. I had just taken PDD and skipped SEVERAL structures questions. I still passed. On this retake for PPD I know i must have answered some structures wrong...i know this is my weak point and i depend on the other sections to carry me....so in addition to this 10-16 percent environmental (i honestly cant even remember 10 questions but i guess they were there) I failed.

I have come to the same conclusion...unless someone shares a revelation with me in the next 59 days. I am going to put all of my buildings on the same side of the water in the same exact place. Because, like you said, what does the climate have to do with the views?
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby kerzzo » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:01 am

there is an interesting thing i discovered , that is the objects can be rotated(unless I am the last one to find out...I guess no one at NCARB told us)....tsk tsk tsk, of course this only complicates your answer on such questions as your options increase dramatically....
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby amadeus » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:43 am

kerzzo wrote:there is an interesting thing i discovered , that is the objects can be rotated(unless I am the last one to find out...I guess no one at NCARB told us)....tsk tsk tsk, of course this only complicates your answer on such questions as your options increase dramatically....

yup i didn't know this either until i read a post that you can rotate ! Hopefully more people find out on here so that they are prepared when they take the exams. I know i will be ready.
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby Zanno » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:22 am

I put all of my buildings on the North side of the body of water, and I don't think that was the right move to make because I failed this section.
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby Lvfowler » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:33 am

I knew about the rotate going into this retake and I did rotate my buildings slightly east of south. All I know is that I chose the correct building shape. I maybe have places th buildings in the wrong place, or rotated to the wrong degreee(u have to type in the degree). I didn't memorize that so I just did 10
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby nickp1085 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:09 pm

@Zanno thanks for that info. There goes that theory of going North all the time. Ive gone South before and failed and then on another exam changed them up to a combo of North and South. So now I'm just at even more of a loss. I've even rotated them at their preferred sun orientation angles per MEEB and Sun, Earth & Wind.

Anyone else have any guesses?
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby kerzzo » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:44 pm

I think it'd be easier if they tell you if the climate zone and if they show flat or contoured terrain besides the north arrow....
it'd help that it is not a "hot spot" question, too hahahha I think these are the questions no study material can prepare you for even if the questions are rather "easy", the feeling is that " wait, it can't be this simple, it has to be a trick to make you answer wrong--it has to be more complicated than this..." and so forth
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby Zanno » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:53 pm

nickp1085--who knows if this is the wrong strategy? maybe I got some of them right? It's like flipping a coin... a four-sided coin.

I have a feeling that over the months (years?) enough people will face this question that a 'strategy' will emerge, and people will learn how to give NCARB what it wants in order to pass. We are the trail-blazers, chartering unknown waters, establishing more secure wayfinding for future generations of ARE candidates...

We have to figure this one out soon, guys.
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby Lvfowler » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:51 am

Oh noooooo it sounds like we have tried it all!!!!

For those who have placed it North every time - was it rotated or not?
For those who have placed it South every time - " " " ?
For those who have mixed it up ?
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby Lvfowler » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:53 am

has anyone place it on top of the water???? hahahhaha
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby kerzzo » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:28 am

I am sure some people may have done that! maybe there is a small text somewhere saying we don't need to do anything on this problem and leave it alone---but we do something and get it wrong...
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby nickp1085 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:52 am

This link was posted in this thread previously, but there have since been a few updates. I think there may be some more beneficial notes now. https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-u ... y-of-Water
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Re: PPD - failed twice, passed everything else first time

Postby vrcat25 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:27 pm

nickp1085 wrote:This link was posted in this thread previously, but there have since been a few updates. I think there may be some more beneficial notes now. https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-u ... y-of-Water


thanks nick, but that links to a wild goose chase. All Michelle from NCARB does reaffirms that these are "trick questions" without any clear answer. So is wind a factor or isn't it? It seems the thread was closed because they were on the verge of an answer, but cut short before anything constructive was every achieved...Would anybody like to summarize what the important aspects of that thread are because i'm lost even more after reading that...
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