PPD Pass on the first swing...thankfully!

PPD Pass on the first swing...thankfully!

Postby Farmall12 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:54 am

To all my fellow AREers,

This one is a beast, and in know way will I sugarcoat it for you since that would be a disservice. :shock:

However with that being said, the daunting task can be managed. I tested Sunday 10/1 and received my pass result thins morning when I checked at 7am. I am so thankful that NCARB does not let you stumble around for almost a week anymore without knowing weather you failed or succeeded. So to the meant and potatoes of this test. Thank you all for posting here and telling your war stories. Its good to know the exams can be tackled and getting that confidence up!

You NEED to study Structural and MEP principles for this test. There were some god awful questions still that you might as well pick straws for the appropriate answer. I think I belted out a laugh in the test center when I read the options. HAHA. That broke up the somber mood for most of us in the testing room I think. I took my test early at 9am. The loading of the images and references took a couple seconds here and there, but overall not too bad. This is my first test in the 5.0 world and it did seem like an improvement for functionality. I had the question up on the screen and the calculator at the same time, which was a big help for some questions.

I have read a couple strategies on how to take the exam between here and the NCARB forum. The method I went with was to go through all the questions, minus the case study questions, and do a cursory review of the question and answer it if possible. If I needed more time than 30 seconds, I picked an answer and then flagged it to go over again later. Getting that done, I took my break with about 2 hours left and had probably 20 or so flagged to go over again. Took my break then went into crunching numbers or whatever the question wanted me to respond to. I had 1.5 hours left to get through the case studies, 2 of them like most people. They were pretty self explanatory and the loading was not too laggy. Go through the practice exam NCARB has provided us, it is worth doing a couple of times to be comfortable with it. Just like doing the old practice vignettes. Its in your best interest to not acquainted with it and not surprised. The time flies by so keep aware of the clock. You have only 2 minutes on each question....so..thats that.

Study Resources:

I dedicated 2 solid weekends to study, and essentially didnt do much else. On weekdays I studied, after work for a couple hours before my eyes wanted to close for about a month. I have been practicing the art in a firm for 9 years now. So I really focused on the areas that I was not comfortable with. Mostly structures and MEP concepts because hey...we have consultants for most of that!

I suggest you go through the list of references in the the matrix at the end of the 5.0 Handbook. I picked up most of the books cheap on the interwebs. If they are one edition behind and you can get it for under 10 bucks, why not. Most of my references were older and were sufficient. However, you need to know the 2012 IBC code for this one. Do not go with older versions since it is specific. You will have some references in the test right from the code, so be familiar with it.

Sustainable Principles - SUN WIND and LIGHT...read the damn thing from cover to cover! Also there are a few chapters at the beginning of MEEB relative to climate and siting.

For MEP - I went through the infamous MEEB. I studied the relevant chapters. You can definitely snooze to this one just like I did in college. However, if you do not go through this book at peast partially, you will probably fail the exam. Mechanical and Electrical Systems in Buildings is another one I used that was less difficult than MEEB.

Structures - I haven't heard of a foot-kip in years! My structures professor was foreign and he always said beamis instead of beams. Oh the memories! Structural Design: A Practical Guide for Architects was a fun read (i know...its structures...not fun). They make it fun and have good examples to follow along with. I picked up the older edition and that wasn't bad. I found this lecture series on youtube that I watched at work. ( don't tell the boss). HE went through the principles but its tough on with his microphone sometimes.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGv3KG_qIWQuIZEH-YGpBUw

I have seen a few others lectures available from people on the 5.0 community and I may dive into those for the PDD exam. Lots of structures on this one so do not let it get. There are also some older shows about the Hyatt regency and seismic issues that are worth looking into as well. Just remember, the more you do for this one, the easier PDD will be. Or vise versa for those who test the other way.

Find some good resources on project costing and life cycle analysis. I wish I could say more about this one, but I did not have any specific resources to cover this one.

I like Designer Hacks for some good quiz prep for little cost. Gets your mind working for fast assessment and responses to topics and helps you to focus on the areas your deficient in.

Sorry for the lack of structure on this one but there is soooo much to cover. Pick a date to test and get it done. You all can do with focus, a little time and determination! One to go! :D
Farmall12
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:01 pm

Re: PPD Pass on the first swing...thankfully!

Postby Rcantone80 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:09 pm

Congratulations on your PASS!! Thank you for sharing you experience, strategies and materials!!

I was just curious, did you utilize Brightwood PPD or the PPI section for PPD? Also, I have many references from the ARE Handbook, most of which I have read or skimmed. I have read Brightwood and I was going to do another pass but it's a lot of reading and only (4) weeks left to study. My concern is my technical knowledge of the difference MEP Systems. Do you think (in your opinion) MEEB is the best source that helped you in those areas?

Thanks and again, congratulations!!
Rcantone80
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:58 pm

Re: PPD Pass on the first swing...thankfully!

Postby Farmall12 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:48 pm

Rcantone80 wrote:Congratulations on your PASS!! Thank you for sharing you experience, strategies and materials!!

I was just curious, did you utilize Brightwood PPD or the PPI section for PPD? Also, I have many references from the ARE Handbook, most of which I have read or skimmed. I have read Brightwood and I was going to do another pass but it's a lot of reading and only (4) weeks left to study. My concern is my technical knowledge of the difference MEP Systems. Do you think (in your opinion) MEEB is the best source that helped you in those areas?

Thanks and again, congratulations!!


Thanks!

If you have four weeks left, I would use a bit of MEEB if you have it already. Just go through the chapters and locate the ones you feel you need to focus on. Just don't get too bogged down with the technical bits too much and just gather the overall concepts. In all of the exams I have taken (4.0 holy grail 3 exams and now PPD) I never used Is Brightwood / Kaplain materials. I used ballast a bit for the 4.0 exams. I felt those study guides were a bit to general for my use and my money would be better spent towards resources I could use in the profession like getting the actual IBC Code book. Might as well learn it well since we use it every day sort of concept. Most of the resources I've used I acquired used and a slightly older edition or kept from college. VAV boxes still function basically the same from 10 years ago. Haha

My overall experience with this exam was a hodgepodge of structural systems such as beams, slabs and shearwall info, seismic, code basics, plumbing, acoustics, lighting, some construction details and building site / climate issues. Just have a good understanding of the elementary issues and you will be good.

A couple resources I certainly would focus on in addition to MEEB are the other books I mentioned. They are a bit less technical and make easier reads.

I hope to hear a PASS write up from you soon! Best of luck!
Farmall12
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:01 pm

Re: PPD Pass on the first swing...thankfully!

Postby Rcantone80 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:44 pm

You’re very welcome!

I completely agree with you. I have used Kaplan (4.0) and now Brightwood for this exam. I am feeling that it is too general and not enough to pass this exam. This unfortunately isn’t my first attempt and I feel like I should have spent more time in my MEEB book and been faster at navigating the IBC. Being a faster reader to get thru these questions would be a huge help too...lol. I was battling against the clock. I am confident if I really spend these next week’s focusing on MEEB / IBC and those other resources I will be okay. I appreciate the peace of mind in regards to the Brightwood book because it’s really bogging me down (plus I already read it last time). I did purchase the QBank for additional questions; those seem to be good questions.

The book Sustainable Principles – Sun Wind and Light. I think is one of the only books I don’t have in my pile of resources, I will have to look into that one.

Thanks again for your insight on this exam and I definitely hope to share a PASS! Best of luck to you on that last one!
Rcantone80
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:58 pm


Return to PPD - Project Planning & Design

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests