PPD pass rate and difficulty vs PDD

PPD pass rate and difficulty vs PDD

Postby pecos » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:08 am

First time posting, long time reader. I have passed all exams except for PPD. I passed PDD on the first time, and all other exams in one try except for PPP in 2 attempts. However, I just failed PPD for the 3rd time - and I have to admit, I truly don't know how else to prepare for this exam, and I feel its going to boil down to me getting a different version of the exam for a pass. I have followed NCARB's recommended materials (within reason) and even used the Amber videos when I studied PPD & PDD in conjunction. I tried Black spectacles, but too generic. So - in terms of preparation, I don't know what else to tackle, other than just keep refreshing, taking notes in weak areas and taking whacks at this exam every 2 months. Are we to believe PPD is THAT much more difficult than PDD? What are the chances NCARB looks at the fail rates for PPD and alter course? It seems this one is a nightmare for many. I have had a mostly good experience with testing - but this exam is crushing me. Last one, serenity now, serenity now.
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Re: PPD pass rate and difficulty vs PDD

Postby lnuh » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:22 pm

I am on second time fail on PPD and I believe the exam is unnecessarily tricky. No reason and it is not good for anyone. If you look in the NCARB website This exam is around 40’s % passing rate! Horrible. That alone should tell NCARB to fix this and make this exam more reasonable!!! Come on NCARB!!!
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Re: PPD pass rate and difficulty vs PDD

Postby Raja » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:49 pm

The national passing rate for PPD in 2018 was 46%, which is not only appalling but lower than previous years for 5.0. Historically the passing rate increases over a few years after they implement a new generation of ARE, but not for this exam. This is an abysmal failure on the part of NCARB and they have to adjust the exam or partner with 3rd parties to create better (and NOT more expensive) study material.

I'm retaking PPD this week (2nd try) and fully expect to fail again due to how difficult I found it last time, and just not knowing how to study for this because it is so all over the map. I think a big part of passing is getting the exam that more closely matches your set of knowledge, and remaining calm but focused so you can filter all the unnecessary information in the question and distill what is being asked.

In terms of studying, I'm burnt from working 50+ hours a week, studying last time and then for PDD (passed). I just can't read Fundamentals of Building Construction or MEEB anymore and I've done all I can with Ambrose Structures. So I've been re-taking all the sample problems from Ballast 4.0 BS, BDCS, SPD, as well as re-reviewing FEMA for Earthquakes chpt.4/5 and Ching's BCI (codes). I have also spent a lot of time browsing IBC sections online that I don't usually deal with at work since my case studies on PPD last time were building types I have not and will never work on. The next few days I'll spend a bit of time again on the Hyperfine PPD study questions. Good luck to us all, unless you went to MIT, then you're a shoe-in (100% passing rate :-))
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