PDD Pass! - 16 Days After PPD

PDD Pass! - 16 Days After PPD

Postby cleehaddock » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:43 am

Glad to say that I passed PDD and am finally done with my AREs! I don't usually make posts on here, but I did visit this forum a TON for exam taking tips. So I wanted to go ahead and share my experience! Here's what I got for y'all:

Study Materials

I am proud to say I went through these two exams, as well as the 'Big 3' exams in 4.0, without purchasing ANY study materials! I found enough material that made me feel confidently prepared for free online. Here's what I used to study for PDD:

- Jenny's Notes (BCBS, BS)
- ADA
- IBC
- UL Fire Wall Details
- Dilip Khatri Videos for Structure overview
- Black Spectacle Videos for 4.0 Exams
- CSI MasterFormat
- Building @ Risk - Wind and Seismic
- Building Construction Illustrated
- Architect's Studio Companion
- MEEB
- Random Google Searches for
- Wall Details
- Acoustics and Acoustic Wall Assemblies
- Lighting
- Plumbing
- Electrical

Study Strategy

I work full time (mostly overtime!) at a high end residential firm, and have a family at home. On top of that I spent the last year rebuilding a new home after mine was struck by lightning and burned down. So I completely understand when people say that it's hard to find time to dedicate to studying for these exams. So here was my typical week of studying for the PDD:

During the Work Week
- 1 hr studying during lunch break
- 1-2 hrs studying in the evenings

On the Weekend
- 6-8 hrs studying whenever possible

I had about 16 days to follow this schedule after first taking PPD.

Exam Taking Strategy

I read all over the place that people were taking the PDD and PPD within weeks of each other. At first I found this hard to comprehend, because for all my previous exams I would study at a minimum 6 to 8 weeks. However, for these exams I would HIGHLY recommend taking them as close as comfortably possible. I say as 'comfortably possible,' because although it is beneficial to take these exams close together, you don't want to rush into it without being somewhat prepared.
I would say the main benefit of taking them within weeks of each other would be that since the exam contents are pretty similar, the information you study is going to remain pretty fresh in your mind.

So, for the few weeks in between you can focus on other topics that you felt not quite prepared for on the first exam, and on new topics for the next exam.

As most people said on this forum, PPD felt like it was made up of more broad questions with emphasis on site design and planning, and PDD had more specific questions with emphasis on construction details. I don't think it really matters what order you take PDD and PPD in, just as long as you are prepared for their respective content!

I would like to point out that time management is VERY important on this one. I began by calculating the amount of time I would have per multiple choice question, minus the amount of time I thought I needed for the case study questions and extra time for checking answers, and I still finished within seconds. Definitely worth planning out how you plan on managing your time!

I hope this information helps! Just a little background about me, I am 27 years old and, as stated earlier, work at a high end residential firm. I received my Bachelor's and Master's degree at a college that was more oriented toward conceptual design. So, I really didn't have a solid foundation of experience that prepared me for these AREs, but as long as you study hard and focus on your end goals then you'll be good to go!

I'd be happy to answer any questions y'all have. Also, feel free to check out my IG page @haddock_design where I share images of some unique homes! :D

Good luck!
cleehaddock
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:30 pm

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