PDD - Tested and Passed!

PDD - Tested and Passed!

Postby Renaissanceman » Mon May 15, 2017 9:07 am

I took PDD on Thursday (May 11th) and found out yesterday that I passed! What a relief it is to receive a pass after getting a fail in PPD.
After testing PDD, I felt I had done enough to pass, but was cautiously optimistic.

After my PPD fail I readjusted my study schedule and methodology. I did not go through any of the Study guides for this exam. I had managed to go through the whole of 4.0 Ballast guide in preparing for PPD. I also made notes as I studied the Ballast guide. For PDD all I did was flip through my Ballast notes from PPD very briefly. This strategy helped me in two ways:
a) It freed up more time for me to study more crucial and helpful material like, Fundamentals of BC, Materials and Methods, Building code illustrated and Building construction Illustarated.
b) Helped me stay calm and focused before the exam. The amount of irrelevant detail and formulas that the Ballast guide carries, just made me feel uprepared for PPD, since I was confused if I need to know all the formulas and trivial details.

Thoughts on the test:
I did not experience any issue with lag time. The system was a bit slower only during the case studies, due to the detailed drawings and reference material.
Lucky for me, my strategy to focus less on structures worked for me. I had a lot of questions on Construction details, materials and Construction documents and coordination.
Overall PDD test you on your knowledge of the big concepts (moisture and thermal protection, materials and their characteristics and uses, basic structural concepts, overall coordination of systems and drawings and Life safety and fire prevention codes)
Time is very limited on this exam and you have to use it wisely. Since I failed PPD due to terrible time management, I went into PDD with a lot of mental preparation regarding my time management. I made a detailed strategy and stuck to it for most of the exam.

My time management strategy:
Spend a maximum of 1.5 to 2 hrs for the MC question ( It took me almost 1 hr 50 mins to finish all the questions, apart from the case studies)
Keep at least 2 hrs for the case studies. (I used almost 2hrs 15 mins to complete my case studies. I think that is a little on the slower side……but I think I was so tired trying to read the PDFs and navigate the zoom % in the PDF, that it slowed me down)
Skip any question which looks like it requires more than 2 steps of calculation, even if I knew how to arrive at the answer. (I thought it was better to sacrifice 2 questions with long calculations, than miss answering 10 MC questions that you can get right if you had the time). I skipped 3 calculation questions, to come back to in the final review. I had 10 mins left to review my questions. In that time I was able to answer one of the calculation questions and could not get to the other 2.
I skipped the 15 mins break as I was in a good flow and did not want to break my rhythm and concentration.

Go in prepared to be beat this exam and you will. Just know that this exam will test you on more levels than just your knowledge, it will test your mental and physical endurance and your patience too.

These are the items I studied:
Ballast 4.0 guide
Amber seminar videos
Fundamentals of BC, Materials and Methods - Iano
Building code Illustrated
Building constructed Illustrated
Caroline’s CDS notes
Jenny’s BDCS and BS notes
Archiflash cards - BDCS, BS
NCARB 4.0 Practice test - BDCS, BS, SPD
Ballast ARE 5.0 Practice test
Made tons of my own flashcards and reviewed them.

Since I could not figure out a clear distinction in the study topic and materials for PPD and PDD, I have decided to just review and revise the same list for my PPD re-test, coming up in 2 weeks. In addition, I will focus a little more on SPD and climate for PPD.

I Hope this post helps other 5.0 test takers. Good luck to one and all!
Renaissanceman
 
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Re: PDD - Tested and Passed!

Postby ghost » Mon May 15, 2017 2:44 pm

Congrats on the pass!

What are your thoughts on the Amber Book videos? Did you do the 5.0 three exam bundle or the BS series? I am studying for PPD and PDD at the same time and am considering the purchase of the series.
ghost
 
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Re: PDD - Tested and Passed!

Postby Renaissanceman » Mon May 15, 2017 4:00 pm

@ ghost:

I purchased the 3 exam bundle and found it to be helpful in understanding and remembering concepts about building systems. His info on electricity, lighting and thermal transfer & acoustics were very helpful. The explanation on BDCS and materials is mainly based on infomation from Fundamentals in BC, Materials & Methods. He just touches on some simple concepts in Structures.
Like I said, I was desperate to find other material that could explan the concepts in Ballast manual in a simplified manner - therefore I decided to go with the Amber seminars. The only set back is it is quiet expensive.
Renaissanceman
 
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Re: PDD - Tested and Passed!

Postby alicia.jenkins86 » Wed May 24, 2017 12:11 pm

Would you mind going further into what chapters you studied from Fundamental of Building Construction Materials and Methods. That along with the BCI is quite heavy so I am hoping you can break it down a little more. Thanks
alicia.jenkins86
 
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Re: PDD - Tested and Passed!

Postby Renaissanceman » Wed May 24, 2017 4:39 pm

alicia.jenkins86 wrote:Would you mind going further into what chapters you studied from Fundamental of Building Construction Materials and Methods. That along with the BCI is quite heavy so I am hoping you can break it down a little more. Thanks


I used Building construction Illustrated as a visual refrence. Just flipped through the book a couple of times, visually noting important details, mainly wall sections and roof details

I use Fundamentals of building construction, Materials and Methods more extensively. I read through the following chapters:
Chapter 2 Foundation (in detail)
Chapter 3 Wood (in detail)
Chapter 4, 5, 6, 7 (briefly read, glance through all pictures and details)
Chapter 8 Brick (read in detail)
Chapter 9 stone and concrete masonry (read in detail)
Chapter 10 Masonry wall construction (read in detail)
Chapter 11, 12 (briefly read, glance through all pictures and details)
Chapter 13, 14, 15 Concrete (read in detail)
Chapter 16 roof (read in detail)
Chapter 17 glass (glance through)
Chapter 18, 19, (glance through)
Chapter 20 (read lightly, go through all details drawings)
Chapter 21 (go through all details drawings)
Chapter 22,23,24 (glance through)

Sorry it looks like a lot. But this book is amazing and it is very well written. Also the pics of actual work at site was very helpful in understanding how all these systems are built in field.
Renaissanceman
 
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Re: PDD - Tested and Passed!

Postby mdrnarch » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:51 pm

Renaissanceman wrote:I used Building construction Illustrated as a visual refrence. Just flipped through the book a couple of times, visually noting important details, mainly wall sections and roof details


Congrats!

Do you happen to know if there's a big difference between 3rd Edition and current edition of Building Construction Illustrated?

Also, did you feel that either the building construction illustrated and fundamentals of building construction were well worth your study time for this exam?
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