6 fails in a row GEEEZ

6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby tmston2 » Tue May 16, 2017 10:30 am

tested fri got my failing score on wed. I have taken all the practice exams I can get my hands on, 3.1, 4.0, 5.0 ballast, kaplan, ncarb, meeb and all of them I score on avg 68 - 76% range.
I am really not sure why I keep failing exams!!!! infact I just got a 8k raise at work and more job responsibility and yet I have A.R.e. Fails in past year.
I was even on the phone with a city building inspector going over a code issue and he asked me was I interested in a job because im savy with the ibc, but i told him I guess not to
savy I have failed a total of 14 a.r.e.'s, I called ncarb and they told me i can speak to one of their specialist! I scoffed! Thats like me asking tom brady how to improve
my free throws, or me expecting donald trump never to tweet again!!!!
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby Renaissanceman » Tue May 16, 2017 10:48 am

Sorry to hear about your fail :-(

Can you explain your process both studying and during the test, so that we can help understand the cause of the fail. How did you feel when you left the test center?

Keep trying, you will succeed.
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby vrcat25 » Tue May 16, 2017 11:09 am

Also sorry to hear tmston.

Do you mind posting your timelines of when you took the tests whether you passed or failed? I'd like to help, but i'm not sure how long you took for each test and how long you waited to retake. A timeline would help to get a better picture. As renaissanceman said, it would also help to hear your study process for some of your pass/fails.
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby tmston2 » Tue May 16, 2017 8:08 pm

I basically use the same study method almost everytime, took bs in may of 2016 & failed, took bd&cs in july of 2016 & failed, i decided to transition so i figured ppd & pdd wud be comprehensive of 4.0 ss, bs, & bd&cs, so i spent august of 2016 until nov when I cud transition & test in 5.0. I took ppd nov 9th & pdd nov 20th. Found out in march I failed both & also that ppd is more 4.0 ppp & im not sure wut the hell pdd is. Definitely not bd&cs. But anyhow i resceduled & took them both april 8th & may 12th failing them both again after over a easy 200 hours or more of studying & prolly atleast 350 self made flash cards which i go thru everday min of 40 mins sumtimes more. I typically spend my lunch break going thru my cards.
My study stradegy is as follows:
- i start by skiming thru ballast, noting the topics i dont knw
- then i skim through kaplan doing samething
- then i study those topics in ballast
- then i re skim kaplan
- then i skim jennys notes
- then i take practice exams to see were i am in my understanding of the content
( ballast & kaplan)
- then i review the things i got wrong & make note cards of those items
- then at this point i review corresponding chapters in graphic standards, studio companion, meeb & bci
- then i jus go through my note cards over & over & google & youtube things i feel are not really clear to me
- then i schedule an exam once i continue to score between 65% & 75% on practice quizez & test
- then i take exams that contain like %15 of da bulls@!t ive been studying! & i fail the exam!
Exam taking:
- i start by going thru all the questions i definitely know ( usally like 30-35)
- then i do all none calculation questions
- then all calc questions last
- then i do case studies
- then i think who was da group of dumb a$$'s who got together & allowed this crap!
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby tmston2 » Tue May 16, 2017 8:11 pm

Even after thinking this over, there are things i have studied that I havent even seen on any of the 14 exams I have taken, Not once!
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby vrcat25 » Tue May 16, 2017 8:54 pm

I understand your frustration. I failed PPP 3 times before passing it. At least you have PPP, CDS and SPD out of the way right? How long do you have until your rolling clock kicks in? I'd take your time this next time and you only have to pass these two and you're done, but if you fail you have to wait a year from the time you took it the first time which would be November right?

As for your study process. No offense, but Im not sure the cards are helping you much. One thing you have not mentioned is the Handbook and ncarb mock exam. have you studied the 170 page handbook? I think the problem is that you're focusing on the material and not enough on the deductive reasoning of the questions and you need to figure out the logic in the examples provided by ncarb particularly. I would focus almost entirely on the pratice tests. It's great that you practice until you got 65 - 75%, but that's not enough. You need to retake them and get 95-100 on them since they are re-takes. Don't look at it as cheating, but look at it as learning the questions you missed. I'm going to do this with all 3 ARE sample problems tests (BS, SS, and BDCS) since there are 2 tests per book and i've found that these practice tests (ARE sample Problems) are closest in line to the actual test, besides the Handbook. NCARB wrote the Handbook so there's no better practice tests then those. Even learn the questions in the non PDD PPD sections since there's always some overlap. Besides the ARE sample problems, Handbook i've heard that Building Codes illustrated and Building Construction illustrated is very similar to the information on the test. Would you agree or disagree to the the Ching books being helpful? I'm also going to focus on those. I'm sorry that i can't be of more help to you. I really think you have become psyched out and i know the feeling. You are very close so just try to stay relaxed and build your understanding of the core concepts. Have any of the questions reappeared that you were ready for the second time or were they all new questions? When do you plan on retaking? Sorry i can't help more and i wish you the best of luck.
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby tmston2 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:44 pm

I hav 2.5yrs left on rolling clock but ncarb said they are adding 6months
- in my mind the ncarb handbook is a joke, is has like 6 probs for ea section Of test i need to pass, but i have reviewd it
- yes, i find bci very helpful but not relly organized per a.r.e. & more vague than some a.r.e. Questions like moments & uvalues, etc.; Personally i do code review often at work so most times i thpically pass that so i usuallydont review ching code ilustrated
- yes, i have seen some of the same questions & hotspots ( maybe thats the route to go)
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby ekelsey15 » Wed May 17, 2017 5:22 am

I agree I think the NCARB book is a joke for the most part.

But I also agree with vrcat. I wonder if you're just not quite grasping the questions and what they are asking for. Don't take this the wrong way, but to me the tests are east as far as concept. Especially if you have real experience. That being said what is not easy is getting through the layers of crap they pile on the questions so figure out what it is they are really looking for.

Until I figured that out I failed my first test and did horribly at practice exams. Once I understood that though it all made sense.
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby tmston2 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:57 am

Don't take this the wrong way, but to me the tests are east as far as concept. Especially if you have real experience

Define "real experience"? Like I said, if I was to brak it down I have:
- 3.5 yrs exclusively working as a drafter picking up redlines and drafting hand sketches (residential and light commercial)
- 4.5 yrs working as project assistant at all phase with limited c.a. (multi-family, government & commercial)
- 2yrs working as project manager all phases with limited c.a. (multifamily & commercial)
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby tmston2 » Thu May 18, 2017 9:28 am

at this point, I dont think I will even study anymore; it seems to be a waste of time and I have practically been through all the major study resources definitely twice now in 3.5 yrs
My strategy is to just keep taking exams until I pass, I am confident at some point I will breakthrough!!! after all thats probably easier and less
time consuming, now I can get my evenings and weekends back, and my wife can get her kitchen table and husband back :D
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby gbalaka » Thu May 18, 2017 9:46 am

tmston2,

I'm trying to think of what to say, but i'm sort of at a loss for words. You've certainly taking many exams, so I don't think you have exam anxiety and i would assume you're more comfortable with the process by now.

However, one thing that stood out to me was when you said "I basically use the same study method almost every time". If you do the same thing over and over again, you most likely will not achieve different results. You need to change something.

When i take practice exams, i would score similar to what you did. But that was the first time. Then i do them over and over and over again until I get close to 100%. I also signed up for Designer Hacks which offers online practice exams and those became sort of a game to me and i'd repeat them over and over again. I also had purchased the study material from are exam prep and each exam came with a 30 day access to a Multiple Choice Exam Simulator and i'd go hardcore on that prior to the exam.

Another point to note is that you should concentrate on 1 exam at a time - don't be scheduling 2 exams a week or two apart.......that doesn't seem to be working for you.

Since you like to make flashcards, i used studyblue and made my own flashcards there and reviewed them on my phone/laptop/ipad....

I wish you the best of luck, but i certainly think you need to make some changes to your gameplan. You can do this!

And just so you know, just because people pass these exams doesn't make them great architects. You certainly know your stuff - but you need to figure out what NCARB wants you to say.
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby ekelsey15 » Thu May 18, 2017 10:24 am

Define "real experience"? Like I said, if I was to brak it down I have:
- 3.5 yrs exclusively working as a drafter picking up redlines and drafting hand sketches (residential and light commercial)
- 4.5 yrs working as project assistant at all phase with limited c.a. (multi-family, government & commercial)
- 2yrs working as project manager all phases with limited c.a. (multifamily & commercial)


What I was trying to say is if you work in the industry (which you obviously do) you're going to be more knowledgeable about the concepts. If you're fresh out of college and taking the tests because you were able to get enough hours logged during college or if you've been pigeon-holed into a certain aspect you may not know as much about the concepts.

For instance last night I was reading through Kaplan trying to study for PDD and started realize I have been reading through stuff I already know. So I skipped on. Chances are you know the concepts but it's more of an issue of the way they ask the question. That is what my issue was at first.
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby tmston2 » Thu May 18, 2017 10:55 am

Thanks everyone for all your great advice. I will definitely take it all to heart for sure & I apologize for coming off whinny and frustrated; and forgive me if i said anything offensive but I am redy to be done with this hoop jumping.
Thank you all
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby vrcat25 » Thu May 18, 2017 11:09 am

tmston2 wrote:at this point, I dont think I will even study anymore; it seems to be a waste of time and I have practically been through all the major study resources definitely twice now in 3.5 yrs
My strategy is to just keep taking exams until I pass, I am confident at some point I will breakthrough!!! after all thats probably easier and less
time consuming, now I can get my evenings and weekends back, and my wife can get her kitchen table and husband back :D


That's kind of the same strategy i took when i finally passed PPP...It seemed as if i had done EVERYTHING and it was just about getting lucky...Ironically, IT WORKED...I'm not going to take the chance with PPD and PDD though...I'm going to study every source i can get my hands on and hope that I can pass the first time...If i fail, I'll probably take your approach though for the second, and third attempt...It's very easy to become frustrated and develop anxiety from these tests...I also understand what gbalaka is saying about "if it's not working, fix it", but it seems like there's really not much method to the madness of preparing for these tests. At least from my experience, it boils down to "luck of the draw". I'm hoping it's different with with 5.0, but it sounds like some of it is chance. For example, I've heard some people say they had 20 or more SS questions while others only had 5. I'm hoping i'm in the later group, but my luck is usually not that good....Will find out next week i guess...
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby tmston2 » Thu May 18, 2017 4:37 pm

^^ I agree, I took spd in 4.0, four times to pass, the first was jus a dry run to see what the test are all about. the second was a fail and the third I ran out of time on the vignette, but my fourth test the multiple choice was pretty simple. but every other exam I have taken beside's ppp, which I passed on first go around, have been pretty challenging. It seems hardly any of the study material shows up on the exam and after taking like 14 exams there are things that I have studied that have never appeared on any of the exams! and I have taken like 14 exams! thats like over 1,190 official ncarb test questions! with 480 questions being in 5.0, but i do get a plethera of questions like the following:

which of these is most likely not to be consider but probably otherwise occurred in a month after june or but not july, aug, sept, oct, nov, or dec,?
a). the speech of donald trump
b). the talk of trump
c). Neither the speech or talk of trump
d). Nordstoms
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby corbismyhomeboy » Fri May 19, 2017 6:33 am

tmston, it sounds like you're having a hard time deciphering the wording of the questions. I didn't see any NALSA ArchiFlash flashcards included in your study outline above. Those REALLY helped me get through all of the exams. It sounds dumb because they're just flashcards, and yes you can make your own flashcards with whatever info you want on them. BUT what you get out of these that you don't get from making your own flashcards is practicing the tricky wording that is similar to the wording NCARB uses and WHY the answer is what they think.

I will say, at least with my set of ArchiFlash cards from 3.1, that the way they're divided isn't necessarily perfect. IE: sometimes I had to add cards from other sections to account for the content overlap on the exams.
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Re: 6 fails in a row GEEEZ

Postby nidagm » Sat May 27, 2017 11:17 pm

I will second NALSA cards. Good luck!
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