Study Materials

Study Materials

Postby mermann » Sat May 11, 2019 3:05 am

Content-First
I’ve helped more than 5,000 people pass the ARE, and I’m ready to share some insights. The key to passing these tests? No surprise here: learning the material. Of course, there are test-taking tricks, both general to test-taking and specific to the ARE that can help at the margins—and I’ll cover those in future posts on this thread—but the quickest, surest path to licensure is in owning the content. For most of you, that will mean a good deal of studying, though for the subset of you who have long-treated curiosity as an itch that needs to be scratched, this will come more easily. I’ve found that people who have spent a (professional) lifetime looking up unknown subject matter when they come across it require less studying and probably enjoy the process of studying a bit more. But for both the curious and uncurious, if you are endeavoring to pass these exams, I encourage you to approach them with a measure of gusto, because owning the content—really really really knowing it—is more fun than trying to memorize a test item that was on your last failed attempt (and unlikely to show up again). And truly understanding the subject matter will both make you more likely to pass and will make you a better architect.—Michael Ermann, The Amber Book
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Re: Study Materials

Postby mermann » Sat May 11, 2019 3:07 am

Column Buckling
Study structures, as it relates to the ARE, here. (Free content from the Amber Book I posted on YouTube).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvvaCi_ ... QA&index=1
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Re: Study Materials

Postby mermann » Tue May 14, 2019 7:41 am

Failing is a Feature, Not a Bug
At the time I write this, pass rates for ARE divisions range from 46% (PPD) to 70% (CE). (You can see up-to-date pass rates for each division at https://www.ncarb.org/pass-the-are/pass-rates.) Let’s say you’ve studied enough to achieve an 80% likelihood of passing EACH of your six exam divisions, which is exemplary and far exceeds the average test-taker. Even in that high-achiever example, with an 80% likelihood of passing EACH division, you still have less than a one-in-three chance of passing ALL the divisions on the first try. Failing some divisions is part of the process, not a detour from it. For this reason, think of failing a division not as failure, but as an expensive, but very accurate, practice test—part of the process of moving toward licensure, and nothing to be dejected about for more than a day. Unless your score suggests you failed spectacularly, sign up right away for the next available spot at the testing center to re-test that same division. If you are a football fan, think of it as a holding call: not optimal, but a part of the game. If you are not a sports fan, think of failing a division as a long queue at airport security. It makes you feel bad, it delays you, but you usually make your plane in the end.—Michael Ermann, The Amber Book https://amber-book.com/
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Re: Study Materials

Postby mermann » Fri May 17, 2019 8:37 am

Fire Code and Revolving Doors
Study fire codes and egress, as it relates to the ARE, here. (Free content from the Amber Book I posted on YouTube).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miqOq62 ... QA&index=2
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Re: Study Materials

Postby mermann » Sun May 19, 2019 3:51 pm

How Many Hours Does Someone Need to Study to Pass This ARE Division?
There are so many problems with this reasonable-sounding question. It reveals a failure to think probabilistically (more on that in a later post), and it fails to account for individual prior knowledge of the material, which varies across test-takers. But mostly, it promotes over-studying. Let’s say that you have 200 hours available to study in a three-month period. Is it better to study one division and get to a state where there is a 90% likelihood of passing that one division. . . or is it better to spend 100 hours on each of two divisions and get to an 80% likelihood of passing each of those two divisions. It’s the second scenario that’s better for you. In a given window of time, better to study for two divisions and achieve 80% likelihood of passing each of those, than to study one division and get to 90% likelihood of passing only one division. This is because if you chose to study for one test, you likely could have passed two instead, and even if you failed one of the two, you still broke even in that case because you passed one test, like in the first scenario where you only studied for one test. But with the two-division option, you already have 100 hours of studying under your belt for the retake of the failed division. For too many people their goal is to pass the next division, and it is important to have microgoals for the long process of licensure so you can celebrate the interim victories. But the overarching goal should be to pass all the divisions in the least amount of time.—Michael Ermann, The Amber Book
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Re: Study Materials

Postby mermann » Wed May 22, 2019 4:32 am

How Many Study Hours Does Someone Need to Pass This ARE Division?
There are so many problems with this reasonable-sounding question. It reveals a failure to think probabilistically (more on that in a later post), and it fails to account for individual prior knowledge of the material, which varies across test-takers. But mostly, it promotes over-studying. Let’s say that you have 200 hours available to study in a three-month period. Is it better to study one division and get to a state where there is a 90% likelihood of passing that one division. . . or is it better to spend 100 hours on each of two divisions and get to an 80% likelihood of passing each of those two divisions? It’s the second scenario that’s better for you. In a given window of time, better to study for two divisions and achieve 80% likelihood of passing each of those, than to study one division and get to 90% likelihood of passing only one division. This is because if you chose to study for one test, you likely could have passed two instead, and even if you failed one of the two, you still broke even in that case because you passed one test, like in the first scenario where you only studied for one test. But with the two-division option, you already have 100 hours of studying under your belt for the retake of the failed division. For too many people their goal is to pass the next division, and it is important to have microgoals for the long process of licensure so you can celebrate the interim victories. But the overarching goal should be to pass all the divisions in the least amount of time.—Michael Ermann, The Amber Book
mermann
 
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Re: Study Materials

Postby mermann » Wed May 29, 2019 2:57 am

What is the Difference between Prestressing and Pretensioning?
Study reinforced concrete, as it relates to the ARE, here. (Free content from the Amber Book I posted on YouTube).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIEEYw4 ... QA&index=3
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Re: Study Materials

Postby mermann » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:47 am

Is there such a thing as studying too much?
The first hours of studying for an exam have a high yield. By that, I mean each hour significantly increases the likelihood of a pass. Eventually, you will reach a point of diminishing returns, where each extra hour of squeezing produces scant extra juice. How do you find that inflection point in you process? That’s difficult to pinpoint with precision, and it generally ranges between 25 hours and 175 hours, but if more than 25% of the content you are currently learning is content you’ve already seen in the course of your prior studying, it’s time to schedule that exam. Those of us who live this stuff have an idea when the low-hanging fruit has all been picked, so ideally, the study prep material you’re using already has this inflection point figured out for you, and it recognizes the value of your time. Frankly most study prep material does a poor job of considering your “yield,” which is the number of extra questions you’ll get right for each additional hour of studying a given topic. For giggles, we made a moch-ARE you-passed-but-over-studied pass report. Click on this link (and see if you can find the spoofed material). https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X0jm5s ... leNX-/view. --Michael Ermann, The Amber Book
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Re: Study Materials

Postby mermann » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:17 am

Galvanic Action
Study which metals can’t touch one another, as it relates to the ARE, here. (Free content from the Amber Book I posted on YouTube).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tee3W2Q ... QA&index=4
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Re: Study Materials

Postby mermann » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:25 am

Keep Quiet!
So why do people over-study? Why do they study for one test until they get to a 90% likelihood of passing instead of studying for two tests in the same time window and getting each of those to an 80% likelihood of passing? It is because they are not visualizing the difference as a slight decrease in passing likelihood from 90% to 80%. Instead, they are visualizing a doubling of the failing rate from 10% to 20%, and they’re doing so because of pride. Oversharing begets over-studying. When you announce to your boss, your friends, your social media followers, your coworkers, your old college roommates, and the person with whom you share a bed that you are going to be sitting for an ARE exam division next week, you are inviting them to ask you how did it go? did you pass? You may be recasting a fail report, which is a normal part of the process (see an earlier post), into a personal and often profound embarrassment. If you take nothing away from these posts, take this: stop telling people you are taking the divisions. Tell no one. Share instead with your friends once you’ve passed a division. You’ll earn their respect and get through the examination process in less time.—Michael Ermann, The Amber Book
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Re: Study Materials

Postby mermann » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:25 am

How Does Electricity Work
Study circuits, voltage, current, and power delivery, as it relates to the ARE, here. (Free content from the Amber Book I posted on YouTube). .—Michael Ermann, The Amber Book
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZInLPe_ ... QA&index=5
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