Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby sarann221 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:03 pm

Well, I just failed Structures. So, that's not encouraging. Ha. However, for those of you taking BS I HIGHLY recommend Michael Ermann's Amber Book online seminar. Going through the videos (twice) and flipping through MEEB book diagrams helped me pass the test the first time and I'm not even working actively in the industry right now!

For me, I've got two test left to pass. I will be completely honest........... I've failed each of them TWICE already. *sigh* *sob*. At this point for me I've decided I'm doing this for my family, because of all the sacrifices they've made for me this long I've got to finish! I've had to also learn how to communicate directly with my husband EXACTLY what would be helpful to me (that's a work in progress still, why can't he read my mind?!?! Ha!)

Lets do this Mommas and parents!!! Positivity and believing in myself I think was key for my BS pass and I lost some of that for Structures. MUST find it again!! Happy 2016! Lets GET IT DONE!! (practicing my positive self talk) ;)
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby LittleBlackBug » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:39 pm

appletree and rackbobo, I was there too! My brain wasn't taking any more in and I felt like I had every ounce of study material memorized. I finally found success when I completely changed it up. I found a structural engineer to review things with me in person, a tutor. My kids were 1.5 and 5 when I passed and it was so hard to find time between birthday parties, events with friends and family and travel for work. I would work through lunch, but study at work for the last hour of my day, giving me time to clear my head while not being distracted by my kids and commitments at home. It's so hard and I seriously got to the point where I thought I would start running out of chances. But, I just kept taking them and finally I made it.

You can do it! You are already doing so much by trying. I hope you can rejuvenate your brain and start fresh with a good pass!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby doingit » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:18 am

You guys are awesome! With a 2 and 4 year old, work, family, friends and maybe exercise...it's been bloody rough! These posts are great and all of you are inspiring. I'm praying that I will have only 1 more left which is BS. I've taken that one multiple times and I feel absolutely drained and my mental health is so wobbly BUT I took a break, enjoyed doing things I enjoy doing and went back at it. It hasn't been easy but we're so close it would be foolish to stop. I know I'll finish eventually and so will you. Do not let give up. You can do it!!! I keep coming back to these posts and it renews my hope. Thanks for your posts! Happy new year!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby sk1grl » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:49 am

Hi All, thanks for the motivational posts. I am preparing my mama brain to sit down and tackle the 4 exams I have left. I have BS, BDCS, SD and CDS! Of course, I have 4 months left on my rolling clock. I will apply for the extension request, as I feel like I am going to need the extra time. I am having a really hard time focusing and feeling like I cannot absorb the material like I did pre-baby. We are finally sleeping through the night, so I am getting more rest now. My little one is 16months and it's hard to be away from her at this age, I feel like I am missing out. I will set up a calendar to log in my hours, I think that will be helpful in my commitment to myself. I agree with feeling 80% confident with the material to sit for the test. Would love to hear from you other mamas who are testing this year. Love the study and success stories.
Here's to a successful 2016 with more passes!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby appletree » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:45 am

@ sarann....argh i feel your pain about believing in yourself! i just retook BS on Monday...we shall see. i have this feeling that i failed again...in which case I am just going to switch gears and try another test. my brain just can't do any better right now..maybe next year. it is so encouraging to know that other moms and families are struggling with this too, i love our cheering section here. i also feel like i am missing fun time with my little ones, so i try to space out the exams so i can say to my son (he's 5) "this month is for studying, but next month you'll have lots of mom time!" hes finally old enough to understand what that means...
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby loadwarrior » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:27 am

I'm also throwing in a word of encouragement. I took my first test (CDS) last week. My husband is studying for a big bad network engineering exam, so we jokingly say we have a "Lord of the Flies" situation going on with the four kids. It's temporary though, right?

So the night before my test the 2YO got up 3X. She usually sleeps through the night. Hubby finally came to bed at 2am and got up with her the 4th time. So my sleep was minimal. As I was putting my shoes on to leave, the dog threw up **IN** one of the shoes as I was tying the other one. Awesome moment there... So, I cleaned up the shoe and put on another pair. I arrived at the testing center a little frustrated, understandably. However, I PASSED!! One down. Six to go. :D We can do this!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby doingit » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:14 pm

Dear study warriors! Yesterday I celebrated my 6th PASS and I was crying and laughing at the same time. All of those long hours of work followed by evenings and late night study, weekends sacrificed, extra pounds gained from sitting on my..... :D My husband and family taking care of the kids! Oh these exams are ridiculous but the dedication makes it so worth it. I was so wiped out and burnt out and like many other posts I've read, I felt I couldn't retain the information any longer. SS was scheduled the day after Christmas and the last thing I wanted to do was take an exam. The only reason I actually showed up to take it was because my husband made me :D he told me to relax and be confident. "You know this!" Since I had already been feeling so wiped out the last couple of weeks I wasn't pressuring myself. I was relaxed.

The best was getting great big hugs from my 4 and 2 year old while yelling Mommy passed! Mommy passed! Over and over again! If this is what you really want, don't stop! You know this!!

BS here I come! (Pun intended)
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby TTas » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:23 am

For all the superwoman and man!
Don't give up! you can do it. I started my ARE after the birth of my first baby. When my baby was one year old, I scheduled my first exam. And finished all within a year when my baby is two years old. I paced myself for one exam every 1-2 month.
What I did: Study during my commute to work. Gladly I live in the bay area where public transit is an option. It guarantees me two hours per day min. I also study whenever I can. During lunch break, when my kid is watching cartoon. Being passager in the car. When my kid is sleeping. I left my day during weekend open to have some family time except the weekend before my exam. I tried to get some help, from grandparents, friend who has kids, sometime my husband took the kid out. It is hard but possible. I had absolutely no time for myself for a year. No dinner out with friends and no time for gym. But I did it. I found it easier to pass when you study them in a fast pace. The memories from CDS can help you with BDCS. I am moving to CSE now. Wish me luck and good luck for all the superheros. :D
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby BabingtonB » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:57 am

appletree - I'm in the same boat, just my 2 are younger (3 & 6mo). I get about 1/2 hour to myself every night (which actually encroches on sleep) after getting home, cooking dinner, and then getting the kids to sleep. I also get the kids ready in the morning (solo). I'm completely burnt out. I haven't started testing yet, and it doesn't help that NCARB keeps messing up my account. I actually just called NCARB & my state, because they have my account as 'inactive'. When I called both, they put it on each other, saying that I am fully ready to go. My goal is to try to get 2 tests under my belt this year. I'm at the point where I really need my license to move up in my company. I pretty much function as a PM, but I can't fully since I don't have my license (and we deal with agencies). Maybe us moms can unite and somehow study together remotely - study buddy type thing? You can do it! Invest in yourself, even though it's daunting and is frustrating. You've only got 4 left!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby appletree » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:39 am

Hi super architect parents!
I passed BS on my retake! I seriously did not sleep last night and had a nightmare that I failed. I logged into NCARB first thing this am to see I passed! I was shaking I was so relieved. 4 down, 3 to go. Doing SD next so I can have a break from memorizing stuff that I don't need to know bc we have consultants who worry about this in real life :) my goal is to take SD in the spring. I don't study or test in the summer - I really like to leave those weekends free for kids and fun stuff. Then hopefully tackle SS and BDCS in fall/winter.
If I passed this text with two kids and a super demanding firm job....you can do it too! I basically only end up studying in weekends despite my attempts to fit it in on weekdays. Testing right after New Years helped bc I had s long weekend with lots of help from my husband and I got some sleep.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby sk1grl » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:45 am

Appletree!!! That is SUCH great news! Congratulations! Your motivation and the other success stories helped motivate me, and I am taking BDCS the first week in February. I have been trying to study after work for at least 3 hours, after LO goes to sleep. Last night I had a late night at the office, so I didn't get in my 3 hours. But feeling better each session about the material. If only I could keep my eyes open at night!!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby makivolk » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:58 pm

I am soooooo motivated to get this done!
have a 2.5 year old.
I dragged this for such a long time and did everything else but licensing. and now I just want it over with.

I am lucky to work from home and have a VERY supportive husband. I take exams every 4-6 weeks. I schedule my exams 2 months up front, passed 4, have 3 more to go. I start my day with exam study (min 2 hours) and than I do my work. I catch up on my work when my kid goes to sleep since I can work tired but not study tired. Two weeks before exam I take whole weekends to study (I leave the house and do not come back....library, cafe, park). If I have a mess with work I mark up how many hours I lose and I catch up on that by taking those hours off from work closer to exam. I also make my study count.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby Vq30de » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:56 pm

This is the best post I've read on here, I'm in complete awe of anyone having babies and testing. We have a 6 year old and 6 month old, and my wife is a stay at home mom and works her butt off. She's pumping every 3-4 hours, and I can't imagine adding exams into the mix. Due largely to her support, I was able to bang out 7 exams in 8mos before our second little pork chop arrived. Keep up the incredible work, like I said I am blown away at these success stories
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby mtckli » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:54 pm

Raising my hand in this discussion. I have a 6 year old and a 1 year old and I just took BDCS yesterday - which is my last exam to pass. I started these exams 02/2014 - right before I found out I was pregnant with #2 and took all 7 - failed 2 of them at the end when I was 9 months pregnant because I was just so beat. Finally retook the 6th one and passed (had to take a week off work to study and concentrate) and passed BS. BDCS is really killing me though. I don't think I passed yesterday. Which just makes me more angry because I will have to spend more time studying instead of being with my children. I'm finishing this though- because I need the increased income potential - and because I've worked too damn hard to give up now.

One more...
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby loose seal two » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:01 am

Another one joining the club here!

I took SD in June 2013 right before the blackout and passed to establish my rolling clock. I found out in October 2013 that I was pregnant with #1. Decided I needed to try to pass as many exams as possible before I gave birth and just started crankin. Unfortunately, some intense morning sickness and migraines derailed my schedule a bit but I took and passed 5 exams before my son decided to show up (2 weeks late!) So my exam schedule went like this:
6/8/13, took SD (pass)
11/2/13, took CDS (pass)
2/1/14, took PPP (pass)
3/15/14, took SPD (pass)
6/7/14, took SS (pass)
7/1/14, Son was born!
Gave myself a "few months reprieve," which cascaded into a year. Then! A couple weeks before my son's first birthday, I found out I was pregnant again. I knew I only had two more to pass, but I now had a little one in the mix and a whole new host of pregnancy symptoms! So I tried to give myself a wide berth to study. In the end, I realized that lengthening my study time was ineffective, so I just sucked it up.

10/20/15, took BDCS (pass)

At the holidays, we learned my husband got his dream job about 2 hours away from where we currently live, and so we decided that he would move and get our new house in order (minor renovations), while my son and I continued to spend weekdays in our current home, until baby #2 arrives. We reunite each weekend, but do chores, and make sure to spend as much time as possible together with our son so he continues to feel secure. This means weekend study time has been nil. Weekdays have been a blur of morning rush, daycare drop off, focused work, studying at lunch, focused work, day care pick up, playing with my son, dinner/bath/bed, and then 2-3 hours of studying. Before I knew it, I was deep into my third trimester and realized it was go-time, and I needed to take this test.
And so...
2/13/15, took BS (pass)!!!!!

I'm 37 weeks pregnant now, and am so relieved to have this done, and to be able to focus on family for the next several months as I envision the new path my career will take. Parents- take heart and stay focused, and remember what's important. God bless you all and good luck!
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby appletree » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:25 am

@ loose seal, that is an amazing story! go you! congrats on your second kid as well....

i am gearing up to start studying for SD as a break after passing BS. only giving myself 6 weeks...so hopefully I can pull it off. As someone else mentioned, I also had to extend study time once...and it just resulted in a fail, it did not help me, so I'm not going to try that again.

i love reading this thread! it is so encouraging to know there are others struggling through this with loads of determination as well.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby Coach » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:01 pm

appletree wrote:i am gearing up to start studying for SD as a break after passing BS. only giving myself 6 weeks...so hopefully I can pull it off.

Only 6 weeks?
You'll be chomping at the bit to take it after less than 2 weeks of prep.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby Quigaboo » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:23 pm

Coach wrote:
appletree wrote:i am gearing up to start studying for SD as a break after passing BS. only giving myself 6 weeks...so hopefully I can pull it off.

Only 6 weeks?
You'll be chomping at the bit to take it after less than 2 weeks of prep.


SD is the easiest of all the exams IMO. I took this exam 1 week after passing SPD. Also there is nothing to Study, just vignettes.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby appletree » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:35 pm

yes, so I hear. which is good b/c these 6 weeks include a family trip...and I never manage to study except on weekends, so its really 4 weekends, a few hours a weekend. Do I really have to find a 4 hour block of time in which to practice building layout? thats nearly impossible with 2 kids...?! Do you really need all 4 hours?
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby Coach » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:53 pm

Most people who pass complete BL in less than 2.5 hours.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby appletree » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:19 am

Thanks Coach! i was looked on SD board for people's stories about passing and how much time it took but didnt find many. thanks! 2.5 hours i can find.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby jas5150 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:21 pm

I just wanted to say that you can do it. I passed all exams with a two year old and my wife was working full time, in school and pregnant (she even took her study cards to the hospital when she went into labor). Just tell yourself the more time you spend away from the family studying, the less likely you will have to go back and study again.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby spiketwig » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:02 pm

I have a toddler and I just practiced the SD BL in chunks (and I passed the test so it seemed to work fine breaking it up). I definitely never ever had a 4 hr block of time to dedicate. It also definitely does not take 4 hours, I could do it in about 2. I assume the extra 2 hours are in case you totally f*** up your first attempt at a layout and have to start over...?
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby appletree » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:45 am

reviving this thread as I am now gearing up for SS - my last exam! testing at the beg of Dec so lining up resources and figuring out my study path today. getting my head around the scope of the test, etc...now my kids are 6 and 4...and i just found out im expecting #3...so its now or never! my rolling clock has another year on it, but i need to finish before the end of 2017 for my own sanity.
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Re: Testing while pregnant/with little kids

Postby Kiedys.Zdam. » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:29 pm

Congrats on the #3!!
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