PASS (My Study Schedule)

Structural Layout Vignette and Multiple Choice

PASS (My Study Schedule)

Postby tsmithth » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:54 am

Just found out I passed the Structures Exam, such a huge relief. Below is my study schedule. I have two kids, so maybe this will help some of those folks that are trying to schedule around bedtimes etc.

6-8 weeks - 1 chapter at a time, usually after bedtime (8:30-10:00), 3-4 days per week
1) Read Kaplan (Highlighted important stuff)
2) Read Ballast BDCS chapters on Concrete, Sitework, Wood, Steel (Highlighted Important stuff)
3) Read FEMA (Highlighted Important Stuff)

30 hour Thaddeus Seminar - SO IMPORTANT
1) I took a few notes, but mostly tried to listen and understand how all the formulas, and concepts work together as a whole

2 weeks - Review (Roughly 3 hours a day (1 at lunch, 2 after bedtime), and close to 12 hours the last 3 days before the exam)
1) Archiflash Cards
2) About 75% of the Kaplan Multiple Choice (350 problems or so, really helped me get in the mindset of test taking)
3) Reread all of Kaplan and Ballast Highlighted material, and diagrams
4) Reread/ reworked all of Thaddeus Seminar Material
5) Read Buildings at Risk (for insurance)

I may have gone overboard, but I was still uneasy leaving the exam. Glad it was a pass, and hopefully this schedule can help someone else get motivated to get after it.

Thanks ARE community!
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:16 pm

Re: PASS (My Study Schedule)

Postby WhiteRabbit » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:53 pm

So do you think the FEMA chapters were more important than the Buildings at Risk documents?

My exam is coming up in less than a week and I'm just not going to get through all the recommended materials. I work full time and have two young children (including a just 1 yo) and as you know, it leaves very little time for studying. It sounds like you found the FEMA docs comprehensive enough that the Buildings at Risk just reinforced what you had already learned?

I've taken Thaddeus which for me has been one of the best sources of study materials I've taken for any of the exams - well worth the money!!!

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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:31 am

Re: PASS (My Study Schedule)

Postby tsmithth » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:03 pm

FEMA and buildings at risk seemed to be alot of the same material. I skimmed BAR pretty quick, but just wanted to check it off my list in case there was something in there. I don't remember reading anything I had not already read in FEMA, but I was moving fast, so I can't really remember. Thaddeus info was great for seismic and wind too.

I've got a 3 yr old, and a 1yr old, so I feel you. I've taken the approach that I just study when I can, and hope that's enough. So far it's worked, 2 more to go! Best of luck!
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:16 pm

Re: PASS (My Study Schedule)

Postby sofiasalvat » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:15 am

Thank you for sharing tsmithth!

I test in 6 weeks and am conflicted with the Kaplan study test: many people say it is overboard with the math and to just skip it, others say it helped them feel prepared for the test. Any input here?
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 6:29 pm

Re: PASS (My Study Schedule)

Postby tsmithth » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:05 pm

I think the best thing about the study test for me was getting me in the mindset of test taking. It's very different to read the material, than it is to recall that material in a testing scenario. Taking the Kaplan practice test was incredibly useful for studying too because it works like a flashcard, you have to recall the information on your own, and then you can immediately see how you did. I never really intended to use the practice exam, but when I started my two week review I added it into my study schedule, and I really enjoyed it. It was a welcome break from the monotony of reading Kaplan or Ballast.
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:16 pm


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