Passed BS Exam- Study material recommendations for 4.0

Mechanical & Electrical Plan Vignette and Multiple Choice

Passed BS Exam- Study material recommendations for 4.0

Postby nycnerd » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:22 am

Hi Everyone-
Just wanted to give a few words of advice in terms of study materials. I struggled A LOT with Building Systems. I took it 3x and passed on the third time. The first time I just used Kaplan/Ballast guides. The second time I just used the Amber videos and minimal looking at MEEB. The third time I re-read Kaplan/Ballast, skimmed MEEB (I find MEEB to be terrible to read thoroughly, it is not written in an easy way for learning), watched a ton of you tube videos as I read when I didn't understand something I was reading and read most of Heating, Cooling & Lighting and read some sections from Architectural Graphic Standards (Elevators, Plumbing, skimmed some of the graphics). I also did the Kaplan exam questions and when I got them wrong tried to read up or watch you tube videos to make sure I understood the point. I also used Jenny's notes as a final check against the topics.

A few words of warning for the Amber vidoes- they are incredibly helpful in understanding topics broadly but they say you will be able to pass by just watching them- this is very UNTRUE unless you are a Building Systems savant. I watched them on my second try and did improve but it was not enough. To give a little scope of my own experience, I have been working for 10 years on large scale projects in NYC and abroad at professional offices so I have dealt with some MEP, Vertical Transportation, Fire Safety & Lighting coordination, it's not all unfamiliar. However, I would guess for most people those videos alone will not work and I learned this the hard way. Yes, I felt very clear on understanding the topics and how systems worked so that helped but the Building System exam goes in the weeds, it is very specific and you need a broader bench.

Best of luck to everyone, Building Systems was my last exam and it was a killer for me so hopefully this advice is helpful. There is a great thread in here that lists a ton of things and videos to watch so if you are looking for more specificity, hunt it down.
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Re: Passed BS Exam- Study material recommendations for 4.0

Postby wws341234 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:50 pm

congrats on the pass.
I also went through the Amber video series and I couldn't agree more, (although they are very informative) watching the videos alone is not enough to get you a pass. I'm now back into studying BS again, and i am reading through Heating, Cooling, Lighting by Lechner, and found this to be a refreshing change from the usual materials i.e. Kaplan, Ballast, MEEB, etc. I've also recently read through FBC from taking BDCS, and although i'm not sure how relevant that book is to BS, I found it to be a very useful resource as well.
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Re: Passed BS Exam- Study material recommendations for 4.0

Postby enearchitecture » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:35 am

I’m glad i’m not the only one. I’m passed BS years ago, but I let the rollclock get the best of me. Now the clock is ticking again. I don’t want to enter ARE 5.0 (ends in June). I failed BS three times in a roll. I have one more opportunity to take BS 4.0 before it ends. Take in 3 weeks. I have found myself studying the same stuff, reviewing what I have already read. I have done Amber, Brightwood Lecture, and MEEB. I believe I have the concepts down. What practice exams did you find the most useful? If you had to pick one source which would it be? I’m going to try Heating, Cooling, Lighting by Lechner, in hopes it gives me a different perspective. I also have been doing this for 10 plus years. I talk about BS issues all day to clients and contractors and seem to doing a good job with the knowledge I’m providing them. Thoughts?
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Re: Passed BS Exam- Study material recommendations for 4.0

Postby ataribeats » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:41 am

Hey! I just passed BS on my 3rd try as well!
And, I agree with you in all materials.

I did Amber and some youtube videos first time, I trusted the system and didn't work .
The second time I reviewed my Amber notes, read MEEB on lighting, environmental, HVAC, and electrical and it was so long and terrible, but again I trusted the system and it didn't work.
Finally, I used Ballast and I found out that it really hit many spots related to the test as I knew some of the test material lol (after two takes at that point). But, seriously reading Ballast helped me a lot and I did Architectural Graphic Standards on pictures and read some elevators, fire alarms, lighting, and watched soooo many videos on youtube. I found this channel that was super helpful on HVAC: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk0fGH ... -rSzkfCjMw and I didn't even open MEEB on my third take.

Did I say I PASSED and I'm DONE? Oh, yes! I did! (only after 13 tests lol)
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Re: Passed BS Exam- Study material recommendations for 4.0

Postby enearchitecture » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:55 am

Thanks for the info. Can you share what you tube channels whatched.
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Re: Passed BS Exam- Study material recommendations for 4.0

Postby wws341234 » Wed May 02, 2018 12:00 am

enearchitecture wrote:Thanks for the info. Can you share what you tube channels whatched.


were you able to pass BS?
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Re: Passed BS Exam- Study material recommendations for 4.0

Postby enearchitecture » Tue May 29, 2018 2:25 pm

I test June 15th.
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