PPD - PASS_my advice

PPD - PASS_my advice

Postby philipgu » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:23 pm

I am finally done and waiting on the state to process my paperwork! This is way overdue and I been meaning to get on here for a while and share my two cents. After switching to 5.0 a year ago I took and passed PDD and attempted to pass PPD with little studying four days later and failed. I took almost a year off after buying a house and finally got back at it in april. When I took the exam for the second time I used Ballast study guide, old 4.0 material, and would always take intensive notes. I typically will read a chapter one night and highlight and then review that chapter the next night by writing notes, then read the next one, repeat etc....

My recommendation: Don't do this. I ended up failing the exam on this retake in april (which really hurt after having put about 30 hours a week for 6 weeks into it). I do not say this because I failed, I say this because I found about 15% of what I read in the ballast was directly related to the content of questions in my exam. These large chapter study guides are good to get a basis of knowledge on large topics and is worth reading but not the extensive note taking that i was doing in my opinion.

The biggest hurdle to get over is that these test are not always about knowing the information, but knowing how NCARB wants you to navigate your way to the answer they are looking for. You have to learn their way of asking questions and it is just as important to be able to identify the incorrect answers as it is the correct answers. Therefore, my biggest piece of advice is spend the majority of your time (I mean literally like 75% - 100%) just relentlessly taking practice questions. I personally like both Designer Hacks and Brightwood Architecture question banks. Yes you end up repeating questions sometimes as they get shuffled in but that is okay. Everytime you get a question wrong spend the time figuring out why. Sometimes you may take a lucky guess and get it right - be sure to find out why. Everytime you see a term or anything you do not recognize in the question or any of the answers spend time looking it up. When I retook PPD using this mentality I spent two weeks taking anywhere from 50 - 150 practice questions a day and passed feeling really good about my answers throughout the test.

Thanks and good luck to all- I hope this is helpful!
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Re: PPD - PASS_my advice

Postby archering » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:33 pm

congratulations to your pass!!
I agree with what you said about learn their way of asking questions. I too failed PPD and studied heavily rely on Ballast. During the exam, I found myself having a hard time understanding the key point of the questions. I actually did spend a lot of my time on designer hacks too and doing questions and I felt ok with them. That somehow didn't help me. Do you have any suggestions? I'm not sure if it is my way of thinking or the material I'm using. Should I consider try Brightwood Architecture question banks? I was trying to spend as little as possible.. but also failing the exam is the biggest money waste, so...
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