PPD Fail - First Attempt

PPD Fail - First Attempt

Postby ThomKat » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:02 am

I took PPD this past Saturday for the first time and failed. I previously passed CDS, SPD and PPP in 4.0 and now I’m trying to knock out PPD and PDD.
For study material I used:
Building Construction Illustrated – read twice
Architects Studio Companion – read twice
International Building Code
Hyperfine (including Karin’s notes) – did most of the practice questions twice
Pluralsight Courses
Jenny’s Notes for 4.0 SS and BS
Designer Hacks Practice Exams – used multiple times
FEMA 454 chapters 4, 5 & 8
Buildings at Risk: Wind Design Basics for Practicing Architects
Buildings at Risk: Seismic Design Basics for Practicing Architects
MEEB – I skimmed the important chapters (there is a chart floating around on here with which chapters are most relevant)
*I read all the above, took notes and made some flashcards

I’m at a loss. I studied concepts, tried not to get too much into the nitty gritty, and used multiple resources to make sure I was getting a wide range of information. I felt like very little of the above material actually showed up on the exam. It was almost like I studied for a completely different exam! I’m not playing the blame game here. I clearly failed in two sections (Building Systems, Materials and Assemblies + Project Integration of Program Systems) and it’s all on me. I guess I’m just surprised that the exam content was not at all what I was expecting. In the 4.0 exams, I always felt like the exam content was aligned with what I studied. Obviously, I need to regroup and attack these 5.0 exams differently.

All that being said, I am already signed up for PDD in 2 weeks and I plan to take PPD as soon as I can sign up for it again. I have all of the old 4.0 Kaplan materials so I may use those to help broaden my knowledge. I have considered also using Architect Exam Prep or Black Spectacles (I’ve heard mixed reviews on both). If anyone else has suggestions I would definitely appreciate it! I’m going to spend the next two weeks focusing on PDD then jump back into PPD.

On another personal note, studying for these 5.0 exams has been extremely difficult for me. I live in Panama City, FL and we were just hit by Cat 5 Hurricane Michael 8 months ago. There is still lots of devastation here and families living in tents on the side of the road. My home got damaged and we (me, husband and 2 kids) are living in it while it’s under construction, because there is no where else to live. I’m staying positive and trying to keep my head up, but damn it’s hard to keep my head in the game when every day I am waking up to seeing the shape my hometown is in. My husband promised me an adults only trip to Key West once I pass all these exams. I am going to earn my Key West trip, dammit! Thanks all! :D
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Re: PPD Fail - First Attempt

Postby stubscook » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:36 pm

ThomKat I'm in the same boat as you, well minus the Florida part. (I hope things have gotten better for you and your family.)

Did you pass on your second attempt?

I tried Black Spectacles. The videos were way too broad and sooooooooooo long. The practice exams were okay, however I found that the timing for each question was very different in the real exam. All of the BS exams I finished with a ton of extra time but I ran out of time in the real exam. :oops:
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Re: PPD Fail - First Attempt

Postby Raja » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:08 am

It might take a few tries, PPD is hard. I also felt like I'd studied for the wrong exam on both my PPD attempts. It sounds like you know the right material but keep studying. Have you gone through practice tests? For me doing the Ballast practice exams and carefully reviewing the answers and why I got them right or wrong was helpful. On PPD and PDD you have to quickly parse out which key words apply and which don't.
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