Programming & Analysis Study Material

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    Alicia Bernardo

    I have the same questions as Daniel.  I am scheduled for January 26th and so far have referenced 4.0 material (PPP) and currently have access to the recommended 5.0 material but am a little up in the air on how I should prioritize my studying because there is just so much to look at.

    NCARB - do you have any suggestions?

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    Ryan NCARB

    Alicia...my suggestion would be to use the ARE 5.0 Handbook and identify the areas you already are really comfortable with (from workplace experience, school, etc.) and then identify the areas that you know you are weaker in.  Spend time really studying for those weaker areas.  Buy the books or read the chapters that are on those, not necessarily reading the entire book.

    What do others suggest??

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    Yasser Osman

    Hi Everyone,

     

    I took the Exam Last Sunday (01/15/2017) and Those are my Remarks,

    I still think that studying from the Ballast Manual ad solving practive Problems as well as the Practice exam is good preparation however note the following:

    1) The chapters for this Division in the Book are from 7 to 11 (Not Enough)

    2) Consider studying the following chapters as well. 12, 13, 14 and 15th which are as follow:

    - Site Work Design Development

    - Sustainable Design

    - Codes and Regulations

    - Barrier Free Design

    3) Black spactacles video are good to consider

    4) Time management is a key factor in this exam. I think to better manage the questions is to either:

    - Start with the case studies dedicating one hour for both of them

    - Start for one hour with the regular questions (See how much you will progress) than jump for case studies giving only one hour frame and come back and continue the balanced questions.

    5) If you need any further information or discussion kindly let me know.

    Feel free to email me via linked in 

     

     

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    Yasser Osman

    Ryan,

     

    Did NCARB decided on the method of passing, is it going to be a necessary to pass each case study as well as the questions as it was with the vignette or it is an overall evaluation. This will be very helpful to know if possible.

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    Ryan NCARB

    Yasser,

    Yes.  All items are worth 1 point, whether they are an individual item or associated with a case study.  Your score is determined by the TOTAL number of items correct.  ARE 5.0 is not design as such that you need to "pass" a specific content area or a case study in order to pass the overall exam.

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    Darguin Fortuna

    This very Helpful guys Ryan and Yasser. Thanks a lot.

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    Justin Pelland

    Building Codes Illustrated - which version did everyone study? I've done a ton of work with building codes (and read looooots of commentary) but as anyone who does projects in different jurisdictions across the country can attests, keeping track of all the different versions of the code and specific local requirements can be confusing. I have a copy of the Building Codes Illustrated 2009 IBC lying around but I'm thinking I might want to pick up the 2012 version (even though I now have projects in both 2012 and 2015, so I'm familiar with both). My question is mostly - how important is it to know code specifics vs just understanding the basics and core components?

    Things like occupancies and egress don't change significantly in their core concepts, but am I going to go in at a disadvantage if I forget that the new window sill height and limited requirements are part of 2015 and not 2012?

    Just trying to stop myself from hemoragjng money on reference books if I can help it!

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    Richard Wilson

    I'm an Intern Architect currently working on a 300,000sf High School + Middle School project. I reference the IBC 2015 during my normal work day. Then I go home and study for the ARE 5.0 with IBC 2012, because that's what is referenced on the exam.

    I'll be relieved once I'm complete with these exams, because then I'll only have to pay attention to one set of building codes at a time.

    Just the other day I got excited because I read a stipulation in the 2012 that would have made portions of our building easier to design. Only to find that 2015 deleted that stipulation. Very confusing.

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    Erica Spayd

    Richard and Justin - have you tested PA already? And did you find that memorization of specific code information was necessary? I was under the impression that understanding of how codes applied would be required, and ability to navigate the codes would be tested (via case study reference material), but that learning the actual details of the code would be unnecessary. Curious about your experiences with the test, and if you found that to be the case. 

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    Justin Pelland

    Erica,,
    I did test in PA already. I don't recall any code questions that were difficult to determine the answers to based on given information, but there were questions that required you know know certain code requirements off the top of your head. An easy example of something you might need to know would be that ramps can't exceed 1:12 slope. Or you might need to be able to associate accessibility requirements with a diagram or plan. I don't feel the questions were hard, but mostly because they dealt with code items I was already pretty familiar with. It wouldn't hurt to study Building Codes Illustrated to get an understanding of the essentials and maybe make some flash cards for some of the more common code requirements you might be expected to know.

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    Richard Wilson

    Erica, Studying for PA right now. Taking a lot more time to prepare for PA than my first two exams.

    Justin, I suggest editing your comment to protect the blog - did you give away too much info?

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    Daniel Spilman

    It is not always good to shape your studying off of what was or was not on someone's exam. Just because your particular exam did not have a heavy load of code related questions does not mean someone else's might. The quantity of questions for each objective has a range that varies from exam to exam. Always go back to the ARE Handbook as the rudder to keep your self honed in. 

    As others have said, it is good to have a working knowledge of building code. If you've never used the building code before, sitting down and reading it will not do a huge amount of good. But having work experience where you have had to reference it to inform your designs is where this starts to sink in. The habitual process of referencing the code and knowing how to navigate and where to expect to find your answers is essential for case studies. 

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    Justin Pelland

    Just to be clear, I wasn't giving examples of questions on my exam, just general examples of the levels of knowledge I felt were necessary in taking it. As Daniel points out, every exam is different, so you can't prepare on a question by question basis. To go back to the original question, NCARB has stated on a handful of occasions that knowledge of the broader range of information and an firm understanding of the objectives for each exam is needed. TheARE 5.0 Handbook lays these objectives out very clearly. The test does not rely on memorization, but as Daniel also said, some of the understanding for certain areas can be most effectively obtained through actual practice. The exams are intended to test the knowledge expected of a newly licensed architect - and no architect can practice effectively without knowing a few things off the top of their head. I can offer a bit of advice for the actual test taking - always check the case studies first. You may find one of the supporting documents of the case studies contains code sections or ada excerpts or things like that. You can always reference those documents to help answer the general test questions. You never know what you're going to get, though, so studying is still important.

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    Erica Spayd

    Thanks, Justin, your response was very helpful. As I prepare for PA, and as I've been practicing for 12 years and use the IBC regularly, I was kind of dismissing that I would need to study it at all. I had been focusing on the other resources that touch on subjects I don't look at as much in practice, like Site Planning and Design. I figured I'd do a quick search through the forum to look for tips and pointers, and arrived upon the discussion of studying IBC 2012 vs. 2015. I though the point was moot because the focus would be on ability to navigate the code vs. know it off the top of your head. There are, of course, many code items that are common knowledge to me at this stage in my career, and I think I can rely heavily on that, but I should probably give a day or two to make sure I know the "common knowledge" things backwards and forwards too (so easy to rely on the book when it's available to double check). Excellent point about checking the case studies for reference materials though, that was my strategy for PcM, PjM, and CE, and they definitely helped me answer questions I may have otherwise struggled with.

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    Kurt Fanderclai
    • Erica:  "Excellent point about checking the case studies for reference materials though, that was my strategy for PcM, PjM, and CE, and they definitely helped me answer questions I may have otherwise struggled with."

      Justin and Erica make a great point here....which I noticed as well in taking CE..........I will definitely not forget to check available reference materials FIRST...

       

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