Took the test and time was a big issue



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    James Glenn



    When you say do not take the suggested material for granted, do you mean it is important to read all of it?

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    Darguin Fortuna

    It means not just read what they told you to study truly master it so that when a question pops up you can spot the answer immediately. For instance have you done bubble diagrams showing direct and indirect relationships, yes we all have but can you do it in one minute or less with a random series of relationships and criterias? Probably not. Well NCARB told us that questions as such will show up but I personally didn't think I needed to prepare for that and didnt pay much attention. Now not telling you an specific question but a type of item that we have been told will be on the exams. Everything NCARB has said that will be tested will be tested so prepare like its a battlefield and you are certain of what target to shoot.

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    Richard Wilson

    Darguin (and others),

    I've been tracking my test timing, and here are my findings for the average time questions take (hours:minutes:seconds):

    -The body of the exam takes an average of 56% of the allotted exam time:

    • 00:01:10 for each standard question
    • 00:05:24 for each question involving a diagram or calculation

    - One of the Case Studies is easier, taking an average of 16% of the total exam time:

    • 00:03:34 for each 'easier' Case Study question

    - The other Case Study will be harder, and may take an average of 27% of the total exam time.

    • 00:05:20 for each 'harder' Case Study question

    The above results were based on just barely completing practice exams at the allotted time. So don't expect to finish the exam with extra time at all!

    My suggestion is to complete the Case Studies first. Because it's easier to make quick educated guesses on standard questions when you're running out of time at the end.


    Need study guidance? Check out my Study Strategies.

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    Darguin Fortuna

    So Richard,


    You are telling us that these exams according to your assumptions as well as experienced data, are also testing us on our ability to make educated guesses with very little time to actually try to be accurate and that time in the exams do not relate to the real time it takes us to answer real questions at work which is more than 2 mins for sure. 


    In other words, time in 5.0 is an issue and we ought to be aware of it and work with it. 

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    Darguin Fortuna

    I am certain the time issues hurt many of us...I did not do as well as I should have because of it. Now will have to wait for a retake as soon as possible.

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    Anirudh Dhawan

    I agree Darguin, Dont worry though, we will get there. I also didn't make it on this one. I think it will be a bit better on the next run now that we have had one pass at it. I fell short on building code related stuff, so am gonna get a copy of building code illustrated this time around to study. 

    Am hoping i did better on C and E and PM, but i feel that we all learn quite a bit from failures and its a natural process to fall and get back up. 

    fight on, 



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    Richard Wilson


    I'll be taking PA at the end of next month.

    With regard to using the building code illustrated, I think that's a good strategy. My most recent study strategy has been to find a very complex building site, and fully design the building while referencing the NCARB Handbook exam topics, suggested study resources, the IBC 2012, etc. I decided to try designing a mixed use building in downtown Seattle; I've heard it's a tough building jurisdiction. So far delving into the design has increased my retention of material far better than what I call 'dry studying' - just reading the books.

    I think your previous reply to my timing point was accurate too. That is, NCARB didn't build in time to invest critically evaluating questions. My feeling is that they are testing a prospective architect's experience and knowledge - so answering questions based on intuition should be considered,.

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    Ryan NCARB


    NCARB did build in time to critically analyze and evaluate each question.  The emphasis on appropriate cognitive complexity is an important aspect of ARE 5.0.  But part of being able answer items in a timely manner does rely on one's experience in knowledge.  Someone who knows nothing about architecture should not be able to answer all of the items on the ARE correctly simply because we give them "plenty of time."

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    Dana Parker

    when I run out of time is usually when I pass. I think its because I took the time to read each answer thoroughly and think it though.

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