First Test Takers Review and Advice

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    Jaebeom Koh

    Hi Rebecca,

    May I ask what study materials you have studied with? Did you have a main study material such as Ballst or Brightwood (Kaplan)? I am having a hard time to select a main study material.

    It sounds like the new ARE format worked pretty good for you. I am happy to hear that as a prospective candidate.

    Good luck with your result!

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    Rebecca Phipps

    Study material was a tough one, especially since there was no material or reference list when I started. Most important is knowing your way around the code book.  The casestudies will provide reference material from the code, but you need to be able to get in and out of those files quickly, so know where to go and what to look for.  I did use Fundamentals of Construction, MEEB, Kaplan and Ballast 5.0 and Black Spectacles 5.0.  At the end of the day I think you can get all of it from Ballast 5.0, but I was skeptical at first since it seems like they just rearranged their previous sections.  I would highly recommend Building Structures (listed by NCARB as a resource material for the exam) for PPD and PDD, structures is one area not fully covered in Ballast.  Black Spectacles has a very nice format that follows each Objective listed in the Handbook, but I felt like I needed more detail information.  They were great for playing over and over in the car.  I also listened to Thaddeus, love and recommend his courses; but it was too much too late and luckily not needed as much as I anticipated, however Structural concepts are important. 

    In brief: Code Book, Ballast 5.0, Building Structures and just hands on practice for PPD and PDD;  Architecture's Handbook of Professional Practice for all the others is a must.   (I also searched the internet for information on Historical Renovation, Sustainability, Hazardous Materials and Erosion Control; these are not adequately covered in study material and it paid off to catch up on current policies).

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    Jaebeom Koh

    Thank you for your detailed information!

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