I have to say, I love the new 5.0 format and Bravo to the NCARB Team for their hard work. It was a bit of a risk being a First Test Taker, but I think we all are proud to have taken this leap and make ourselves vulnerable to the unknown. I may have retakes, but here are main lessons learned:
1) Take Case Studies first! (Many posted this and I did not follow their advice, but now regret it.)
2) Do not over think this exam (in terms of study material anyways). The content really covers what we practice everyday and similar to our practice you will not know every detail, but critical thinking is a must! So ask the "WHY" about every task you do daily.
3) Rest is Critical, time is of the essence and from what I can tell that is part of the test. I overstressed on my last exam not knowing how much structural analysis would be involved, that was a waste of my energy and a loss of focus. There wasn't anything on the last test I took that was difficult, but my anxiety over the anticipate questions was misplaced energy.
4) If you have been practicing for 3-5 years, my suggestion is take it now without hesitation. The combination of recent academics and the AXP is all that is needed. I've been out of school for a long time, so rereading those old books was needed, but nothing more. (Except of course sustainability).
5) The attachments do take time to load, so plan around it. This is the main reason to take case studies first.
Hope this helps. Goodluck !
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