PA Exam — Not enough time

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    Beau Tanner

    Well said, Kelley.  I think that you will find that everyone who has taken this test, myself included, has faced the same issue with time vs questions as well as the content of what's being asked.  I think that I had three questions unanswered and about six I wasn't able to review.  I'm still waiting for my score.  I think that I passed, but time was definitely the biggest hurdle for this exam...

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    Milton Castro

             I had the same experience. I took that test yesterday and I missed to answer 5 question of the case study 2. I  got caught up in the case studies part.  For me it was extremely annoying to look for information in the resources for building codes and zoning ordinances flipping trough the pages and go back to answer those question.It should be a better way to accommodate those resources.I bet if i had the IBC book with me i could have answered those questions quickier.  To add  the software was super slow. I did not have a chance to go back and review my marked questions. I hope those answered question don't hurt me that much overall. Does anyone know what happens if you marked those question and you did not revise at the end?  Do they end up  as unanswered or do they pass as valid  for whatever answer your checked? 

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    Kelley Holmes (Edited )

    If you put an answer down, it is valid. Marking questions just allows you to have a bookmark to review them at the end — assuming there is time to do so. I agree there was a good chunk of lag time waiting for questions to load. Also, the screen at my testing center was small, which makes for browsing and viewing the case study resources and questions difficult. I also noticed that for the built-in calculator that I could not use the number pad on the keyboard, and was forced to point and click everything with the mouse, which is definitely more time consuming.

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    Rachel Gubser

    I am relieved to see that so many others, like myself had trouble with timing on PA. When I walked out of the test I was assuming a fail because, like so many others, I did not quite finish- a few questions unanswered. And At that time I had not yet heard all of the comments on timing so I was completely surprised. Guys, since so many struggled on this one, Ncarb will hopefully take this into account when grading, right? I just took ( and passed PcM), completed that test with 15 mins to spare, so I have a comparison now.

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    Rachel Gubser

    To follow up on this thread...Now that PA results are out, can I ask how you all did? No surprise here I did not pass. It was my first test and I felt prepared content wise but was NOT test ready and agonized/ read each question too thouroughly (as if each scenario was a real client). Sadly I didn't even get to all of the questions. Lesson learned...try try again. I am considering in a really expensive practice test.

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    Kelley Holmes

    Hi Rachel! I somehow managed to pass, but was not expecting to by any means — I felt the same stress and agony that you described above. The test was very challenging in my opinion, and it definitely didn't feel like I had enough time to give it my best shot. With all that said, don't be discouraged! I failed the first test I took in 4.0, which was CDS. I felt really dejected after, but ultimately it did help me prepare for future tests and it helped me to better understand how different just reading Ballast vs. taking the test really is. Stick to it! You can do it!

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    Rachel Gubser

    Kelley, thank you! I really appreciate your insight and the others here. Good luck to all as you PASS and FINISH all the tests

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    Jamie Crofoot

    I just sat for the PA exam and like all of you, I ran out of time!!!

    I felt confident on the content, aside from a couple obscure (yet expected) questions, and I did not struggle with the case studies until I ran out of time.

    For me, researching codes is like second nature, I can tell you where a lot of things are located without having to look it up.  That was not a problem.  The problem seemed to be the amount of time to find the information in the program or on the site plan compared to the average amount of time to answer a question.

    195 minutes to answers 95 questions averages out to be 2 minutes and 3.2 seconds per question - without taking into account the lag time between each question to load and the loading of each page in the case study to evaluate the answer.

    I could have used an additional 20 minutes.

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    Rachel Gubser

    Jamie, sorry to hear you ran into the same issues on PA that I did!  I can so relate to what you said. Was this your first exam? It was mine and I have since been passing subsequent exams. I think a huge part is getting used to ARE test taking. I now know you gotta go fast and move on if a question takes more that 2 minutes (even if you think you know it and think you can get it with another minute). I have decided to push my PA retake to the very end- taking it after PPD/PDD (which are coming up. )

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Rachel, when are you taking PPD and PDD?   I've got those two left to take, and am going to take PPD first -- I plan to schedule it for early to mid-August.  Am just starting to assemble study materials for PPD.

     

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    Rachel Gubser

    Kurt, I have PPD July 5th early morning (I guess no 4th of July partying for me). And then I have PDD exactly one week later. Then that dang PA retake August 1st. So I gave myself 2 months btwn my last exam and PPD.

    Btw I scheduled all three exams at the same time and noticed slots at my testing center were very limited for the big 5 hour tests but PA had many more days/times open....just FYI. That's why I had to go with July 5.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Whoa! Rachel - - the grown- ups have arrived! What a badass schedule! That's the no fear approach - - good for you!

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    Rachel Gubser

    Kurt, I sprung for the Amber bundle study material. Which I am using in addition to lots of other resources. Need to test before I forget some of what I'm learning. Haha you calling my approach "no fear" has made me nervous! Fingers crossed I can pull it off

    (Hey, who are you calling a grown up? I'm only 35!)

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Hah!
    I honestly think a huge part of succeeding in this this exam process is showing up to test sooner than you think you should.

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    Beau Tanner

    Rachel, how is the Amber bundle study material?  Do you have a link?  I studied with the Architect Exam Prep and I feel "meh" about it.  AEP is not a bad source, but now that I've taken a test, it's also not an impressive source.  Can definitely use some better studying.

    (And you're still young, Rachel...I'm 36!)

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    BG

    Hey Beau I hope you're 5.0 experience is going well. I just wrote a post about Amber on PDD here is the link to it. I hope this helps.

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/115008173168-Re-Amber-Book-Review-for-the-5-0-Bundle

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    Rachel Gubser

    Beau, the Amber material is good- I haven't found anything like it so far- but it is pricey! I have not yet tested so I can't really give a proper review in terms of how well it has prepared me for Ppd/PDD, as it claims. I am on a bit of a fast track exam schedule so I decided to throw down the cash and try it. (However, I am not relying solely on this to study- I have built in time to look at MEEB, Structures info, take Ballast practice exams, and skim Brightwood content/ quizzes). I did my own write up on Amber here. 

     https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/115007744868-My-PPD-strategy-so-far

    Bruno is correct about their 4.0 content being reused for 5.0.....

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    Beau Tanner

    Rachel and Bruno, thank you.  I'll take a look at both of those.  I hope that your testing is going well...

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