Hello everyone! Just passed PPD exam!
Its such a monster exam that I was not sure about passing, mainly because I finished it barely in time. Just 1 minute was left when I finished the last case study question, and I could not recheck any of the questions.
I studied mainly from ARE 4.0 material, ballast questions, kaplan books and questions, and you tube videos for mechanical and electrical information. Material that I studied from AREExamprep was not useful at all as good portion of that was a repeat from PPP, SPD and CDS. As I had transitioned from ARE 4.0, I remembered most of the material from earlier exam study.
I would like to suggest the following for test takers:
1. I practiced demo casestudy from NCARB website and decided on a strategy to tackle the questions, i.e. (step 1) read questions first and figure out which section of reference material will the answer belong to-for e.g. any question about building height limitation will probably be in Zoning instead of IBC SO (step 2) go to zoning tab and search for answer.
this strategy helps in limiting the amount of information you need to read, so you dont have to scroll back and forth. That's what typically makes the screen blank for a few seconds
2. Understand and try to put in practice teh concepts you learn in mechanical/ structural and electrical study, by really getting to know products by researching online, looking at various types of HVAC systems, units, electrical components etc. Same with structural issues, how framing/ loading/ moments etc affect building structure. A lot of questions that I had, showed an image and asked to analyze either the use/ or type of system used
3. This exam is much more visual compared to ARE 4.0, where you had to read a lot into some of the questions. Building construction illustrated was an excellent resource that I studied which helped a lot
4. I practiced going through IBC, to search out various building types, their heights and areas and how that changes with any additional requirements given
5. last but not the least, I meticulously followed my process that had worked for me for all previous exams-highlighting the specific portion of question , then striking out two answers and then choosing the best one
I had completed all 100 questions in 2 hour 15 minutes and had 1 hr 45 minutes for 20 casestudy questions. it still took me the very last minute to answer all casestudy questions as I had a building type that I had never really worked on
Simply stated, after I have received this Pass, I think its much easier to study for ARE 5.0 exam than 4.0, cas you are able to focus the entire study time on learning whats applicable to the exam and not on the vignette which are so frustrating. A lot of questions are simpler/ graphical in nature. So just focus on concepts, ideas and you will be fine.
Thank you everyone for the information you keep posting on this forum. The only exam material that comes close to the real exam are from ARE 5.0 handbook, so make sure you study all those types of questions.
Good luck to everyone! I am excited to take the next big one PDD.. the last one for me.
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