Newly passed PA, Tricks I used.

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    Darguin Fortuna

    I tried these strategies today. Lets see how it goes. I still had time issues and I always argue to be very fast at everything I do during exams. This was my round 2 and still was very hard to manage to finish it. Fingers crossed. I am trusting the process.

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    Daniel Spilman

    Fantastic write up Sean! I would concur on all accounts from my PA experience. Most of what you said is really applicable to any of the divisions. I really like what you said in your last paragraph. Congrats on passing! Badass! What is next up for you? Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend riding high on that passing score! 

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    Sean Ragudo

    @Daniel, About halfway through my comment I had to make the decision on whether or not this was a general topic, or if it was focused on PA.  Since I had already begun discussing code issues, I didn't want to muddy the waters, although yes, I've employed a similar strategy with all other tests I've taken in 5.0  I've taken all the exams in order, one per month.  It feels like a good rythm.  So next is PPD.  6/22.

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    Ryan NCARB (Edited )

    These are some really helpful "tricks" Sean. Thanks for sharing.  And congrats on that pass!

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    Darguin Fortuna (Edited )

    I applied the tricks on Saturday for my second round and failed again. Failed a section I previously passed and passed a section I previously failed very confusing. I felt a lot better this time around. I feel I am more than ready for round 3 even though the numbers say otherwise. I will keep pushing.

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    Rebecca Weeks Erdman Edmunds

    Sean,

    I generally followed your advice on test taking and PASSED PA. 

    As for Trick #1, I did about 30 minutes of questions before moving to the case studies, so I had the flipped timing with about 1:15 remaining when I finished the case studies. I actually walked out with 20 minutes remaining. (The new keypad calculator is a real improvement.)

    Trick #2: Ditto

    Trick #3: Ditto

    Trick #4: Ditto

    Resources: Building Codes Illustrated 2012, cover to cover; a few Programming & Site stuff noted on AHPP index; Site Planning & Design and Programming Planning & Practice flash cards from NALSA (4.0, an old set from a previous life); Amber Book Site Planning lectures (I like lectures, though the Q series was the most valuable as it was all mock exam questions).

    3 weeks of relatively devoted study, 2-4 hours a day. Review of my notes from all materials day before exam. I'd failed PA once using Brightwood/Kaplan & Black Spectacles, so sought a completely different approach, but it did give me a base to recognize what I was missing. Oddly enough, the first round, I only passed on Building Codes. Something about Ching's drawings is just good for the soul...

    Thanks for all the advice! 3 down, 3 to go!

    Cheers,

    Rebecca

     

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    Rachel Gubser

    Rebecca, well done! Congratulations! I'm studying for my PA retake now and this makes me feel hopeful. Thanks Sean for your insight.

    Side note: did you guys know you could rotate objects on the drag and drop!! I just heard this and can think of times this knowledge would have helped me. Have you 'PA passers' known about the rotate ability and used it?

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    Rebecca Weeks Erdman Edmunds

    Hi, Rachel! 

    I was wondering how it was going with you.

    I did not know about the rotate option and really haven't had a reason to try it out. It might have been useful for some of the programming questions. However, I think the question where I might have put this to use, I also might have not gotten right (and who really knows if I did, but I'm pretty sure I did) because rotating an object would have sent me in a wrong direction. This round on PA, I really focused on what the question was asking and looked for cues within the wording to not be led astray by what I know from practice. In other words, like Sean says, "The intricacies of codes, spatial adjacency and organization are meant to tax your abilities." One of those abilities, I believe, is understanding and focusing on what is being asked in any given circumstance. 

    Hope that helps! Keep the faith!

    Cheers,

    Rebecca

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    Sean Ragudo

    @Rebecca, So glad the tips/tricks helped!!!  Congratulations on being 1/2 way there.  If feels good.  Many people are very hard and fast about 3rd party prep materials, me not so much. PA was such a weird test for me to get my head around.  I couldn't really see how I could study for something that I had done on nearly every project that I had been involved in.  For myself I took one look at Brightwood materials, fell asleep, then proceeded to not study for PA. Hence, why you don't see any study materials for this test from me.  Ching was wonderfully applicable in PPD & PDD.  (I've also posted in the PPD forum).  What's next for you?

    @Rachel, good luck on the retake.  Rotate has been my friend on numerous questions... Kinda just stumbled onto it by accident.  You'd think it'd be one of those things they'd point out.

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    Rebecca Weeks Erdman Edmunds

    @ Sean, August 14, PPD; August 21 PDD. Studying for them simultaneously.

    lol on Brightwood stuff. Yes, a real snore. I won't do that again! What a waste of cash. And yes, this exam was based on real world experience, and I kept returning to real world examples in my head as I approached answers: "what did we do?." However, I'm not a very good test taker, and I think a lot of folks have the same issue with the ARE, so the more ways a type of question is asked, the better prepared I am to answer it. I'm also very much a visual and auditory learner, so seeing and listening at the same time really helps me prep for these. I love to read, but not this material...

    Interesting -- what type of questions did you use rotate on? 

    Cheers!

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    Sean Ragudo

    @Rebecca, you'll see it in your next tests, most definately.

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