Advice for CE Prep / Technical Content

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    Daniel Spilman

    Hi Christine,

    You're definitely off to a good start if you are solid on the AIA contracts. That is definitely a huge part of of this exam. If you know A201 like the back of your hand, the you will be in a solid place. Make sure you're also familiar with the process and responsibilities for change order, construction change directives, etc. Same thing for applications for payment, and certificate of substantial completion. Its important to know everyone (architect, owner, contractor) responsibilities, roles, etc for each of these things and what it means when they are put into action. Know about the process for shop drawings and submittals. Know about test and inspections and when/if they occur, who is responsible. Really a ton of this exam all revolves around who is responsible for what at different times in the construction process, and what is their best course of action. 

    The aspect you're talking about is really the hardest to study for, because a lot of it does come with experience and visual identification. For example, if I was to put a hose bib, a back flow preventer, and a fire riser check valve in front of you, could you identify which is which? This kind of knowledge is so broad that it is really hard to make up for lack of experience if you haven't seen a building go through the course of construction. The best way to make up for would be to sit down with people at your firm that have been through CA on other projects, and look through all of their pictures from CA and talk about what is what and why this is this. You can also read through books like Building Construction Illustrated and Fundamentals of Building Construction, but these books depict things in very idealized and diagrammatic scenarios so you still have to make the jump to seeing what it looks like in actual construction. So I my suggestion would be to beg and plead your supervisor to put you onto some CA tasks, or spend sometime talking with people that have done a lot of CA and look through pictures to see how things get put together. You'll learn a lot by hearing about the problems / conflicts people encounter during the course of construction and how they figured out how to make things work. 

    I know this isnt super helpful and an easy answer to your question, but hopefully it gives you some direction! Best of luck!

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