I wanted to share my experience from taking CE on 03/15. I managed to squeak in another exam before the early tester incentives ended. Now I've taken PcM, PjM, PA, and CE in 5.0 as an early tester.
My testing experience was good. No issues at all (I had the test freeze during my PA exam which made it stressful). I still hold to the same opinions I wrote about when I reviewed my Practice Management exam experience. The issues of the loading times, the calculator, etc. I don't need to rewrite those opinions here again.
Since I took PA at the end of February, I only have a few weeks to prepare for CE. However, I had spent a lot of time studying the AIA documents (A101, A201, B101, C101, etc.) in preparation for other exams.
I can not emphasize enough that you MUST KNOW A201 - General Conditions for the Contract for Construction. Spend the time to know it backwards and forwards. Know what is IN it and what is NOT in it. Absolutely know the other major contracts as well, you need to know the content of all of them. But spend the most time in the General Conditions.
Now I should also note, that I spent about 6 years working as a contractor myself while I was going to architecture school. Additionally I have about 4-5 years of experience in practice. I am sure that I leveraged a lot of this experience for this exam. Be advised, I would imagine someone who is a recent graduate without this experience might struggle more with this exam and would need more time for preparation then I did. I was fortunate enough to have this background.
As always, the ARE 5.0 Handbook provided a great outline for studying and giving direction to my study. Definitely use the Handbook's objectives as your guide.
Since I was short on time for this exam, I also utilized Architect Exam Prep audio companion while I was commuting. I thought this was very useful as a supplement to reading the AIA documents. A good way of reviewing and making sure you are clear on the main points. I'd recommend using David Doucette's guide to aid you in your studying.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have. I'll do my best to answer.
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