I did the 3+2 ARE 4.0 & 5.0 Method
Took CDS, SPD, PPP then took a summer off before transitioning to the new 5.0. Was hesitant to jump the 4.0 ship but was glad I did. Had fails in both 4.0 and 5.0.
Study Materials Used for 5.0:
- Building Construction Illustrated - heavily read
- Building Codes Illustrated - lightly read
- Ballast PPD and PDD sections - read and re-read
- Jenny's and Caroline's BDCS, BS, SPD, PPP, Struct Notes - flipped through when I had breaks
- Brightwood Word bank Questions - daily use
- Designer Hacks PDD Exam Questions - daily use
- Someone to help cook, clean, laundry - heavily used
- Schedule my exam for a Monday about 3-4 weeks out.
- Building Construction Illustrated - read cover to cover which took me about 14-18 days.
- Ballast PPD and PDD. These need to be studied together. By the time I retook both, I had a good base of studying both sections and had marked sticky notes in sections to review for both PPD and PDD.
- Took the last week to review all the sticky note tabs I had in PPD and PDD (about 55 tabs total, averaged out to 7 tabs to review a night.
- Took mix of 35 questions every day. Literally every day. (10 from Brightwood, 25 from Designer Hacks or visa versa).
- The last Saturday I used the Ballast PDD and PPD practice problems (250 questions total).
- The last Sunday I used the Ballast PDD and PPD practice exam (240 questions total).
- Get some good sleep with no phone distractions (airplane mode from Sunday until Monday after the exam).
5.0 Exam strategy:
- Take all the multiple choice questions in order (took me about an hour, hour 20)
- Skip, but mark, any equation or fill in the blank questions
- Once I reached the case studies, I went back and did all of the calculation questions (took me about 20-30 mins)
- This left about 1 hour 45 mins to 2 hours for the case studies
- Finish the case study questions (about 45 mins left in the exam)
- Hit my break (15 mins to cool off before reviewing everything)
- Use the remainder of the time to review the questions I marked
- Usually had time to review 60 questions and then narrow those down to 20-30 that I was really not sure of for a final review in the remaining 15-20 mins
Happy to answer any questions, I just wanted to share my personal strategy because I found it helpful when I read other people's strategies while studying.
The best advice is to not give up, it's OK to fail. They are doable.
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