AHPP Study

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Hi Elsa,

    For me at least, most of the AHPP is something I could read with interest.   At least enough interest that I was engaged enough to retain some halfway decent percentage of the information.  I did not take notes -- except for scribbling some calcs here and there on the accounting-type info, for example..  But to the greatest extent, I read the AHPP like a novel -- no notes.  Frankly, taking notes would take forever.  I even stopped highlighting -- like I was going to back and read it again before the exam?  Hardly.  

    But I did read it once, anyway.  It is a pretty long read, and while I appreciate that Kevin G made the matrix, I'm not sure that the "read, skim, review" color coding really saves a person from reading all of the chapters applicable to each exam anyway.  

    The AHPP is a big part of the three business exams.  I  basically just resigned myself to allotting the time necessary to read the thing.

    Where are you at in the exam process?

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    Elsa Contreras

    I haven't taken any exams yet. I will start with PcM first and move my way down. I gave myself 6 weeks of study time. My sixth week was last week and I am still not done with chapter 5. So I'm guessing I will schedule my exam as soon as i finish the book and give myself 4 weeks from there to study contracts and take practice exams. At times i felt like just jumping in and take the exam, since this is taking forever. 

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Hi again Elsa -- 

    You might be laboring over the reading a bit too strenuously.  Plug into the AHPP and focus, but just read it like a good book.

    For the CE, PjM, and Pcm, I wouldn't spend more than one month studying.  I am certainly no genius, and I passed 4 exams in 3 months.    

    The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice is the primary source, plus Rules of Conduct, Code of Ethics, and the two Contracts.   Understand the "accounting" concepts -- the calcs require some basic understanding, but are not complicated.

     

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    Lorenzo Franchina

    Elsa, this is some good advice from Kurt; you should read some of his other comments and posts throughout this community. I am reading the AHPP like a book, some notes along the way, but as you work through, you will see that it aligns perfectly with your everyday work within a firm and just starts to make sense of what we do day in and day out. I am about three weeks in and just about done with the book, doing about 2-3 hours per day. I know that everyone has a different situation at home and life in general, but focus and schedule are key. I am going on to the contracts for a week or two and then attempting to take the three exams over the course of the next three months, with a review in between...Hopefully, this will work for me as it did Kurt and some others. Kurt, thank you for checking in on here and for your continued support and advice to everyone going through the process, as it can be overwhelming at first preparing for the unknown and what is to come.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Hi Lorenzo -- thanks for the kind words. Where are you at in your exam process?

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    Lorenzo Franchina

    Kurt, I have only just recently begun my process for testing. I have been eligible to sit for the exams for some time but life has gotten in the way the last few times I started my process. Unfortunately, some things did not go the way I planned personally, life has a funny way of throwing you some curve balls; but I am starting again, fully determined and hey, better late than never...I have got plenty of time left to work at something I really enjoy and I want to be licensed while doing it. I have set a schedule and goals, staying on track and hope to take my first exam in a few weeks time. It's not easy to get back to studying, books, exams, and retaining information after such a long period of time, but I am pushing and looking only forward. These posts help and give some extra confidence when things do not look best. Thanks for asking. 

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    Elsa Contreras

    Thank you both for your replies! I really appreciate the time you took to offer great advice! :) 

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    Stephanie Waples

    Elsa,

    The strategy that worked best for me in terms of retaining the massive amounts of information was to make my own flashcards. I sat down with the book and a stack of 3x5 notecards. As I read, if I saw an unfamiliar or important definition for a word, I made a flashcards and put it in my "definitions" stack. If I saw any sort of important list of items, I would frame it as a question and make a flashcard and put it in my "questions" stack (an example would be something like, "What are 3 advantages to the design-bid-build delivery method?"). I also tagged each card in the corner with what chapter contained the information in case I needed to go back and reread.

    This allowed me to process the info in multiple ways (reading, writing, and recalling) and I could use the flashcards as a break from reading. Yes, it took a lot of time, but I ended up knowing it backwards and forwards by the end of my studying. In the last weekend before the test, I primarily used flashcards, quickly reread the most important sections, and used some videos as a break. 

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    Anuja Kothari

    Where can I find the Rules of Conduct, Code of Ethics and the two contracts?

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    Erica Spayd

    Hi Elsa,

    My approach with AHPP was similar to Stephanie's, except I used a flashcard app on my phone/ipad. I did a lot of studying while commuting, and handwriting flashcards is a bit cumbersome while on a train. I also liked using the dictation feature to save myself from too much typing, and I tend to remember things better when I say them aloud. (Proofreading here is important, as talk-to-text isn't flawless). These apps also allow you to use a photo within a flashcard, which was helpful when terms were best explained in diagrams or tables. I started out using Flashcards+ by Chegg, and then for my later exams I switched to Quizlet, which has a function that generates quizzes based on your cards. Both apps allow sharing of decks, and you can find ARE 5.0 sets in them, but I think the act of actually making your own is a great study tool in itself, so I didn't rely on the crowdsourced options.

    I tried not to get too wrapped up in the flashcards - you don't need one for every term - but if I came across a term or concept I was unfamiliar with that seemed important to the content areas outlined in the Handbook, I created a card. It was a pretty smooth process. 

    As for tackling the book itself, I aimed to get through ~30 pages per day, 60-80 per day on weekends. I got through the chapters I needed to read for PcM, PjM, and CE in about 3 weeks. I spent another week on contracts, and I tested the three exams in the above order with 3 days between the first two and then another 8 days before the 3rd. In all honesty, it was a pretty aggressive schedule. If I wasn't getting the early tester incentive for all three, I might have spread them out a bit more, but I felt like I had little to lose, and I ended up passing them so it all worked out. That said, if you study for all three at once, I don't think testing 1-2 weeks apart is unreasonable.

    I didn't use any third party study materials except for the wonderful Schiff Hardin Lectures (linked to elsewhere in these forums) to get me through contracts, and I didn't take any practice exams except for NCARB's Demo exam. Nothing against these materials, I just didn't feel I needed them, but they are really great for some people.

    One thing I would've done differently is spent some time skimming Architectural Graphic Standards prior to CE. I winged it on that section, which is a pretty big part of the exam. A lot of my time at work is spent looking at CDs, working out details, and visiting job sites, so I felt comfortable with this, but there were still a couple questions that caught me off guard. I think AGS would be the best way to prepare for the observation-related objectives.

    Hope this all helps, and best of luck to you!

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    Elsa Contreras

    Hi Erica, 

    Thank you so much for your thorough post. This is helpful. I began to go over the recommended chapters on the AHPP in June, I am still going through them. It's time that is killing me. I tried using other people's flash cards on quizlet. But i think i need to begin to make my own if i want to get a good understanding of it. Did the exam cover any equations? That makes me a little nervous. 

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    Erica Spayd

    Hi Elsa,

    Yes, the exam did cover some equations. Check out my comment on a post from a while back, which includes the link to a financial term/calc study sheet I made to prepare for PcM. It helped me a lot.

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    Elsa Contreras

    Thanks so much! :) 

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    Jessica Fleming

    I'm also having a rough time getting through chapter 5 of AHPP. I keep finding my self thinking, "there is no way this is going to be on the exam". I found section 5.1 and 5.2 pretty helpful, but I just don't find the topics on how to be an effective leader or how to build a creative environment a potential test topic. I'm also scheduled to take my exam February 12th and don't want to waste valuable time reading information that I won't be tested over. 

    I guess I'm just looking for other people's opinions on these sections of chapter 5.

    Thanks!

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