Test is almost here...not feeling prepared

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    Chelsea Rawson

    Randall - I am having a tough time studying for this one as well, although I just started and don't have a test date booked yet (hoping early Nov.). I am 3 for 3 on the "paperwork" tests, PcM, PjM, and CE, but I'm struggling with what to just broadly understand and what to know in detail. I'm hoping I'll get a better grip as I make my way through the material, but for now I'm working through Ballast.

    Someone else suggested IBC chapters 3, 5, 6, and 10. Maybe focus on the corresponding chapters in BCI, or just go straight for the source. I work in a small office and have plenty of hands-on time throughout entire projects, so I tend to rely on common sense and experience for knowing where to focus my efforts. Hopefully someone here can help us narrow in our efforts further. Best of luck!

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Hey guys,

    I took PA about 5 months ago, so not super fresh in my head, but here are a few things to focus on, if for no other reason than you have a little bit of structure in your final preps:

    - IBC stuff related to building heights, allowable square footage and increases
    - Zoning stuff related to allowable heights and buildable area, i.e. setbacks, FAR etc. Remember zoning AND code dictate how much you can build. Zoning stuff on the case study is provided, but you might get MC questions about calculating square footages.
    - Hazardous material remediation, both for site and within an existing building. What happens if you find asbestos or the ground on your site is contaminated?
    - Soil types and grading slopes
    - I got a lot of the drag and drop kind of questions, similar to items 2 and 8 in the handbook. Don't know if you can really prepare for these, they are just little puzzles.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Great list, Benjamin -- 

    I could only add maybe a spin through Problem Seeking (Pena) -- which can be found online, and is a fairly quick read.

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Haha, Kurt aka the Reference Matrix Evangelist! I can make fun of you because I'm the same. Yeah I can't remember where all this stuff is exactly but those were the content types that stick out in my head.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Benjamin -- hah!  That is me, isn't it?   Ya know, sometimes I see people go WAY off the rails on study materials -- so I guess I feel the need! 

    Randall -- you sound prepared -- do some light review and go kill it!

     

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    Kurt Fanderclai (Edited )

    Chelsea -- don't overthink PA.

    If you passed PcM, PjM, and CE, then just do a month's worth of study and go take it -- you'll pass it.   I passed those four as a distinct non-genius.

     

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    Randall Hunter

    Benjamin, thanks for the  key topics rundown. I will brush up on all of those areas. 

    Kurt, thanks for the encouraging words! I'm hoping everything clicks and I'm on my game next week.

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    Randall Hunter

    Logged in here Sunday morning (about 15 hours after finishing my exam) and saw the GREEN letters next to PA!!! Thanks everyone for the last minute study topics and the pep talk! 

    Ultimately this test is sort of an oddball, especially compared to PcM and PjM. Those exams have clear cut study content and if you know it well then you can really answer most of the questions with confidence. For this exam, the topics are so broad and the questions you are asked don't necessarily have an answer you can go look up, even if you were able to. Because of this I had really no idea how well I did. I felt I answered every drag and drop question correctly (which there were many of) but the multiple choice I really just read the question and went with my gut but not really feeling confident or not about the answer.

    I will agree with almost everyone that this test seems to be about 10-15 questions too long. I felt rushed to get through the case studies so that  I could spend time reviewing some marked questions. I had about 25 minutes left to review but again I spent probably 6-7 minutes on several case study questions ultimately to take an educated guess because I could not figure out the answer given the information. There was so much information to sift through and even when I thought I was looking in the right place I didn't feel confident in what I was finding enough to just answer the question and move on. But oh well, I passed.

    On to PPD and PDD!

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Nice job, Randall!

    PA is a little more oddball than the "business" exams -- most agree it's a transition into the PPD / PDD exams, which are my final two remaining. 

    Congrats -- green is good! 

     

     

     

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Woooo! Congrats Randall.

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    Randall Hunter

    Thanks Kurt and Ben!

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    Sara Parkes

    Where did you find “hazardous” material/site remediation info? I haven’t come across it while reading through the source materials.

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    Benjamin Norkin

    I used the AIA Contracts and 3rd Party stuff. So know what the A201 says about Hazardous Materials. For CDS I had a Kaplan book and for PA/PPP I had Architect Exam Prep. Also read up on Environmental Impact Assessments, Statements and Reports. Can do this directly on the EPA website.

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