I took PcM last Saturday and just received my PASS this morning! I left the testing center feeling pretty confident but had been trying to keep my hopes in check. I don't think there is such as thing as having too many perspectives on these exams. They are very important and any bit of information can improve your chances of passing so here was my process...
Having already passed and feeling very comfortable with the subject matter of CDs, I felt PcM would be the best place to start of all the remaining exams. I first came to this community to see what everyone else who had success was doing and the theme throughout was AHPP, AHPP, and....AHPP. Like the many others I highly recommend buying this book or having your firm buy it for you if you're able. There is a zero percent chance I would have passed this exam without it.
I used Kevin G.'s PcM AHPP recommended chapters to study from which you can find in several places throughout this forum. Thank you Kevin!! I read all of the "Red" chapters thoroughly one time through making a few note cards along the way (mostly on the financial stuff in chapter 7). I read slow and with purpose being sure to understand everything I was reading. This took me about 6 days of reading 2-3 hours a day. After going through once I skimmed over some older study materials from 4.0 CDs that I had(Jenns/Carolines/Rich Notes - only the relevant info) and then I read all of those same "Red" chapters in AHPP again. Not only did I read what Kevin recommended but I thoroughly read NCARB's guide to the exams to see what other materials I felt would be important and compared those to the AHPP table of contents which left me reading a few other chapters more closely.
I also read the B101 and C401 two times each. I had a solid foundation in these already from studying for CDs last year but it is extremely important that you know these and know them well. While NCARB does not list it as required study for PcM, reading through the A201 certainly would not hurt you for this exam because it is the driving contract in most projects and is referenced by the B101 and C401.
My firm dragged its feet in purchasing the 5.0 Ballast materials so I had 3 days before my test to take the practice exam, read through the exam answer explanations, read the chapters on PcM in the manual and then take the practice exam once more. I scored about a 50% the first time I took the exam but going through the explanations and then reading the manual was an excellent last minute resource that probably helped me answer 5-6 questions that I would have had to guess on. I couldn't imagine taking this exam though only studying 3rd party materials.
So in review, I...
- Read AHPP "important" chapters 2x through. I read the financial material and project delivery chapters 3 times.
- Read/skimmed the orange and yellow chapters in Kevin's list once with a little more importance given to chapters 8, 15, 17
- Read and reread B101 and C401. Know them like the back of your hand. Listening to the Schiff Hardin Lectures on the B101 is very helpful.
-Quickly read 5.0 Ballast and took the practice exam. I didn't think I was going to have this at all and ultimately would have been fine without it but it was a nice overall last minute refresher.
I spent a solid 5 weeks studying and after the test felt like I was well prepared. I finished the multiple choice up to the case studies with about 80 minutes left having marked 12 questions for review(all but 1 of which I kept the same answer). I finished the case studies and had 36 minutes left to review the entire test. I did not get a single "wtf" question and felt the test matched up well with my studying, especially the AHPP and contracts.
Hope this helps someone. On to PjM!
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