Following the success of Allie Povall's (AP) über popular Post Test Mind Dump post I thought I would contribute my take on it. I could see this becoming a thing...
I haven't been super active on the boards during my study period since I was cramming in a very heavy study routine (which I do not recommend) but now that I'm finished I figured I could give back to the forum that offered so much helpful advice!
I took PDD as the last of my 6 exams on Wednesday and was so relieved to find out that I passed. I thought for sure I failed and that green PASS was the most beautiful thing I've seen in months...
- PPI / Ballast Practice Problems and Practice Exam
- Building Construction Illustrated (cover to cover)
- Heating, Cooling, Lighting (maybe more for PPD but a great conceptual book)
- Plumbing, Electricity, Acoustics (similar to above)
- I flipped though my free pdf versions of Building Structures and Simplified Engineering but didn't find much success breaking into the dense material there.
- The Architect's Studio Companion and Building Structures Illustrated were very helpful for concepts
- I got lots of free 4.0 study guide material from a friend that included Kaplan, Ballast and NCARB guides for the Structures exam. I found this was the most efficient source for absorbing the structures equations and calculations.
- Like AP says, this exam is such a beast. So brooaaaddd.
- The only exam of the 6 where I felt pressed for time. I skipped 10 or so questions during my run-through and came back to them in the last 20 minutes but had to basically guess on 3 or 4.
- Being able to use the keyboard input for the calculator was a game changer. I can't imagine having to click on the screen buttons like before.
- On that topic: There were so many calculation questions. Half of the exam questions felt like case study questions.
- I took a similarly light approach with the complex structural equations as AP and it served me well.
- Quite a few questions on how to read drawings.
- There was also quite the mix of acoustics, lighting, thermal insulation, elevator, electrical distribution, sound mitigation assembly, metal interactions and vapor barrier questions. Like everyone is saying, the questions here are more technical to PPD's more conceptual take on these topics.
- I didn't get many code questions but I'm not sure that is the norm. Quite a few structural questions. Knowing lateral systems and beam plans and beam sizing was crucial for me.
Hopefully there is enough info here to be useful to the people and not so much as to offend NCARB. Again I want to thank everyone's contributions to this forum, especially the more active users! It would have been hard to be efficient with my studying without the generous tips/suggestions.
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