After failing PPD, I decided to amp up my studying and prepare for PDD. I just found out I passed PDD on the first try!
PREP MATERIAL: Because I was so fearful after my fail, I do think I over-prepared. I read through most of the NCARB recommended materials to varying degrees (BCI, Fundamentals, MEEB, IBC....plus old 4.0 Kaplan material plus the new PPI/Kaplan guides and watched Grant Adams videos 2x.) That's ok. I think all that prep will not be wasted when I retake that beast, PPD hopefully soon.
RESOURCES IN THE TEST ITSELF: Is everyone aware that the resources tabs have much valuable info? I mean, I too had heard that, but then continued to clutter my brain memorizing formulas, etc. The recurring theme for these tests is .. .the answers are right there in front of you, you just have to find them :) Even the test itself contains many answers. It is a very visual test. Use that to your advantage! There were many times I noticed answers could be found in the form of other questions throughout the test. Keep your eye out.
TIME MANAGEMENT / CASE STUDIES / UGH: This was definitely an issue for me w PPD. This time, I went in w a plan of attack! I tackled the general questions like a champ, with the plan of leaving 1h 45min for case studies -- in reality, it was 1h 40min, but I was ok with that. How could that NOT be enough time? Took my break and refocused in the waiting area with some meditative breathing before starting the Case Studies. This is invaluable! Resting your brain and calming yourself in between is a MUST! In and of themselves, case study questions were not hard. They were simple questions about things we do every day. Nothing tricky. It was sifting through the information that took so much time! I used every second of time to finish, with zero review time. 1h 40m was not enough time!!?! BC I knew time was short, I took educated guesses on several. There was 1 in particular, I knew I could answer -- but it would take too much time to research. It was a conscious decision, but I just took a random guess so I could get through the rest of the questions. I think it helps to set a time budget for gen ?s, stick to it, and use reasonable strategies to conserve time as needed (i.e. identify those "sacrificial questions").
CASE STUDY TAKEAWAY: The Case Studies are so simple, and at the same time so stressful and frustrating. If nothing else, I believe they test something beyond your knowledge of architecture -- they test your ability to keep your cool under pressure. I mean. . have you ever been outright challenged in your job -- - put on the spot in a heated discussion by a raised-voice, finger-pointing client in front of your entire project team?! Your heart is racing and the pressure is on. Crickets. Everyone is looking right at you to respond. Haha! That's the Case Studies in a nutshell.
NCARB/GRATITUDE: I think it's important to recognize that NCARB has undergone a renaissance of sorts with the advent of the new 5.0 testing. I have probably been in this field for quite a bit longer than most candidates; I have seen them evolve with the times. Things like YouTube videos and this online forum (in which NCARB is present and actually active!) are instrumental tools in supporting what we are doing here. I have friends taking licensing exams in other professions and from what they tell me, this is pretty unique!
Onward to retake PPD - - my final test. Good luck everyone!!
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