PDD -- post exam notes

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    Randall Hunter

    Amazing write-up Kurt! I still have to take PPD before getting to this one but I couldn't resist the urge to read every word. I knew there would be some helpful overlapping suggestions. 

    I am currently 3/4 of the way through BCI(constr.) and have already read once through ASC(mostly the systems chapters). My next pass through will be creating note cards which help me better understand the topic and then allow for easy review in the car, in between Netflix episodes, etc... My life schedule has been hectic lately, was looking to get PPD in before Christmas but I think I'm going to push it to first week of January and then do PDD at the end of January.

    My question: Did you study the "math" for these exams while studying for PPD or did you wait and brush up on equations and such for the short exclusive PDD study time between tests? I have been generally glossing over things like beam / duct sizing because it seems those won't show up too frequently for PPD? Is this a correct assumption?

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Hi Randall, 

    Sounds like you're getting there already in terms of studying.  Scheduling the exams is such as individual choice.  I don't want anyone showing up unprepared, but there's also no return in over-studying.  I'm sure the Holidays tend to factor in for most candidates.

    For the "math...  as you said:  "I have been generally glossing over things like beam / duct sizing because it seems those won't show up too frequently for PPD?"   That was really my strategy.  As I wrote above, I think you need to understand some really basic math for both of these exams, but in my experience, these questions are indeed basic, and very limited in number.

    Good luck with your studying!  

      

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Randall -- more than anything, there are many questions on the exams where -- yes -- you need to pull out the calculator, but these aren't typically the scary ones like calculating max shear at a given point...  lot more like the simple arithmetic that you'd do day to day on projects. 

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    Michelle NCARB

    Congratulations Kurt!  Great write-up - thanks for sharing your study strategies with everyone here!

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Michelle -- thanks!  And thanks to you as well for all of your input on this forum.  It's been interesting to watch (and participate in) the new 5.0 format as it developed!     

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    Randall Hunter

    Kurt, thanks for the clarification. I will keep this in mind as I continue studying,

    Another thing I continue to gloss over a little bit is general/standard sizes of things like door hardware and their locations A.F.F. or the spacing of them. Or other items like how far your roof overhang can be depending on the structural system you choose and how far a 2x6 can span compared to a 2x12? Is it enough knowledge to know the 2x12 has a greater span or is it important to know the 2x12 can span a little more than 20'?

    Or the size of nail and spacing for a 2x6. I would hope this information is way too in depth for what we need to know but it seems a question or two tends to show up out of nowhere.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    "I would hope this information is way too in depth for what we need to know but it seems a question or two tends to show up out of nowhere."

    Randall, that is pretty much it.  

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    Justin Pelland

    I would add to your note on case studies - the Case Study questions are worth the same amount of points as the rest of the test but they're the most time intensive questions on the exam, It's important to leave enough time to answer the case study questions, as Kurt mentioned, but if you get to the case study questions and you're stuck on one that's just sucking up your time, plug in a best guess answer and move on to the next question. Running out of time is worse than getting a case study question wrong. Especially if you could have answered 3 or 4 other questions in the time you spent stuck on the one.

    Also, I strongly recommend that everyone check out the case study questions before answering any questions and just write down which documents they include (IBC excerpts, ADA excerpts, etc.) You will likely find a question in the exam regarding information that can be found in the case study supplements which can save you valuable head scratching time and a possible wrong answer.

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    Ryan White

    Hello Kurt,

    Thank you so much for that excellent write-up and response to my post!! I (We) really appreciate it!! About to purchase the books now. Fingers crossed! Happy Holidays.

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    Randall Hunter

    Kurt! Question about Architectural graphic standards... I have been searching and contemplating actually buying this book for no other reason than having it for my career beyond the exams. After thinking about it for days I decided to look again at my firm's resources and realized we already have it!! Yay for free resources...

    Ok my question: How did you use it? It's gigantic. Did you have known weaknesses you were trying to cover or did you just browse through and take as much in as possible? I'm leaning toward doing the latter, sort of using it as an "I'm tired of reading, let me look at fun drawings for a couple of days" resource. 

    Just curious how you used this as your "primary resource" for PDD. Thank you!

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Randall -- hell no, I didn't have any weaknesses!  WTH????  Hah -- JK...

    The AGS is gigantic, you're right -- no need to actually read it all word for word, but paging through it really doesn't take all that long.  I probably slowed down and studied through the thermal and waterproofing sections -- an an example, but definitely skipped over the oddities and specialties like, say, sauna design.

    It's a great book to pore over and absorb as much as possible -- much of the exam is very graphics-oriented -- the AGS gets you in that mindset.

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    Randall Hunter

    Good stuff! Thanks.

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    David Kaplan

    Careful there - there's like 20 questions on sauna design on the exam :)  If only, right?

     

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    ANGELA FERRIGAN

    Hi Kurt, I see this post is from a while ago, but hopefully you'll still get this. I see that one of the items you listed that is included in the exam is invert distance. I'm trying to find information about where to best locate an invert on a site plan. I understand how to calculate slopes, but that's not what I'm looking for. Do you know of any useful resources for this?

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