PDD Fail

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    Yafei Zhang (Edited )

    Hi Kathryn, you are not alone. I just failed the 2nd attempt PDD last Wednesday, and I also feel confident when I was testing. however, still got a fail. 

    BTW, where did you get your score of 493? 
    Here is my failed report for this time. Feels pretty close? 

    A little bit of progress than my 1st attempt

    I am trying to take my 3rd attempt in March/April. If you are on a similar timeline, let's study as a group and share the questions!

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    Olivia Greene

    I had a very similar exam experience around Thanksgiving. Fail with a 522 scaled score, so close! I probably had an hour and half for my case studies, and didn't feel confident in any of my answers. In my opinion, the questions felt significantly more vague than any of the other exams (even PPD, which I passed first round). After 2 months to think on it, the best I can come up with for where I went wrong was recognizing all disciplines that could be applied to each problem. Retake is in 3 weeks and I've really just been digging into readings (NCARB reference material) more closely to see if that really solidifies my conceptual knowledge. If anyone else out there has any recommendations, would be greatly appreciated.

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    Olivia Greene

    @Yafei, there is a 'Scaled Score' on the first page of the score report (grey region).

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    Yafei Zhang

    Just got to know they added a "scale score" to the report. 

    I got a 502 on my 1st attempt and a 525 on my 2nd attempt. sigh.......

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    Kathryn Dayton

    @Yafei, yeah the scaled score and report are nice to know where to dial in/how much we failed by. And I am planning retake mid-March! Love the idea of connecting and bouncing questions!! 

    and @Yafei & @Olivia - OMG 522 and 525!?!? SO CLOSE Y'ALL!! ughhhhhhh I'm planning to listen in to Mike Newman on Sunday afternoons (Black Spectacles workshops) and Michael Ermann on Thursday nights (40 min of Competence with Amberbook), if you all are interested in those you should join too!! I think the Amberbook one is open to anybody, but I'm not sure about the Black Spectacles. 

    I also passed PPD on my first try... it was a lot of material too but I felt like the exam was straightforward at least. I think you're right @Olivia, I think the intersection of multiple disciplines was slightly blurry for me too. 

    Yeah @Benjamin, I have some unique strategies when it comes to case studies...I always do them first while my mind is fresh, except I don't do or look at the last one for each case study. That way, if I do have to take a break, I will still have access to the resources as I work through all the other problems. Then, in my final review of tagged items, I go back through all case study questions at the end and finish the last two I hadn't seen by that point.

    But honestly I really just felt like there was an insurmountable level of complication with the case studies I had this time on PDD - just soooo much information to rifle through and exceptions to apply to get really basic stuff - like they made it particularly difficult to reach the simplest conclusions. But yes, it is so important to know those references are available to apply to any question!! 

    Thanks for chiming in you guys, it definitely makes me feel less and alone and a little less dumb-founded. 

     

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    Kawai Yam

    Hi all - Kathryn Dayton Yafei Zhang Olivia Greene
    my last attempt was 510, and I tried many times lol I don't even want to mention it. Anyway, my study buddies all passed, and now back to me alone again. I would love to have someone that I can shoot my questions directly and get some quick feedback. Join me here if you want to study together: https://discord.gg/jHbJjje2

    Hopefully we will all pass in the next try. 

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    Rebekka O'Melia (Edited )

    I'd recommend studying 8 weeks then for the retake.  Also, NEVER spend that long on the case studies.  Do them first, and watch the clock.  You need at least 2.5 hrs to do the rest of the exam.  Don't waste time on questions that are strange, unclear or ones you cannot find the answers for.  Remember NCARB puts in questions that are unscored too.

    Be sure to use the search tool to find keywords inside those case studies too.  

    Re-studying will help, but you need a better strategy for attacking the exam and better time management during the exam.  The good news is that this is easier to overcome than broad deficiencies in knowledge.

    Keep studying & hope this helps!

    Rebekka O'Melia, Registered Architect, NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, Step UP,  Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses 

     

     

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    Nikki Hernandez

    Yafei Zhang, our scores are so similar! Kathryn Dayton, totally in the same boat. PDD is my last exam and I failed for a second time in December. I passed PPD (even had like 1.5 hours left to check my answers) in November. During the PDD test my calculations weren't checking out, questions were soooooo specific (truly couldn't even make an educated guess). I was probably overthinking all of the questions but you're so right. Case studies seemed easy but I wasn't confident in any of my answers. I just bought the Mehta book and I'm reading that. Gonna review my amber book notes but I'm not sure what to do.

    My score:

     

    How is everyone else tackling studying for their retake?

     

     

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    Luis Cavazos

    I just got my score for PDD. I made a 61 back in November and a 66 (525) this time around. NCARB had posted the cut scores for PDD and they ranged between 58-65 for passing. Which source are we supposed to follow?

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    Kathryn Dayton

    Hey Luis that's brutal, but I think maybe the cut scores are misleading because on my score report at least it says "...a result of 550 representing the minimum threshold of acceptable performance" which would be 69% of 800...I think it's not a straightforward percentage honestly- I think it comes down to getting our "scaled scores" to 550 or higher. It's hard because we never know how many of the 100 questions are pulled off as unscored "test" test questions that they are trying out, like Rebekka mentioned...if that makes sense.

    Nikki- a million percent- what you said is exactly how I felt too. I scheduled my retake for March 13. I have zero motivation to start this whole subject matter over again...I think my next step is to purchase some practice exams because I've taken all of the ones available through NCARB, Black Spectacles, Amber Book and Ballast. It's so disheartening to start over AGAIN...I feel like I don't even know what I don't know at this point. :(

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    Kathryn Dayton (Edited )

    @Kawai I'm sorry for being so late to check out your study group invite but the link didn't get me anywhere ... Its a cool app though so I made this one if anyone is interested in having a running chat off this

     https://discord.gg/tkdGXewD 

     

     

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    Susan Arnold

    Just took PDD yesterday... watch the units on the math! Kilowatts and Kiloamps vs watts and amps, and even volt-amps, Kips and pounds, and in another problem, square feet, square yards, and cubic yards... those would trip you up even if you otherwise understand the problem.

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    Pablo Diaz

    Same here. I am on round 3 for PDD. I easily passed PPD on the first go.

    PDD questions seem so obscure and cryptic. I ran thru Amberbooks for the second time on PDD and still didnt help. 

    I believe I have the content down... I think I just need to practice responding complex practice questions to condition me for the next PDD. 

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    PDD is a very technical exam.  

    Re-studying will help, but you need a good strategy for attacking this exam and better time management during the exam.  The good news is that this is easier to overcome than broad deficiencies in knowledge.

    I also believe that studying daily (for about 2hrs) is better than studying for longer periods just a few days per week. 

    It seems like a lot of people are failing these exams multiple times.  I am not sure I would have been persistent enough...   Persistence pays off, but it's not easy!  I also recommend getting new practice exams, new study materials, books, classes, etc.  Mix it up!

    Keep studying & hope this helps!

    Rebekka O'Melia, Registered Architect, NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, Step UP,  Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses 

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    Debbie Weitzman

    NCARB has to take some action on the PDD exam, too many people are failing this test so many times, and is frustrating that we can’t get a y feedback, this feels like a slot machine more than a professional license examination. Something is very wrong with the system, and is making some of us -very capable and smart- professionals want to quit.

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    Sonia Wright (Edited )

    Debbie,

    I totally agree with your comment. I passed PcM, PjM, CE, and PA on my first try. This is my first time taking and failing the PPD & PDD test. I studied a lot and yes!, I also feel like I'm  -very capable and smart- There is something systematically wrong with a test that has such low passing rate and no specific guidance on how to study for the exam.

    The NCARB practice PDD test was not a good source to prepare me for the exam since even though I passed it with a relatively high score, it seemed so different than the actual exam.

    I'm retaking both exams in 60 days. I emailed NCARB and asked them to provide guidance on how to interpret their reports since those are also confusing. 

    I understand that our profession holds a lot of responsibility but making the exams seem like trivia is not helping us.

    --------------------------------

    Today, 20 plus years after arriving in the US, 60 days after failing my PPD & PDD exams, and 1.5 years of studying while running a business and being a mom, I was able to pass my last exam. 

    These were my sources of study in order:

    Young Architect's boot camps

    Amber Book

    Kaplan ARE 5.0 Project Planning & Design Learning Hub AND  Project Development & Documentation Learning Hub 

    ARE Structures @ YOUR PACE BY DAVID THADDEUS

    My opinion on Architecture trivia still holds. This is how I felt throughout the process, it feels as if you could continue studying for ever with the possibility of finding new topics in the exams.

    My hope is that new versions of the exams will be strategically divided into sections that will allow us to master the topics vs pooling all the topics and have such low passing rate.

    Good luck everyone!

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    Bruno Genari

    Hey everyone just came up to these threads I'm on the same boat, PDD has been a long path on passing. My last exam I had a scale card of 515, probably because of 5 questions. I agree with Kathryn...I had the same feeling on the exam on the calculations and the case studies. how do I get access to this discord?

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