Took the PCM exam last Friday. I prepared for 6 weeks, using the ARE Exam prep course as a guide, used misc. other sources to supplement (AHPP, misc YouTube’s, AIA docs., etc). I was unable to use NCARB practice exams, they were not working properly, although I did use ARE Exam Prep. practice test and quizzes. While these were adequate, I don’t feel they prepared me enough for the real thing. In the end, I went in feeling prepared, but ultimately came out knowing I had been underprepared. This exam digs deeper with lengthy questions, really challenging your analytical skills. In spite of prior commentary that you just need a general understanding, I found that not true. Time ran out and I ultimately failed this one on the first try. (Sidebar: I’ve been in the industry for 30 years, and work in a two person firm with much exposure to the inner workings of the business. And I’ve worked in all types of offices and sizes).
Takeaway…dig deeper than you think you will need to, use the NCARB prep tests, learn how to properly manage your time. I plan to jump right into Project Management, the retake this one.
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