Well, third time is a charm! I see now that I went into PPD, back in October, woefully unprepared. I had been using Ballast and Architect Exam Prep like I had done for my previous 4 (first try) passes. I got a 495. For my December retake I got Designer Hacks and ARE questions, MEEB, CHING, and HCL. I got a 499, so clearly no improvement. I needed to make a change and all of you were raving about Amber Book so that’s what I got and that’s what I needed. I started the course December 30 and watched the videos every night, even if it was just 30 minutes (I have two kids and I work so I can only study after they go to sleep). I finished the course two weeks ago and devoted the rest of the time to taking practice questions from ARE questions, the NCARB practice exam, and designer hacks, and going over the subjects from Amber Book that I felt needed reinforcement. The exam was a blur but I knew I knew by question 15 that I was doing well and by question 82 I knew I had passed. I took my scheduled break and tried to keep it together and not get ahead of myself. The exam was well balanced: structure, seismic, cost, schematic design, site planning, codes. Having taken it 3 times, I can tell you that there isn’t a content area that weighs more and that’s what makes studying hard. There are no shortcuts, you have to know it all. Onto PDD retake in a month and then I’ll be done!
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