Super long and dense questions in NCARB practice exam - does it actually reflect the "density" of actual test?
Hello all! Hope this is not too weird of a question... I took the NCARB practice exam tonight in exam mode and was surprised by how many of the questions are very long and dense, and have a exhibit you need to refer to in order to answer the question. I've been practicing on Black Spectacles and those forms are much "lighter" in a way that there are exhibit questions but not majority of them.
I ran out of time during the NCARB practice exam and left 6 questions unanswered, which never happened to be during the Black Spectacles mock up exams. Could someone please tell me if this NCARB practice exam actually reflect the questions types in actual exam (majority of the questions are long and with exhibits)? Should I use other mock-up exams for study instead to better prepare for it?
Not a weird question! I thought the same thing. Also: I was surprised by how much superfluous information was given in many of the questions, especially the case studies. For the case studies (in the real exams), I would just barely skim the “scenario” and then scroll through the series of questions to answer the one or two (or three!) that didn’t require a whole lot of (or any!) reading. Then I would go back to the rest and actually read the scenario and any necessary references.
As for studying: I did the PcM Practice exam in test mode, but after that, I really couldn’t make time for test mode anymore — it was just too time consuming and I couldn’t remain that intensely focused for that long for exactly the “density” reason you describe. I thought the Black Spectacle quizzes, the Amber Book flash cards, and the NCARB practice exams in practice mode (so I could go through them a couple at a time) were a much better use of my time.
One of the reasons I wanted to do the practice exams in test mode was to gauge how prepared I was and predict whether or not I’d pass the actual exam. But like a lot of people in this forum have said, the practice exams really don’t work like that. It’s best to use them as a jumping off point to explore topics you realize you might not understand as well as you wished.
Hope this helps.
Based on my experience with the case studies, I’d recommend reading the list of answers first before you read the associated case study question. The questions tend to include extra, sometimes irrelevant, information and knowing the answers you have to choose from will sometimes help you determine the correct answer quicker.
Super long and dense questions are part of the game of ARE exams. What can you do? Two things:
- Really learn the content.
- Get used to the way NCARB asks the questions in ARE exams.
Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)
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