I retook PJM this afternoon and got a likely pass!
A bit of context: I studied for PCM & PJM together. I took PJM first and failed. Took PCM the following week and passed. When people say don't get discouraged by a fail, they really mean it. I almost gave into bad habits and I was very close to rescheduling PCM after recieving my PJM fail. That one PCM pass was enough to motivate me to reschedule PJM and retake it after 60 days.
Things that helped me the most:
- Write down key concepts you remember from the test and use it to help you revise your study guide moving forward. What worked for me was also to use this in combination with my score report to assess my strengths/weaknesses. Post exam, I realized I was strong in contracts (which comprise most of PJM) and decided to devote the rest of my retake efforts to strengthening the other areas where I was weak.
- Read NCARBs questions carefully. Sounds simple, but half the battle of the exams is understanding what they are asking. After many a practice test, I found out I was over complicating so many questions by trying to use all the information given to me. One thing that was particulalrly useful to me was to read the question once, look at the answers, try eliminate some, and read the question again to really make my final choice for the correct answer.
- Don't try and memorize things (except contracts- you need to know those inside out). These tests are not about regurgitating information. Stick to concepts.
- The first time you do the math for any question (whether from the ARE handbook or any other resource) should not be in the exam. You will run out of time and feel flustered.
- Take the day off before the exam. Perserve your mental health and stamina. You will need it. A calm mind could be the difference between a pass and a fail.
Resources I used
- ARE Handbook (Start here- go through the objectives 1 by 1 and develop your study guide)
- AHPP (The Bible. You will not pass the exam without this)
- Ballast (gives a good overview)
- Black Spectacles (used for the practice exams only- had access through my employer)
- AIA Website for Contract Docs (free)
- Designer Hacks Practice Tests (affordable)
- Clare 5.0 (new, affordable & has free consulting with experts)
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