In the past I predominantly used:
PCM/PJM : "Architects Handbook of professional practice", read through A101, A201, B101
CE: Hand & Hammer & Building Construction Illustrated Ch 3&7, read G701/704
I used Black Spectacles and supplemented with the physical Amber book for PCM, PJM & CE practice tests.
I passed those 3 exams and have gotten stuck on "Programming and Analysis". I have bought the most practice materials/base materials for the PA test.
I used WeARE, Black Spectacles, hyperfine (sample), designerHacks, PPI ballast exam review and practice questions, Walking ARE (which I was intimidated by, but most replicated the actual exam- just frustrated that it is PDF form and not an online test form cause it makes it harder to go through the materials I feel like. I am going to print it in preparation for my next attempt.)
I made a list of what I found to be the focus of questions for the exam, but also made an equally large list of what did NOT show up on the exam but showed up in multiple practice exam materials.
I feel somewhat frustrated by what I felt like was misdirection in prompts, a few general examples being setbacks listed but not matching the diagrams presented or soil boring reports giving contradicting direction to avoid areas where rock is present, which I believe contradicts the "common soil knowledge" which is to avoid silt and clay, and favor well-graded crushed gravel & sand mix, while especially favoring rock because it is best to reduce settling for the building foundation, correct?
I am just trying to figure out the best way to navigate this retake, as I felt over-prepared with info that didn't even show up in the slightest and underprepared for the plethora of lengthy semi mini-case studies given that felt like you couldn't really prepare for, but just had to assess at the moment (programming adjacencies and site placement). That being said, I passed with flying colors on that particular section, but did poorly in the others.
My score breakdown was:
section 1: 1 (far below) for (environmental and contextual conditions), (which I am baffled by because that was what I thought was my strongest area and used the "site planning and design" as my base reading material)
section 2: 2 (not passing) for (codes and regulations) (used IBC/ANSI)
section 3 4 (exceeding) for (site analysis and programming)
section 4: 2 (not passing) for (building analysis and programming) (used problem seeking)
study focus/ what was on the exam:
- soil borings
- remaining acreage count, given existing acre unit count
- construction cost overall (site/fixed equipment)
- parking count (non-ADA)
- ADA ramp analysis
- arterial vs collector
- efficiency importance in occupancy
- flood zones
- swale placement
- bldg placement/adjacencies (a TON of this)
- reducing Net occupancy spaces to reduce SF count
was not on the exam (but was in practice material):
- historical info on city formations/urban planning/townships
- soil remediation
- street widths/radius
- structural/HVAC /lighting/elec basics
- psychometric chart
- typical slopes
- Psi (between stories/plumbing fixtures)
- Mill levy calc
- various bonds
- flood % per yr
- foundation prep tie backs/etc
- FSI (fire rating)
- earthquake zone categories
Any advice would be appreciated!
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