First and foremost, good luck to everyone taking these exams!! I've been struggling with CE having failed before and took a long break from all exams before just getting back into it yesterday. It is doable, so keep at it. One thing I will say about the new format, I found the digital whiteboard to pretty much be unusable. Difficult to say the least and even seemed glitchy where some of the numbers I was typing were deleted. I opted to not even try to draw on it and just used the type icon to write out what I needed. This feature is a mess in my honest opinion. I am very nervous for exams with more calculation content and this resource. Team BRINGBACKTHESCRATCHPAPER 100%.
My approach when taking PcM and PjM exams was not as effective here because of the new format where the questions answered lock as you move on to the case study sections. I ran through the first section of questions and then spent a large chunk of time reviewing them. I was very nervous to not be able to go back at the end and change things as I think the resources attached to the case studies can oftentimes help clarify a previous question. In taking so much time to review my earlier questions before moving on, I was not able to go back on my case study questions (ran out of time).
I passed this exam yesterday and some of my main takeaways and study content is below:
-Familiarize yourself with wall sections, spend the time and know the components (weep holes & flashing, mastic etc.)
-Know the differences between bond types
-Expect a handful of Bidding requirement questions
-Scheduling, scheduling, scheduling! Bar/Gantt Charts, Milestones, CPM, Wall Schedule.
-Know the contracts! The AIA docs are vital. As I work for a developer, I get very stuck in the trap of thinking from the "owner" viewpoint so I really had to read through the questions and separate out the actual contractual responsibilities of the architect versus the contractor.
-Schiff Harden Lectures !!! (I had listened to the whole series when prepping for PcM & PjM, but I focused on the lectures specific to the contracts for this exam) Long but worth it.
-Ballast for an overview
-AHPP Chapters 9 & 10
-Building Codes Illustrated Chapters 10,11,14,& 18
-Building Construction Illustrated chapters 3 & 7
-Youtube: ArchiCorner has great content on ADA vs Bldg Code, calculating Occupancy, Egress, Building Types etc. But also one video resource brings up a host of others, I found these to be quick and straightforward. Great for the couple nights before when you're exhausted from the constant reading.
-Black Spectacles videos for an overview
GOOD LUCK & KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
I would say Building Construction Illustrated helped me there but also a bit of Youtube as well. It was not like I encountered a ton of those questions on the exam but I'd recommend just re-familiarizing yourself.
An example question would be locating where the flashing and mastic on a section should be if it was missing. Or where the scupper would be located with certain parameters provided. But that was just a handful of questions - the contracts were tied to the bulk of this exam experience for me.
The chapters called out above helped me but to each their own of course. I spent a lot of time this go-around making sure I understood the concepts rather than trying to memorize anything (whether it was the contracts or detail members).
Thanks for the insight Chloe! I failed CE back in 2019 and finally gained the courage to retake it next month! I'm curious though for how long you studied for this test? When I first took it, I studied for about a month. This time around, due to planned vacations and other personal reasons, I only have about 2 weeks to restudy for this exam. Do you think that's enough time?
I would say at least you have attempted the exam prior and are in a position to refamiliarize yourself rather than starting from scratch.
I studied intermittently over a period of 5-6 weeks but I spent the last two weeks before the exam treating studying like a job. Since this is my third exam (after studying for PjM & PcM), I felt more comfortable with the contracts so really used the Schiff Harden contract lectures as a refresher and spent the majority of my time on the other areas.
Looking at what I've listed above, I think more time is beneficial but not always necessary. Everyone is different, my last two weeks of studying was very focused but I think because I started studying earlier I was able to use the black spectacles videos and ballast chapters as an intro and not material I relied on.
Thank you for providing such detailed study tips! Can you tell me how you found out that previously answered questions locked as you moved onto the case study section? Is there a disclaimer on this at the start of the exam? I also referred back to the case study resources on PcM and PjM, so I'm a little worried about that.
It was made clear on the exam that once I took a break and moved onto the case studies I would not be able to go back to my previously answered questions.
I'm sure NCARB can clear this up more as I think some people choose not to take a break. In the updated guidelines it says: When you return from a break, all items that you have already viewed will be locked, including those marked for later review, and you will not be able to view or edit them again.
I probably would have elected not to take a break but I had the time to review my flagged answers before choosing to take one and felt relatively confident to move on. Plus I am not someone who can sit through questioning for that long without a breather....
Congrats on the pass! That's a huge accomplishment!
If anyone else is looking for free resources on what to study and general studying tips, I made a YouTube video explaining everything I did in order to pass the exam in 1 month. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/-qPZkheCijE
Ps. I made a video of study tips for each of the ARE 5.0 exams. Check them out on my channel.
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