Passed CE, my second exam (after PA) yesterday. Background info: I've been working for 2.5 years, primarily on interior architecture. I studied for 2-4 hours a day for a month, minus weekends, and used BlackSpectacles videos, Ballast, AHPP, Building Construction Illustrated, and reviewed all the relevant contracts per the ARE Handbook. Getting to know the potential contents of the exam through people's experiences on the forums really helped, since materials like wall sections/foundations aren't covered with BS or Ballast.
That being said, in retrospect I could have streamlined my studying a LOT. Some thoughts that might help others:
- Highly recommend, if nothing else, studying relevant AHPP sections (Ch. 9, 10) + A201 so that you understand the provisions and the sequence of actions a party is supposed to take when a situation arises (ex. contractor often needs to notify arch/owner first, but its different in emergencies) is very important, since all the questions are scenario based.
- Looking back, I strongly feel like I didn't need to study ballast or bs because the info was like a brief and high level version of AHPP+A201 that I would have covered anyways. The practice exams were very helpful, though I felt a tad more straightforward than the real exam.
- On the real exam, make sure you read the question thoroughly and understand what it's asking for - there's often extraneous info.
- Know the basics about thermal/moisture protection, foundations, expansion/isolation/control joints. For those like me who don't have much experience with exterior/foundation details, don't be like me and over-study with Building Construction Illustrated. Get to know stuff like the key components of a standard brick/masonry assembly, where they go, and why they go there/how they interact with other elements, a standard concrete foundation detail, or the conditions that require flashing.
- Lastly, on the case studies, keep in mind that the correct answer always relates to the documents you're given - there may be a provision that's different from the standard contracts which are the basis of 90% of the non-case study questions, so don't assume anything!
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