PA....what was that



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    Benjamin Sullivan

    Olivia, I can relate to you. My first group of exams felt the same way, there were many questions that seemed to have wandered out of their categories! I suggest this method for studying:

    Take Amberbook at least twice the entire way through, taking notes along the way.

    Re-write the relevant AIA contracts in YOUR own words. This way, you learn the contracts better because you are translating them from legal terms into more understandable sentences. Writing helps commit to memory as well.

    Good luck and hang in there. You'll get it!


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    Kaitlin Gioia DeAngelis

    PA should not be the first exam you take. Start with PcM.  BYoung has a youtube video recommending the order.  I don't know what you saw that you didn't study since there is no way of me seeing that, but I am sure there is content that is in the first exams that relate to the subsequent that people just assume you already know. 

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    Brian Tomlin

    The overlap between exams is also intentional as there are threads connecting most everything you come across.  This is a big reason why a lot of people study for all or groupings of the exams at the same time.

    Amberbook (mentioned above by Benjamin) is one of the big proponents and systems for studying for all exams at once.

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    I would not start with PA either.  Its pass rate is only 50%.  Take CE or Project Management first.  Much easier.

    Your study list for PA is way off....  Read Problem Seeking, ASC, The Site Planning & Design Handbook.  I recommend taking PA 5th.

    And there is no way you can study for all the exams at once.  Most of the folks that pass the exam claiming to have used this method have over 20 years of experience, work in a highly technical role in the field and/or are already a PE.

    Good luck!

    Rebekka O'Melia, R.A., NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, NOMA, Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses

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    Amrata Kirpalani

    OK, so a few things: 

    1. I noticed that in your list of resources, none of the books were mentioned. I'm not sure if it's just a "given" that you also read all books, but if not, then HIGHLY suggested for PA is reading the actual books, not just third party material. Like actually read the Programming book by Pena, SPDH, etc. Basically figure out your weak points, and then really find out which book explains it well, and dig deep into it! 

    2. Agree with everyone else. PA is the worst exam to take first. But since you have already started with the "technical exams", I'm not sure if you want to switch to the 3 "professional exams" . the material for the technical exams and professional exams are literally 2 completely different things, like split down the middle. For the Professional exams, the only book you really need is the AHPP (and of course the contracts). It's the bible for those 3 exams. 

    3. PA's exam is basically everything an architect has ever learned in his/her life, and then some! Content ranges from 

    • how to read soil boring reports
    • the 4 historic building treatments: preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, reconstruction - know the differences
    • Net v/s gross (do lots of math problems on this subject) 
    • topo maps 
    • phasing
    • cost estimates
    • selecting Mechanical systems 
    • ADA
    • FAR
    • etc etc etc! 

    Even if you read all of this, PA can still throw you for a loop! So to feel better about the exams maybe switching to the prof exams is a better idea! 

    Don't be disheartened and you can do this! 

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