scaled scores

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    Dennis Bro

    In each of the three times that you took the test what were your low scores?  In other words in the 5 areas were you consistently low in any of the 5 areas or were they different on each attempt.  1. Integration of Building Materials & Systems (If you are low here go into Studio Companion and sketch every single HVAC system on a large index card and be able to explain it to someone).  2. Construction Documentation.  If you need help create flash cards of every symbol you can find.  3. Project Manual and Specification.  Self explanatory not much to do here.  4. Codes and Regulations.  You must have every ADA door and parking diagram memorized.  5.  Construction Cost Estimates.  This trips me up as well.  You have to become more familiar with it as well.  The next time you take PDD do the Case Studys First.  You will do better overall.

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    David Pearson

    Dennis, Thank you so much for taking the time to help me. I really appreciate it... as you can see my lowest scores were the last exam ( first image)... quite a difference...

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    Elif Bayram

    Sorry about it David. Do you mind sharing what have you studied for PDD?

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    David Pearson

    Dennis ...Why do you suggest doing the Case studies first?

    Elif...Balck Specticles

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    Elif Bayram

    When it comes to AREs, there is not one single recipe or resource that makes you pass all 6 exams. But there are a few common paths you can follow. My favorite one is starting with NCARB-recommended books and supplementing them with third-party resources. You can find the list of references specified by NCARB in their Guidelines. There is a Reference Matrix at the end, which lists all important books for PDD. Under this list, the ones I recommend are:

    • Architectural Graphic Standards (11th or 12th edition, not the student edition): I would review all the details and sketch over them to really understand the details. The book also has great tables full of information. Carefully review the tables and take notes. Learn how to compare different floor/wall/roof assemblies. 
    • Fundamentals of Building Construction:  Materials and Methods: I get great feedback about this book, but there is another book I love that shares almost all the content with this book and is much easier to read. It is called Building Cons. Principles Materials and System by Mada Mehta. I refer to it as the Mehta book. I lost count of how many times I recommended this book to someone for PDD and how many times they got back to me thanking... I would highly recommend you read it and solve the quizzes on each chapter. Yes, it has over 1000 questions...
    • You must have a good understanding of IBC and ADA. Looking at your score reports, I see you had a good progress there, so repeat your notes from your studies before. 
    • Review MEEB if you haven't done it so far. I would suggest going through the content and focusing on the topics you feel weak about. 
    • Lastly, I like Olin's book for PDD. It is a very thick book, so I would do a selective review and focus on the topics I feel I need more studying. 

    Following these reviews/readings, I would recommend solving all the PPD and PDD questions you can find.  

    PDD is a very technical exam that requires deeper knowledge. That is why I would suggest you and everyone reading this post to read these books and learn the content. It may seem "too much", but compared to the time you spend on retakes, I think investing your time at once and getting it out of the way is a better solution. Besides, you will learn a lot and become a better architect in the end, and it is very satisfying. I understand how annoying it can be to fail over and over ( I failed this exam 2 times), but after I took my time and learned the content, I even enjoyed my last take. Hard to imagine, right :))

    I really hope this helps you. Check out posts in this group and on ARE FB Group too. Best of luck!

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