Let's talk about the helpful material honestly--PDD failed at 1st try.

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    Emmanuel Moreno

    Hello Kara, I understand your frustration.

    Do realize that very few people pass any of the exams on the first try. I have taken PDD 6 x in the past 2 years. Lost exams in January, thanks to getting rid of the rolling clock I'm back to just needing PDD. Not exactly a relief...But a Relief none the less. So How Do I feel about the exam...I wish I was done, the last two times I missed it by roughly 5 questions.

    I was in a different coaching group, and though I haven't passed the exam yet, their approach to the exams is very different. I did pass PPD with their help. Because we cannot learn everything and as you said, not any of the study guides have all the information you need, taking the exam is a game of being confident with what you already know and applying it to the questions. You probably already know that the exams are given using Blooms Taxonomy. So when taking the exam, read the question and focus on what you already know about the subject and understand. 

    An example is concrete: What do I know about concrete? Good in Compression poor in Tension. Can span large spans with reinforcement, Good STC bad IRC, fire resistant.....

    Try approaching the exams differently than what we used to back in school where there was a definite abc answer.

    I don't like to advertise, everyone is different and may take something from one study group that you won't get from another. I used Spectacles like you but Architect Exam Prep is the one that I liked and used. Now I just need to pass.

    Best of luck, and feel free to contact me if you wish for more help.

    Emmanuel               emoren23@epcc.edu

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    Michael Ermann

    The limiting factor for most of us is time. We have X hours to study and we should spend the next hour of studying with the source we suspect will get us the most extra test items correct in that hour. If you take Uber from home to the bar, you can take Uber or lift back home…which ever one will come more quickly and drive you more safely, whether or not it’s the same ride service that you used before. This is not political journalism where we need multiple points of view to round out an issue.

    And you are 100% correct that you won’t have as many open ended numerical fill in the blank technical test items as one might think. It’s worth noting, however, that you’ll need to “organize your mind in a mathematical way” for MANY of the questions (as A gets larger, what happens to B?).
    Good luck, Kara…we’re rooting for you.

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    Amrata Kirpalani

    Hi Kara, 

    Yes it is really frustrating. You are correct that managing a life, children, job and exams is no easy feat! Honestly these exams prepare you for the Architecture profession in so many ways, because architecture is like that! There are often multiple projects going on at one time, and how you balance it all is key! 

    Anyway, what helped me is making my own notes. Everyone studying for the exams has access to a few books, and are using one or two third party study materials. This is all good, but what's the point if you can't remember any of it. So make your own notes. I organize them by topic. example, insulation. I gain some info on insulation from Amber, some from Hyperfine, I'll read an exam or quiz question somewhere, etc. And so if I have my own notes to help me remember what I've read about insulation everywhere, I will retain it.

    Amber Books also covers every single "topic" there is to know in an organized manner, with additional bonus questions and flashcards. I do believe that if you do ALL of the Amber material and don't have time to make your own notes, one CAN pass the exam based on that.

    (Also I do think that most people who pass by doing only one third party material either have more work experience and already know a lot about the industry, or they have excellent memory and can retain a lot). 

    Please don't lose courage and hope! You can do this! It is making you a stronger, wiser person and teaching you resilience! YOU GOT THIS!!!

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    Kara Zhang

    Thank you for everyone's encouragement. I passed all the exams late last November.

    I really appreciate everyone who helped me or encouraged me during that process.

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    Amrata Kirpalani

    That's so great! Congratulations!!!

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