Background: I have 5 years work experience in architecture field in USA, and passed 4 divisions in the past 18 months with family and a kid. English is my 2nd language.
What confuses me a lot is the exam material.
I feel if you want to pass the exam, you need a variety of exam material. I can't believe how people pass all the divisions only rely on Amberbook, or only rely on Ballast, Black Spectacle.
None of the exam material covers everything in the exam. They can only cover 40% at most, some of the material only cover 20%-30%. Even the NCARB practice exam misleads me!
But I can't say those are bad material, because I can learn a lot about architecture from reading and watching them. Just not as helpful as I expected to the exam.
Ok, now my question is do I want to pass the exam or do I want to learn more knowledge about architecture? My answer is I want to pass the exam first then learn the knowledge.
Because it is so hard, stressful and frustrated to deal with work, life, kid and EXAM! I want to use my time efficient on the exam preparation.
Those materials teach me a lot on structure calculation, light calculation, acoustic calculation, thermal calculation. And those questions does not exist in the real exam. In real life, architects will not do those work on the project, unless you want to fire your structure, lighting, interior and MEP consultants.
We don't need to know that DEEP! What asks in the exam is how to do snorkel, but the exam materials teach me how to dive underwater 200 feet. And those DEEP knowledge eats up my time and my memory volume. I am struggling on learning and suffering from forgetting. Until I take the exam, I realize those knowledge is out of range.
I really want to know how do other people feel about this exam. How do they select the exam material, prepare for the exam efficiently.
Thank you for your time.
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