Now onward to PJM. Groan!
Outlook of PjM after passing PcM
Honestly, I felt like 1/6 exams didn't really make a big mark. Don't get me wrong, I was elated, but my mind was thinking of 'wow, that was hard. I really want to take a break.' I gave myself a weeks break which didn't feel enough. I went back to my outlook of the journey (mentioned in my PcM post). It was hard to get back to 'my evening classes' (my study routine). I didn't want to read the dry and boring books. I groaned and swore a lot, basically like a sulking teen. I started using the 'treat yourself' system to get back in the zone. And soon after, I was in my reading zone. It looked like, study for 3 hours, then get icecream or watch an episode of Schitt$ Creek or a mani-pedi... anything that fits in 30min time frame and makes me feel like I have life outside these exams.
Ballast - Again! I exclusively read Ballast for this exam as well. I printed out a physical copy and started making notes on the margins. I didn't finish reading all the chapters. It got so boring and repetitive that I physically couldn't finish it. Now, if you don't have any PjM experience from your work, you will need to read all of it. If you are lucky and have performed PjM roles or part of, you will soon catch on what Ballast's content is.
AHPP - I leaned on all the visual study content. I was so bored by this time. I needed those tables, diagrams to be awake. If there weren't any, I created it for myself.
Contracts and Schiff's Hardin's lectures - Know them intimately. You will need to understand risk, insurance, roles, termination, claims, standard of care, services, compensation. Really the whole contract. Even what I listed are literally the 'Articles' from the contracts. I read the whole of A201, B101 and C401 page to page.
I printed out physical copies, queued up Hardin's lectures and went through page by page and took notes on the margins. Don't skimp out on this, don't fast forward, don't listen at 2x speed. Give this your prime time. It took me 5 study sessions to get through the contracts. I started with B101 (videos #6 and #7) and then A201 (#10,11a and 11b). Again, I had already studied contracts for PCM, but alas, I wasn't aware of these audios before. So I used Ballast. But for PjM, I put on these lectures and went through my note cards, making additions as required. And still required those 5 study sessions.
Mock Exams + Reading comprehension
I missed Walk the ARE this time around. Seems like they only have the PA and PcM. As I was having a hard time finishing Ballast, I moved on to mock exams and cycled through NCARB, Ballast and Designer Hacks. Literally mock exams on M,W,F and then repeat next week. And took my exam the weekend of.
If English isn't your first language, like me, make sure to read more outside the study content like news paper articles, journals. So many questions on the exam are framed as narratives. You don't want to get tired at question 20. You also want to read the questions several times. Your PcM training may kick in. But you want to read it properly to answer it for PjM.
You want to know American English grammar to know what the exam question is testing you on. The tone and sentence framing of the contract documents is totally bonkers as well. That's why Hardin's lectures are super helpful. He will explain it like he is just talking to you. I know this may seem a small point, but you want to pay attention to this. If you are international, you get it. But this is good for anyone who doesn''t enjoy reading.
There is so much overlapping, that I was thinking this should have been the same exam. That's why friends, please please overlearn while preparing for PcM. For PcM you are learning so much of PjM's content that for this exam, it felt like I was revising. Let's say you are studying contracts and you are rreach insurances that an Architect must carry. If at this point, you can't recall them without looking at your notes, then stop. You need to go back to insurances.
Now, you may think, you could study for both together. Absolutely, in retrospection, it seems like a good idea. Personally, I could manage only one at a time. But still be vary of NCARB's question style, they are sly!
So, yes, back to revising. Again scour through contracts, insurance, risks, project delivery types, math equations, roles and responsibilities, pros and cons of delivery types.
I am choosing not to state any important 'study topics' as other people have mentioned it better and with links. My understanding was a full read through of your study material was unavoidable.
Moving forward - I am unsure, if I want to tackle CE or do the giant - PA, PPD and PDD. I am also aware the moving forward Ballast won't be enough. I am in research mode for study materials and reformatting my brain to think about approach for next exam. If anyone of you have any tips, please share.
More power to you. Remember you are bigger than these exams.
Just keep swimming, Cheers!
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