How much structural is on each exam for the ARE 5.0?

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    DENISE LARSON (Edited )
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    Michelle NCARB

    Hi Denise,

    If you've been struggling with the vignettes on ARE 4.0, then you might consider taking a pause in testing and waiting for ARE 5.0 to launch.  Your work experience should help you, as the new exam divisions and format are more in line with the progression of a typical project and how we practice architecture.

    ARE 5.0 still contains structural content, primarily in PPD and PDD.  The main difference from ARE 4.0 is that instead of one exam covering the entirety of structures, you'll see structures questions relevant to a particular phase of practice.  The way we think about structures in the early phase of design is very different from the structural issues we encounter when completing construction documents. Take a look at the ARE 5.0 Handbook to get a better idea of specific sections, and for examples of how structural questions might be asked on the exam.

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    Michael Watts

    Denise,

    I am getting positive and excited at the new exam format.......

    I've been at this business for a long time........I am very practical,

    technical, tactile learner, and bad at memorizing data.......

    I have let those idiot vignettes antagonize me for 6 years now.......

    I'm so glad they are gone......the new format with case studies and plans sound like

    more of what we do everyday......also, history (in naming architects and their buildings) is gone!!

    I can concentrate on the real world of architecture and office management.......in testing

    which is the world we work in.........good luck!

    I also like this new community by NCARB where I can get directions on content from those who know

    the content.....and not just the opinions of past test takers......

    Thanks Michelle!!!

     

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    Mary Puckett

    Will we have lateral and seismic questions or more complicated mathematical questions? The few examples that are given are fairly straight forward. The ONLY reason I would transition would be if the structures was more like real life, where I have my structural engineer do what he does best. 

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    Ryan NCARB

    ARE 5.0 contains lateral and siesmic questions, some of which may involve a more complex mathematical evaluation.  One difference between ARE 5.0 and ARE 4.0 is the depth of structural knowledge will vary depending on the division you are testing in.  For example, in PPD you may just be selecting the appropriate types of structural systems; and in PDD you may actually be sizing some structural members or interpreting moment diagrams.  In ARE 4.0 Structural Systems you are expected to do both in the same division.

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    Robert Fehrenbacker

    So Ryan, You are saying that a study of free body diagrams and structural loads may be necessary for PDD but not as much for PPD, if I understand you correctly?  Structural systems tests in 4.0 usually had the lowest passing rates.  This test was the one that I intended to save until last and frankly scared me the most.  I just need to know if I need to spend time on the testing material for 4.0 structures for both tests or more for PDD since no material is out for 5.0.  Thanks. 

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    Ryan NCARB

    Robert, 

    Yes, things like free body diagrams and calculating structural loads are more of a requirement for PDD than PPD.  Remember, each division is about the types of decisions you make at that point in a typical architectural project.  That will help you focus your studying within each division.

    Hope that helps.

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    barry ballinger

    Ryan,

    I took SS and failed miserably. It was my 5th exam. NCARB assured us in the study material that the equations would be available during the exam. However, the sheet they provided was, well, difficult to decipher. I'm taking PPD next week and PDD in 2 weeks. How does NCARB handle equations in 5.0?

    Thank you, by the way, for coming on the forum and answering questions so candidly.

     

    Barry

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    barry ballinger

    Robert,

    SS was the only test I failed the MC on. I made some weird mistake on the super easy PPP vignette. But none of the study material prepared me for the SS content. I'm hoping PPD and PDD are more in-line with architectural practice. I have over 10 years of experience and so far ARE exams have not been relevant other than hoops to jump through.

    Barry

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    Michelle NCARB

    Hi Barry,

    Have you tried out the 5.0 Demo Exam?  The "References" button there will bring up the same formulas and other resources that you'll see in the test center.  Be sure to take a look at it ahead of time so you'll know what to expect on test day.

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    barry ballinger

    Thank you Michelle!

    Is that the exact reference recourse that will be on the exam?

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    Michelle NCARB

    Sure is!  The demonstration exam is just that - a demonstration of what you'll see in the test center, including introductory and exit screens, references, calculator, break button, and review screen.

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    this thread is old but it might be helpful to clarify. some professional candidates have lamented not having the ability to get a /printed/ reference of the case study resources.
    i went ahead and took the time to take screenshots of online practice program case studies section and printed them out. it comes out rasterized in 8x11 paper but this is good practice for the exams!
    anyway, the resources in the practice program - such as the IBC content are /representative/ of how it will be displayed but candidates should not be under the impression that the IBC content in the practice exam is the same as is presented in the actual exams.
    the “resources available when testing” in the exam are the same but the IBC content is not.
    there is sort of a lot to try to nail down and keep from slipping around on these so i thought to make that clear - if it isn’t already...

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    Jonathan Chertok

    also. the AISC related content OTOH may be the same. i found this issue very confusing but important.

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