Failed PDD Today

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    David Kaplan

    Sorry to hear that, you'll get them next time.  A question for you: it looks like you've mainly stuck to third-party study materials, and many people have done that and have been just fine.  Do you feel, now having taken both tests, that what you studied was not what was on the test?  I've also heard many people chime in and say that the third-party 5.0 study materials are no good and that you should stick to the Handbook references.  Would appreciate your thoughts.  Best of luck the next time, I think now that you know what the tests are like you can attack it better the next go round!

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    Daniel Burko

    Hey. Well I have had good luck with the third party stuff. I trihave d the handbook stuff for practice management and I passed but felt a lot of it was redundant to be honest. However I do tell people that when your studying for a particular exam study a little bit before and after that exam. Because they do put questions from the other parts on there too. For instance on this exam, are handbook says no questions on contracts... guess what, there were questions on contracts which I happen to remember....

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    Scott Margolies

    Took and passed PPD back in November. Going for PDD this week.

    For PPD I relied a lot on:

    Ballast

    Architect Exam Prep (I heard a lot of good things but I was honestly thoroughly disappointed)

    Architects Studio Companion (Probably one of the best resources for these two tests)

    FEMA's earthquake guide.

    Jenny's notes for BDCS and Building Systems were awesome too.

    Good luck!

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    Scott Barber

    Sorry to hear that, Daniel! Stick with it - you're almost done and I'm sure the feedback from the two exams will help you know what you need to focus on. I passed PDD last week and am taking PPD on February 5th.

    I wrote a post last Tuesday for my approach on PDD, but I would encourage you to look at Building Construction Illustrated and Architectural Graphic Standards for PDD in addition to what you already studied. I also saw several recommend Architect's Studio Companion for PPD (I also read part of this for PDD). 
    I also read Ballast and Architect Exam Prep for both PDD and PPD but was underwhelmed with both of them...they may be helpful for some people, but for me they were too broad and while I thought they would give me a good introduction to the topics, they ultimately were less useful than the primary sources. 

    I know the price tag on the primary sources is overwhelming, but hopefully you have access to some at work or can find some used ones out there. I spent a lot of time reading on this forum to see what resources people recommended, so I didn't have to spend money on all the resources NCARB recommends, based on what I already felt comfortable with.

    Good luck! These two are definitely difficult but the end is near!

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    Daniel Burko

    Hey thanks very much. I just got BCI and I am almost done with it. I also got studio Companion and graphic standards. There seems to be a lot of redundant information. What parts of graphic standards and studio Companion did you study?

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    David Kaplan

    Daniel,

    I'm currently studying for PPD and finished reading Architect's Studio Companion.  There are a few chapters in that book that I don't necessarily think are relevant, mainly the ones dealing with Parking Design. 

    For myself, I am focusing on the chapters dealing with:

    Daylighting and Passive Site Design Strategies

    MEP Systems

    Structural Systems

    ASC also has code info, but I haven't focused on that too much with the work experience I've had.  I really think though that the three items above are very well described and presented in ASC, it's worth a look. 

    Yes, there's a lot of overlap among these resources, but honestly I find that to be a good thing because the more you see it, the more it gets driven into your head.  It's good to see different ways that people present these concepts too because undoubtedly, when you see a diagram of a VAV system on the test for example, for sure it won't match any of the diagrams you saw exactly in the books.  But, with you having seen 2-3 versions of such diagram, you are better prepared.  I think redundancy is a good thing!

    Best of luck!  I take PPD on March 1st, planning on doing PDD 1-2 weeks after per everyone's recommendation.

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    Randall Hunter

    ^^^This is a good point. While redundancy can quickly wear on you while studying so much information I think in particular redundancy for structural systems and mechanical systems is great. In almost every resource you come across whether the different books, third party, or even youtube videos, the exact same system will be described slightly differently or with different terminology. Like David said, how can you know which one NCARB will use for question 57. on the exam? Nobody knows. So for that reason and for just simply being more comfortable with different perspectives on the same material I would recommend covering the same topics throughout the different resources.

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    Daniel Burko

    Thanks everyone.  I just read the USG Acoustical Assemblies.  What a great thing and simple to read.  Covers all of the bases as well.  

    Onto the USG Fire Separations and FEMA Chapter 4

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    Daniel Burko

    Hey Guys where do I get Jenny's notes for BDCS and Building Systems?

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