Took PPD this morning and got the 'most likely passed' on the provisional feedback! Definitely was nervous about this one, but it feels great to have a second pass under my belt. I thought I'd give a brief brain dump following PPD for anyone who may be interested...I tried to read about others' experiences and used that to help guide what I focused on and give myself a boost when needed.
I took PDD two weeks ago and posted my general study approach and thoughts on the exam here:
After I took PDD, it took me a few days to get open up the books again and study for PPD, and to be honest I don't think it was necessary to have two weeks in between. I took a day off, then had other obligations, and then got sick the weekend following PDD so I only got to study about a week in between, and it was harder to focus in on the material than I thought it would be.
If you're studying for these two together (which I highly recommend), I think it's reasonable to give yourself a week in between. I know some people take them just a couple days apart which could work too, but I wanted some time to study on any areas I felt week in following the first exam.
My week of studying in between the exams mostly involved looking back through all the books and resources I had already read for PDD, and focusing on structural and MEP systems on a broader scale (choosing an appropriate system rather than looking at the details for them).
In addition to the refreshing on material, I also read/flipped through MEEB looking at diagrams and read more of Architectural Graphic Standards that I hadn't looked at as closely for PDD. However, the two books I felt were most helpful for these two exams were The Architect's Studio Companion (ASC) and Building Construction Illustrated. ASC is the book I 'studied' most, in particular their diagrams and the beginning of sections that outlines the systems in a very applicable way (if you want to maximize individual control in a number of rooms, use these systems)
For the exam, I would suggest being very familiar with occupancy types (I was surprised by how many questions came up with this) and freshen up on site design, too.
I finished the general questions in about 1.5 hours, and finished the case studies in about an hour. I went through all the questions pretty quickly, being generous with flagging questions to review later. Everyone's test approach is different, but I liked being able to get through the 'easy' questions quickly and then come back to have a less stressful, in-depth look at questions I'm unsure on. I probably flagged 1/3 of the questions, though many of those I was pretty confident in my initial answer when I came back to look at them again. I was able to finish with almost an hour left, which seemed like a lot of time but I felt comfortable with my answers.
I think the biggest thing for time management on PDD and PPD is being confident in what you know and not stressing over the questions that ask you something you've never heard of before...There will inevitably be something you didn't study well enough (and areas you know extremely well), so don't get stressed out if you get stumped on a question or two.
There's more I could say but I think I've rambled enough for the moment. Good luck to everyone out there studying for PPD! It's definitely a lot of info to know and understand but just take it one step at a time, you can do it!
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