First time/test PcM Pass ( HERE IS EXACTLY WHAT I STUDIED)

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12 comments

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    Mercedes Bellino

    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your "study tracker' I am going to use it! 

    Good luck in your next exams!

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    Melissa Powers

    Can/ would you recommend a practice exam?  The ones I find on Amazon all have terrible reviews claiming they are not worth time & money.  

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    Jessica Schwartz

    Melissa,

    I found the Ballast Practice Exams to be most useful in preparing me for the exam. They were very tricky, but they will get you into the mindset of how the questions are asked on the test. Many of the questions are not just memorization, but applying knowledge and selecting the best answer. I'm lucky enough to have a coworker a little ahead of me in testing, so she has been giving me all of her material. I took:

    - 1 full 5.0 Ballast practice Exam, Questions and Answers (timed). I first took this after studying all of Brightwood 5.0 content, reading Ballast 5.0 content, and reading most of the AHPP recommendations. I got a 54%. I went through every single question and read the explanation, and made myself a list of things I need to review. Eventually, I retook this exam (not timed) about 2.5 weeks later, and got a 76%. I again reviewed the questions I got wrong. 
       
    - There is another Ballast 5.0 Q&A Packet floating around. I took this later on. I got a 76% but did HORRIBLE on the case studies. I found the test case studies to be a lot more straight forward.
      
    - I happened to have a Kaplan 4.0 CDS exam. I took that one, and 84 of the questions were directly related to the content for the PcM test. I got a 70%, and went over all the answers. This exam was helpful, but not AS much as the Ballast Exams.

    - I also took the FREE Designer Hacks PcM exam. It's only 25 questions, but any practice can help! You can find it pretty easily online through their website. I don't know that it would be worth it to purchase the paid content from them for this exam, unless you have no other sources for practice exams.

    Good luck!

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    Melissa Powers

    Thank you!!  I just ordered the Ballast practice exam & ARE in a Flash as extensions of the suggested reading.  Thanks for taking the time.  I appreciate it. 

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    Jessica Schwartz

    No problem! Do not feel bad if you don't get a good score on the Ballast tests, they are VERY hard. But do pay attention to how they want you to select the right answer. 

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    Nicholas Cressman

    Hello, Sorry to take over your conversation, but I have a critical question. And have not been able to find any reliable answers. Each of you have suggested you studied from the Ballast material. I am in the process of beginning to study for the ARE 5.0. I was going to go ahead and buy the Ballast ARE Review manual, but after reading reviews on Amazon and other sources, it appears the book is not good. I have read numerous things that have suggested the book was rushed to production and has numerous errors. In doing additional research, I am aware there has been a revised edition since. I guess my question is are you guys using the revised edition, and if so, is this book THE book/material to get to study from?? I just don't want to dump a few hundred dollars on study material and have it be worthless. If you could offer any advise I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you.

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    Jessica Schwartz

    Nicholas,

    I had access to Brightwood 5.0 and Ballast 5.0. BOTH of these sources were rushed into production, and contain mistakes. I would have been furious if I had paid for this material myself. However, they both helped me pass the exam, along with the AHPP. The only major error in the Ballast text for this exam is that they have the definitions of statues of limitations vs statues of repose flipped. Brightwood is easier to digest, while Ballast is very condensed. I think you could get by with just Ballast, AHPP, and watching some videos from the PcM on Pluralsight (they give you a certain number of mins free, but honestly it's worth $30 to subscribe for the month. Watch the videos on financial equations). BRIGHTWOOD DOES NOT CONTAIN ENOUGH INFORMATION ON FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND EQUATIONS.

    Also note: I have begun reading Brightwood for Project Management 5.0. 8, out of the 11 chapters of the book are EXACTLY THE SAME as PcM. I realize the material overlaps with these tests, but wow, talk about lazy!!

    I just read the post on the Practice Management Board by Tatyana Aksamentova. She included a study guide. You could almost certainly pass the test just using that study guide, the Pluralsight financial videos, and Ballast practice exams (I think these are essential). If there are any parts of the study guide you don't understand, you could purchase the AHPP (see my google spreadsheet cost tab for a link to a $16 copy) and review the sections you are unclear on. 

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    Mercedes Bellino

    Hello, Melisa & everyone, I am in the same predicament as Nicholas. I have read the reviews and I am not encouraged to spend money on material that may not be good. I have been reading the blogs on Young Architect by Michael Riscia (he also wrote a book which I purchased to get me motivated :)). In his website, he has a series of products recommendations and a suggested list of materials. to get started. I was considering buying the AEP (Architecture Examination preparation) http://youngarchitect.com/2014/08/25/architect-exam-prep-cds/Preparation) towards the middle of my studies. I  am going to use the Ballast old (second edition) to start because a lot of the material is the same (according to some of the reviews) as their most recent book (It may be cheaper?). 

    Has anyone tried the AEP? 

    Melisa, I am sorry I cannot be of greater help :( I am trying to figure out the same, but without any endorsement, i have found that this guy Michael Riscia gives you a good roadmap on how to go about what material to study. I happened to have some old material a friend gave me a few years ago and intend to start with it and then work my way up to perhaps purchasing the AEP (provided I get more reviews about it...

     

     

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    Melissa Powers

    Thank you!!  I will say that I recommend the Law for Architects book as a fantastic resource beyond the exam. 

  • Avatar
    Mercedes Bellino

    No problem! Thank you!

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    Mercedes Bellino

    No problem Melissa! And Thanks for the book recommendation! 

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    Anna Slowey

    Jessica, I'm so happy to have found your post before I embarked on this studypalooza. As someone who can get overwhelmed with all this study material if they don't organize each day/week, your study tracker has been amazing. I saved a copy and have been going a little nuts pasting in relevant Schiff Harden lectures, screenshots of the AHPP chapter outlines, etc. I'm PcM and PjM down now and really thankful for your write up and details in the study tracker. Getting to log those minutes is sometimes the only thing that keeps me motivated and accountable on lazy days. Cheers and good luck with the rest!

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