CE Pass - thoughts

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    Susan Scarlet-Macaw

    Michael,
    Congratulations!! You are halfway there.
    How much work experience do you have? Have you visited sites much? Or done CA work? I’m just trying to figure out how does your work situation compares to mine. I have 7 years of architectural experience but I have only seeing one project through from Programming to Closeout. And I have participated in CA for residential work. Thank you.

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    Michael Hara

    Professionally, my construction administration experience is really limited - I have never actually done much beyond participating as an extra in on-site meetings and such. That being said, I've grown up around building things my whole life - mostly on the residential scale but enough to know the ins and outs of how things go together, more or less. It's hard to quantify, really, but from a professional side my experience is extremely limited. 

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    Susan Scarlet-Macaw

    Thank you for the quick reply. I have scheduled my CE test. After I pass, im going after PA. Good luck in your exams!!

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    Briana Jones

    Michael,

    Congrats on being halfway (perhaps even farther) there! I took PcM (pass), then PjM (fail) then CE (fail but super super close) and also ended the exam with an hour to spare. I prepped a lot w contracts and a lot of practice exams too. Might I have misinterpreted the problems? My game plan is to take CDT then retake CE since I was closer to passing that than PjM and then retake PjM. In CE retake I genuinely think I'm going to solidify areas as best I can again that I got 3s in and grind into practice problems and solutions right after CDT, but do you have any other suggestions otherwise? Thanks!

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    Derek Blair

    Michael - Appreciate your thoughtful commentary.  Thanks.

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    Jingyu Lee

    Michael, 
    Congrats on your pass. I am having trouble what to/ how to study for case studies for CE? 

    I believe there are two case studies in CE (so that is 20 questions). Are questions related to contracts such as A201?

    What do you think the best way to study?

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    Kirsten Cowan

    I'll chime in and say I did much the same thing as Michael. I was about to start a new job so crammed CE in 5 days after PJM, after realizing that both exams focused heavily on contracts. If you time it right, you can re-book an exam without penalty so if you don't pass PJM you can decide to re-book and then have extra time before doing CE. 

    I studied the actual contracts carefully - they're available on the NCARB website when you log in to your account. I also listened to the Schiff Hardin lectures, and read the AHPP chapters on contracts while making hand-written notes on them. I also reviewed the other AIA documents that are listed in the ARE handbook matrix multiple times (payment apps, contractor qualification statements, etc.) It's important to understand all the project delivery methods so I made notes on those AHPP chapters, too, with an eye to understanding how CE is different for the various project delivery methods. 

    Without a lot of actual site visit experience, I was nervous about those CE questions. But by examining the questions carefully and looking closely at the photos or drawings that were provided with the questions, I took educated guesses/common-sense deductions. In one instance, the question came with four tiny photos and as far as I could tell there is no way to zoom into them, so I gave up on that one as it was just too hard to see. To prepare, I took the advice of others on this forum and looked at wall sections/roof sections/foundation sections in Building Construction Illustrated. I also memorized the basic sections of Masterformat but didn't read the suggested CSI reference book, again based on other test-takers' feedback.

    You need to really understand your responsibilities from bidding through close-out and beyond, including which AIA docs apply to each activity. For example, what is a submittal and how do you handle it? What are the two important milestones at or near the end of construction, and what are your responsibilities at those two milestones? You can figure out more examples like this when you look closely at the exam Objectives in the ARE handbook. 

    The case studies, to answer the question from Jingyu Lee, do include contract questions and I don't think there's a way to study specifically for those. For me the case studies are about strategy: check out the references when you first start the exam (they can help with the other non-case study questions) and take the ARE's practice test multiple times so you know how to use all the little features like bookmarks, search, etc. 

    I read and re-read these forums as I began preparing - so I hope this post is helpful to someone out there. Good luck!

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    Briana Jones

    Kirsten,

    Thank you for the thorough reply! The more I talk to people the more I feel like I misread many of the questions. I finished with over 30 minutes to spare and felt super confident so I didn't want to review and start changing all of my answers but for this exam I really should have. I didn't pass but studied essentially the same as you and others mentioned in great detail. For round two I'm going to review again, but aim to be even more strategic test day and be thorough. I have CDT soon and CE soon after.

    Thanks!

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    Jingyu Lee

    Kirsten, 

    Thank you for your thorough response. That is very helpful. I will study and hopefully rebook exams per your suggestions!

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