Just passed PA after previously completing PcM, PjM and CE over the course of a month. I only had about 8 days between CE and PA, so I was pretty judicious with what I studied and how I studied. Here are the resources I used:
BCI. I focused on chapters 3,5,6,10 and 18. Know how to use the tables, calculate frontage and sprinkler increases, etc.
Site Planning and Design Handbook: I skimmed through the relevant chapters twice, and tried to pay close attention to soils and managing site run off.
Black Spectacles: There's simply way too many lectures to fit into a week, but I did listen to site and zoning issues including easements, variances, etc. Good overview if any of this was unclear through reading.
Ballast: Good overview at the beginning of my studies and at the end.
Practice Tests: I used these pretty extensively, and took practice tests from Black Spectacles, Ballast, Gang Chen, and Designer Hacks. Overall I felt like the Designer Hacks quizzes were less relevant for this test than my previous ones, and asked way too many detailed questions that would almost certainly not come up in an actual ARE test (i.e. asking a specific fire test by code name and asking what it does - no one save for a specialist would know this material off the top of their head). Black Spectacles probably most closely approximated the difficulty and format of the actual test. I liked the Ballast tests the best because 1. they were the most difficult / tricky, and 2. Because they had excellent explanations for their answers.
I started out the week by taking the Ballast exam without even picking up a book, in an effort to find out what I knew, what I didn't know, and what I didn't know I didn't know (i.e. what content I wasn't even aware on the test). This was helpful in organizing my study habits for the week.
Towards the end I also used a lot of 4.0 Flashcards from the Site Planning test. They were nice little easy tasks to do when my brain was too fried to concentrate on much else.
Overall I'd say this test challenged me the most - on CE I walked out with more than an hour left, and this test I had maybe 30 minutes left after checking my answers. There were a few problems I thought quite ambiguous and maybe one or two that were complete shots in the dark, but overall I felt pretty good throughout the test. Just pay attention to the key words in each question - that will help you identify what they are actually asking.
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