PDD Pass aaaaand Done!

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    David Kaplan

    Congrats on the pass!  I'm taking this next week in the hopes of being done with the ARE.  This is very helpful information.  I plan on using this week to really focus on BCI and AGS as much as possible.  I appreciate as well your input regarding the equations - I totally agree with your assessment and am glad to hear that many are given to you on the test.  It is a big help that they do that, I've appreciated it when I've come across those questions myself. 

    Anything on this test that really surprised you in terms of its inclusion (knowing of course that you can't say exactly what)?  Any topic perhaps that maybe you hadn't expected?

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    Scott Barber

    Congrats Randall!! I'm sure it's a strange feeling being done, but a big accomplishment!

    My experience was very similar in almost every way. I've also been encouraging others to just keep reading up until the exam, too...there's just so much to cover that continually filling your mind with whatever content you can will be helpful. Plus, I think it's hard to balance your time if you spend too much time on any specific area because the exam covers so much. 

    David, I wasn't really surprised by anything that was on this exam when I took it a few weeks ago. There are inevitably a couple questions that seem to come out of nowhere, but for the most part I found the exam to align with the ARE Handbook well. If you've read/studied the books that are referenced in the Handbook I think you'll be good to go for most content. I definitely think spending the majority your last week on BCI and AGS is a good call, too. 

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    Randall Hunter

    Thanks Gentlemen! 

    David, 

    I can't say anything jumped out at me like "Why is that on this exam?". There were definitely a handful that subject wise pertained to the content but I didn't have a clue what the answer was. Know all the detail types listed in the handbook and not just the traditional wall section. Know roofing transitions, windows, curtain walls, head/sill/jamb details.

    I would say of all the exams this is the one, perhaps the only one where real world experience would greatly benefit someone. I had many questions that were exactly what the handbook said they'd be...like knowing how a change to a detail will change the project as a whole, what sheets need updated, what other drawings will this affect and how. Many questions were no brainers if you've dealt a lot with drawing sets and details. Even without that real world experience one could figure it out, but just taking more precious time.

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    David Kaplan

    Thank Scott and Randall.  Well, I guess I'm glad to hear that real world CD experience is helpful.  I've been doing full CD's for projects for 13 years and feel pretty good about detailing, knowing all the components, etc.  I've been hoping that at some point this could really come into play and have been banking on this being the test.  I'm definitely not going to go into this thinking I'm in the clear however, and like you suggest, am just going to read and read and read and hope that I can retain it all. 

    How much time did you guys have left once you finished your first pass of the 120 questions? 

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    Scott Barber

    I finished the 99 non-case study questions in about 1.5-2 hours, and it took me 1.25-1.5 hours to get through the 21 case study questions. I took my break after that, came back with about an hour and a half left to review and submitted the exam with about 20 minutes left (after the test crashing and taking 5-10 minutes to get it fixed - thankfully this happened when I was almost done reviewing). Since this was the first exam I took I didn't spend too much time on any one question the first time through, not sure how I would be on time. If I felt like I was spending too long on it (more than a minute or two) I would flag it and move on. 

    I think this exam has the potential to give you a good number of questions to use your real-world experience. I've only been working full-time since last May and had maybe 10-20 questions that I knew from my CD work (details, partition types, etc), so I would think you'll have more questions where that's the case. 

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    Randall Hunter

    I think I had maybe 50 minutes left after answering all the questions. For all the other tests I think I've normally had a solid 60-90 minutes left to review so this one took me a good bit longer. The case studies for me were by far the most difficult on this exam and I swear there were a couple questions that absolutely could not be answered with the info given. I could make an educated guess (as if it were a real world scenario) but more often than not that is not how these ARE's work. 

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    Kurt Fanderclai (Edited )

    Randall -- CONGRATULATIONS!  Well done, sir!

    Sorry I did not see this -- I still get occasional alerts on email for this forum -- I read one, saw you name and clicked on a couple things to see that you had completed the ARE.  

    That is fantastic -- you were around for most of my ARE journey...  glad to see you are done.  There are still a couple of individuals out there who were also on the "original / early 5.0 tester list" that I really want to see wind it up as well.

    From your first post above -- I see you noted that the PDD test really is work -- for anyone else heading into it, take Randall's advice -- you really need to focus in with your energy level high for the 4-hour extravaganza. 

    Looks like you budgeted time to check your work, etc.  So, you didn't take my advice at all.  Just kidding, I know you read the post where I said that by my last exam division, which was also PDD, I  had re-strategized my approach -- which included nothing more than time benchmarks I needed to hit that I calculated simply by dividing the 120 question into the time given -- I intentionally budgeted ZERO time for review, and ended up half guessing on the very last question of my very last exam. ( For the rest of you you there, don't listen to me -- stay in school and don't do drugs.)  

    It's a great feeling to see the provisional pass pop up on the screen, which was only available for my last exam.

    Anyway, congrats again -- you did the work, and you are done.   

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    Randall Hunter

    Thanks Kurt!

    It's an amazing feeling being done. Actually just this week,  it's beginning to kick in that I'm done. I would usually take a good week or two off between my 5 exams over the past 9 months. The beginning of this week the thought popped in my head at least 3 times at work, "I should probably start getting my ducks in a row for the next exam" only to have to tell myself again, 'YOU ARE FREE!!"

    Thanks again for all of your help and the many others that contribute here. I plan to still check in from time to time to see if there is anything I can add that I haven't said already but hopefully some new Kurt's and Randy's step up and lead the next wave of ARE Passers!

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Randall -- heh -- that feeling lasts a loooooong time!  If I ended up helping you in your quest in any way then you are quite welcome.  Good luck as an Architect! 

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