The Parents Perspective Edition: PDD Passed! - AREs DONE!



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    Sarah Segelhorst

    You're doing a really good job! Highfive!

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    David Kaplan

    Congrats!!  I can relate - I have two little ones at home as well and had to do the same study approach that you did.  I lived in a coffee shop from 8 PM to 10 PM pretty much every night, with my kids having gone to bed at 7:45.  Great news to hear, congrats again.  Good source list too!

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    Rani Ranade

    Well done Alicia!  I'm also a mom of two and can relate to squeezing in studying when they are not awake!  I only have PDD left and I'm super motivated to finish!

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    Alicia Bernardo

    Thanks Sarah!

    David - I give you credit!  The coffee shop scene was too much of a distraction for me.  There were times I resorted to studying in my car for hours at a time in an empty parking lot or the drive way when my parents watched my little ones to keep any and all distractions away from me!

    Rani - Keep up the good work! and keep your motivation high, that final Pass is right around the corner!  Keep us updated!!

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Alicia...Congratulations!  That is a great feeling that lasts a looooong time.

    "There were times I resorted to studying in my car for hours at a time in an empty parking lot..."    Now that just sounds sad.  Like an Edward Hopper scene.

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Alicia (and David)

    Congrats! I think your story is really important for a lot of people out there, and I personally find it far more appealing than people who take 7 tests in a week and pass them all.

    I finished my last exam with a 1-yr old and our second arrived about 5 days after so thumbs up for the Parent Edition!

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    Alicia Bernardo

    Kurt - Thank you!! And I know it sounds sad, but on a Sunday afternoon when the library is closed and the coffee shops just didn't work for me - I did what I could to get my alone and silent time : )

    Benjamin - Thank you for your comment!  I was really inspired by Black Spectacles "Getting Licensed as a Parent" podcast.  Everything about that got me excited to push myself towards that final pass.  Us parents know how hard it can be to stay motivated, especially the nights I would fall asleep in my daughters toddler bed with her, wake up at 1 am and realize I really should read through my Ballast chapters only to be up until 3 am.  Would then wake up in another few hours to get the kids up, dressed, and go to work to start the cycle all over again!  Congratulations to you for finishing up your exams with your 1- year old and a huge congratulations on your new arrival!! Your hard work was well worth the effort!

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    Danalys Nazario

    Congrats Alicia! You are my motivation right now and this is my first post on this forum!

    I took CDS and failed when I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter in 2012 and never went back. 6 years later, mortgage, a daughter (6) and a son (2), I feel like I have a routine set up with them to start taking these exams.

    I am starting now with PA, but as I keep reading these post, and talk to other friends taking the exam, I am not so sure if it was a good idea to start with this one...However, I already invested approx. a month on reading the PA sections of Ballast, not to finish it. 

    You mentioned giving yourself 4 to 5 weeks to prep for each exam.... in one month, with the same schedule you mentioned above (falling asleep at 8:30pm with them and waking up in a panic to read at least until my eyes couldn't stay open anymore - been there!!!)  I haven't started reading the rest of the referenced books on the NCARB Handbook yet, nor the additional ones I found reading these forum, Sun, Wind Light, and Architect Studio Companion. The PA section in Ballast also mentions many other chapters sporadically that apply to other exams, did you read all those other chapter as well?

    How were you able to cram all that reading in 4-5 weeks? Any tips on the breakdown, if you remember?

    Did you use black spectacle? It wasn't referenced in the list above, but you mentioned the podcast as your motivation.

    Thank you in advance!  

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    Alkananda Yeshwanth Jakkaraju (Edited )

    Hi Danalys,

    Kudos to you for getting back on the ARE horse. Just chiming in with my 2 cents here, but I highly recommend starting with PcM as opposed to PA. The only reason I mention this is because I went down the same path—having invested some study time in PA, and not wanting to go back. Unfortunately, it didn't work out too well for me the first time around. I went ahead with PcM+PjM+CE and then circled back to PA, this time with better results.

    I would justify my first statement by saying that, in my opinion, PA is an exam with a greater time crunch, broader syllabus, and a greater variety of questions than PcM (or PjM/CE, for that matter). I would recommend trying to reduce the number of unknowns for your first exam in 5.0. PcM allows that.

    If you do decide to go ahead with PA, I highly recommend sticking with first-party sources, mainly Site Planning and Design Handbook, Building Codes Illustrated, and Sun Wind and Light (I did not enjoy the format of SWL, so my reading was cursory). I did not go through ASC, but in general, the content aligns well with the NCARB style of questions. I found it more useful for PPD than for PA, but a quick skim wouldn't hurt. In my failed attempt, I went with third-party sources, much to my detriment. Therefore, I'd recommend the NCARB handbook all the way.

    Good luck!

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    Danalys Nazario

    Thank you so much for responding! It's my 11pm, Friday night study session and ncarb forum reading. I will use your advice to read the NCARB referenced books...I will order those first 3 books tonight. I'll schedule the exam for the end of November, hopefully another month will be enough to get through it all.

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    Danalys Nazario

    Oh yeah, if I pass that would be a beautiful xmas miracle, ...but if not I'll try your exam order and hope for the best in 2019!!!

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