PPD Fail- advice please!



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    Scott Barber

    Hi Diana, sorry to hear about failing PPD again :(

    From my experience and what I've seen a lot of others say, third party resources will not be enough for ARE 5.0. You'll need to refer to the "primary sources," the ones referenced in the ARE Handbook. The 5.0 exams are too new for third party materials to be very relevant (most are just reshuffled content from 4.0), and the new format of the exams are aimed to reflect the "real world." Since the books were written to be used in the "real world" too, it's a good combo (in addition to the fact that this is what NCARB uses to create their exam content).

    For me, the most important book for PPD was The Architect's Studio Companion. It's easy to read, and full of great information at a perfect level of detail for PPD. I also studied Building Construction Illustrated and Architectural Graphic Standards, among others. I'd suggest reading through posts of others who passed this exam and see what they suggested. I don't know that I've seen anyone pass who just studied Ballast or AEP - I read them both but was disappointed with AEP and Ballast only covered the basics. 

    Good luck, you can do it!

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    Scott Barber

    I also see that you just joined this forum today - there are a lot of great posts that people have written. I'd encourage referring to those to help determine what to focus on when you're studying.

    When I start studying for an exam, I read through all the posts about the exam I'm taking, and keep a list of resources/books people study. This helps me narrow down the list of references in the ARE Handbook and determine what's most important.

    I'm not sure if you transitioned from 4.0 or if you're just getting started, but either way there's a lot of great advice throughout this forum! Use this as a resource, too, and keep asking questions and providing answers when you can. *Insert dramatic movie quote about us being stronger together*

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    Diana Esquivel (Edited )

    Thank's for the advice Scott, I'll definitely browse thru the posts and see what people are studying for this test. I was thinking on getting the Architect's Studio Companion, I saw that everyone is suggesting that one. 

    I did the transition from 4.0, and I passed all 4.0 in 9 months, so I guess that's way failing this one twice has me so frustrated.

    Thanks again! 

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    Tony Young

    When you re took the exam are the questions the same or a entire different test

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    David Kaplan


    Scott is totally on point - 5.0 cannot be handled and pursued in the same fashion as 4.0.  I did 4.0 as well and then transitioned to 5.0.  4.0 is totally a third-party study guide approach exam. All those third party guides are great for 4.0.  They're not good enough for 5.0 alone.  Take a look at the posts of what people have studied.  You will see that it is a LOT.  Take a deep breath though, accept that 5.0 is going to be different, and dive in.  It'll pay off.

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    Michelle NCARB

    Tony, I'm going to redirect you to the other post where you asked the same question to avoid having two similar threads.

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