Received a provisional fail for my exam this morning. I sort of knew it was coming during the process. I was unsure for a great number of questions this time around and lost steam by the time I got to the case studies. I tried following the common practice on here of studying for both PPD and PDD and taking them within a couple weeks from each other. What ended up happening in reality was me becoming burnt out after PPD and then having no stamina to study before this exam.
Some questions did catch me off guard and slowed me down. A lot of emphasis on historic preservation, for one, while having too many u- and r-value calculations sprinkled around the test, and which took too long to complete.
I’m eager to see where I was deficient. I felt like I made one too many ‘educated guesses’ for my liking, and it says a lot when thoughts of possible retake strategies keep popping up in my head during the exam.
My biggest takeaways from this fail were that I need to be extremely prepared for staring at details for a long time, looking through actual drawings for things like tags and other obscure annotations, and knowing a lot more about materials, something I only brushed through in the last few days before the exam.
I’m actually hopeful for my retake. I’m probably one of those people who need some more time to rest, read and digest. The computer issues will always be there - the lag in loading is still and seems to always be an issue, zooming in and out is painful, and I can’t tell you how many times I hit the reference tab when I meant to have hit the calculator tab. I’m just going to have to continue to factor these things into my retake next time around.
Thanks for the continued tips on this forum and I’ll continue to stay tuned!
UPDATE: Last Monday, I retook and passed PDD! Took me a while to gain the momentum again, but I'm glad I stuck with it to the end. I learned a lot from what I saw in my failed attempt in March, and I used that to tailor my studies the second time around, which seemed to have worked.
The test-taking process what still extremely painful with the scrolling and searching for things throughout case study drawings. I recalled searching for a number in a detail tag through a set of drawings and hitting next on the search bar for a few dozen times until I finally found the correct tag. It is literally seemed like trying to find a needle in a haystack at times. I also had a bout of technical difficulties when the computer logged out of the test and the administrator had to restart my computer twice to reconnect to the NCARB system. All I could suggest to test takers who encounter these difficulties during the exam (since they seem to be unavoidable for now) is to push past the annoyances and stay calm throughout the process.
All in all, thanks to all in this community who shared their stories, tips, etc. I hope to stick around and help out as others have helped me.
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