Third time's the charm! Passed PPD!



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    Scott Barber

    Congrats, Jessica! That's exciting - glad your hard work paid off!

    The resources you listed align with the bulk of what I studied. I also read FEMA 454 (chapters 4 and 5 are most important), which is a pretty easy read and a good refresher on designing for seismic issues, if you think that'd be helpful. 

    Otherwise I think going through your weaker areas in the next week and a half is enough to refresh for PDD. Going through AGS and making sure you understand all those details is also important, depending on your level of experience with details. 

    Good luck! Hope you come back with good news after PDD!

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    David Kaplan

    Congrats!  I would say that you should look at the ARE 5.0 Handbook under the PDD test section and read the details that NCARB highlights - just trying to go from memory here, they talk about roof, curtain wall, floors, and I think head/jamb?  Again, it's been a while - read over that section.  Point is: make a list of those details and then STUDY them.  Focus on those for this test.  This can help you better use AGS and BCI I think.  Really know your Division 7 - Thermal & Moisture Protection - details.

    If you're not familiar with U- and R-value calculations - google it or perhaps ask others and make sure you're able to do this. 

    If you felt good about having done the case study sections first, then I think that's a good plan for PDD as well.  The case studies for PDD will definitely take some time, and if you run into those computer lag issues that others have been running into, it makes sense.  If you are very familiar with navigating a set of construction documents, these case studies should feel like second nature to you.  Know where to find details, where to find the information in a set of drawings that will answer the question. 

    Best of luck!

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    Neha Goel

    Hi Jessica,

    Thanks for sharing the list of your study material. My list aligns with yours except for AGS (I'm only selective content in that book) I'm retaking PPD in 3 weeks, and looking for some reading references for the Cost & Budgeting section. The handbook sample items contains numericals on this section, however I haven't found any reference to these or anything pertaining to budgeting in the reading material. I'm feel like I'm in a fix as this was one the sections I failed last time. Would appreciate any help, thanks!

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    Jessica Godwin

    Scott and David, 

    Thanks for the tips on PDD, I think those will really help me out these next few days! Fingers crossed for the pass!



    Honestly, I couldn't find any study materials for budgeting either. My first test attempt, I failed that section, but somehow passed it the 2nd attempt (I didn't change my studying for this section, due to not knowing what to study). I would say to know how to do cost indexes (I think there's an example in the handbook) and know all of the different kinds of cost estimating. Sorry I can't be of more help with this section, I was worried about this one as well when testing. 

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    David Kaplan

    Re: Cost Estimating.  I couldn't find any good sources either.  My best recommendation is to use the ARE 5.0 Handbook.  Practice all of the cost estimating questions - not just the ones included in the specific section of the test that you're studying for.  Any and all cost estimating questions in that book, just do them all until you're comfortable with them.

    The main thing I would say when it comes to these questions on the test is that they are straightforward IF YOU FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS.  Read and reread the question and make sure you understand what they're asking you.  Make sure as well to eliminate any information given to you that is not pertinent to the question.  Lastly, make sure you watch your units - if the answer needs to be in cubic yards but all the info given to you is in SF, well you need to make sure you convert accordingly.  I would say that 90% of the cost estimating questions had some sort of "trick" like that.  At the end of the day though, if you can properly identify the task at hand, these questions should be nothing more than just common multiplication. 

    Practice the 5.0 Handbook questions.  You should be good.

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    Neha Goel (Edited )

    Thanks, Jessica.

    Thanks, David. This is really helpful, I agree with your unit conversion 'trick' that NCARB throws at us. I had a few similar things in the last test, and remember being unsure about the conversion aspect despite knowing exactly the calculation involved and the concept behind. I wonder if NCARB objective is to test the underlying analysis and evaluation skills or our ability to convert units. This feels so far removed from the real world we work in.

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    Claudia Hernandez

    Jessica G,
    So pretty much you can use the same material for 4.0 for PPD . Look at the matrix. Where can I get or buy information for the case studies? And how many should case practice problem should one study.

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    Jessica Godwin

    Claudia, you should look at the NCARB demo exam on your portal. It has a practice case study. Be familiar with how to navigate through pages, using the zoom tools so you’re not wasting time doing it at the actual exam. My strategy was to read the case study questions first, then go hunt through all the information provided to find the answer. Hope that helps!

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