*Round of applause for NCARB*
Just took PDD and got the preliminary Pass. Woohoo!
But the round of applause for NCARB is due to the fact that the 5.0 exams are SO MUCH MORE RELEVANT to actual practice than the 4.0 series.
I've been working for 3.5 years and this was my last ARE division to pass, but in CA, we have an extra exam. Meh. Took PPP, ConDocs, SPD in 4.0 and PPD, PDD in 5.0. The latter two were so much easier for me, but I'm thinking its a combination of a wide breath of work experience over the last few years as well as a revamped testing format.
I studied for about two months, about 3-5 hours a week the first two weeks, and building up from there to solid weekends and 4 weeknights the last two weeks.
Most helpful study materials, in my opinion (outside from actual work experience, which would be #1)
- Ching's Building Construction Illustrated - this book was GOLD. Test was heavy on wall sections and assemblies, so familiarity with all types of construction was super helpful.
- Jenny's Notes (found online) I skimmed over BS, BDCS, and SS 4.0 sections and found that they were much more in depth than what was on the exam, but all good information to know.
- Ballast Study Questions and Practice Exam were helpful, but don't take them while you're reading the PDD section, as the chapter reviews have nothing to do with the preceding chapter... haha. But again, all good info to know. I knew much more about the content on those after reading Ching and Jenny's notes. The actual reading chapters in Ballast 5.0 were totally overkill. Familiarize yourself with the general concepts and nomenclature, but the formulas?! sheesh. I'd say skim at best. Don't waste valuable study hours on this book.
Hopefully this helps!
Good luck to all my fellow testers out there. Keep your head up!
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