PDD Preliminary Pass!



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    Elsiana Zhaka

    Congrats Stephanie!!

    I am transferring from 4.0 too. Thinking of tackling PDD next and leaving PPD for last. Would love to hear your thoughts based on your experience of successfully completing the AREs.

    Would you be able to provide a link to Jenny's notes that you found helpful? Were those for 4.0?

    Thank you!


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    Hi Stephanie....Congrats and thanks for the helpful info! I'm finding studying for the 5.0 exams to be more of a challenge because of the lack of reliable 3rd party study materials. When I try to read Ching and Jenny's Notes I feel like I'm just reading through a list of facts and it's been really hard to stay focused. At least Ballast and Kaplan seems more like examples of real world experiences, but if it's not going to prepare me for the exam then there's no point in wasting my time on it. Also, I really like learning by taking practice exams....which is also something that primary resources don't offer. Did you find any practice exams especially helpful? How were able to get through Jenny's Notes and Ching and stay focused while retaining the information?

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    Stephanie Reed

    Elsiana - I'm sure you've heard, but the content seems to overlap quite a bit between PPD and PDD, although PDD was much heavier on the building systems and such, while PPD focused more on site planning and PPP 4.0 concepts. Depends on your work experience, but I'd say PPD would be better to take first, as it's a little higher level. PDD would be better second, imo, because it's more detailed. Good luck! You've got it! 

    Jenny's Notes are here: https://arendurance.wordpress.com/study-guides/ I studied SS, BDCS, and BS for PDD recently. PPD I mostly used Ballast and reviewed PPP and SPD 4.0 notes. :) 

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    Stephanie Reed

    Angela - Yes, I can totally relate! Jenny's Notes were a bit lengthy and hard to focus through for me as well. I'd recommend reading Ching first, then skimming Ballast and Jenny's notes, then taking a practice exam or doing the chapter review questions. Ching's Building Construction Illustrated has the most relevant material to the exam, so then you know what to skim over in the other sources and what to stop and look at. 

    I really liked the Ballast exam. It was good to practice the timing of it. I ended up finishing the exam in 2 hours, but could've gone over it again to be sure before grading it and finding silly errors. But it was great practice for that reason! So, on the 4 hour exam, I went through all questions once quickly, trying to answer the ones I knew, and marking the others to come back to. I ended up having about 70 minutes at the end to review, and caught a bunch of mistakes! Phew. 

    My summary of the 5.0 study materials available is that they're very lengthy but again Ching was the most helpful, as well as practical work experience of understanding how a CD set gets assembled, where to find relevant code information, etc. So I'd start there! If you want more practice exams than the one Ballast, maybe try 4.0 sections, which seemed more relevant. I skimmed Jenny's notes for SS, BDCS, and BS, so those practice exams may be good practice as well. Good luck! 

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