Exam similarity on the 4.0 and 5.0 exams?

Comments

11 comments

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    I can't help you with CDS because I only took 3 5.0 tests, but there definitely is overlap between PPP in 4.0 and the PA test in 5.0. 

  • Avatar
    Cynthia Boyd

    Thanks! I'm wondering if the 5.0 series is better to take or should I try to continue and pass the CDS, PPP, and SD in the 4.0 series. I failed the vignette on the CDS exam but passed everything else except Codes which is only 9-11% of the exam. I have issues with the vignette software. 

  • Avatar
    Benjamin Norkin

    Agree with David. I did the same 2+3 plan, so I transitioned right after PPP and took PA about 6 weeks later. Lots of overlapping content.

    CD&S content is all over the place in 5.0 Check out the transition calculator if you haven't seen it: https://arecalc.ncarb.org/

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    Cynthia,

    I did CDS and PPP under 4.0 and then transitioned to do PA, PPD, and PDD in 5.0. 

    Here's the way I look at it:

    1) The CDS and PPP 4.0 test vignettes are easy IF YOU FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS TO A TEE.  Both of those vignettes only have one right answer, and as long as you truly draw per the directions given to you, you should be fine.  If you want to try and tackle these again, I strongly encourage you to download the practice software and practice them until you are really, really quick at doing them.  AND - make sure you have drawn the correct drawing per the instructions.  Study the Passing Solution that the 4.0 practice test gives you.  Look really closely at it.  For CDS, note that interior footings are just below the slab.  Note that the slab on grade is ABOVE the grade line, not below it.  Make sure you are cutting through every duct that the section line cuts through and not others.  These are by far the most common errors that happen on this vignette that annoyingly cause you to fail the entire test.  If needed - post your solution on this forum and let others comment on it. 

    2) The SD vignettes however - I feared them and said no way.   These vignettes are NOT “only one right answer” vignettes.  I have many friends who ran out of time on these.  The software is a big part of this.  If you find yourself having issues with using the software, I suggest you steer clear of this exam unless you truly feel that Site Planning is a total piece of cake for you.  Go ahead and try out the software if you want and see what you think.  Everyone that I know that took the 4.0 tests said that the CDS and PPP vignettes they got for their exam were very, very similar in difficulty to the practice test online.  I had this experience.  The SD vignette though – harder.  After hearing all this, I decided to avoid it and was glad that I did.

    You’re also up against a clock here – 4.0 goes away in June.  You would likely have better success at trying to do CDS and PPP and pass those.  If you still have a month or so and want to give SD a shot, hey go for it.  But if you are still thinking of pursuing the 4.0 / 5.0 route, by far, you must get CDS and PPP done first. 

    Hope that helps.

     

  • Avatar
    Cynthia Boyd

    Thanks! That was really helpful. I think I may have messed up the vignette in a very stupid way. I had practiced, but the exam vignette had a couple of curve balls. I think I just wasn't fast enough and made a fatal error when I rushed to finish at the end. I'm going to try and pass the CDS and also take the PPP as you have suggested. Thanks for commenting. 

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    Not a problem.  Yeah, it's those dumb little errors that unfortunately fail you right away.  The software has VERY little tolerance for errors on these two vignettes unfortunately.

    The good news is that the multiple choice part of the exams you seem to be doing okay with except for maybe codes.  Definitely brush up on code stuff, because when you transition to 5.0 you're going to need to be able to handle them.

    Feel free to post your vignette solutions on here and people can comment. 

  • Avatar
    Michelle NCARB

    Hey all - great discussion here!  Cynthia, a couple quick comments for you:

    • If you decide to stick with 4.0 a bit longer, feel free to post your practice vignette solutions on the 4.0 community, not this one.  Nick, Ryan, and I are all on there and will be happy to advise.
    • On the other hand, we've had some great posts on the NCARB Blog about transitioning.  This one is from an early tester last year, but many of her points are still relevant.

    Hope this helps!

  • Avatar
    Cynthia Boyd

    Everyone's comments have been very helpful. I will post my vignettes on the 4.0 forum. Regarding codes, I'm studying chapters 3,5,6 and 10 in Building Codes Illustrated by Ching et al. I'll retake CDS and then I'll take PPP. After that, I'm transitioning to 5.0. 

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    Cynthia,

    One last tip on the vignettes: it's okay, and recommended, to be super paranoid of what you've drawn.  Here's what I mean by that.  Get quick at drawing the building section for CDS to allow yourself time.  Then, go back and check the heck out of your heights.  For all my ceilings for example, I would draw a sketch circle AND a measurement line to make absolutely sure that my ceilings were at the correct height.  Click on the ceiling as well, on the bottom it will tell you the height it's been installed.  I literally did this type of checking for every single element drawn.  As you said, the software is picky and you might find that you put something 1" too high or too low by accident.  I also changed my cursor to have the long extensions so that I could see elements lining up.  Zoom in and zoom out - does everything look good?  When you zoom in, is that ceiling height still correct?  I would recommend checking heights at a more zoomed-in level.

    The same applies to the PPP vignette, especially if you have to setback from some sort of wetlands like in the practice test.  Feel free to draw lots and lots of sketch circles.  Make sure your section aligns with the plan above - use the extended cursor setting to see this. 

    Can't stress enough - check, check, check.  Use as many sketch tools as you need.

  • Avatar
    Cynthia Boyd

    Thank you, David. I did not go back and double check my ceiling heights. And, I don't think I ran the floors into the walls. Do you know of other sources where I can find older vignettes to practice on? Thanks! Cynthia

     

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    I don't unfortunately.  I think though that there's 3rd party companies out there that offer other vignette samples that use the same software. 

     

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk