PPD (first test) Failure



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    Justin Merkovich

    I passed PPD and PDD and this nightmare is now over. Awaiting NCARB to assemble my record and send it to my state board.

    I studied for PPD and PDD at the same time (more below) - I studied for about 2 months for both exams before I passed PPD (these were my last two exams).

    I left the Ballast for PDD until AFTER I had taken PPD and I took the PDD exam two weeks after PPD - I do not recommend. I had two weeks to study Ballast and refresh all of the "micro" materials from my earlier PPD study. I also took a 1/2 day off of work to just study for 6 straight hours on a Thursday before this Saturday's test. I would have liked another week at least.

    I'm 46 with +/- 10 years in this profession and a fair amount of experience swinging a hammer.

    See photo below for the books that I studied and zoom in to the number of tabs to show everything that I felt important enough to mark for both PPD and PDD.

    I know that it's not recommended but I read every one of these books cover to cover (including Graphic Standards), underlined things that I thought were important and tabbed what you see to go back and actually STUDY for the exams. The only thing not pictured is Ballast and a few YouTube videos.

    I intend to do a general post about this whole process when I can but let me just say this: If I can do this, anyone can and yes that means you. Just about everyone fails and retakes - it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with you. DO NOT GIVE UP.

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    Marcel Garderen

    Congratulations Justin!!! That is great to hear that you are done with it and gives me hope that it is possible to get past this.

    I have ordered a couple of the books in your picture just now. Some of the others I have. 

    Thanks for your words of encouragement, sometimes we all need that!

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    Claudia Hernandez


    Have you pass the or take the exam by using the resource hyperfine? Is this a good source anyone has taken a test and have a positive outcome by using the hyperfine resource. 

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    Michael Lawson


    I used Hyperfine as a supplement, but I would not recommend it as your only source of material. It is good for quizzing and embellishment of material, but it would be hard to pass a test by only using one third-party source. 

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    Marcel Garderen


    Have not used Hyperfine but someone else here made that recommendation. 

    I am planning to use it for my last exam along with other resources like Amber Videos and books. Will post here what my take was on that.


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    Belle Taylor


    I highly recommend signing up for Michael Riscica's ARE Bootcamp.  The frustration level that everyone is experiencing is shared by all, and we all channel it into studying together, doing meetup's where we all answer Q&A's (I am not a paid spokesperson, just a fellow Bootcamper).  I've been at this exam-taking status for 15 years since graduating from architecture Grad school 20 years ago--started with ARE 3.1 and for various reasons life got in the way and have been working for about 16 years.  I want to and need to finish this.  Looking back, w the Bootcamp I'm learning in a whole new way with discussions, debate, sharing of knowledge and sharing frustrations and expectations.  This 5.0 format is a total freakin' beast.  The language got trickier than before.  Tony is not wrong with all his analysis at how ridiculous this process is but there is no way NCARB is going to change their ways.  I suggest channeling your energy into just going through it to pass the exams.  Good luck.

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