27 Reference Books for PPD... that seems ridiculous

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    Arthur Molinari

    All great insight regarding this concern of the insane amount of suggested resources to review.

    I am about to take PPD for the third time, and yes I am pissed lol, but all the studying I have done has made me humble, and appreciative of my abilities, and knowledge in our field. I feel more educated now that Architecture school made me...With that being said - Good Luck Jingyu - you, I, and others are going to NAIL it this time!

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    David Kaplan

    Hey Jingyu,

    Yes absolutely, that is an insane amount of resources and definitely more than you would ever need.  There's been a lot of good posts on this forum about what specific 6-8 sources people have used to successfully pass the PDD test, check them out and see if that helps you.  Plus, you now have experience with the test, and unfortunately it wasn't a good one, BUT you now know what is on it and perhaps can focus the studying more towards the types of questions you experienced.

    You can do this!  I would stress that Graphic Standards and Building Construction Illustrated were a big help with PDD, but knowing your way around a set of Construction Documents is KEY. 

    Hang in there!

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    Scott Barber

    Hi Jingyu, 

    Just to offer my two cents and echo what David and Katie said, most of the books in the Reference Matrix are not necessary to passing these exams. I passed PDD and PPD and didn't read any of the books shown in the image you shared, which I know is not the full list, but I think the predominant understanding is that you don't need to read all of them.

    My general advice (which won't be as relevant for you since you've already studied and taken this exam once before) is to read the ARE Handbook and consider your personal work experience to determine what your weak areas are. Then start with the books listed at the end of each exam (based on what you don't know already). After studying those, if you still feel you're weak in a certain area you can look through the Reference Matrix for help with more specific content areas. 

    I'm sure it's frustrating having to retake the exam, but as David mentioned above - you now have a clearer picture of what to study. And hopefully the score report can help you focus your study efforts and help you understand which of those 27 books you may need to study. 

    Good luck, you can do it!! 

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    David Kaplan

    Yeah, this list that NCARB provides is WAY too long and has way too many sources.  My recommendation would be to just scour the posts on here with others' recommendations and figure out which ones who benefit you the most.  That's how I approached this test once I saw how long that NCARB list was!!!

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    Claudia Hernandez

    Michelle, 

    Would you please provide a link, on the following that you mentioned,  "We actually whittled the list down quite a bit! ". 

    if possible for this too: "One other note: this super long matrix is the reason we provided the top 3-5 references at the end of each division".   Thank you  

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    Amy Trim

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    RJ

    If you find that ridiculous just wait until you see the case studies on this exam...

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    Jingyu Lee

    I have seem them. This is my second time taking the exam... hehe. Yes. 

    I read the case studies, and I had no idea how to start the problems. I think I will spend ~45 questions/ hour for MC, so that I can spend more time on CS. But CS were very hard.

    Happy studying.

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    Katie M

    I would also like to point out that PPD is a compilation of 5 4.0 tests, so in taking this test, you would have covered some of the other material in other tests.  For example, in the above photo, Sun, Wind, and Light and the Site Planning and Design Handbook would have been something you covered in SPD (4.0) or PA (5.0).  I'm not saying you should have kept them from those tests, I'm just saying the material might be familiar to you if you come across a question relating to it.  But as David said above, there are PLENTY of posts on this forum of specific sources people used to pass, and I don't think any of them involved Sun, Wind, and Light, or the Site Planning and Design Handbook.  

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    Jonathan Chertok

    lots of good help here.

    i had a similar problem (as i am sure others do) and i think what he may be pointing out is a "disjunction" between the stated materials necessary for the exam and what is actually on the exam. i did 4.0 and there was a similar problem but in a different way. the issue is that with that type of guidance on 5.0 how is one supposed to get started? 

    from what i've seen it is primarily via word of mouth. not exactly what one would prefer IMHO.

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    Michelle NCARB

    Hey all -

    Scott, you've pretty well hit the nail on the head, but I'll illuminate this a bit more.  Note the sentence just above the Matrix: "The ARE 5.0 Reference Matrix provides a comprehensive list of materials and publications used when developing items for each division of ARE 5.0."

    This truly is a list of the most-often-used reference materials by the volunteer architects who write questions for the ARE.  We actually whittled the list down quite a bit!  And we've even heard from candidates of books that should be added (looking at you, Architect's Studio Companion). We are not suggesting that you must review every book on the list in order to prepare for the exam.  But we do recognize that candidates have access to different books, so we wanted to provide the variety.

    An example: I had Fundamentals of Building Construction leftover from college, but Nick had Olin's Construction from his college days.  Fundamentals leans a little more towards PPD, and Olin's a bit more towards PDD, but they cover similar content.  Are both useful for studying?  Absolutely.  Do you need to review both?  Probably not, but depends on your strengths and weaknesses.

    Hope this is helpful.  One other note: this super long matrix is the reason we provided the top 3-5 references at the end of each division.  If the long list is overwhelming, feel free to rely on the abbreviated lists.

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    William May

    is it any wonder why I ask such stupid questions or post stupid threads......

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    William May

    But thanks, I'm really overwhelmed.

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    i believe the listing for AIA contracts is incorrect here and/or on the PDD References. it could be helpful to candidates to clarify which one or both are providing incorrect information. (fwiw, they are also not listed in the matrix).

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    Scott Barber

    Jonathan..what? The AIA Contracts aren't necessary for PDD or PPD, which is what the ARE Handbook says. Not sure if you read somewhere that you need to study contracts for these two exams but I can assure you it's not needed. I didn't look at them at all when studying for these two exams.

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    Michelle NCARB

    Claudia,

    When I mentioned we whittled a list down...there's no link to an "original" list.  The list in the Handbook was created from the much longer list of references used by the volunteer item writers.  And thanks to Amy for posting a screenshot of the PPD top references list.  A similar list is provided at the end of each individual division, and they all point you back to the matrix in the back of the Handbook for additional references.

    Jonathan,

    Scott is correct, there are no errors in the listing of AIA documents relative to PPD and PDD.

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