Failed PDD - Need Help please

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12 comments

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    Scott Barber

    Hi Mathew, sorry to hear about failing PDD. It's definitely a tough exam.

    I see you just joined the forum today, I'm not sure how much you've been reading from others but the prevailing advice for 5.0 exams (especially PDD and PDD) is to not study 3rd party materials. I passed PDD and PDD a few months ago, but did not find Ballast and Architect Exam Prep to be sufficient. You'll really need to invest in the "primary sources" listed in the ARE Handbook. This forum is a great tool to narrow down that list, which can be intimidating.

    I wrote a post after I passed each of those two exams, but off the top of my head the most helpful books were Building Construction Illustrated and Architectural Graphic Standards, with The Architect's Studio Companion being the most important for PPD, and a helpful addition for PDD as well.

    I'd encourage you to read through the "post-PDD" posts as you have time, and gather notes about other's approach. Your question about what to study has been answered dozens of times, so that might be the best place to start. Before I study for any exam, I read through all the posts on this forum which has been a huge benefit, helping me come up with a successful game plan. Using the ARE Handbook resources and advice from others on this forum, I've gone 5 or 5, and am taking CE next Monday. But I have put limited effort into studying the "3rd party" material, after my first exam where I realized it wasn't worthwhile.

    Good luck! Feel free to ask any follow-up questions. Hope that helps some!

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    Mathew Kilivris

    Thank you Scott!  I will take your advice and read all related posts.  I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone in finding the 3rd party material to be unrelated to exam content.  It's frustrating that it is so hard to find a comprehensive study guide for these exams.  Good luck with CE!

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    David Kaplan

    Totally agree with Scott above.  Check out others' study approaches.  I didn't use third party materials at all, relied solely on NCARB resources, and found those to be much better.

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    William May

    After reading so many posts, I get the impression that the test (s) aren't well related to actual practice.  More comments from testers seem to support this belief.  In the end, you have to create your own path to success.

  • Avatar
    Scott Barber

    No problem Mathew, thanks! Though now that I think about it, NCARB did just approve Black Spectacles for PPD and PDD...even so, I'd be hesitant to follow that alone until there's a good number of people succeeding with that approach. I didn't give Black Spectacles a try, so I can't speak to it's benefit, but there are a lot of people who have passed and outlined what they studied from. Hope you can find some good direction from the posts on this forum!

    William - it must depend on what people do every day. I found PDD and PPD to be well aligned with my work experience. It's obviously not going to be identical and there are areas that I don't have experience in yet, but my experience in CDs and DDs was a benefit for those two exams. 

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    David Kaplan

    William,

    Couldn't disagree with your comment more, sir, but I understand where you're coming from.  I found the 5.0 tests to be much, much better aligned with what I do every day as an architect.  I walked out of those exams feeling like NCARB has made significantly good strides in the exam format from where they were in 4.0.  I took five 4.0 tests - I can speak well to the differences between the two.

    I can't caution you enough to take the negative comments on here with a grain of salt.  They are valid opinions and important for discussion purposes, yes, but you have to keep in mind that the people who are having positive experiences are simply not taking the time to post that up on here.  It's no different than the computer lag issues that people have voiced concerns about.  We don't know how many people have ZERO issues with the computers because, why go on here and post that?

    Of all the people on here on this forum, the one person whose post I await the most, after their first test, is yours.  I say this because you have so much experience in this field and have been doing it for so long.  I believe you're going to walk out of your test with your fears no longer present.  I hope I'm right!

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    William May

    David,

    I'm actually glad to hear that you disagree.  I'm presently following all the division forums and I'm thinking that I shouldn't.  I'm seeing a bit of a trend - like the newspaper, bad press sells papers.  When one considers that over 7,000 people took the various tests, only a few hundred are following and fewer yet post comments. 

    So yes, folks who are passing are more often likely to simply move on.  they have beaten the beast and moving on with their lives.  That might just be the right way to go I'm sorry to say.

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    William May

    HAHAHAHA yes it's now four decades since I started.  Residential, Multifamily, Corporate, Religious, Hospitality, Medical, Retail, Industrial, Entertainment - it's all a blur. 

    Schematic, Design Development, CD's, CA & CM.  I've slipped off of gangways, thru floor holes, broken roof panels and sprayed with steam, shocked with bad wiring and cut by unfinished ductwork.  I am terrified of heights now.  To think that once I used to love to rock climb in full exposure I now can't go up more than 20 feet before I freeze. 

    Architecture is my addiction.  Meeting clients, going out to jobsites, talking to builders - It's my morning napalm lol.

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    William May

    If I could only get clients to pay my final invoices LOL - is there anywhere I can go to read about how to get client's to pay lol

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    William May

    Maybe I should threaten to beat them with my 7th Edition Architectural Graphics Standards - PAY UP OR GET BEAT WITH MY AGS!!!!!!!  LOL

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    William May

    YO ROCKY - GO BEAT THIS GUY WITH THE 7TH ED AGS UNTIL HE PAYS OUR INVOICE lol  too funny, man I crack myself up!

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    Mathew Kilivris

    Thanks everyone for the helpful advice.  I'm actually working on a 200,000+ design-build project on-site full-time with one other Sr architect.  Contractor and my firm are super pleased with my performance.  So I have to agree that there's some disconnect between CD/CA experience and these exams since younger architects with little experience can pass.  But it's just time, money, and a strong will to knock them out.  I'll be starting fresh with a new study strategy...

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