Just passed the PA

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16 comments

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    Patricia Lozano Quintana

    Allen, CONGRATULATIONS!

    I'm scheduled for June 21 and haven't started yet studying. What materials would you recommend me to use?. I was planning on using the Division Book chapters 7 to 11 and then 12 to 15. But I can't find much more material out there for the PA exam.

     I have 15 years experience as an architect, but not in the US....

    Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Allen Tsai

    Hi Patricia,

    I used the references listed in the ARE 5.0 Handbook as a starting point and added practice exams and flashcards and one more book. I've been working for a long time so probably older than your average aged test-taker - feel your struggle.  Wish you the best in your journey. 

    https://www.ncarb.org/sites/default/files/ARE5-Handbook.pdf 

    Building Codes Illustrated: A Guide to Understanding the 2012 International Building Code; Francis D. K. Ching and Steven R. Winkel, FAIA, PE John Wiley & Sons, 2012

    Problem Seeking: An Architectural Programming Primer; William M. Peña and Steven A. Parshall John Wiley & Sons, latest edition

    Site Planning and Design Handbook; Thomas H. Russ McGraw-Hill, 2nd edition, 2009

    Professional Practice; a Guide to Turning Designs into Building; Paul Segal, FAIA; W.W. Norton, 2006

    Space Planning Basics; Mark Karlen and Rob Fleming; McGraw-Hill, 2nd edition, 2009

    Practice Exams:

    http://designerhacks.com (I liked drilling on these exams, helps with time management)

    Ballast ARE 4.0 practice exams

    Additional books:

    ARE Review Manual; David Kent Ballast, Steven E. O'Hara (the one I have was for the ARE 4.0, but it was still OK)

    Flashcards:

    Kaplan ARE 4.0

    Archiflash ARE 4.0 (these are more detailed than the Kaplan ones)

  • Avatar
    Nahid Haimonty

    Hi Allen,

    Congrats on your pass! Which chapters did you study from Ballast for ARE 4.0? Thank you !

  • Avatar
    Patricia Lozano Quintana

    Allen,

    Thanks for such detailed response! I'll make sure to get hold of all that material.

    I have also been recommended to use the Brightwood ARE 5.0 Exam preparation. But I also feel that I need to be a little selective otherwise it may be overwhelming.  

    Thank you again for your assistance and good luck with the rest of the exams (if you have any left to take)!

     

  • Avatar
    Allen Tsai

    Nahid, I studied chapter 2, 3, and 5 and then 49 an 50.

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    Allen Tsai

    I would confirm that I experienced some lag again.  There is lag when switching between questions both before and during review and again at the reference materials for the case studies.  The lag was so bad the first time, it was very flustering.  I would suggest reading the case study question before pinpointing which reference material you should go to.  You can lose  some time when switching between reference materials, especially if you are unsure where to look.

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    Isabella Ramos

    Congratulations Allen! I was reading through the study resources you posted and I was wondering if you read through the 2010 ADA Standards for test? And if so, what chapters did you go through?  Thank you in advance! 

  • Avatar
    Allen Tsai

    Thanks Isabella! I did not study that much of the ADA, since I use the standards on a regular basis for work. I had one or two questions on ADA ramps, landings and handrails this time around.   

  • Avatar
    Nahid Haimonty

    Thanks Allen! This really helps, appreciate it.

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    Rosemarie Maxwell

    Hi Allen, congrats! I took this exam before and failed as well. Has anyone encountered this problem. Where you do the calculation for an answer and you put in 2,000. And then the computer prompts you to change your answer to 2000. Without the commas. Would this affect whether your answer is correct or not?

  • Avatar
    Allen Tsai

    Rosemarie, sorry i have no idea

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    Scott Barber

    Rosemarie, it won't affect the answer. I think Michelle NCARB mentioned this in a comment recently, though I thought she said it automatically removed or ignored the commas. Either way, commas aren't necessary when answering. 

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    Rosemarie Maxwell

    Hey Scott and Allen, thank you I will leave the commas out going forward.

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    Ryan NCARB

    With or without commas...it doesn't matter to scoring.  Both score the same!

  • Avatar
    Rosemarie Maxwell

    Hey Allen/Scott, do any of you guys have a coupon code for Designer Hacks that you can share?

  • Avatar
    Allen Tsai

    I just bought more exams. The coupon is expired though. Usually every major holiday there is a 25% coupon.  Maybe Father's day is the next one or July 4th? You might get a coupon just for subscribing to their emails?

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