Hey everyone! I wanted to share my experience with the community of getting my 6th PASS in a four month span.
First, THANK YOU to the whole community- I used these boards as a launching pad for every exam, and found inspiration from the other speed testers out there.
Second, some background: I graduated with a B.Arch in 2015, and had been working for ~2.5 years when I started testing. I'm getting married in September, and decided I wanted to be Mrs. Architect instead of Mrs. Architectural Designer, so here we are. Six exams, four months.
I started with PCM (2/5) and PJM (2/10), then CE in March (3/18), PA in April (4/22), and then ended with PPD (5/31) and PDD (6/3). I unfortunately scheduled tests on days after large drinking holidays (the Superbowl, St. Patrick's Day, and Memorial Day), so maybe don't do that.
For the first three tests, I read most of the Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, and utilized my office's copies of the Brightwood materials. We also have a subscription to their practice quizzes, which I felt were literal trash. I didn't feel that much of the quiz material was relevant to the tests at all. I do recommend watching the Black Spectacles Mock Exams on youtube, I did that before each test and felt they were tricky enough, but covered the right information.
I credit most of my success with the last three exams though to Michael Ermann's Amber Book seminars. His video lectures are SUPER informative, and I was able to take great notes. I felt like I was actually learning about building systems and construction materials and methods, and not just memorizing facts for an exam. I'm really horrible at staying disciplined enough to read a million books, so the video format was RIGHT up my alley. His program has content for all six exams, but I utilized it for PA, PPD, and PDD, and felt very prepared. I didn't read any Brightwood content for PPD and PDD, but did read a couple chapters of site planning for PA, and I felt that rounded out my knowledge base well.
As far as pacing is concerned, I feel like 4-5 weeks between each exam was perfect. It gave me one week to blow everything off, one to panic, and then three to seriously study. And I never felt like I had to sacrifice my life to study. I put in ~10 hours a week (especially with the video lectures), and was able to still work out a couple times a week, ski on the weekends, see my friends, and even take a 10 day vacation. But I think riding the momentum from test to test is important. By not taking a chance to "relax", I never left that studying mindset.
From what I've read online in the community, my approach and experience is atypical. But I wanted to share it, in case someone else has the same hair-brained idea to just push through them all. You're not alone, you CAN do this, and it'll be great.
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