Took CE today and got the prelim pass..
Third test after Pjm and Pcm in that order.. I wrote a post test post for each of those in their respective sections you can check out... I really appreciate the notes and recommendations everyone else gives and want to contribute to this knowledge base as well so we can all get through this with the leaat amount of tries as we can!
Before I begin I would highly recommend taking Pjm and Pcm , in any order before taking CE, there is about 30 to 40 percent overlap in the teste and having a good understanding of the contracts, construction schedules and architectural firm procedures will really help.
SO... as many others have said, know A201 inside and out. Even if gou are given an A201 in your case studies you should only be refrencing them for specifics or you may not have time to finish the test and review... i felt pretty prepared, finished the test with 40minutea left and reviewed and changed about 6 questions for about 20 minutes with about 20minutes to spare..
Anyway... A201.. you need to know who is responsible for what. Most of the questions on the test are related to the A201 in one way or another because in reality most issues or important aspects of a construction project are covered in there. From what I can tell everything in the A201 is up for grabs, the questions seemed to span almost every article, mostly in situational question form. Also know the B101, which if you already took Pjm and Pcm you may have a fairly good understanding. Again, the Schiff Hardin, Hanahan lectures are great for both A201 and B101, I probably have listened the B101 lecture 5 or 6 times all the way through and the B201 maybe 10 times, bits and pieces driving and while working and a few times focused and making notes. Even then there are always questions that you end up with a toss up between 2 answers, you have to know the contract enough that you can really interept what they are asking.
Besides the major focus on A201 and some on the B101:
Be familiar with construction progress and photos from various stages of construction thinking about the potential safety and progres payment questions that may arise. Sorry I cant say much more, I am fairly experienced in construction and observation and some of the questions are pretty tough. I dont really know of a resource that can prep you for these besides just knowing a lot about a lot of different types of construction and issues which may arise with safety, progress or claims. Same as i mentioned earlier, questions like these seem to span the gap and I couldnt really point to one thing or another.
Another thing to study, like others have mentioned are wall section details and understanding moisture protection. I just did a google search while studying to get an a deeper understanding on as many types and forms of moisture protection that I could, masonry walls, stucco, flashing etc.
I seemed to have a few questions on concrete and foundations..
Knowing shoring and bracing and sequencing of site work would be helpful...
Knowing some ADA standards will be helpful, for this test and for your practice. I had a few questions related to ADA standards. I knew most of them but I wish I would have refreshed on the min and max dimensions for ADA restrooms, ramps, doorways etc, you think you know them until its on a test then you start questioning yourself.
Know pay apps, specifically G702/703.
Know construction schedules (another reason to take Pjm and Pcm first)
Remember your calcs for cubic yard to cubic feet, get familiar with the ARE calculator, i am able to use the number pad on the keyboard so it isnt too bad.
Know how to read specifications and how to compare that to submittals..
All in all, the test was like my previous two tests, once I studied all the Ncarb recommendations and the recommendations of the fellow Are test takers on these forums, took the Ballast practice tests and exams and read and read and re read the AHPP and the B101 and A201 many times the test was still fairly difficult. Id say 50 percent of the questions were fairly easy based on my studying, 25 percent were difficult but I felt I was able to figure out most of them by staying calm and slowly eliminating the answers that were not relevant and trying to understand what the test writers were really trying to ask. The other 25 percent of the test questions are always head scratchers, some of them were no where in any of my resources and some were just very difficult situational questions where i felt that a few answers were possible depending on the wording.
All in all, the best advice for this test is know the A201 inside and out, know who is reaponsible for what, understand who talks to who, who pays for what etc. Study wall sections and be familar with construction in general.
I havent studied or taken Ppd or Pd or Pa yet, but if you do not have any CA or construction experience this test will be fairly difficult.
It is not impossible, though and if you study A201, enough wall sections, waterproofing details and ADA standards you should be able to pass..
PA next in a month.. good luck all!
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