PPD - My First test in the 5.0 format and my first fail :(

Comments

9 comments

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    Hey Jason,

    Your resources look pretty good, but here's what I feel may be lacking:

    -Structural design: how did you study for this?  Wind design concepts?  Basic structural calculations?  I personally used a 2010 version of Ballast from their 4.0 Structural Systems test manual, found it to be great provided you ignored 95% of the structural calculations in there.  I focused my effort on the concepts, design strategies, how beams deflect/react, etc.  I did not at all spend time learning how to calculate reactions in truss members and you shouldn't either.  Plus, now having taken PPD, I'm hoping that you also found the structural calculations on there to be relatively simple and "basic."

    -Site Design: I personally found there to be a good amount of site questions when I took PPD.  Site Planning Design Handbook was really the only source I used for sitework.

    Hope that helps.

  • Avatar
    Jason Vico

    Hi David!

    Thank you for the response. I have a copy of the Ballast 4.0 ARE Manual that I paged through for structural design, but not nearly enough to list as a study source. I've always had a fairly good understanding of structures, I loved taking statics back in college. I do agree 100%, any structural calculations were simple and basic, no where near complex as some of the one's I've come across in the study material. For wind I paged through FEMA. I didn't have to many structural design questions on my test, but I had a lot of adaptive reuse questions as well as site design questions. I think I did well in the site design areas, but I will know more when I get the score report back. I feel that time management may have been a big problem for me. I got behind the 8 ball quickly, then began to rush a little to try and gain the time back, but that never happened. When I took the Designer Hacks and Gang Chen practice tests, I was finishing all 120 questions in 45 min to an hour, so I figured I was in good shape. Now I am trying to figure out when to schedule PDD. Looking at the middle of August, or should I take it sooner?

    Should I add any more study resources? What other practice testing material would you recommend?

  • Avatar
    Jason Vico

    David,
    Sorry to be a pest, but I'm wondering if I shoukd add my Ballast 4.0 ARE Review Manual to review Site Planning and Design chapters.

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    Jason,

    Yeah, I think any material you have about site planning/design would be helpful to include.  Once you get your score report you'll have a better idea of the areas you might be lacking in.  Good to hear that structural design seemed straightforward for you, that's always one that people fret the most about (including myself when I took the tests). 

    I personally am an advocate for the "take PPD and PDD close together" approach.  I just felt that there was a lot of content overlap.  PPD deals with the development stages of design, PDD deals with the construction document stage.  But, the material on both is the same.  Be sure to throw Graphic Standards or Building Construction Illustrated in the mix too.

  • Avatar
    Jason Vico

    David,

    Thank you so much for your feedback!!! It appears I was much closer than I thought to passing this exam... I ordered the Heating, Cooling, and Lighting book to add to my study material.  I am now trying to figure out if I want to take PDD in a month, or just focus on my retake of PDD in 60 days. I am leaning more towards taking PDD in a month. Any thoughts?

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    Jason,

    Here's my suggestion: not sure how long you've been working in the field but if you feel totally confident in navigating a set of Construction Documents, and you are comfortable with construction detailing, I say take PDD all the way.  A month is a good amount of time to brush up on that kind of stuff too.  The studying that you will do for PDD will also apply towards the re-studying that you have to do for PPD, so I don't see you losing time if you decide to go for PDD. 

    Take a look at the practice questions for PDD in the Handbook.  Seem easy enough?  If so - go for it.

  • Avatar
    Jason Vico (Edited )

    David,

    That's what I was thinking too! I have 15 years experience from when I first started working in an Architectural office to now. Started working in my first firm when I was 20. I feel very comfortable navigating a set of Construction Documents. I really like drawing construction details and building sections. I've always loved to see how the buildings go together.  I work in small firm an see projects through from SD to CD and CA if needed. Would you recommend adding any study materials to my current list for PDD? I am guessing Building Construction Illustrated and Architectural Graphic Standards would be major sources for PDD. Also, would you have any feedback on Black Spectacles? Again, sorry for all of the questions. Thank you for your continued feedback!!!

  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    Jason,

    You and I are in exactly the same boat here.  I worked for 14 years before I finally decided to finish up this testing process, and I too have drawn details and wall sections to death.  I also run projects just like you stated - from day one to grand opening.  You will absolutely, 100% find that this experience you have will be paramount in taking PDD.  In my opinion, you have been studying for this test for 15 years.

    I posted about my PDD approach, which I took 10 days after PPD.  The list of sources is included in this link, take a look and see what you think.  I did not use Black Spectacles, although I know that many have chimed in about it.  Check out those posts.  Best of luck - I think you've got this:

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/360000867908-PDD-Pass-Study-Approach 

     

  • Avatar
    Jason Vico (Edited )

    David,

    Thank you for all of your feedback! I will review the list of sources from your link. I am just ready to be done with this testing process, lol. Thanks again!!!

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk