STUDY BUDDY

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    Katie Merten

    This might be of some use to you, whether you find a study partner or not:

    https://gumroad.com/l/PDDPPD

     

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    Luke Durkin

    My suggestion for the ARE, in general, is to use logic and reasoning to work your way through questions.  You will never be able to study for all the possible topics that could come up on the exam so you just have to use your general life knowledge and general architectural knowledge to reason your way through questions.  (which is a lot like what architects have to do in real life, not every real-life scenario is as simple as an ARE question.)

    For example, in the ARE Handbook, PPD Sample Question1, pg 80. 

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

    I haven't thoroughly studied all of these 6 options.  But through studying I'm pretty sure I recall 1% slope is req'd for site drainage.  Plus I'm using logic to assume if that's something they include in the question, my recollection is probably correct.   So then I just my general architectural knowledge (I know what greywater is, I know generally what these other 5 things are)  I can reason my way through the question.  If there isn't 1% slope on the site, we either have to do something other than slope or we have to create that slope.  So an underground cistern would do that.  Porous pavement would help shed water rather than letting it pond due to <1% slope.  I'm not sure how greywater applies here. Foundation drainage is about hydrostatic pressure not drainage.  So I'm down to either drainage ditches or wetlands.  I'm worried drainage ditches could interfere with accessibility, but that could be worked around.  Wetlands also seems like it could be the answer.

    At this point, I'd probably just go with my initial gut decision in order to save time. (studies have shown that for AP, Honors, or gifted and talented students, they often get questions wrong because they overthink questions and that they'd get more right when they go with their first answer.  If you got into college for arch, you're probably in this category)  Then if I had more time.  I'd think, well maybe one of these is ruled out by the shopping center use, or the cold wet climate.  Maybe the wetlands don't work with frozen soil?  Wetlands would take up more real estate.  Plus wetlands sounds like an answer they'd put in to separate someone who thinks emotionally or politically from someone who thinks professionally (an emotional or political thinker would likely want sustainable stuff and stuff like wetlands that sound pretty and nice).  So I'm gonna guess drainage ditches as my accessibility concern could be worked around.


    Also, it would be helpful if you clarified which Orange County you are talking about.  If you're talking Orange Co, Florida you could probably tell me a lot more about these <1% sites!

    Good luck

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    Sha Liu (Edited )

    Hi Katie and Luke,

    Thank you for your replies and advices. I have took tons of practice questions and read the handbook for at least 3 times. I have passed PPD and found it quite easy and straight forward as long as you studied. However, I know most people said PDD is very similar as PPD, but to me, PDD is much much harder. Even though, I studied a lot, but somehow PDD just have a way to ask me something that I am not sure. For example, I studied the electric single line diagram,however,the exam asked a certain location of a certain appliance which I am not sure where to put it, seems like there are two possible locations. Another exam, I studied concrete properties a lot but the exam asked about something about the concrete that I am still not sure which option should I choose. Questions like these, I don't know where to find the answer and where can I learn them. Obviously what I learned is not deep enough for PDD, since the exam always ask me something that just one level beyond my knowledge. I read BCI ( construction), ASC, AGS,and Ballast and did Bright-wood practice questions.At this point, I just don't know what should I study more to develop my knowledge one level deeper for PDD.

    By the way, I am at Orange County In CA.

    Thank you guys.

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    Jason Ruby

    Hi Sha, sorry to hear of your difficulty.  I can relate as PDD was much harder than PPD (as you mention) and I am having to retake it after passing all the other exams on my first try.

    I am curious- was your PDD retake exam similar to your first PDD exam?  My study approach has been to thoroughly cover all the topics I could remember that I was not adequately prepared for when taking PDD the first time.  Did you take this approach?  I am hoping that the retake will resemble the exam I took closely enough so that this will help.  With such a vast amount of information we need to study, and questions so specific, I feel like I needed to take the exam to know what would actually be on it.

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    Sha Liu (Edited )

    Hi Jason, my second exam at least have 30-40 percent questions repeating. And some of the questions, even tho I studied hard but there are still some questions that I couldn’t decide which one was the best answer ( usually between two options) . I wished I could have more different questions though. At this point, after two tries and read all the books, I probably gonna just focus on the researching the topics that appeared on the exam for my third try ( in two months).

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    Jason Ruby

    Thanks for your helpful response, Sha.  It's good you are keeping at it by trying again in a couple months.  It seems that with PDD, which is so specific and detailed, the best way to study for the exam is by actually taking the exam.

    By the way, I've been researching the electrical single line diagram topic and found something helpful about typical building electrical distribution systems in MEEB.  This type of diagram is also known as a "block diagram," so searching for block diagrams might be helpful as well.  MEEB is a monster book, but I've found some specific info in it related to topics I was not prepared for the first time I took PDD.

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    Sha Liu

    Hi Jason,

    Yes, I read the MEEB book and saw the single line diagram. It was helpful but not 100% helpful. I need more detailed information to answer the question that appeared on PDD exam. So you took the PDD exam once? Maybe you get different questions.But this question I got it for twice now and I am still not sure if I answer it right. 

    Thank you for share your research. When is your next try on PDD exam? 

     

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    Jason Ruby

    Hi Sha,

    Yes I understand, the diagram in MEEB has similarities but does not exactly match what we need to know to answer the question.  I'm hoping it's close enough, but will not know unless I get the same question on my retake.  

    For some topics I am studying that appeared on the exam, I am finding helpful information in the NCARB references.  Some of the specific topics are not in the references though (and I have nearly all of them), so I'm trying to find information on Google.

    My retake is in less than 3 weeks, so I will see if my strategy to heavily focus on topics that I could remember from taking PDD the first time (and related topics) will be successful.

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