PPD Pass

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    ANGELA FERRIGAN

    Congrats Matt! One question about the Ballast study materials. Do you prefer them over Kaplan or is it just what you had available?

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    Matt (Edited )

    I have access to both and I would suggest to completely avoid brightwood/kaplan

    I like to use Ballast for prac probs and exams because of the detailed answer explanations.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend reading through the ballast study guides (sometimes a good overview). 

    Many have called out brightwood/kaplan on how bad their materials are.  Repeat sections, not hard enough questions. etc.

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/360013204433-Brightwood-Architecture-Please-Stop-Ripping-Off-The-Architecture-Community-

    https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/brightwood-architecture

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Matt -- well played, sir!  So just PDD left?  

    Angela -- there are a lot write-ups on what successful candidates studied on this forum.  Matt's list above is a very good list.  Many candidates have Ballast or other third-party materials sprinkled into the mix, but bear in mind that the consensus does not favor focusing on these materials -- and this especially true for PPD and PDD.

    Some folks continue to insist on studying third party materials, despite much evidence against doing so.  I think many 4.0 transitioners have had trouble shifting mindsets.  And, I think there is always hope held out that one book holds the keys to the ARE universe.  

    When strategizing what to study, you have to understand that there are always going to be candidates that pass the exam studying only Ballast, only Kaplan, or only whatever bit of other magical knowledge.  However, as one person speculated a while back -- there are always going to be a few candidates that will pass the ARE with flying colors in record time no matter what they study -- and these few could likely study only the phone book and still pass the ARE.  Of course, that approach would result in numerous fails for most.  Oppositely, there is already a pretty significant momentum of thought on study approach from successful candidates.  All are still free to choose whatever --  but I'd go with the Handbook materials, and the forum consensus regarding them.      

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    Matt (Edited )

    Yessir!  PDD in 20 days.

    I read your PDD post recommending adding AGS to the mix.  Another great write up!  Any other major recommendations?  I've been following all of your 'Pass' posts to begin my studying.  They have been invaluable.  Thank you big time!

    I also strongly agree that third party materials just be a secondary focus for all of these exams. 

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    Jorge De La Rosa

    I agree with Kurt 100%

    PPI/Brightwood are just not the best way to go; however, since now candidates can take these exams without any work experience, those books can provide an overall organization of the exam topics. I think a most valuable suggestion is for candidates not to focus/rely only on these, but to spend more time on the NCARB references instead.

    I also know of people that have only read these 2 3rd party references and passed both PDD and PPD; of course, work experience and study method preferences have a lot to say on this approach, but my point is, as long as candidates don't assume and rely solely on these 3rd party books as all they will need, we can't just say they are a waste of time for everybody either. we can still express our "unbiased" opinion as others have done, of course

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Matt -- that is great...one left.

    As I'm sure you saw, I posted a pretty long PDD write-up about 9 months back -- it summarized my thoughts pretty completely.

    It sounds like you are -- and have been -- following the advice of people like Scott, David, and Ben -- can't go wrong with their advice.

    20 days...  good luck!

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    Matt

    Great!  Appreciate the support and guidance!

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    ANGELA FERRIGAN

    Hey Matt and Kurt! Thanks for the info. I've been preparing for PPD and PDD for a while now and I've had time to look at (or at least skim) tons of resources, both primary and third party. As you mentioned, most of us are disappointed in the 5.0 third party resources so we've had to focus on primary resources....which are painfully dull and not the easiest way to learn. The third party practice exams seem to be a helpful way to get your brain ready for the actual exam and provide potentially real world scenarios that could be useful at work. I definitely don't recommend relying solely on Ballast, Kaplan, AEP, Designer Hacks, Gang Chen or Black Spectacles, but there are benefits to using them as supplemental resources. I've had questions on the 5.0 ARE that almost exactly like the practice questions from a third party resource. That's basically what I was asking about in terms of one third party resource being more valuable than others. Thanks for the help :)

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    Natalia Cebollero Venegas

    Hey Guys!

     

    Im getting ready to take my test soon, PPD. THis will  be the 3rd time I am taking it so wish me luck! I want to do practice tests. I have the Ballast ones, anybody have any extra recommendations? Ive heard Brightwood is not the best. Any suggestions as welcome! Thanks

     

    By the way, this thread has been super helpful and motivating!

     

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