PPD pass on 2nd attempt - Done with ARE



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    Zhi Yan-Hamby

    Congratulations!   PPD is my last exam and its my second try. 

    There were a lot of building planning questions but I feel, a lot of those very subjective.   Even on the Ballast study guide questions where you had to layout the building  and parking, I felt that it could have gone either way.   Did you feel that way as well? 

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    Tsai Tse Josh Lo


    From my experience, some questions in the actual exam did have "smoke screens". Meaning, they did appear to be subjective to throw us off.
    But after identifying the pragmatic/technical factors in the given scenario, and considering the available choices, the best answer was often quite clear cut to me.

    Good luck,

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    Juan Alcala

    Hi Tsai,

    Congratulations on completing ARE 5.0!  I need two more exams to finish. PPD and PDD.  My question is very general.  "How" did you study for the exams?  While prepared for my ARE 4.0 exams I read all of the study material and wrote all of the important stuff by hand.  I pretty much re-wrote all of the study material!  It sounds brutal but that is how I learned, understood, and remembered the material.  However, with ARE 5.0 the amount of study material to prepare for the PPD is about 4 times as much!! Even though I study about 3 hours per night I find that I am progressing very slowly and the amount of information is staggering.  My learning method of re-writing the important stuff by hand is taking way too long and seems ineffective for ARE 5.0.  What tips can you give me on "how" to study, learn, and retain information for the ARE 5.0?  I am not asking for sensitive information, only a general schedule or technique on the learning process itself.  Thank you.

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    Tsai Tse Josh Lo (Edited )


    Sounds like we share similar trait. I took on ARE with the attitude of studying for the benefit of my career, rather than just for passing the exams. To me, the latter is a waste of time and effort. So, I looked fairly deep into each topic, rarely skipped over, and cranked through all the calculations. Looking back, I have no regret taking the painful path in exchange for long term gain.
    Obviously, you need to choose the path that suits your circumstances. If time is of the essence, I suggest covering the full breadth of study areas just once as top priority, and be stingy in what you plan to re-read. PPD and PDD are characterized as "broad and shallow" by many on this forum, therefore focus on learning concepts rather than memorizing every word and solving all the maths. Just be aware some basic formulas and rule of thumbs are important concepts, too. Suggest taking a couple of practice exams early on to get a feel for the exams (4.0 and 5.0 are very different).
    I found studying books with many diagrams/illustrations and real world cases/examples very effective. They help me retain information, and understand how concepts are applied, which is especially relevant to these exams.
    I used Ballast 5.0 as road map because of its good coverage. I printed and bound it, and supplemented to it notes I made from reading other materials.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!


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