PDD and CDS

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    Scott Barber

    Brandon, I didn't take any 4.0 exams so I can't speak about that, but I didn't study any contracts for PPD and PDD and passed them both. The ARE Handbook for 5.0 exams was very well aligned to the content I saw on the actual exam, I would trust it to help you know what to study as you prepare. 

    As NCARB has shown in the ARE Credit Model which shows the relationship between 4.0 and 5.0 exams, CDS content falls under PcM, PjM, PDD, and CE. That doesn't mean all the content from CDS will be seen in each of those exams, but the overall content for CDS is now falling under 4 different exams. I know very little about the CDS exam, but I would guess that it had questions about details or specs that now fall under PDD. 

    Regardless, I would trust the ARE Handbook's guidance on what content you'll see on the actual exams. I used the ARE Handbook and this forum to help me focus my studying, and was fortunate to pass all the exams on my first try. The only complaint I had with the ARE Handbook was that it didn't include The Architect's Studio Companion, which was a book I studied for PPD and PDD and found extremely helpful. In the recently updated handbook, it's now included :)

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    Theodore Diamond

    PDD does overlap with CDS, but in limited scope.  Contracts don't come up, but the contents of Contract Documents may and there will likely be questions that include spec sections (as seen in the handbook).  Similarly, the CDS vignette and questions about materials overlap with PDD.

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    Derek Mason

    Brandon - I took the CDS exam and passed it before I transitioned to the 5.0. You are right that the CDS is more about legal and contracts then CD's. I felt some similar info transitioned in the PjM exam. I actually recall an exam question I had on CDS pop up on the PjM exam. 

    The first 5.0 exam I took was the PA, thinking it would be a nice one to take. I was wrong, big time. I should have taken the PcM and PjM, or jumped to the PDD. My mistake was to use a single third party study guide. I used the Architect's Exam Prep and didn't bother to review this form and look through the suggested study materials.

    Listen to Scott Barber and others who have posted some wonderful hints. Review the handbook and find within the suggested source material what they are asking.  

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    Brandon Estes

    Thank you for the comments and info!  This is very helpful.  I recently took PPD and unfortunately did not pass, but I didn't do horrible either - it was so broad, from programming to electrical diagrams to structures.  I was really disappointed with PPD as I studied many resources, followed the ARE 5.0 Handbook recommendations, I have plenty of professional experience... PPD should really be split into multiple exams, in my opinion.  It blows my mind that anybody might take this exam and still be in school without having professional experience.

    That said, I am scheduling PDD for November in hopes that the more limited scope will prove a bit easier when it comes to studying/test-taking.  I've only these two exams left, and the California Supplement.  I can't wait to be done with NCARB - I think the states did the public a tremendous disservice when they granted NCARB authority over the testing for licensure.  But I digress...I will pass...eventually :-)

    Anyways, thanks again for the help - much appreciated!

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