I started out in March thinking it would be a good idea to try and pass the two biggest tests first. I thought I would get those out of the way to have some positive momentum to finish the 4 smaller ones. Well, after taking them the first time I realized that my plan might have not been the best idea.
Finally, after taking PPD for the third time and PDD the second time, I am done with these tests and it is such a relief. I feel like the other 4 are going to be a little less stressful now that these two aren't waiting for me at the end.
I studied the typical stuff everyone else uses (Building construction/codes illustrated, AGS, Architects studio companion, and any book besides MEEB to study MEP). My firm bought black spectacles for all of the interns to use and I did pass both after going through all of the videos and using the practice tests. I don't want to credit black spectacles for my passing score, but not discredit them because it is a useful source and may have gave me that extra little bit I needed to pass.
I took PDD yesterday (Oct. 1) and the new changes were in effect. The new changes had IBC 2015 referenced and I had a new case study (if you're retaking don't expect the same case studies). Also, my case study questions went up from 22 to 27 so plan to spend more time on them.
To anyone thinking about taking these two tests first, good luck. After doing it myself I wouldn't recommend it, but if you've got the work experience and time to study then go for it.
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