PDD fifth and final attempt



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    Naman Garg

    Hi Veronica.
    First, hats off to you for your persistence.

    I have passed 4 exams and I am scheduled to take PPD and PDD in about 3 weeks. Not experienced in PPD and PDD exam so I will not advice much on content of exam and maybe more on strategy.

    Here are couple of my thoughts though.
    First thought:
    Take all of your past reports for PDD. See if there is a recurring low scoring section or if it varies with different exams takes. If there is some consistency then focus on the low hanging fruits first. Its easier to boost a score from 60 to 80 vs 90 to 100.

    Second thought:
    I have taken Amber and going through it feels like drinking through a fire hose. I will bank a little on my past experience plus boost with other materials mentioned on this forum when I get a chance and where I feel I need boost for next exams. I have deep respect for all the people who have gone through ALL/ MOST heavy duty materials and retain it, I dont think I could have done it correct but thats a different topic. Where I am trying to lead to is the following. I would suggest you to ask yourself if the depth and breadth of your experience a possible hurdle to this exam? I feel that practically things may be different (in some cases) than what theory teaches us. Maybe subtracting a decade (or at least few years) of your experience (just during exam) be of more help to you than any other tactic/ material. I am trying to reference examples such as Mr. Ermann's topic on insulation where theoritically (for this exam) it is simply a couple of options for insulation location but practically it is much much more complicated depending upon tonnes of factors.

    Third thought:
    Focussing a little more on how to tackle questions on the exam may be other area. When guessing a question what is the best way to eliminate answers and incrasing odds on getting an item correct. This thought is applicable for almost all exams with multiple choice questions irrespective of field of study.

    I hope I was able to explain myself clearly and this was of some help.

    Wish you all the best!

    ~typed on phone, sorry for grammar/ typos.

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    Benjamin Marcionek

    I also have 12 years of experience so I hear you. Retaking this in two weeks and from my first experience this one is just as much about methods of taking the exam as it is knowing the content. How has your time management been? My method is to create three columns on the back of the scratch paper. "Round 1" = Calculations left blank or WTF questions. "Round 2" = Guessed so double check. And "Round 3" = If I have time. In each column I write down the number of the question and a short description. This allows me to know which questions are which when going back to review marked questions. Otherwise your blindly going through them in an order that is not really your priority. I also never leave any MC unanswered on the first round. A guess is still better than nothing if you run out of time.

    Other than what you listed I also found the Ching Mock Exam books to be helpful.

    Hope this helps and best of luck on your next  and hopefully final attempt!

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    Veronica Blanco

    Thank you Naman and Benjamin for the kind posts.

    I never had a problem with the time during the tests. In my last attempts I do the case studies first and that really make me feel great. I can sort the case studies with plenty of time and a fresh brain right from the get go.

    I am going over those topics I failed in the past, however still does not make more sense because I pass some with level 1 in one test and fail the next with level 4 same topic, WTF, you go and figure.

    Have a great weekend.

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    Go for it, Veronica. I am on your side and pray for you. Gook luck on your test!

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    Veronica, I don't believe you will lose ALL your exams, just the one that you passed 5 years ago. This happened to me in 4.0 and I just lost the 1 that I passed 5 years ago. Nonetheless, hope it goes well!

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    Veronica Blanco

    RJ, because of my rolling clock I will be loosing all

    Tatamin, thank you for your prayers

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    Julie Brown

    PDD is the one exam that tripped me up, and it was the last one I took. I too, went into the exams with 12 years of really well-rounded experience, and this test is just a behemoth. I always made a habit of immediately jotting down any keywords or topics that I felt flustered by, as soon as I was out of the testing center and back to my car. Any questions where I knew I guessed or didn't feel confident in, or topics that appearance on several questions (R-values? Structural forces?) I would make note of and use that list as my study outline, just in case I needed to retake. I really feel that I must have been just a few point off of passing when I failed PDD, and I brushed up on the content that caught me off-guard and passed the exam on the second try.

    Your list of resources is great, I definitely utilized AGS, BCI, and study guides. I skimmed MEEB for solar and passive design strategies, read through The Architect's Studio Companion (great for diagrams of MEP systems and Structure Types). AGS was great for wall assemblies and thermal properties of such, I also brushed up on Site Planning and Design, just in relation to how site layouts can factor into building planning, like wind vs mechanical equipment, and then I read through Ballast 4.0 chapters that correlate to the 5.0 PDD content. Surprisingly, there were random useful bits of information that, upon reading while studying for the re-take, I recognized as questions I faced and wasn't confident on.

    Good Luck! Keep your head up and get this one!

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    Veronica Blanco

    Thank you Julia

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