PA Pass - First ARE - Post Exam Notes

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    Ryan Lewis

    I completely agree, I took PA three weeks and failed it! I hope to re take mid December. I too had the same type of questions and were surprised by them, soils & historical preservation especially. I did not however use AEP to study but I think I might bite the bullet and get it. 

     

    Congratulations! 

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    Nancy Redenius

    Thanks for this super helpful breakdown, Jessica. I'm getting ready to start the more focused few weeks of studying and it is great to have some guidance from posts like yours on what's worth focusing my efforts on. I was wondering if you remember what topics were covered in Ballast that were not in AEP as I am planning on using AEP as my only third party resource for this test and hopefully fill in all the gaps in material with source material from my firm and the library. I was also wondering about how much you felt the ADA questions on your test required knowing critical dimensions by heart. I have a good grasp on the basics of ADA but am horrible at memorization and don't know most dimensions beyond accessible paths without referencing code. Is this something you would recommend I spend some time memorizing? And which areas of ADA did you find most critical? Accessible paths, ramps, bathroom clearances, anything else? Sorry for the super specific question, ADA is an area I feel I may not have the level of experience with I would like and want to make sure I am appropriately prepared without spending a lot of my time unnecessarily memorizing dimensions I won't need to know by heart. 

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    Danalys Nazario

    Congrats on the Pass!!! I hope to be writing "I Pass PA", in the next couple of weeks GOD willing...

    I've been reading the Ballast Study Guides and just read the last few chapters for PA, did you get any Budgeting During Programming, Financing, Bonds , Tax Structure kind of questions? That seems part of Practice Management. Also, Did you get any Structural systems questions?

    Also, since we have to reference the International Building Code 2015, should I use the Building Codes Illustrated, 2015? The ARE 5.0 Handbook has not been updated, so I'm wondering if 2012 is still applicable.

    Thank you in advance!

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    Danalys Nazario

    after posting yesterday, I did find an updated ARE 5.0 Handbook dated (September 2018), now it includes most of the books so many people referenced on here and more.

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    Jessica Lacy (Edited )

    Thank you everyone!

    Nancy, AEP and Ballast were similar in their overview of the subject matter, and it was more that each mentioned or emphasized different details in each topic, rather than one missing entire topics the other covered. They both covered the same general topics, but Ballast was more detailed in some topics - it covered historical preservation, ADA, programming, structural systems, budgeting, and scheduling more than AEP did. For ADA, definitely know accessible paths and ramps and the numbers for those (slope, ramp length, path width, landings, etc) for this exam. I didn't have questions covered any other details of ADA. Hope that helps!

    Danalys, I did not get many questions on budgeting, financing, etc, maybe one or two at most. I would not worry too much about that area. Also did not get many structural systems questions, but did get a couple.

    The exams reference IBC 2015, so BCI 2015 would be best, but if you are using an older book, there aren't many changes since 2012 and you can search online or in the forum for a list of the changes (there are posts here that describe the changes or have links to resources that list the changes - I don't have a link to one now, but a quick search should find them). The updated Handbook is good.

    Hope this helps! Good luck on your exams! 

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    Danalys Nazario

    The budgeting and finance information seemed so out of place for the PA exam, however the recently updated ARE 5.0 (September 2018) Handbook now includes "The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice" for the PA exam, which it didn't before. Hopefully, the exam has not changed in the last month to add contracts now.

    Thank you!

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    Michael Molinari

    Jessica - did you see any questions that referenced IBC chapter 5 and required height and area increase calculations?

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    Jenna Wandishin

    Super helpful! Thank you for the break down.

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    Nancy Redenius

    Thanks for the insights Jessica! This is very helpful!

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    Jessica Lacy

    You're welcome Danalys, Jenna, and Nancy! Danalys, my exam was after the update and it didn't cover any contracts, but each person's exam might be different. 

    Michael, I don't remember any questions specifically about code area and height increase, but there were other similar code questions and those types of questions are likely to be in the case studies and have the related excerpt of the IBC in the references.

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    Jingyu Lee

    @Jessica Lacy, Thank you for this post!. You mentioned "Soil reports and soil types,": how did you study for this topic or what would you recommend? Thank you again for this post!

     

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