Study Guide for Both PPD and PDD

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13 comments

  • Avatar
    Derek Mason

    Jessica,

    I bought the AEP whole enchilada and realized that a good portion of their material repeats itself. Seriously, there are sections that are a direct copy from their other packets. Maybe they improved since I did not find them to be helpful.

    I never used the audio portion of them because I never found the time or need. I gave up on their online practice exams because it was so darn cumbersome to log in again differently to use the limited exam. 

    I am planning to take the PPD & PDD soon and like you will take them close together. This is advice from those who took the exams on this form. I will also pick up my Ballast 4.0 book and re-read sections of it. 

  • Avatar
    Scott Barber

    Hi Jessica,

    I tried AEP for PPD and PDD and, like Derek, was not impressed. The material was repetitive and confusing at times, and not to the level of detail necessary for these exams. I tried listening to the audio but didn't enjoy that much either - it's possible that's just my personal preference though. 

    I heard that AEP is better for the other exams, but I started with these two and didn't try it again after. So I'm not surprised you found it useful for your previous exam, but wouldn't expect it to be as useful for these two. 

    Hopefully others will share input for alternatives if you're looking for audio material. I don't have any suggestions but I would advise against AEP for these two exams.

  • Avatar
    Danielle Kelly

    I'm taking both PDD and PPD soon as well. These are my last two tests :)  My study habits for the previous divisions have been to first review the suggested materials from others in the forum then review the Ballast book, practice problems, and practice exam.  The material is never new at that point but the repetition and different way to approach the material seems to help me. Hopefully, it continues to work for the next two exams. 

  • Avatar
    Kurt Fanderclai

    Hi Jessica,

    Third party materials can have some limited usefulness on the business exams and also parts of PA, but once you reach PPD and PDD the value of the third party materials diminishes greatly down to a status best described as "pretty negligible".  I think the reason for this is simply that the PPD/PDD content is just soooo broad -- a 3rd party study manual that needs to fit into one bound book, or into a managable audio lecture, just can't practically cover all of the material. 

    Is the 3rd party material a good review after covering the Top References in the 5.0 Handbook?  Maybe. I know that's the hope and intent for some.   But going that route is a bit like reviewing someone else's review -- so the problem is, does that thirdhand review cover what you personally need?  Does it just happen to hit the points you missed?  Again: maybe

     As I often say, if a candidate can pass the ARE by studying 3rd party materials, listening to Greta Van Fleet, or watching Ozark,  I'm first in line to raise a fine beer and help celebrate.  But none of that seems to work all that efficiently for the mainstream of candidates.   

    Like many other candidates, given limited time to allocate to studying, I stuck to the source materials.

    Good luck with your exams!

  • Avatar
    Jessica Lacy

    Thanks for the input everyone!

    I know that 3rd party materials have very limited usefulness, but I'm still looking for audio that I can listen to while driving that can reinforce or review what I'm studying (since there is no other way to study during that hour of commute each day and every hour of studying that I can carve out of my busy schedule helps). Hopefully there is a decent audio study guide that is better than AEP... If anyone has any suggestions, please share.

    It's a pity none of the primary source books have an audio book...

  • Avatar
    Scott Barber

    I know some people recorded themselves reading and listened to it while driving, but I'm sure that'd take a lot of time and probably not what you're interested in (I know I didn't want to listen to myself talk for an hour and a half each day in the car, haha). 

    If you're on Facebook, I'd suggest joining the ARE Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/architectregistrationexam/), and ask there. I typically trusted the guidance of those on this forum more, but that Facebook group has a lot of members and you may be able to find some advice on alternative audio material there. If you're not a Facebook person let me know and I can ask on there for you.

  • Avatar
    Kurt Fanderclai

    Hi Jessica --

    I appreciate that your are looking to use your commute time -- I drive a fairly long commute every day as well.  I think the point I'm making is that what you're looking for is just not going to exist in any useful/meaningful form.  Note the list of Handbook References for PDD:

    Architectural Graphic Standards

    Building Codes Illustrated

    2015 International Building Code

    Building Construction Illustrated

    Mechanical & Electrical Equipment for Buildings

    Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods

    Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures

    Obviously one can read and study them.  I also think that, well done videos can covers this material -- I definitely googled and youtubed a lot of info regarding this exam (and PPD) -- videos can be a great resource, and I recommend searching them out.  So that leaves purely audio resources.

    So take another look at the above list -- note that it's very graphics and illustrations-based.  Very visually oriented.  Very curious how this type of information might become an audio resource?  In a sense, the recommended resources for PDD are a compilation of multiple picture books.  One candidate describes the entire PDD exam as "look at a drawing and point to where the water goes"... (thanks, Benjamin -- still funny!).

    (A nearly similar argument can be made for PPD.)

    With very minor exception, the idea of learning the PDD exam content -- which, straight from the handbook is codes, documents, manuals and specifications -- via listening seems next to impossible.

     

     

  • Avatar
    Jessica Lacy

    Scott and Kurt, thank you for your input. Scott, I wouldn't want to listen to myself talk either! Thank you for the suggestion, I'll check on the facebook group. Kurt, yes, I do understand your point, makes sense. Just wish I could use my commute time more effectively.

  • Avatar
    Michael Weber

    AEP is pretty weak as far as those two exams are concerned. Basically for all the reasons mentioned abv.

  • Avatar
    Jose Magana

    Hi Jessica

    I just took and barely failed :( PPD but I have a good study guide which unfortunately arrived 4 days before the exam. It is called The Architect's study companion by Edward Allen and Joseph Iano. Also you can get some audio resources from youtube about BlackSpectacles,, I listen to those while driving and they offer some good information. Good luck on your test.

  • Avatar
    Tomasz Mlynarski (Edited )

    Jose, can you share what knowledge themes you ended up not being prepared for? 

  • Avatar
    Jose Magana

    Hi, 

    the theme I was not very familiar with was the sun study charts, so study them well and the case studies were very intense and I ended running out of time with about 5 or 6 unanswered questions.

    Also get very familiar with the Disabled Codes, regarding clearances and minimum dimensions, I hesitated in some questions and I did not have enough time to review them.

    Best of luck in your test,

     

  • Avatar
    Tomasz Mlynarski

    Thanks those are good tips.

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