PcM, PjM, CE Passed!



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    Christopher Kiefer

    What a great post! It’s exactly the kind of post that makes the community so helpful for everyone. 

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    Hi Micheal,

    Your post is incredibly helpful! Thank you for the time and effort you have put into this post to help the rest of us. 




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    Michael Lawson

    I'm glad I can help in some small way. I know I wasn't specific on exam content, but that is because I think the NCARB Handbook is sufficient in covering the bases. Good luck on all your prep! 

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    Michael Smith


    Besides the above listed resources you listed above, did you use Kaplan/Ballast as Tatyana states for her study guide? In addition, for the BS I'm assuming you did the monthly subscription for the Pro. I'm going to start studying PcM starting Monday and use your suggested methods. Did you study PcM, PjM and CE one at a time?

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    Michael Lawson (Edited )

    I used Brightwood (which I think is part of Kaplan if I understood it correctly) for PjM, and skimmed it for CE. I didn't think it was a particularly helpful source, especially if it were my only resource. As an extra, it helped marginally to reinforce concepts I had gotten elsewhere. 

    My Black Spectacles subscription is "Premium," I think, so I have access to videos and practice tests, but not flash cards or their "Practical Applications" videos. I had access to those for a trial and did not think they were very helpful. There is a free app on Android and probably iPhone called Quizlet that I use. Apparently loads of ARE takers use it too, because they have shared their flashcards, so I referenced those every once in a while. I didn't use flash cards much though. 

    I didn't study for all three at the same time specifically, but the resources overlap. The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice has content for all three exams, so if you're reading it, you're learning things that will be pertinent to other exams. I should emphasize that they are not testing the same things, the subjects are quite different.

    That said, with the overlap, once you read the AHPP using some of the guides for PcM, you can then focus your review of the book for PjM or CE. The same can be said for the Hanahan lectures, listen to them all for PjM, but for PjM and CE, hone in on the subjects that are more pertinent to those exams. I did end up taking CE 5 days after PjM, but I don't necessarily recommend that. 

    Good luck studying! 

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    Michael Smith

    Thank you for the good feedback. 

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