I passed PA yesterday. 11/27/18
I found understanding the differences between the 4 different Secretary of State Treatments for Historical Buildings to be of great help. Someone posted a great article here that was super easy to understand https://www.dropbox.com/s/sst1l4n13fvxjq8/Preservation_Rehabilitation_Restoration__Reconstruction_Comparison.pdf?dl=0
Site Planning and Design Handbook
Study the sections on brownfields, soils, storm water management, environmental site assessments. Know how to read a site plan.
Read the book, its easy. Understand the 24 programmatic concepts, the form, function, economy, time ideas.FAR, utilization ratio and building efficiency.
Definitely study ramps clearances/slopes/landings/handrails etc. Know how to look at a plan of a bathroom/shower stalls/toilet rooms/etc and see if something will need to be updated to become accessible including clearances/grab bars/ approaches. Know approaches to doors. Generally take a look at all the diagrams to be familiar. The test is not really designed to trip you up, it is designed to test your competency in taking a quick look at a space and see some glaring fails that will need to be fixed.
Google lead, asbestos, radon and where those items may be found on sites/and in buildings. Know your lines of communications for who/what/when/how to deal with hazardous materials found on site.
Puzzles and Hot Spots
I had quite a few of these which were great because all I really needed to do was read what the question was trying to ask of me and look in the program to fit pieces together next to other pieces on the site. Take your time and use process of elimination to find the best locations for things. Dont forget you can rotate with right click. Check out the demo test on NCARB to get the hang of this...the case studies are really useful in the demo to understand as well.
Know solar orientation/ prevailing wind/ noise attenuation schemes based on site.
I did read this. I felt it was pretty applicable. I did the questions and answers till I knew all the questions and answers by heart. This helped alot with understanding FAR and building efficiency. This was helpful for understanding site surveys/contours.
Black Spectacles PA Mock Exam Video
Watch and learn. Great 1 hr video.
PPD and PA ARE Handbook Video Series
I feel these video series are great because they can help you understand how the test is likely to be formatted. I had some questions that were extremely similar and I'm sure I got 3 or 4 questions right just because I took a look at those videos.
Building Construction Illustrated
Memorize different occupancy uses. Understand the entire egress section and be able to ID different parts of the egress path. Understand building types and how that affects building height/area.
I had random questions about different architectural styles and take a look at population pyramids to understand what that is and how it is used by planners to understand a locations demographics.
This was overall an enjoyable test to take and I think very applicable to what we do everyday.
I felt like I studied alot for this test (4 weeks of 2-3 a night plus 4-6 hours weekend) but I did not feel rushed the entire exam. I felt pretty calm going through it.
PPD and PDD up next for me. Thanks to everyone else who posted who helped me pass this exam.
Good luck to everyone else.
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