I took PA today and got a preliminary pass (Thank God!!) I have 5 (in Turkey) +3 years (in US) experience and passed CDS (ARE 4.0), PjM an PcM before this one. Studied about 120 hours for the test. Reviewed and read almost all of the recommended readings in Handbook Matrix however this was the first exam that I felt I passed mostly because of my general knowledge in architecture, my education, my work experience. I am having hard time to point out specific materials to recommend after finishing the exam but I guess;
- Architectural primer - Was one of the most relevant book to the exam. It was an easy read and I felt very comfortable while reading.
- Sun, Wind, Light - Again highly relevant. Focus on active/passive heating cooling techniques for different climatic conditions
- Site Engineering for Landscape Architects - Loved this book. Easy to read and covers many areas related to site analysis and design. I was surprised to see no one mentioned it before in the forum
- Space Planning Basics - Feels like you already know all of the info here but still good to go over your basic knowledge.
- Site Planning and Design Handbook - I read it twice to understand all the buzz about it, still don't get it. Sorry. It is soooo boring and I am depressed to even think about the fact that I have to read again for PPD.
- International Building Code (2015) - I def recommend reviewing the code and familiarizing with chapters, Know where to find what info to save some time.
- Building Construction Illustrated: Absolutely read this if you have some time left before exam. I think it is a great source for architects in general.
- Most of the questions (I want to say at least 1/3 of multiple choice questions and of course almost all of the case studies) were loaded with information that needed to be understand thoroughly before selecting the right choice. I think they measure your ability to asses multiple design problems/requirements and find the best (not perfect) solution within that context. Which is very similar to actual work experience however in reality you have way more time this exam...
- That being said, time is def not enough for this exam. So try to be as fast as you can... I had to run thru questions to finish the exam. The questions that I mentioned above takes a lot of time.
- I had maybe 5 to 8 questions that required direct knowledge without giving much information in the question mostly about; construction materials, ADA (ramps, showers, etc), structure types. Didn't have this type of questions in PcM or PjM as many as this one, maybe 1 or 2.
- Definitely focus your study on site analysis; climatic effects on design, hazardous materials, soil types (although didn't have as many as questions in this area like other exam takers said here but still I had some), shadows, sun, winds, utilizing landscape, climatic effects/requirements etc..
- Study on who does what regarding programming, site analyzing, testing and design. The duties of different engineers, architects...
- You may have some "irrelevant" looking questions (1 or 2), don't spend so much time don't let them throw you off, just answer and go.
Thanks everyone in this forum to guide me through this process and I hope this helps too!
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