I took the PcM exam this morning and to much relief I got the Prelim. Pass!!!
This is my first passed exam. I had previously attempted to take Programming and Analysis to no avail. :(
Part of this post will be main to encourage those who are studying to use this platform as a resource. I honestly do not think I would have passed without having read post after post about what worked for some people and just general questions. Thank you ARE community users!!
Here is how my experience went and what I did differently that the last exam.
Firstly, do not rely heavily on the Ballast or Brightwood material. While you should definitely read them (the Ballast moreso than the Brightwood), all the supplementary material will cover the topics in amount of detail needed for the exam. The Ballast is most useful to take the practice exam and practice problems at several points throughout your studying to gauge what materials aren't syncing in. I read through the Brightwood first, and I never looked at it again. I don't know other people options on it but I was not satisfied with their material for PcM and P&A..
READ THE AHPP, i cant stress that enough.. reread as necessary. There is a lot to be absorbed.
In an earlier post I found these resources which i am linking again so its easier to find (thanks Scott and Armen):
These helped me narrow down what parts of the book I need to focus on. I read all the suggested chapters, but I probably spent the most time reading (and rereading) through Chapters 5,7,9,16. It is important to lock down all the types of delivery, structure, and formulas, but make sure you have a good grasp of how and when they are applicable, not just memorizing them. For example, know what the formula is for Overhead Rate doesn't do you any good if you don't know how to apply it. Something I wish I would have done was talked to PM/Principals in the office about real life scenarios to apply what I read.
Another must for this exam is the Schiff Hardin lectures. (thanks Clarissa)
I listened to all of them at least once. I listened to these mainly on my commutes to and from work or before bed. I also listened to the lectures about the B101 and the A201 twice more closely to make sure I had a good grasp on the expectations of the owner, architect, and contractor.
I would say I spent about 2 months studying, although, I admit, I the beginning I wasn't spending as much time as I probably should have. I'd say around 6 or 5 weeks from the exam date I high gear.
Listened to the Lectures to and from work
1 hour of studying during my lunch
2 hours after work
I took the practice exam 2 times. The first time about 2 weeks into studying, and then one full week before my exam. This allowed me to orient my final week to focus solely on certain areas. Also take the exam on a Monday if you can. It's nice having a full weekend without work week distractions getting in the way.
Much of how I approached this exam aligns with other posts, and may be a bit redundant information, but I guess I am just trying to reaffirm others approaches. Thank you to those who take the time to post, we are all in this together!!
Anyways, on to PjM!!!
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