PDD retake pass ARE complete - Also an unpopular opinion

Comments

23 comments

  • Avatar
    Danielle Kelly (Edited )

    Congrats on being done! I've been following behind you for the most part, just one test behind. Tomorrow is my first time taking PDD. Thanks for all the write ups!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    Congrats on being done with this!  And, a good perspective on PPD vs. PDD, I think it's interesting that you left this whole process with that feeling.  Sounds like you figured it out though!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kurt Fanderclai

    Osman -- CONGRATULATIONS!

    I saw this pop up and needed to comment.

    I know you had a minor hiccup on the first run at this exam -- I also knew you'd knock it out on the second try. Nice.

    Well played, sir.  It's a great feeling -- and big accomplishment -- to get through the ARE.

     

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Michael Lawson

    Congratulations Osman. It has been helpful seeing your posts on previous subjects, thank you for being open and thoughtful in your comments. Great job finishing up! 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Osman Bilger

    Danielle. Tomorrow will be your first AND ONLY time taking this exam. There will be obscure/ oddly worded questions. Some graphics will be down right bad. This is a very small percentage of questions. I let my frustration distract me from the exam. If you carefully read the questions most can ne very easily reasoned with.

    Thanks David and Kurt. Your motivation and helpful posts have been a tremendous part of my success. You guys are true gentlemen.

    Thanks Michael. Happy to contribute. I came here a bunch and looked up topics that were posted. Helped me learn the same.

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Danielle Kelly

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Osman. I did pass yesterday. Now I'm done as well. It's a great feeling! 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Michelle NCARB

    Osman, congratulations!  Thanks for sharing your feedback here and encouraging other test-takers.

    And Danielle, congrats to you, too!  Great way to end 2018!

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Shraddha Strennen (Edited )

    Congrats on the pass! I agree that PPD and PDD aren’t as related as many have suggested. I would separate the tests. Studying both PPD/PDD simultaneously is not a bad idea for PPD but, for PDD you must go way more in depth. From my experience PDD has a small percentage of overlap with a couple of other exams but, really stands alone.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Justin Merkovich

    Welp, this isn't great reading after taking the advice elsewhere to study for PPD and PDD at the same time with PDD scheduled in two weeks...Fuuuuuuuuuuu...

    Thanks for the breakdown of high-volume topic areas.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Pavan Iyer

    I will second your opinion that PDD and PPD are not similar. PA and PPD have way more overlap, and I would argue, if anything, PDD and CE are closer to each other.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Margaret Horne (Edited )

    I agree that PPD and PDD do not overlap as I had been told.  I failed PDD twice and I am pretty sure it was because I lumped it on to the back end of PPD - 2 weeks later each time. What happened was I just studied for PPD.  I realized after the 2nd time (duh!) that I had not seen that PDD material at all and was totally unprepared. 

    Congrats on the pass I will be there too - testing beginning of March!  

    Forum, I am looking for study partners. I'm in Brooklyn NY.  Email me if you are interested! mhorne123@gmail.com

    Thanks

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kurt Fanderclai

    Congrats, again Osman -- and thanks for the kind words.

    For what it's worth, I'll throw out my take on PPD versus PDD.  I wrote most of the following in reponse to Shraddha on a different thread, but it applies directly to this thread as well.

    It's possible that some candidates have misinterpreted the intent of forum posts comparing PPD and PDD, and how to approach each.  Certainly the two exams are different, since there would be little point in testing the same thing twice.  From an exam prep viewpoint -- the similarities are many -- including the fact that the handbook matrix lists materials that are extremely similar -- nearly identical -- for the two exams.  So, many candidates -- myself included -- studied essentially the same material for both exam divisions.  (So, Margaret, in that sense, I'm not sure what additional material you're referencing as missing for PDD after having studied for PPD.)   

    However...

    Most of these successful candidates also noted (as does the NCARB info), that PPD is largely systems and broad planning, while PDD is largely details and effectively getting that info into a CD set.  Be sure to note the importance of this difference.  A candidate can study the material simulaneously for both exams -- but there is a "shifting of gears" necessary for an effective approach to each exam.  You'll be studying the same material, but you need to know that one exam hits the broader strokes while the other hits the finer level of details.

    In other words, the same structural reference book might be studied for both exams, but with the knowledge that structural questions from PPD will cover why an architect might choose steel joists versus precast concrete, and the other exam, PDD, might ask about a beam-to-column connection.

    Some candidates make this "shifting of gears" very quickly, taking PPD and PDD a day apart.  Most seemed to take about two weeks or slightly more between these exams to shift from the broad to the specific, and review the material in those terms.  I personally took closer to three weeks.

    Justin -- there are many approaches to the ARE, and one size doesn't fit all.  HOWEVER... I wouldn't necessarily leap to the conclusion that you're on the wrong track.  From what you posted, and if you understand what I've outlined above, then you're on the same track that I and a bunch of other candidates successfully used.

    Good Luck to all.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Justin Merkovich

    @Kurt: Thanks for the clarifications as you see them.

    It turns out that I passed PPD on Friday so I'm going to go gangbusters on PDD for the next two weeks and see what happens.I'll report back but your breakdown seems to make sense, hopefully I can adequately concentrate on the specifics needed for PDD.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    ^^Totally agree with Kurt's assessment above, and congrats on passing PPD Justin! 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Margaret Horne

    Kurt

    You are right that the study books are the same, however the material is more detailed as we all know.  I think what I was struggling with was how do I become familiar on a detail level with such a wide range of things?  Like I had steel connection questions, faster questions.. things I had never seen before and I had no idea how to answer.

    Does anyone have a suggestion for how to become familiar on a detail level?  It seemed to me like the NCARB suggested materials did not cover the things that I saw on the test.

    Also, the cost estimating part hurt me both times I took it.  Does anyone have a suggestion for how to prepare for this part?

    In solidarity

     

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kurt Fanderclai

    Justin, that is great on your PPD pass... I'll second David's CONGRATULATIONS!

    Good luck with PDD!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Michelle NCARB

    Justin - congratulations!

    And for both you and Margaret - Kurt's advice is spot on.  I'll also relink this blog article that continues the compare/contrast of PPD and PDD.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    David Kaplan

    Margaret,

    I really think that Building Construction Illustrated and Architectural Graphic Standards are your best bet.  Now, no one can memorize these books.  Honestly, what I did was leaf through them, page by page, and just look for things that didn't look familiar to me from work. 

    I would focus on details for waterproofing, flashing, and wall sections - as you're probably aware you will have those types of questions.  The ARE Handbook has listed some details in particular - door heads, curtain wall, windows - make sure you're comfortable with those.  As far as structural connections go, I thought that BCI did a good job with that.  I think with that, it's good to have an understanding as to what a moment connection looks like vs. one that is non-rigid, and understand how these are achieved in all the building materials (wood, concrete, steel). 

    Hope this helps - in terms of details though, those books really are the best I think!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Margaret Horne

    David thank you for your thoughtful comments.  I will focus on these areas and books for now, to get me started again.  I wonder, does anyone find the Amber package a worthy investment? 

    Thanks to you all

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Natalia Cebollero Venegas

    I find this post very helpful. I will be taki g PDD this saturday and I am suoer nervous. Ive taken PPD 3 times and have not passed it. Last time i thought i had passed it but actually performed not as good as the precious time I had taken it.

    I went ahead, bought alll new study resources I didnt have and now im tackling PDD.

    Ive decided to give myself a break from PPD and head to PDD. Ive read moat of Fundamentals of Building construction which explains in great detail vapor barriers, insulation, joints, and just overall construction.

    Now im looking at MEEB. I dont know where to start, but will focuse on mechanical and electricity. Which ive studied alot for with PPD.

    In terms of problems with calculations, what would you say I have to study?

    Are you refering to cost estimates? Look forward to some input. Again thanks for tour post. Its pretty helpful.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Justin Merkovich

    I passed PDD and this nightmare is now over. Awaiting NCARB to assemble my record and send it to my state board.

    I think I said it above but I studied for PPD and PDD at the same time (more below)

    I left the Ballast for PDD until AFTER I had taken PPD and I took the PDD exam two weeks after PPD - I do not recommend. I had two weeks to study Ballast and refresh all of the "micro" materials from my earlier PPD study. I also took a 1/2 day off of work to just study for 6 straight hours on a Thursday before this Saturday's test. I would have liked another week.

    I'm 46 with +/- 10 years in this profession and a fair amount of experience swinging a hammer.

    See photo below for the books that I studied and zoom in to the number of tabs to show everything that I felt important enough to mark.

    I know that it's not recommended but I read every one of these books cover to cover (including Graphic Standards), underlined things that I thought were important and tabbed what you see to go back and actually STUDY for the exams. The only thing not pictured is Ballast and a few YouTube videos.

    I'm going to do a general post about this whole process when I can but let me just say this: If I can do this, anyone can and yes that means you. Just about everyone fails and retakes - it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with you. DO NOT GIVE UP.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Michael Lawson

    Congrats Justin, and thanks for updating! My books are starting to look a lot like yours with all the tabs. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Jason Vico

    Justin,

    Congrats!!! I am gearing up for the final push, have PPD and PDD left. Took PPD once already and failed.  It was my first exam in the new 5.0 format.  Got behind the clock early, and ended up having to rush trough the case studies, and was not able to go back and review any of the m/c questions I flagged.  Didn't fail by much, got a Level 3 in 2 sections. I tell myself that if I didn't have to rush, that I may have passed.  Are those the only 4 books you used? I have those 4 in addition to Heating, Cooling, and Lighting and the FEMA docs. Trying to formulate a study plan now. I have my retake for PPD in 5 weeks, need to grind this out and finish up!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk