I took the test a couple of days before the New Year with a provisional pass the day of and an official pass one day later. I wanted to make this post because this forum has been a HUGE help throughout this process, but I was worried that all the passing test takers happened to be designers with much more experience than myself. I graduated this past May with the goal of taking (and passing) my first ARE exam by the end of year and after researching forums and blog posts I didn’t see much input or conversation about recent grads so the idea of taking this test seemed quite daunting. Contrary to what I believed, I was actually surprised that the study resources and tips were relevant to people of all backgrounds.
I decided to take the PcM test as I had taken a Professional Practice course in my last semester, and while I could have paid a little more attention at the time I felt I retained the basics enough to start there. I studied for 2 months which is a bit longer than average I believe, but it came in handy given the holiday season, birthdays, and other events caused me to be distracted for a large portion of the time I was actually studying. The goal was to study 1-2 hours/day and 4hours/day on the weekend. In reality, I studied maybe 1-1.5 hours a day on average and made sure to listen to the podcast on my way to work as often as I could.
Kevin G’s study manual helped. I read the chapters in red first, then orange (not as thoroughly), and yellow the last week before the test. Coupled with Narmour Wright’s guide, I felt like the most important areas were covered. I will say there is not as much info on project delivery as I would have hoped. I think and learn with real life examples better than just a definition, so in that sense I took it upon myself to use Google whenever I felt the book didn’t explain in a way I could comprehend,
These helped me visualize scenarios that AHPP was not able to. Some of the info is additional but it serves almost as an entertainment break from feeling like your head is in the books 24/7. I realized I’m actually really interested in the law side of the practice. (Who knew?!)
The practice questions were a great resource as many have said before me to highlight what I didn’t know. The repetition of questions sometimes felt like I was not learning because I knew the answers by heart after answering 3+ times, but still good for practice. The site gives a refund if you pass by 93% and fail the PcM test, I never got to 93% but still passed.
I googled anything I needed an example to relate to which helped a ton.
Again, thanks for the forum and tips!
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