Setting up to schedule and take my first test PM



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    Scott Barber

    Michael, congrats on getting started! Glad you found your way here first - there's a lot of good advice throughout this forum, I always suggest starting here. My approach before scheduling any exam was to read through all (yes, all) the posts for the relevant exam. I would take notes on what was important to study and know, and it helped me set up a game plan to study for the exams. 

    Here's the most important things to study in my opinion:

    1. Architects Handbook of Professional Practice (or AHPP as most people call it, get ready for a lot of abbreviations for all the books for these exams). I used the Narmour Wright PDFs to help me know what to study in the AHPP and that really helped me be more efficient as I prepared for these exams.

     2. Schiff Hardin lectures for the contracts.

    That was the bulk of what I studied/listened to for the exam. I did read Ballast but don't think it's necessary. Like many others, I wrote a post after passing each exam, you can find PjM at that link, but there are a lot of other good posts so I encourage you to read others as well. Each person is different so I tried to get the advice of everyone on here.

    Another thought: PcM and PjM have a lot in common. I actually studied for those two and CE for 5 weeks, and passed them within 10 days of each other. That's a lot more aggressive for a timeline than I'd suggest to others (especially since you're just getting started - those were my last 3 exams so I kinda knew what to expect), but it makes sense for a lot of people to study for them at the same time and take them close together, about 2 weeks apart max.

    Hope that gives you a starting point! Good luck!

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    Michael Duane


    This is great info and Ill def take your advice......


    Thank you so much for the advice,



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    Michael Lawson

    I'll just echo Scott because I know it sounds ridiculous to read so many posts here, but seriously, it helps so much with strategy and focus for studying. I didn't read every single post, but I did sort by "votes" and "comments" to highlight things that a lot of people were talking about. Then I read 80% of the posts in that order. The advice given in this community is valuable, and you can gain a lot of insight about others' prior experience in relation to yours, and tailor your exam experience based on that if you choose. 

    Good luck! 

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    Michael Riscica

    Start studying first. 
    After youve been studying and starting to get a feel for how its going, then choose a realistic test date. 

    Join the ARE Facebook Group. Its an amazing community of people working together. 

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    Rodolfo Martin

    My strategy and material as follows: 

    I go from easy material to most difficult:

    1- Brightwood

    2- Ballast

    3 - AHPP (follow the guide lines for each exam)

    4- Black Spectacles videos (the best material in my humble opinion)

    5- I practice questions from different sources (the book above mentioned, Black Spectacles, Design Hacks)

    6- I have used some app in my phone. They are good to be used during  lunch at work). They are not perfect but as they are very inexpensive, they are not completely bad). Some app are set for ARE 5.0

    7- I never do exam practice because I never have time 3 hors to sit without being disturbed. So I do sets of 10 questions and then I score my mini tests.

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