I passed PPD last week and felt that this one was worth writing about. The content was broad, which made studying more difficult than for the other exams since there didn’t seem to be a particular focus. The exam was easier than expected and I answered all the questions with almost two hours to spare. I’ve only got PDD to complete and passed PcM, PjM, CA, and PA, respectively, prior to this exam. A lot of the content from those exams carried over into this one; doing the AREs as close together as possible is definitely worthwhile.
The top references listed in the ARE handbook are what I’ve always assumed as being the most relevant, with the others at the end of the handbook serving as supplemental resources to help clarify anything that was covered superficially in the primary content.
Assuming you’ve passed the exams mentioned above, I recommend studying the following:
The Black Spectacles Lectures I found these to be helpful in establishing myself to think in the mindframe of how the examiner wants you to approach the content. The videos are a good way of easing into study mode.
The Ballast Study Guide including practice tests and exam. The practice questions were closely representative of how the actual exam is both structured and worded. Major concepts are covered in these questions and definitely helped guide the focus of my readings in the recommended books
The Architect’s Studio Companion sections 2, 3, and 4
FEMA Earthquake Manual chapters 4 and 5. There may be other resources which summarize the major concepts in this manual
Building Construction Illustrated chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 11
Site Planning and Design Handbook chapters 7, 8, and 10
2010 ADA Standards know this in general
IBC learn the content and know how to flip through this thing in light speed because it'll save you time on the case studies.
There seemed to be a disproportionate amount of questions related to sustainability and site issues. Only a handful of questions required calculations; I only encountered one regarding electricity, and the others were all simple, multiplication/addition type questions mostly related to the IBC. Seismic was not a focus on this exam, I think there were two or three questions on the subject, and I had one expressly structural question. Do not focus on formulas and specifics, understand concepts in the broadest sense. There are a lot of really poorly executed third party study materials- stick to the books and the success stories discussed in the forum.
Please sign in to leave a comment.