Ballast practice exams



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    Stephen Starks


    There are similarities and differences. Ballast's mock exams are set up with a similar number of questions and case study material.

    But, as others on this forum have already stated, the ARE's test questions are less "true-false" and more "more-accurate / less accurate".

    NCARB's test specification also has tiers of "cognitive complexity" (see below):

    Questions can range from rote memory dumping, to "non-standard / predictive mental processing".

    In short, the ARE (at the most complex) will want you to:

    1. Be familiar with a concept('s),
    2. Apply those concepts to a situation,
    3. and (in the event of conflicting criteria) select the most applicable solution('s).

    By way of encouragement, my PhD holding father always told me growing up: "don't worry and give it your 100%, and let the grades take care of themselves". I can tell you it works.

    I hope this helps, good luck!

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    Tony Young


    Thanks, I've been worried because I haven't done well with the Ballast Mock Exam and my thought is surely the actual test is harder so I may not be prepared.

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    Stephen Starks


    I don't know what material you have already studied, but maybe this will help.

    If you have done the core ballast reading (chapters 7 through 11) that is a good start.

    I would also read their supplementary references in the following chapters for details on the following:

    • 3: project delivery methods.
    • 4: scheduling the project / creating the work plan / assigning fees / monitoring the project.
    • 6: monitoring fees and time.
    • 12: (whole chapter).
    • 13: (whole chapter).
    • 14: (whole chapter).
    • 15: (whole chapter).
    • 17: energy conservation / heat transfer.
    • 21: soil.
    • 27: cool roofs.
    • 29: flammability standards for carpet.
    • 30: refining the construction budget / value engineering.
    • 36: (whole chapter).
    • 44: building effects on wind patterns.
    • 46: information required by building departments
    • 48: detailed code / regulatory review.

    The above represents all of the supplemental references included in the core Ballast readings (took me forever to find them all). They like to refer you to other sections quite often, which is annoying, but once you track them down it makes their mock exam easier.

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    Tony Young

    This is great thanks

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