I took and passed CE yesterday, my first of the trio of contract/management exams. I studied 3 weeks for this exam. To give an idea of my background, I graduated with my masters nearly 2 years ago and have experience during and after school in various phases, including some CA.
I answered all the questions, took the break (with about an hour left) to clear my head and drink water, then reviewed all the questions, and ended the exam with 30 minutes left. I always answer every question in the first pass through, without spending too long on each question. I mark all the questions I am unsure about and go through them again after my first pass through all the questions. Remember that all the questions are worth the same, so don't spend too long on difficult questions or reading through resources in case study questions. Also, when I start the exam, I jump to the case studies just to check what resources are provided, in case it is helpful to refer to them during the exam, then do all the questions in order (starting with MC).
Taking this exam after PDD was helpful with the construction detail questions and having already studied codes and ADA for PA, PPD, and PDD and having that information ingrained in my brain by now helped with those questions (though there weren't many). My experience doing CA at work was also helpful for this exam. With my experience and knowledge from previous exams, I mostly just needed to study the contracts for this exam.
I studied about 3 weeks, studying about 1 hour a day for the first 2 weeks, 1-2 hours a day for the last week and 5 hours a day over the weekend before my exam. I focused my study on this exam, but studied some overlapping sections for PjM and PcM as well, especially the contracts part of each, since I am taking those soon after.
- Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice - studied chapters 9 and 10
- AIA contracts B101 and A201 - read the actual contracts - I also reviewed any CA forms (G series) I hadn't used
- Ballast Review Manual - good overview/introduction - I read the entire CE section and chapters on delivery of services/project delivery methods and contracts in the PcM and PjM sections
- Architect Exam Prep study guide - listened to the entire audio study guide and all contracts on trips and during my commute
- DesignerHacks practice tests
Topics to Know:
- A201 & B101 - understand both contracts well
- Who is responsible/liable for what
- Construction detailing
- Construction scheduling
- Fee calculations - additional services
- Architect's responsibilities in each project delivery method
- Code/ADA compliance
Hope this helps!
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