Design Hackers vs Pluralsight vs Black Spectacles

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    Christopher Richardson

    I just purchased Designer Hacks roughly three days ago, So far I found that the variation of questions and the ability to take a 10 , 25, or 80 Question mock test with a breakdown of what areas I am missing questions in to be really helpful. The question - based off responses from other posters here - are more basic than most questions on the real exam. However I felt the quizzes helped reaffirm my knowledge and where I am lacking so I can focus more on those areas. It also helped bring up a few things I read in AHPP but forgot to include in my study guide such as ABI index, and looking at the market condition chart of where a recession period is versus a trough in the graph which is the lowest point of economic growth. I do not know if its on the test but it was a good reminder of things I did not actively put in my study guide.- The benefit here is its cheap for one section compared to the others as you have unlimited access. 

    I made a spread sheet of the resources recommended for PM for the last 6 months and Designer Hacks was first, followed by black spectacles, then plural sight. This is not indicative of what ones are better just what was recommended. From the posts I have read here - Black Spectacles seems to be really basic and will help get the basic idea across but does not go into enough detail on most items. Plural sight just was not in alot of posts so I could not gather enough input to tell.

     

    Black Spectacles is also really expensive. I'd even say waaaay overpriced.

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    Gustavo Diez-Presilla

    Agree about Designer Hacks, good price and unlimited use, I see it like a speed and resistance training at the same time, and the variation on questions and questions not common but basics. Black Spectacles way to expensive, I think that you can do without them anyway

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    Susan Helms

    I have found Architect Prep to be the best value - it is more detailed and has a better testing system. Black Spectacles was way too general.... I’m using designer hacks now to find gaps in my knowledge. Will check out Plural sight also

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    Tatamin

    Hi, 

    What is Architect Prep? You mean Arch Exam Prep by David Doiucette? If so I may want to try for PPD/PDD. What do you think? Let me know.

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    SHASHIKALA PEDDAGOPU

    Thank you all for the suggestions. I started with Ballast studying all the topics and then moved to AHPP. I want to try Designer Hacks for solving problems as it got good reviews and also ‘ARE practice problems’ book for the exam.
    Didn’t hear about Architect Prep before but yes looks like they have good packages.

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    Susan Helms

    Yes, its the one by David Doucette and Eric Corey Freed.  They will even do a free 15 minute coaching call. They have a good test simulator for both the multiple choice and the case studies. They are approved by NCARB, and have viewed the actual test.... will let you know how successful it is after I test....

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    Susan Helms

    Now that I have passed the exam (YAY !)  I have to say Black spectacles was worth it. Architect Exam Prep excellent, and was my main study source for content and for practice tests; but the practice tests on Black Spectacles were very useful for identifying what I still needed to learn. I did do the practice tests at plural sight and designer hacks, but for PjM I will likely just use Arch Exam Prep and Black Spectacles. 

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    SHASHIKALA PEDDAGOPU

    Awesome! Congratulations on passing the PCM! Does the whole enchilada package for $125 covers all the divisions with no time constraint? Is it just one time purchase?
    How long did you Spend to study and practicing problems for this exam? Really appreciate for updating here.

    Thanks

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    Susan Helms

    No, each ‘whole enchilada’ covers just one exam, but its pretty comprehensive, and there is no time constraint for the study materials and audio commentary.  I printed my workbook out and so have it as a reference forever. There is a 30 day limit on use of the exam simulator, but I found I only needed it for the 2 weeks prior to the test.  I just bought the PjM package since the PcM info was so good. 

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    David Kaplan

    Susan,

    Glad that you liked AEP, I agree that it was helpful - for my 4.0 tests.  However I would like to caution you: I bought it for PA and found it to be utterly worthless.  The practice exam covered very little, I felt, on the actual exam.  I looked into it for PPD and found the same.  Just throwing it out there - you may want to ask around before you purchase it for ALL 5.0 tests.

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