I received my score report of PPD this morning and it’s an unfortunate fail again. However, what makes me so annoyed is the fact that how many sections I passed and the only section that I didn’t pass. Before I jump into my latest score report, I’d like to share some of my previous testing experience first.
I transitioned from 4.0 like the others and I passed CDS, PPP and SPD all on my first attempt. I took my PPD test first time on March 30th and below is a the report of my first attempt, which is really bad but I can tell it’s fair because after the test I know I didn’t prepare so well and the new 5.0 version is so different from 4.0 in the way how each question is designed.
It took me 3 months to study for this test and to be honest I read books slowly and I’m not very good at memorizing things. Below is a list of resources that I studied for my first attempt:
- Brightwood 5.0 PPD (Cover to Cover)
- Building Construction Illustrated (Chapter 1-7)
- Architects Studio Companion (Cover to Cover)
- Some practice questions from Brightwood and Ballast PPD
I think I wasted too much time on Brightwood in terms of reading and making notes. I wouldn’t say it’s totally useless but skimming it and knowing the bigger picture should be enough. Don’t spend time memorizing all sorts of details from this book. Based off of this score report, the primary reason I figured why I failed this time is that I didn’t fully absorb the concepts and information that I read plus I only read them once, so most of the contents are not well digested in my brain.
The PDD test that I scheduled earlier is 2 months after my first PPD test so I got to move on. (I didn’t expect a fail when I scheduled these two beasts.) A lot of the study contents overlap so I thought keeping studying for another test doesn’t hurt, especially these two are complimentary to each other. Below is what I studied during that 2 month period:
- Review Building Construction Illustrated again (cover to cover)
- Did all the practice questions from ballast 4.0 BS, BDCS, SS and 5.0 PDD
- Did all the practice questions from Brightwood 4.0 BS, BDSC and SS
- Review my notes for the books I read.
Unfortunately I failed again on my first try. Below is the report. At least I passed content area 1 and I’m consistent on my performance on content area 5, which sarcastically turns out to be a bomber for my second attempt for PPD. I underestimated the depth and extent of construction documentation and specifications related questions in the real test. I think what really hurts me most is that I passed CDS 3 years ago and now when the related contents come back again in PDD, I find it difficult to recall anything I studied for CDS to answer the questions correctly. Anyway, how to prepare PDD is something I’ll worry later after I pass PPD.
So after this PDD fail, I got another month to retake PPD. I reviewed BCI, ASC and my notes again and skimmed all the diagrams in MEEB and if I found any subtitles in the book that are relevant to the test I read the details. After almost 6 months of studying for these two beasts, I received a score report below.
When I saw the report I was like WTH!!!??? So I literally passed the four main content areas and just because of that one freaking small content area 5 I lose it all?? Please note that I passed content area 5 in my first attempts of both PPD and PDD. By looking at this score report, I’m pretty sure I’m only 3-5 correct answers away from a pass. After all the frustration and disappointment again, I decide to retake PPD in 2 months.
For the next time, I think all I need is a little bit of luck. Also I'll spend more time studying AGS and Foundamentals of Building Construction. Guys, If you have any advice after reading all my tragedy, please let me know.
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