SImilarity betwen PPD & PDD



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    William Searcy

    We are almost in the identical situation.  PDD is my last test as well, I took CE around 2 months ago and PPD 4 months ago or so.  I did take PDD right after I passed PPD and failed the first time so there are some differences.

    The most significant difference I saw and only section that I really failed on PDD was the specifications section.  It is incredibly dense studying but I highly recommend focusing on project manual organization and specification writing.  The other thing I noticed was the questions around code and ADA standards were far more detailed oriented than PPD.  If you feel like you know these standards well, just take your time on the test and read through the question thoroughly.  I know I got some questions wrong because I went way too fast and didn't think through the entire question.

    Hope this helps and good luck!  I retake in a few weeks as well.

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    Seth Wiley

    Thanks for the comments William. It does seem that we're at very similar stages.

    I've actually been somewhat comfortable so far with spec's. This might be because I'm CSI CDT certificatied, and I actually like writing and reading spec' I do it a good bit for self interest as for work as well.

    ADA and Code - I guess we'll see! ADA I feel good with. Code is a black box - so many specifics. I've been pounding it lately.

    The thing I feel I'm somewhat lacking is Code Structures. I've never been great at structures, and Code provisions are truly byzantine. I've been searching high and low for a good book which is neither too simple nor to complex - like neither simple concepts nor out-and-out structural engineer texts (both of which I have already). I found this after a good bit of look and just prime'd it so should have it in a day: Structural Load Determination: IBC 2018 and ASCE/SEI 7-16. It seems very specific to Code structural design with lots of straightforward examples. I'm hoping this does the trick. If you're interested in my feedback, let me know and I'll certainly tell you know how it is.

    Anyway, good luck to you! With only 1 more test to go, it's just a matter of time. Onward and forward.


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    Seth Wiley

    Hi William.

    I passed PDD yesterday so am now done with the ARE's.

    Regarding our discussion, I found PDD to be quite like PPD but with more focus on computational aspects of heating/cooling, acoustics, and structures, as well as more document-specific focus (such as coordination of details).

    I do feel like there were A LOT of throw away questions which had to good answer.

    And I actually found 2 which I am quite sure are actually incorrect.

    Finally, I would note that the book I mentioned about was very helpful for me in terms of specifically how loads and structures are required to be analized and details per IBC requirements. I find that too much structures info out there is about the engineering of structures - which is very good; but as an architect I feel it's as important to understand how the Code is requiring loads and connections be handles. I hope that difference is clear.

    Anyway, good luck with your test. Push on. Make it inevitable.


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    Tasanee Durrett (Edited )

    Congrats Seth!


    I'm studying for PDD now and have found a few new resources not on the NCRAB list as well. I think I will also add the Structural Load Determination: IBC 2018 and ASCE/SEI 7-16  to my study regimen. Thank you for the advice! 

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