I got my formal ncarb pass report. All divisions done.
I took PDD yesterday, CE 1.5 weeks ago, and PPD about 1 month before that. That was a pretty intense schedule for me, but it was handy in that all the study materials was pretty front and center in my mind.
The resources I found most useful:
- PPI including all practice tests and practice questions including reading all the answers to all the questions.
- MEEB - read it cover to cover and understand it at as deep a level as much as you can.
- Arch Acoustics by Erwin - same comment as MEEB above.
- Amber videos & book - indispensable to me as I have a bit of low level dyslexia which runs in my family and which puts me at a bit of disadvantage in text-based environment such as ARE prep, so Amber videos were very good to speed up my preparation work. And Michael and his Team are extremely nice and responsive. Seriously, these people are doing the right thing.
- Arch Studio Companion - same comment as MEEB
- Building Code Illustrated - same comment as MEEB
- Structural Load Determination: 2018 IBC and ACSA/SEI 7-16 - this book is critical in my opinion and I found it on my own (it's not listed on anyone's study list that I've seen). This book is 75$ and does a great job of setting structural engineering in the context of IBC requirements for load combinations and detailing requirements. I strongly recommend getting it. It should be useful for your practice as well. Highly recommended.
- HUD Design Loads for Residential Buildings: similar to the book above, this is a great resource for real world requirements. AND IT IS FREE! https://www.huduser.gov/Publications/pdf/res2000_2.pdf
- Building Science Corporation documents available through their website.
- Whole Building Design Guide documents available through the website.
- Building Science Podcast by Positive Energy: https://positiveenergy.pro/building-science-podcast
- Schiff Harden lectures - the go to, always good to refresh
- Government ADA manual - free PDF online
- The actual IBC 2015 or 2018 - get it, read it, have it handy.
- I don't feel like there's a good concise Precast Concrete book that I was able to find...
- I don't feel like there's a good concise Joints and Tolerances book that I was able to find...
- Other typical resources which are on many peoples' lists I found useful too.
- The ARE Community - you people. Your Q&A is really helpful. And I hope I've helped a few of you. And to read experiences of others going through this is really helpful because this process can be pretty...trying not to swear here...um...not fun.
My test experience:
I had 4 minutes to spare at the end - so manage your time wisely. If you can't figure something out straight away, take your best guess, tag it, and move on, and check it at the end if you have time. I think a lot of the questions were throw aways - terribly worded, diagrams wrong, no good answers, etc. So I had to focus on keeping my cool and not letting that get me rattled. Also - watch your feet - mine knocked a plug out of the monitor under the desk and an attendant had to come plug it back in - which ate up a few minutes and stressed me. This test seems very much like PPD with more focus on computations and specifics of engineering, acoustics, heating/cooling, electrical, Code, and coordination; but it also had a good number of contract/legal questions. So it is very much about all divisions.
So, good luck to those working through. Keep the faith. Onward and forward. Eye on the prize. Don't get rattled.
And, make the world a better place - for real.
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