PA Experience

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7 comments

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    Rebecca Jacobs

    I totally understand your frustration. I failed PA which was the first test I took. Was that your first exam? In my opinion, it is more about test-taking than knowing everything about the material. These exams cover such a broad array of topics. It seems like no matter how much you study, they are going to throw in something you don't know and you are expected to make your best guess. After failing PA I was able to pass two other exams. Now I am back to studying for PA again. I honestly don't understand why the study materials don't prepare you better for the actual exams (in my experience, anyway.) I wish I had some better suggestions for you. Hopefully, you will get some good feedback. I look forward to hearing other peoples ideas as well.

    Good luck with PPD!

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    Soleen Karim

    This was my first exam. Being a terrible test taker, I guess I shouldn't have started with this test. Which exams did you take after the PA?

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    Rebecca Jacobs

    I took PracMan and ProjMan after PA. I was starting to feel kind of confident in my test-taking skills after passing them, but then I took CE and failed it. I felt equally prepared for all 4, and did not feel at all confident when I was taking any of the exams, but passed 2 and failed 2. At this point, I think you just have to keep going and know that it is likely you are going to fail some, but eventually you will pass them all. That is my hope anyway!! Hang in there!

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    Robert Gorman

    Felt the same way, sadly. It's not that I felt I didn't know things, It's that I felt the questions were not descriptive enough to answer correctly. I did not appreciate questions that require building details which are not detailed on diagrams. This seems to me rather strange to ask.

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    Juan Fable

    Same here, just finished my PA Exam and failed. :D

    @Rebecca, would you mind sharing your review materials for PcMan?

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    Rebecca Jacobs

    Juan, 

    Was PA your first exam? It was my first exam and my first fail but I am happy to say that I passed it last Saturday. I studied all the recommended material and still wasn't sure about the answers to too many questions. I was actually surprised (and very relieved) that I passed. I don't have good retention skills so after a couple weeks of studying I start forgetting the information that I learned when I started studying. Therefore, my strategy has been to figure out quickly what the main topics of the particular exam are and study as much as I can for 2 or 3 weeks. Then I schedule the exam so I get a day and time that I want. I never feel completely ready when I go in, but I never feel like the questions on the exams are things I would have necessarily studied anyway. If I pass, great! If I don't, at least I have more test-taking experience and that really does seem to help. This is probably more info than you were asking for.

    I found PcM to be especially challenging. I studied the Ballast book, Architects Handbook of Pro Practice 1,3,5,7,9, Schiff Harden Lectures 6,7, Black Spectacles practice exams (I find the videos to be pretty useless). I also like to do the ARE 5 Practice Problems and ARE 5 Practice Exams. They have good explanations in the answers. I also met with an Insurance agent friend of mine to ask her some of the terms and concepts that we needed to know for that test.

    I hope that helps. Good luck!!

    Rebecca 

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    Juan Fable

    Rebecca,

    Congrats on passing your PA exam! and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I've just posted my experience for PA and I share this same sentiment, I felt alone and felt the need to depend on my deduction skills to answer those questions, PcM is my next exam and it will be this coming Monday. so I have 6 days and around 24 hours sporadically spaced to Study. I'll try to retake PA once I see my 'failed score report' if all of it are level 4 then I think i need more time to review it.

    Thanks!

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