Well the horror of the graphic vignettes in 4.0 is gone, but 5.0 certainly has new challenges.
I have used AEP in 4.0 exams. I failed PPP twice before passing on my third try, and then transitioned to 5.0 for PA, PPD and PDD. I didn't put a lot of thought into study strategy, relying on AEP, and honestly say that I only passed due to some luck (finally) and my 25 years of experience. The first 75 questions...what I'm used to calling Multiple Choice, of course are not so simple now with various "hot spot" and drag-n-drop and fill-in-the-number type questions. They did not throw me very much however...I found I could reason my way through a lot of material that had never been presented to me in this way.
The Case Study questions I found, in general, pretty complex. There were some where after reading and starting to digest the question and how to approach it, I sensed that I was stepping into quicksand. There was no WAY I would be able to do the research and calculations that the question seemed to be asking for. I probably had 3 or 4 of those "quicksand traps". Obviously I was missing something that would have made it simpler, but what I did do was maintain a sense of the clock and not getting bogged down on any one question. Get an answer down and then move on.
I found AEP pretty good in 4.0, but on PPP the content did not match the complexity of the exam...at all. this was also true for 5.0. the content is very "flashcard-oriented". By that I mean the study materials are like a primer covering the basics. "What is a swale? What is the difference between a meridian and a parallel, what is the difference between macroclimate and microclimate? What is the range of slope required for sewer pipes? Who is in charge of enforcing ADA?" Flashcard-type material. 5.0 assumes you know all of this stuff cold and now requires you to think like an architect...not just spit back flashcards. I felt that the AEP material was very old-school and did not convey the increased level of sophistication and complexity well at all. Apparently they are revamping their 5.0 materials to better address this but I have not seen any of it yet. AEP DOES do a good job of conveying all the basics, and most of the content is useful, and it's very reasonably-priced, it's just that it's kind of "elementary school" and we're taking college exams. If I was just completing IDP and starting to test two years after school, I would do this to get up to speed on all the basics that school or my job experience never taught me.
I'm going to be MUCH more thorough in my approach to PPD having looked at all the resources that candidates here are using.
Please sign in to leave a comment.