First try, PcM Pass.
If you are currently working in architectural firm, find the most knowledgeable and friendly colleague and ask a permission to bombard them with questions regarding delivery methods, project communication, quality control, contracts, calculating the fees and consultants etc. Tell everyone that you are going to take the exam and ask for used books and notes even if they are for ARE4.0.
Then, print this https://youngarchitect.com/2014/02/19/life-project/. Highlight with the same color Contracts and Forms (G704, A101, C401 and similar) so they pop. Study this and understand the flow.
Beginning: 2 - 4 weeks. Get used to winding down and reading on daily basis.
- Ballast ARE Review Manual (are4.0) CDS Chapters 48-53. Read/understand
- Kaplan Construction Documents and Services (are4.0 or 5.0) All Chapters: Read/understand and take all quizzes.
Middle: 4 - 8 weeks. Daily Discipline of Studying.
- Architectural Handbook of Prof Practice or AHPP (e-book is good, Ctrl+F is helpful) extremely important source, absolutely cannot be left out.
- Wiley List of AHPP chapters to study http://narmourwright.com/wp/index.php/wiley-publishing/ . Read/Knowbyheart/Practice all terms and concepts in these AHPP chapters listed on the Wiley list. Allow yourself a lot of time to sink in this book, I do not think anyone had ever passed this exam without AHPP. Practice every calculation mentioned in Finances and Resources chapter, read every Backgrounder, make plenty of flashcards. The more you read the better.
- Flashcards.Make them yourself: first, if you write it down, you already almost know it by heart. Then, review so you know it for sure. Put the page number of the source on each one, so you can trace back for more info.
- Ballast Are5.0 Practice Problems. Take one test chapter per time. For instance, if you studied AHPP chapters covering Delivery Methods (Design-bid-build, Integrated Project Management etc) and want to seal acquired knowledge, take the Delivery Methods test chapter. Always spend more time reviewing answers than taking the test - that is where you find weak areas that need your attention.
- Designer Hacks Practice Management package. Easy questions to get your brain going, as important as hard questions. Nice option for bad days to study (too tired, no time, cannot concentrate etc)
- Contracts and Schiff Harden. Read/Knowbyheart A101, C401, B101 are covered by Schiff Harden. The lectures are public. https://www.schiffhardin.com/professionals/attorneys/d-i/hanahan-michael-j/hanahan-lecture-notes-2019 Use one color to highlight contract number, and other to highlight the terms like consolidation, joinder etc.
- Practice questions in NCARB ARE5.0 Handbook https://www.ncarb.org/sites/default/files/ARE5-Handbook.pdf Only a few questions, but they are well composed and target the areas needed for the exam.
- NCARB Rules of Conduct. https://www.ncarb.org/sites/default/files/Rules_of_Conduct.pdf Read/Knowbyheart/Understand and Apply these principles.
- AIA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwjFttGP6LLkAhXxqFkKHQDFDuMQFjAAegQIAxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Faianova.org%2Fpdf%2Fcodeofethics.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1-g5AAfm7IeKW8qFyB-Ozf Read/Knowbyheart/Understand. Pay attention to Rules as they are disciplinary.
- Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide http://content.aia.org/sites/default/files/2017-02/Integrated%20Project%20Delivery%20Guide.pdf Pages 32-43. Read/Understand Project Alliances, Single Purpose Entities and Relational Contracts.
- Young architect PcM Course with case studies. Leading platform for young professional and exam takers community. If you feel frustrated, overwhelmed and lonely in your process of preparation for exams, consider taking the Bootcamp.
Closer to the exam: 10 days
- Ballast Are5.0 Practice Exam. Take it 1.5-1 week before exam as a dry run. Set up your timer for 2:45 hours with a 15 min break at any time. Do not panic if you get a low score. Proceed with reviewing and patching holes in your knowledge. Allow about 3 hours for reviewing the answers.
- Other exampasser’s notes. The more the merrier. These are good: https://www.dropbox.com/s/umb9tq3e77mbu7w/Notes%20PcM.pdf?dl=0 Breeze through them. Good exercise to identify common terms and concepts that are worded slightly different so you do not get confused if the test mentions, for example, Liquidity instead of Quick Ratio.
- Review Flashcards – heavy rotation.
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