ARE boot camp....is it worth it?

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    Katie Merten

    Hi Abbie, please do search through the forums for info about the Bootcamp--many have asked about it, with the resounding reply--IT IS WORTH IT!!!  You meet with a group of people taking similar tests each week, and in between each meeting, you host or attend study meetups with others.  You also get access to an astounding amount of material that, while available to many, would take you years of searching to find.  You also get access to a private Facebook group.  Best of all, you find out you're not alone in this.  The people I've met through the Bootcamp have become friends and confidantes.  Once you "graduate" from Bootcamp, there is an alumni group that you can meet with to help keep you motivated until you pass.  We've lost several alumni lately because they passed their tests and all say they couldn't have done it without the Bootcamp cheering them on.  Do not hesitate to sign up for the Bootcamp.  If you have any questions, feel free to message the facilitator, Michael Riscica, about anything. He and his team are amazing.   

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    Marion Bledsoe

    I would second everything that Katie has said.  I think that, at the very least, this will help with focus and structure, and also provides access or links to small amount of content. The meetups are very helpful in being able to think through a variety of problems with others who are in similar situations but bring varying perspectives to the problems at hand.  I would absolutely recommend the ARE Bootcamp!

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    Marion Bledsoe

    I would second everything that Katie has said.  I think that, at the very least, this will help with focus and structure, and also provides access or links to small amount of content. The meetups are very helpful in being able to think through a variety of problems with others who are in similar situations but bring varying perspectives to the problems at hand.  I would absolutely recommend the ARE Bootcamp!

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    Elif Bayram

    Hi Abbie,

    I recently finished my 10 week program at the Bootcamp and haven't taken PPD, PDD again after it. I failed both before Bootcamp so I can not speak about the success of the program yet. I am basing success purely on a PASS by the way because it is the reason why I am spending my money on third party materials and exam prep providers. I don't expect them to make me a better architect. I am hoping I have been achieving that with my 6 years of education, on-going practice and constant reading of the materials that Handbook recommends so when an exam provider claims that their material is going to make me a better architect, I don't care. I am practical in the way I spend my money and I pay them to help me pass.

    This is my experience with Bootcamp so far;

    Pros:

    • Failing is hard. Failing multiple times is harder. You feel helpless and alone. Bootcamp provides you a great community where you can virtually meet people like you who have been struggling with PPD and PDD and get a great support. People constantly push each-other to finish line. It is a great motivational company.
    • It keeps you accountable. You have to provide your weekly study hours and explain what you have studied past week. No more staring at computer or books with empty, hopeless eyes or youtubing random celebrity videos because you will answer to a group of people and there is no point of lying:)
    • Meetups. People constantly bring in the questions that they struggle and ask to community. Going through the same questions on Ballast or Designer Hacks with other people helps you to remember the discussion. People also create their own questions too or sometimes teach each other the concepts that they are experienced/good at. I have a weak memory in general so it has been great for me. You remember based on visual memory because you are discussing it with a real person with a voice and a face. I think this is the INGENUITY of the whole thing.
    • You can keep joining Meetups even after you "graduate". it is for "free".

    Cons:

    • It is expensive. So I recommend people to give it a shot themselves first. It is a big investment and you feel like you have to pass after spending so much money which is not guaranteed.
    • Which brings us to second issue; it doesn't guarantee a pass like no other provider could. I know few people who have joined PPD/PDD Bootcamp for months now and still trying to pass. But I know a great deal of people who passed already. They don't publish passing rate number so I don't want to speculate but be aware that you may still fail after Bootcamp.

    I will definitely post a better review of Bootcamp in here if I pass/fail my next exam is in 3 weeks. And if I pass, I will share my approach to Bootcamp so hopefully it will help community better to make a decision about joining the Bootcamp. By the way, expect to study way more hours than you did so far if you join Bootcamp, there is no short-cuts to this.

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    Abbie Grove

    Thank you all for your insight!  Like I said i am taking PDD Friday and we will see how it goes.  I have struggled with these exams for what feels like an eternity!  My very first exam was back in 2005!  I have endured the 3.1, 4.0 and now 5.0 exams...passed some and then lost some due to rolling clock.  Life is busy and my path to licensurer has been a rocky road with more ups and downs from life and these exams.  I am determined to get through this ARE though! 

    Elif....i  really appreciate your pros and cons....I know the cost is high....especially if there is no guarentee of a pass.  good luck to you on your exams!  I truely hope it works well for you and all those participating!

    Katie and Marion...from your responses I am assuming you passed PPD and PDD after taking the bootcamp?  If so that is awesome!!  question....did you take an exam during the 10 week course or right afterwards?  

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