"Likely pass" PA
I “likely pass” PA today. This was my fourth exam (after PcM, PjM & CE), and I pass all exams on the first try. I think this exam was fun this study, and the test was not as bad as I expected it. I knew the time for this exam was very limited, so I went through the questions very fast. My goal was to finish the multi-choice questions in 1 hour and a half. Luckily I do read really fast, which helps a lot. Another trick to speed things up: I highly recommend using the search tool for the case study documents. I didn’t read the documents, I was only looking for what I was looking for. The main subjects I encountered during the test: site orientation, gross/net ratio, historic buildings, type of soils, boring tests, occupancy, number of occupants.
What I studied:
- Ballast : Main study material
- Problem Seeking: only Part One : Good introduction to the programming concepts
- Site Planning: Appendix A, chapters 3, 7, 9 (only p. 332 to 347): Helpful to know more about site analysis, brownfields remediation, type of soil
- Building Code Illustrated, chapters 3, 5, 6 & 10: Really helpful to review code
- 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design: I made myself a “cheat sheet” for studying, which also has been really helpful at work. I didn’t get any ADA related questions, but I read on the forum that the exam usually has many questions regarding ADA
The following posts were useful:
I also looked online for more information about subjects I was struggling with/wanted more info:
Know what are the best practices for historic buildings:
I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with boring tests. I found examples of boring tests online, and familiarize myself with them.
- Ballast: section 21-3
Thanks for the post Audrey. I'd agree with these 3 resources being essential for the PA exam.
2. Problem Seeking
3. Site Planning and Design Handbook
The Ballast guides and practice exams do a great job of summarizing the content from the many reference items listed in the ARE5 Handbook. Another key aspect to the PA exam, is the amount of time. It is a 3hr 15min test with 95 items. That is apx 2 minutes per question. The case studies take time so it's important to quickly burn through the questions so there is enough time at the end.
Looking back now that I've finished all 6 exams, the reference matrix does include a great reading list, and I enjoyed soaking it all up. I wish I hadn't rushed through the studying so quickly. The PA, PPD, PDD exams cover some interesting content.
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