Hi there ARE community,
Firstly, thanks for all your help over the last 4.5 year marathon. I am extremely grateful for this community’s help along the way.
Secondly, PDD is a beast. I passed, but I have never felt worse after an exam. Holy moly.
A quick summary of study stuff I used:
Amber Vids: a great way to get back into all the topics. It’s surprisingly enjoyable.
Ballast Prep: Almost all PDD prep stuff. Did the practice problems by chapter first, reading chapters where I really was rusty on the questions. Some of the PPD material as well to brush up on costs/budgeting. Did the practice exam as well.
Ballast 4.0 prep: I went back to my old CDS and BDCS flash cards and worked with those. Also dug up the 3.1 Building Systems and BDCS Archiflash. The building systems 4.0 guidebook is pretty good and still applicable.
Building Construction Illustrated: Read the foundation chapters, skimmed chapters 3-6, thoroughly noted chapter 7 & 8, skimmed 9-10, read 11 thoroughly, skimmed the rest. The light section is good for Zonal Cavity Method.
Building Codes Illustrated: reread 4, 5, & 6, read 7, 10, 29, skimmed the specific materials and interior finishes chapters.
AGS: skimmed lots of this behemoth. Elevators types, foundations, and almost the whole “Enclosures” chapter. They have a decent primer on vapor barrier location, but the building science website (https://www.buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-106-understanding-vapor-barriers) is the most comprehensive.
AHPP: Construction Doc Chapter (9?) and Project Specification chapter. The terms glossary in the back is also useful.
MEEB: just went through this looking at all the diagrams for HVAC, electric, Plumbing, lights, etc. Worthwhile, but heavy.
Watched as much free black spectacles as I could find. All the old 4.0 and the newer 5.0. Structures 4.0, BDCS 4.0, CDS 4.0, PPD, PDD, CE, BS 4.0
Dug up some old sets to look at consultant symbols.
In addition to the ballast practice tests & flash cards I did the PDD DesignerHacks practice tests. I found them to be a little light on intricacy but useful to solidify knowledge. I also made new flash cards along the way and did those every so often, usually trying to put the questions into my own words to make sure I understood what was happening.
This is a hard one to study for, it’s so broad. Acoustics, Lighting, some structures, seismic, thermal (K, U, R value and their effect on assemblies), construction systems, materials, details. Vapor barriers!I honestly spent a bunch of time copying details.
The biggest surprise for me was time management. I really screwed it up. The case studies really eat time up, plus the classic “LOADING” screen for minutes at a time on the resources screen. Making a strategy for how you want to allot your time is well advised. Each question is weighed the same so that should factor in. As should waiting for stuff to load, it’s really frustrating.
Another thing to know: Prometric (does the whole country use that same center?) gets super busy around the holidays, so cut your break time short to make sure you’re not stuck in line to check in while your test is restarting. Yowza.
Couldn’t be happier to have this milestone behind me.
Hopefully this is useful to someone, I can also be reached at email@example.com if there are other questions that come up.
Thanks ARE community
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