Ah, this one was so intimidating to me! I don't post often, but read a lot of the posts here and they've all been instrumental in helping me to understand what to focus on when studying for these exams, which study materials to use and learning more about certain topics that felt foreign to me before.
I just took PPD yesterday after failing back in May. I was weak in several areas, so going on to take the other exams helped me build up the knowledge I needed (especially PA). Here are the resources I used:
Building Construction Illustrated (4th Ed.): I studied chapters 3-7 and 11.
Building Codes Illustrated (6th Ed.): I reviewed chapters 3,5,6, 9-11, 14, 15, 19 and 20
Architect's Studio Companion (6th Ed.): Pretty much the whole book, but special focus on the charts that help you understand which system to select for which type of building/use.
MEEB (9th Ed.): I'm using the one from school, so it's like a billion years old...but I'd bet that the information is pretty much the same. I skimmed this one and focused more on the sketches, details and diagrams. If I needed to deep dive into something I didn't fully understand, this was a good resource for that.
Michael Ermann's Amber Book videos taught me so much. I don't have much experience on the site, so all of his site and construction videos were priceless for me. Seeing ramps and code information being demonstrated the way he does is very helpful too, and the way he explains things is straightforward, easy-to-understand and it's interesting to listen to. It's pricey, but hands-down one of the best ARE investments I've made. You can also subscribe with a group and get a good discount, which is what I did.
Last, but definitely not least, is Ben Norkin's Hyperfine PPD/PDD course. This is a great way to dive into very specific examples and learn by doing. Nothing teaches you better than doing the problems yourself, going through the process of looking up the code info or reading the sample spec sheets. He does a phenomenal job of coming up with relevant questions, providing good (free!) resources and walking you through the answer. And it's a lengthy course that touches on many topics, from plumbing to electricity to hvac... you name it! This was great to help me find my weak areas and focus on developing them.
Oh! One more I almost forgot... I did all of the practice exams/quizzes on the new ArchiPrep platform by AIA. If you're an associate member, then it's only about $30 for a month. I felt that the questions covered a range of relevant topics and the answer descriptions were helpful. I especially liked that I got instant feedback on whether I got the question right or not and if not, I could see the correct answer and read why my answer was wrong.
I hope this helps somebody! Most importantly, believe in yourself and be tenacious in your pursuit of licensure. Fall down 4 times, get up 5!
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