Feedback from NCARB

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    Nick NCARB (Edited )

    Hey Artem,

    Similar to the ARE 4.0 Community, you can post questions to both NCARB and your fellow testers on this Community. We will do our best to answer all your questions! Hopefully you will continue to engage with the Community!

     

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    Artem Melikyan

    Thank you Nick. 

    I consulted you a lot on old forum. Thank you for that.

    I just posted under topic "Table 508.4 Separation of Mixed Occupancy (Sec. 508 Mixed Use and Occupancy; Separated Occupancies (Sec. 508.4)".

    Is there a way here to address directly to NCARN associates?

    Thank you,

     

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    Nick NCARB

    Hey Artem,

    I read through your other post, and it appears that other members of the Community have discussed in detail your question. For your exam, try to have a basic understanding of using the code (including 508.4), but don't create super unique situations and think they will be on the exam. Items on the ARE will always include specific information required to answer an item, and they avoid situations that could potentially be interpreted in many ways. As long as you can read Table 508.4 and apply it to two adjacent occupancies, you will be fine.

    Hopefully this helps!

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    Artem Melikyan (Edited )

    Hi Nick,

     

    Thank you. This helps.

    For my future use:

    On the ARE4.0 forum hosted on Google I was able to address a question to 

    a specific NCARB member or members. 

    Is there such an option on this forum, or I can only post to everyone?

    Thank you,

     

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    Gang Chen

    Nick,

    Can you contact your vendor and have them fix the time for the server of this forum? I had a hard time sign in because the time of the forum server is off (it looks like the forum server’s time is set to China), and I have to manually change my computer time to a wrong time to log in. Otherwise, Firefox will block the log in for security reasons.

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Nick NCARB

    Hey Gang Chen,

    Interesting, this is the first time we have heard of that issue. We will look into it and see if we can establish a fix. Thanks for the feedback!

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    Nick NCARB

    Artem,

    This Community does not allow you to send direct messages to specific members. You will need to post your question publicly. 

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    Artem Melikyan (Edited )

    Nick,

    At this point, I'm a little unsure how to proceed with test preparation and wanted to ask for your advice.

    I have spent 2 years and 4 unsuccessful attempts to pass remaining PPD and PDD. Used most of top recommended references and was pretty confident at PPD attempt last week - but still did not work out. With ARE4.0 I identified the key NCARB-recommended books that covered the required scope and focused on those. And that worked well because the scope, though big, was still reasonable and had limited number of topics and study materials. With these two tests the scope is so huge that its hard to absorb. The amount of detail there makes it hard to identify and remember the key concepts. Top references for PPD are over 4500 page read and cover most of the aspects of design. 

    Do you think there is a way to narrow down the amount of study material and get a bit more focused?  Maybe looking at my sores below (PPD 02_2020 - most recent) you could recommend what materials to focus on for each of these 2 exams? And Also, which of PPD top references cover "Project Integration of program" and "Project costs and budgeting"?

    I would appreciate any advise on preparation strategy/materials because I'm really puzzled.

    Thank you

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    Gang Chen

    Changing your strategy may help you pass the exam:

    Your goal is to pass the ARE exams, NOT getting 100% of the questions correct. This is very important. If you understand this, then you’ll know how to best allocate your time and effort.

    Two ways to do it:

    1. You spend a lot of time to read many books, and try to find the answers for the few obscure questions that you WIILL run into in the ARE exams, but you will most likely miss many of the basic questions because you spread yourself too thin, and you WILL fail the exam.
    1. Give up on the few obscure questions, and just use a guess answer for them in the exams, and focus your time and effort on the fundamentals. Here is a quote from my ARE prep books:

    “Do NOT spend too much time looking for obscure ARE information because NCARB will HAVE to test you on the most common architectural knowledge and information. At least 80% to 90% of the exam content will have to be the most common, important and fundamental knowledge. The exam writers can word their questions to be tricky or confusing, but they have to limit themselves to the important content; otherwise, their tests will NOT be legally defensible. At most, 10% of their test content can be obscure information. You only need to answer about 60% of all the questions correctly. So, if you master the common ARE knowledge (applicable to 90% of the questions) and use the guess technique for the remaining 10% of the questions on the obscure ARE content, you will do well and pass the exam.”

    Most people fail an exam not because they cannot answer the few obscure questions, but because they have not mastered the fundamentals, and they have made many mistakes that they do not even know themselves. There is a big difference between reading a book and mastering its content. You goal is to master the ARE fundamentals, not just reading them.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Artem Melikyan

    Gang Chen,

    I agree with most of what you are saying.

    What sources do you recommend to focus on to master the content without spending unreasonable time reading them?

    Which source can help improve "Project integration of program" from PPD?

    Thank you

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    Nick NCARB (Edited )

    Hey Artem,

    Just to add to this thread, pay special attention to the section percentages on the performance feedback. If a content area makes up 32-38% of the exam, I recommend spending more time preparing for that area vs a content area that makes up only 2-8% of the exam. Based on your score reports, you may want to spend some extra time on content area 4 in PPD and content area 2 in PDD since they make up the largest percentage of each exam.

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    Artem Melikyan

    Nick,

    I agree. 

    1.But Can you recommend the good study materials for me? Any way to narrow into fewer than all top NCARB ppd sources,

    which amount to more than 4500 pages of read? I'm struggling with the huge scope which was smaller 

    and more realistic to digest in ARE 4.0.

    2.Also, I'm not sure which of the top NCARB references cover "Integration of program and systems"?

    Does any of those talk about "program"?

     

    Thank you

     

     

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    I do not think Nick or NCARB can give you a reduced list of materials, otherwise, it’ll not be fair to other candidates.

    My suggestion to you is to scan through all the NCARB listed materials, and focus on the parts that you are not familiar with. For example, if you are looking through MEEB, do not read the words, just look at the diagrams or figures. If you already understand them, then move on to the next page. If you do not understand, then stop and read the associated text. This will help you cut out many pages of reading from MEEB.

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Nick NCARB

    Hey Artem,

    We don't expect you to read every resource that is listed in the ARE 5.0 Handbook Reference Matrix. Many of the references listed have overlapping content, so reading all of them would be redundant. Gang Chen's strategy that he outlined above may help you. Don't focus on content that you already know, instead, focus on areas that you are not familiar with. One last thing, if you find the Reference Matrix overwhelming, check out page 132 of the Handbook which lists the top references for the PDD division. 

    Hopefully this helps!

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    Artem Melikyan (Edited )

    Nick,

    Thank you for advise. I'd like to ask you about case study prep strategy.

    Does NCARB provide a sample case study for PPD and PDD tests?

    I remember that for ARE 4.0 NCARB provided sample vignettes representative of those in each division.That helped a lot and candidates were able to study and get feedback on their solutions from NCARB associates.Similarly, I thought it would be useful tool if NCARB provided sample case studies.

    Gang Chen,

    Your study strategies are very useful and I did your sample tests.For someone like me who received core education abroad it seems necessary to read 1 or 2 sources cover to cover. 

     

    Thank you,

     

     

     

     

     

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    Nick NCARB (Edited )

    Hey Artem,

    NCARB only provides one sample case study (PA) which is part of the demonstration exam. I recommend focusing on using the various case study tools and understanding how to answer case study questions. 

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    Artem Melikyan (Edited )

    Thank you Nick,

    I was able to get Architectural Graphic Standards 12 - Student Edition.

    I'm not sure what portions are missing from it compared to Full Edition, and users on this forum have different opinions.

    Would you know, by any chance, if Student Edition covers the exam content or if it is insufficient?

     

    Thank you,

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    Nick NCARB (Edited )

    Hey Artem,

    The student version of Graphic Standards would definitely be a good resource to use for the exam. Depending on which exam you are taking, you will most likely need to utilize more than just this book. As an example, if you were prepping for PPD, I would recommend also studying some of the other top references listed on page 101 of the Handbook

    I also recommend searching this Community to see if anyone has used the student version. They might have some valuable insights. 

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