Share your advice about Rolling Clock pressure

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    Stephen Zecher

    Hey Gina,

    Here's my experience, my rolling clock was to expire in May and I had just over 7 months to pass PPD and PDD. I had outlined the time I would need for three tests for each just as you have, and then I failed PPD the first time. I had studied a few months with Ballast and Architect Exam Prep because that's what I used for 4.0 and felt absolutely, wholly unprepared while going through the test—I definitely mildly panicked after that.

    I took a step back and reevaluated my study materials. I joined Amber Book based on the community recommendations and bought a few of the books the ARE exam directly cites like MEEB; Heating, Cooling, and Lighting; Building Structures; Building Construction Illustrated and a few others.

    I focused on Amber Book first, which I really think demonstrates and teaches fundamental concepts incredibly well and efficiently. Because I had to take PDD two weeks after starting Amber Book to keep with my schedule, I took it to at least learn what was on the test even if I failed it—an expensive practice exam. But between my work experience and the studying I managed to get in, I passed the PDD.

    It took me over two months to get through the remainder of Amber Book because I was derailed by work, then I spent another week and a half going through the actual books (skimming as well as in-depth reading of some sections that I had seen on the previous PPD attempt but not in the Amber Book).

    I was still able to get my second attempt at PPD in while leaving time for a final retake. This time I felt confident going through the test and passed.

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    So my advise is:

    Don't panic if you fail the first time, you've now gotten the outline of what you need to learn for a successful second test.

    Make sure to review some of the books and other documents the handbook directly cites—even if you're skimming, looking at diagrams and not deep-diving into the text. While I thought Amber Book was a great third-party study material there were definitely some topics in MEEB that were on my tests that Amber Book didn't cover (and isn't purposed to).

    Give up your social/fitness/anything other than work/parenting/studying life. I actually had an extensive knee surgery in October, so I was balancing intensive physical therapy and studying. You've got me way outclassed here with having a newborn. I would leave work and go to a cafe to study for a few hours before going home and doing PT movements—it helped prevent distractions or proactive procrastination through chores at home. Try to block time out that is pure studying, put headphones on, and hopefully your partner can distract the young one a bit.

    Good luck with everything! It's definitely possible to succeed and you'll feel great when you do!

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