What section to take first?????

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    Gang Chen

    It really depends on your background. If you have a lot of project management experience, you can start with PjM, CE, and PDD.

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

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    Ariel Jamison (Edited )

    I finished testing almost 6 months ago, but when I started I went through the entirety of the exams in the order that the ARE manual lists them, which means I took practice management first.  At the time, it ended up being the most failed exam, so that probably wasn't a good idea.  Since then the pass rates seem to have gone up for this exam. I can also say with confidence that I would start there again if doing it over because there is some logic to the way the exams are set up in 5.0 that follows the same phases as a real design project. Knowing what's relevant to these phases makes it easier to understand what content you are supposed to focus on when studying for the corresponding exam.  PrM being the exception.

    There was another logic that I noticed when taking the exams that may also make sense, and I believe some people follow it and that's to take the exams in this order: PjM, PrM, PA, CE, PPD, PDD.  Some people might put practice management in a different order, but I thought PjM and PrM had the most to do with one another, and since PrM is harder, it is better to start on the easier exam. PA being a close overlap as well with PjM coming next, with CE being the least overlapping with any of the exams in my opinion but still somewhat related to first three exams.  PPD and PDD overlap content with each other and a little with PA and CE. 

    These are all just my opinions from 6 months ago, take them with a grain of salt and realize everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.  Knowing what your weak points are as far as knowledge gaps, recognizing and shoring these areas up with study, will also help you prepare for the exams.

    I do remember which exams were the hardest for me as well.  I think PrM was the second hardest exam I took, but the hardest exam I took was Project Planning & Design. I wouldn't be able to tell you for sure if my first exam with practice management was hard because it was the first time I was taking the exams, and I was still getting used to the formatting and testing atmosphere, or if it's because it was truly a challenging exam.  I can say for a fact, that I thought I'd failed PPD at the end of taking it. That exam was zero fun.

    Overall, I hope this helps! Just trying to pass on some knowledge, good luck with your ARE journey and stick with it! It's totally worth it, I love being licensed officially!

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    Gang Chen

    A minor correction: It should be PcM instead of PrM.

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

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    Kathryn Settimo

    Thank you so much for feed back it is very helpful. 

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