I passed all my exams last year in 6 months. I have been coming here for tips and advice which has been super helpful and want to share my thoughts for anyone going through the process. There is a lot of good information on study resources so I am not going to talk about that. If you want detail information on that, please read a very good article by Emily Margulies here: https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/115008559548-Just-Passed-All-Exams-Study-Tips-and-Strategy
I did not take breaks or time off but focused on a regular study schedule, spending 4 to 5 days a week. A small amount every day, maybe 1 to 2 hours and a bit more on the weekend. I feel the continuity and consistency help a lot in keeping the momentum and you don't forget as much. I feel this is a better approach versus cramming 20 hours on the weekend.
All exams are not the same. PPD and PPD are harder and longer (In time and study material and complexity). Having said that, it's not the reason to push them in the end. The best order is outlined by Emily in her post which is PA, PPD, PDD, CE, PjM, PcM. and for a simple reason that the exams build on the previous exam and if you follow the sequence the exams will feel easier and studying would take less time as part of the material is already covered in previous exams or at least the concepts. PjM and PcM can be taken separately but easier if you take it after CE part of the study material overlaps.
Find a buddy in or outside the office or join a study group. You can kee each other motivated and comradery and support really helps.
Set your pace own pace. You don't have to finish exams in a short time just because someone else is doing it. Identify pace works best for you and stick to it. Just don't take too long as there is always a possibility of you losing momentum or life taking over. I feel one year is a good amount of time to get it done.
Use audio and visual material: If traditional book resources are not working for you, Why not try some Video resources. I used Black Spectacle for overview and Brightwood and Ballast for deep dive.
Exams are long so made sure you get enough rest night before. Nothing worse than being sleepy on exam day. Schedule time that suits you. I use to schedule afternoon exam as I didn't want to rush in the morning to test the center and wanted to avoid the anxiety of making on-time with traffic.
And finally, Don't be hard on yourself if you don't pass on the first try. Most people fail one or more. I almost failed a couple. If you fail, Move on to another exam if you have it scheduled or take time to study the same exam. Personally, I feel doing it again is a better approach but again this is a matter of preference.
I just want to wish everyone good luck on the journey. Feel free to add questions in comments if you have any and I highly recommend reading through Emily's post mentioned at the beginning of this post.
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