For any curious about taking two exams back to back, specifically PPD & PDD.
- Failed the PPD once before.
- First time taking PDD.
- I have a fail and then a pass for Practice Management.
- Studying began at 6 am
- Took a break to go to work (8/5)
- Home and studying until 9-10
- Weekends were split. One day completely off & one day of 6-8 hours of studying.
- When I was cooking or cleaning or needed a break from reading I would find any podcast or video that I could listen to
*So I did give myself a little flexibility in evenings and weekends if life stuff came up & there were some nights I was just too tired. I never gave up studying in the morning, I personally just enjoyed studying more during that time.
- The Architect's Studio Companion - Read it all - this is where I started studying. I also used it as in tangent with the other study materials.
- Building Codes Illustrated - Read & observed illustrations
- Building Construction Illustrated - Read & observed illustrations
- IBC - Used at the same time as studying Building codes illustrated.
- Architectural Graphic Standards - Favorite study material, I just took my time going through all the various details and graphics, not too focused on text.
- Ballast Revised Edition - Skimmed the applicable sections. Mostly looking at diagrams and looking for sections that might not have been covered in as much detail.
- Ballast practice exam - So I went through these as reference. I would look at one question, do my best to answer it & immediately would look at the answer. If there explanation didn't fully cover it - I would use the other afore mentioned references and figure out why. I did this once the weekend before the exam. Went through both practice exams back to back - it took most of the day. I also think any practice test would work with this method - doesn't really need to be ballast, its was just what I had.
- Podcast & Videos - Any and all that discussed any relevant topics. I didn't necessarily look for study material for PPD when I was searching for videos and podcasts. These are also useful when your crosseyed from reading.
- Hyperfine - So I found this when looking for free videos and there is some good general content here. I ended up paying a very affordable fee for some quality content. It might not go into the detail that others would but it really helped me get in the mindset of understanding concepts. The practice questions are great too.
- First exam was at 12
- Second at 5 pm
- Woke up with enough time to prep dinner, coffee, and snacks for the day. I didn't rush at all morning of.
- Showed up 11.30 and began about 11.55.
- Exam 1 - PPD
- I ended up fishing first exam about 20 minutes early.
- Went to car - ate a lite meal - drank coffee - put on new mask
- Exam 2 - PDD
- Also finished exam 2 20 minutes early
- Day over - 11.30 am-9.30 pm ish
- Went through Part 1 as fast as I could and if I didn't know how to answer or I thought it would take longer than I wanted to spend up front- I marked it and moved on.
- I would also mark any I wanted to come back and check.
- I would then go back and answer any marked questions - if I still couldn't figure them out, I would leave them marked.
- Break Time
- Fresh start for Case Studies (I always like to start these with a clear head because its mostly just knowing how to sift through the information)
- Mark ones I couldn't figure out quickly
- Once I reached the end - I revisited case study questions that I marked
- Then back to part 1 to do my best on any remaining questions.
- End exam.
*This was my strategy - I do not know if it right for everyone, but it works for me
- So test day was long - but it just felt like a long day in studio. You end up being so focused, time goes pretty quickly.
- I think having long study/work days helped condition me mentally for the longer day.
- Staying Neutral - This sounds weird, but I did my best to not think of pass/fail. My main goal was immersion in the information and understanding the nature of the exam and to perform at the best of my ability. Helps with any test day nerves for me. (I mean of course deep down, passing is the goal, but we tell ourselves what we need hear sometimes)
- After finishing PPD and starting PDD - I was glad I was there instead of having to come back a week later or a couple of days. I just saw it as one long test.
- This style of exam day helped me stay motivated and works with my personality.
I used these forums a lot (and probably still will, as I have three exams left) for guidance and there are some very helpful posts out there. I hope someone can find this useful - even if you don't want to take them back to back. There are many ways to study, hopefully we can all find the way that works best for us.
Please sign in to leave a comment.