I took my PDD exam yesterday and got passed on my first try. Although I did not pay too much attention to the forum this time, but it still helped me a lot in the past, I hope my list of study material and suggestions would help the others. At the same time, it would also help myself organize my thoughts.
Originally, I planned to take the exam in April which is not too far away from my PPD exam, but due to the corona virus, I had to reschedule my exam to August 1st, which is 8 months after my PPD exam! So, I got about 8 months to study in total lol, but I think 3 months would be enough.
I usually study in the evening on weekdays and whole day on weekends, that would about 20 hours a week.
I think there are many overlaps on PPD and PDD, so I would suggest review some of the materials on PPD too.
My study materials include:
- Ballast, including the manual and all the practice questions/exams they have ( I think this part of Ballast includes too many calculations, I would recommend just go through them and don't worry too much if you don't understand. Try focus on the explanation, the diagrams and the design logic. There is something that you need to memorize, which surprises me a little. I went through the manual and practice exams triple times)
- Amber, I bought Amber when I prepare my PPD exam, and I went through the books and the notes several times when studying PDD
- Hyperfine, I paid more attention to the details this time
- Architect Exam Prep, I found that their OMCES changed a lot, instead of being basic questions, there are more topics related to detail stuff and building code, I think generally it is helpful, just don't pay too much time memorizing the rules and regulation.
- DesignerHack, I took several times when I started preparing PDD
- Brightwood, I only went through this once, and skipped anything that is too complex in calculation
- I think if your daily work deals more with the DD and CD phases, it would be much helpful when recognizing and putting together the details.
- Pay more attention to the redlines and try to think how this changes the work, what difficulties it might bring, does it require to redesign? Or just some minor changes in the details?
- Pay more attention to how different material choices would change the total cost
- Know everything about thermal, k, C, R-value, etc.
- Understand how details work, how do they keep water out? How do they stay insulated? How do they work with the other system?
- Know everything about acoustic, focus on the design strategies, not the calculations
- Be familiar with the code and when to use what
Suggestions when taking the exam:
I usually pass through the multiple choices in two hours, so I have around 2 and a half hours left for the two study cases. If I find anything that takes too long to calculate, or too difficult to put together (like various details), I would mark it and keep going on. Never take too long on one question!
I think I had to make educated guess about 80% of the questions during the exam, so...be confident and good luck!
So far, I have passed PA, PPD and PDD, I am going downhill from here : D
Please sign in to leave a comment.