Another fail for PjM

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    Sally Nguyen

    HI Christopher, 

    I'm sorry to hear about your frustration. The issue with the ARE exams is that there are multiple versions of the tests. Which means while one attempt you may do bad in, say, Project Work Planning, the next time doesn't guarantee that you'll get the same types of number of problems about Project Work Planning. I would say that the best approach to studying for your retake is to look at EVERYTHING as if you're going to take the exam for the first time. That may also explain why in your last attempt the two areas you passed before went down; you had shifted your focus on the weaker areas that you may have gotten a bit rusty on the two areas you were confident in. Looking at other study resources may also help give you a different perspective that may help you further.

    Alternatively you can also take a break from attempting PjM and try for a different exam. If you haven't taken PcM or CE, try to study for either exam. These divisions have overlapping info with PjM, so while you study for the other exams that might help you understand and prepare better for PjM. That is something I noticed when I was studying for CE the other day and found that the stuff I learned for PjM made more sense now than before.

    If this is your first ARE exam, I wouldn't let the number of times fail aggravate you too much as you do not yet have the pressure of the Rolling Clock to drive the timeline of your exams. Don't let the number of failures frustrate you; the whole test taking process is difficult, but it's doable. The fact that you've gotten back around to study and retake PjM is admirable, and that perseverance is the right mindset for taking the exams. So don't feel helpless, you have what it takes to pass! Rethink your strategies and keep a positive attitude!

    Best of luck!

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    Kevin Griendling (Edited )

    Hi Chris,

    If you are looking for additional resources for cross study as Sally suggested, I just released an app that allows for cross study practice testing on all exam sections at once. You can actually get access to them all for free for seven days. I think this resource might help you get a wider perspective on the exam.

    Checkout http://xq.intersectartsstudio.com 

     

    Kevin Griendling, AIA

    Intersect.Arts

    kg@intersectartsstudio.com

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    Christopher Yanes

    Thank you guys. I actually have passed PcM and CE which is the frustrating part because I want to move over to PA. I’ve thought about potentially just continuing to review PjM and begin looking at PA and maybe even test before I’m allowed to sit again in mid October for PjM. I just don’t want to confuse myself with material. Not sure if either of you have thoughts on that? Thanks again!

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    Jennisse Schule

    Hi Christopher, I am in a similar situation. I have failed PjM three times and each time I have taken the exam, I have done worse. I did not use Black Spectacles but I have studied everything else that you have said and others. But what is most concerning to me is I do not know what I am doing wrong. I feel I know the material. I am a good test taker. I have not ever had any issue passing exams prior to this exam. Further, on other ARE fails, I have been able to recognize what I am weak on and made corrections, whether that be content or sometimes time management.  So since I do not know what I am doing wrong and am now frustrated with the material, I have decided to put PjM last.  

    I was of the same mind as you to not move on to PA until I passed PjM but I have been at PjM now since last year. I have changed my mind after my last fail and have moved on to PA. The only thing I can think of is there is a level of experience that I must not have at this time. I am going to take a break from it and when I come back to it a year from now or 6 months from now, after I have passed all of the rest of the exams, I hope to be able to re-look at the material with a clear head as Sally Nguyen suggested above.  

    I offer that as something to consider because I know there is a mindset out there that says you MUST complete PcM, CE and PjM before moving on to the technical material. I think everyone is different. I think everyone’s experience, test taking abilities and ability to absorb and apply information is different. And in the end, the test taking journey is yours to do and to make as you will.

    For me, I do not think that my mindset is positive enough to be able to overcome my frustration to take PjM again right now so I am going to keep moving forward on other material. I may regret that decision later, but I don’t think I will. I enjoy the PA material and am having fun learning again. Which I think is important. Life is short.

    The other thing I would offer for consideration is a review of your exams with NCARB. If you feel you should have scored a pass, you can ask for a score verification. I am not sure if this is worth the $100 fee because they just review the score report to accuracy. I expect the score report to be accurate. What I would like is additional information - MORE than is included in the score report. I do not think that the score verification gives you any additional information. You can also challenge your results. I am not sure how this one works because you don’t know which questions you got right or wrong so I am not sure how you are supposed to challenge the answer if you don’t know that. But if you are feeling confident in your answers, perhaps either or both of those options are worth pursuing with NCARB.

    And finally, I know that Architecture Exam Prep (David and Eric) offer a coaching program. I do not know if it differs from Michael Riscia’s (sp?) Young Architect Boot Camp but perhaps more of a 1-on-1 program for a limited time might help you re-frame how you are thinking about the questions as I am quite sure that this is not a case of incorrect information but incorrect interpretation.  Which shouldn’t be a thing on an exam such as this but the 5.0 is a critical thinking exam, not necessarily a content exam, for right or wrong.

    So I hope that in the end, you are able to move forward in a more constructive way and come back to PjM at a later time. Right there with you.  Jennisse

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    Sally Nguyen

    Hi Christopher,

    Since you have passed both PcM and CE, I agree with Jennisse in considering taking a break from PjM and attempting another test. It may be possible that you might be burning yourself out from studying the same material (and maybe this is what happened with Jennisse as well). I can't say for sure, since everyone indeed is different in how they study and how they take exams. But I know the repercussions of burnouts and I hope you try to avoid them.

    From what I've read in the past, a lot of people don't find much value in the $100 fee for the score verification report.and would rather save the expense for something else. And to challenge the score is a heftier fee of at least $300, depending on the state you're in, so think about it carefully if you are really confident in your answers. 

    I've actually had the opportunity to try a 15-minute coaching session with Architect Exam Prep. Eric from AEP was helpful in giving different pointers of how to interpret different exam questions, and he is very reassuring about the success of each candidate's ability to pass. But he will pretty much answer and coach you in anything you would like to know about the exams. So if you feel that's something that will help your frustrations, consider looking into it. 

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    Laura Bedus

    Hi Christopher,

    I would suggest taking some time to sit down with the project managers in your firm and discuss some of the material you felt you were uncomfortable with on the exams - perhaps they can pull you in on specific project management issues/protocols that come up in your firm over the next few months and help you get more familiar with real-life situations.  I felt that there were many questions on the exam that I was able to answer based off of experience rather than material I had studied.

     

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