Passed after one fail

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    Christina Fu

    Congrats!!!  I failed the first time as well, and planning to retake the exam in about a month.  The portion I did not pass on the exam was Pre-construction, and I think it was the "select the lowest bidder" type of questions that threw me off.  

    Any suggestions on how I should approach those type of questions?

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    Grace Lee (Edited )

    Hi Christina! Thanks! Honestly, I studied so much more in-depth based on my last score's "failures." But I also recommend studying all the areas in depth. Your test score is based on your overall score - failing in one area but getting 100% on the other areas doesn't mean you failed because of that one area. Your score could show up "failing" one area but passing another, which means you could just barely be passing or that you could be passing that area with flying colors.

    One of the thing that probably helped me the most is really reading each question and understanding what it is NCARB is asking and wanting your response to be, which may not necessarily be the same as to what you've practiced in the field. 

    Podcasts are your friend - if you have access to Hanahan's lectures, I would definitely listen to them. I would also listen to BlackSpectacle's podcast on Spotify was also helpful. BlackSpectacle's podcast is basic but it's helpful to understand how questions are worded to "fool" you.

    Hope that helps!! Good luck with your exam!! You've got this!!

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    Christina Fu

    Grace Lee Thank you for your tips and encouragements!!! I'll take a look through BlackSpectacle and Hanahan's lectures.  I agree I need to learn to be better at multiple choice tests.  I'm going to read the AIA docs back and forth many times as well. 

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    Agustin Salinas

    Hi Grace, I am glad to hear that you passed the CE exam

    Got one question for you, I've read the contract docs, ballast, birghtwood, and I'm about to starting reading the CSI project resource manual.

    So far, from the material I've read, they tend to focus more on the theory but always get caught off guard when calculations are involved whenever I take a mock exam.

    Did you struggle with this as well? Did the buildings illustrated help?

    What exactly you had to study in regards to foundations & waterproofing?

    Thank you.

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    Grace Lee

    Hi Agustin,

    Take this with a grain of salt - I didn't spend any time looking at the CSI project resource manual. I may have lucked out on the exam by not getting any questions relating to it.

    Fortunately, I didn't struggle with calculations - calculations are always helpful for me because there can only be one answer, which leaves me little room to dwell on whether or not I picked the correct answer.

    Building Illustrated helped a lot! This book is should be a top reference - I find that it's helping me with study for the PA exam. I'm not sure how much experience you have, but know the basics of foundations - the different types and why each one is used. For the waterproofing portion of your studies, have a really thorough understanding of the various typical wall sections. Don't just memorize the order of layering, but understand what purpose each component serves. 

    Hope that helps! Best of luck with your studies!!

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    Agustin Salinas

    Thanks a lot Grace, best of luck with your PA exam!

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    Agustin Salinas

    Do you also recommend reviewing some sections of the IBC? Thanks again

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    Clarice Jones

    Grace, Congratulations, I just received my results for the CE exam. I failed, I will probably retake the exam next month. My main problem was that I was not able to navigate the flipping back in forth in the case studies. It would be a good idea if they just provide a print out of the tabs information. I know that will not happen, but I know now that I have to practice. I am old school. I place the items to search and most of the time the information did not find it. And also,  I have to refresh my math skills 

    I have been in this industry for a long time and I have designed and detailed many buildings, however, in this exam some of the detailed questions were a little confusing. This test should be taken when you have not developed too many bad habits in this industry.

    I would also recommend Pluralsight for the AIA contracts, the author did a great job.

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