Testing strategy for PDD?



  • Avatar
    Mark Baker

    My personal exam strategy (and I passed this one quite recently with this strategy) was:

    Answer as many questions as I can from the start.  As I came across a question, if it required calculations, or referencing other material, or deeper thought - I either left it unanswered or MARK'd FOR REVIEW. 

    I got about 100 questions deep into this exam that way to start, then I took my break.  I had a snack, and a powerade.  I did some quick stretches to get my blood moving, and I returned to the test.

    At this point, I went for the CASE STUDIES.  (I had already started the case study when I took my break).  I answered the case study questions to the best of my ability.  All 25 or so of them.  And I did flag some for review.

    Then I went to the EXAM SUMMARY and went for the questions I had not asnwered first.  I answered all the unanswered questions.  REMINDER: an unanswered question is scored WRONG, and a wrong answer is scored WRONG.  So It does not count worse to take your best guess at an answer.  A person SHOULD NOT leave any questions unanswered.

    After I had handled all my unanswered questions, I then went through the MARK FOR REVIEW questions. 

    Somewhere during the process, I had to take a bathroom break again.

    I finished to my satisfaction with about 10 minutes left, and I actually ended this one early. 

    NOTE: generally people might recommend answering every question and flagging for review as you go - that way if in the end you are running short of time you have at least put an answer to every question and have a chance at getting it correct.


    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Whitney Joslin

    Thank you so much for the feedback, Mark! 

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Joseph Petrarca

    Mark- I couldn't agree more.  You nailed it,  This is a perfect summary of how to approach PPD and PDD. 

    You cannot afford to get sucked into anything that's going to take more than 2-3 minutes.  Leave those for last.  My analogy is you're playing a dumb video game where you shoot at flying saucers.  The big slow ones and the fast little ones are all worth one point.  Do you spend any unnecessary time trying to hit the small fast ones?  You do not, you hit all the big slow ones until there are no more left, then go for the challenging ones at the end.

    I KNOW there are a few questions in there that are absolute killers.  Typically these are the estimating questions with multiple categories and steps to get a bottom like or make a comparison.  They are difficult under pressure and it's extremely easy to miscalculate due to units conversions (one is square yards and one is square feet...you divide by 9 not 27!) etc. Or you forget to multiply by the inflation factor.

    The other type of killer is typically found on the case studies.  Some question that requires you to check setback, change the size of he building or the occupancy group, find the percentage of this occupancy versus a different one, look up a separation construction in a table.....etc.  don't fall for it.  LEAVE IT!  Those hyper-challenging ones...do them LAST if you have extra time at the end.  They will stop you from getting easier ones right.

    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk