I received my final PDD pass last week so I am happy to say that I am done with the ARE once and for all. I was a 4.0 to 5.0 Transfer. I am not going to post what strategies/test studies I used to pass here because there are others in this community who have posted way better methods to pass these exams. The point of this post is for Encouragement. To keep going no matter what if you want this bad enough! I FAILED these exams a tremendous amount of times. Somehow I kept going through it.
My entire Exam Timeline is as follows, I am not ashamed to share:
ARE 4.0 Exam
- Construction Documents and Services Failed 3 Times, Passed on 4th Attempt
- Schematic Design Passed on 1st Attempt (ultimately not used)
- Site Planning and Design Passed on 1st Attempt
- Programming, Planning and Practice Failed 5 Times, Passed on 6th Attempt
- Building Design and Construction Systems Failed in Only Attempt
ARE 5.0 Exam
- Project Planning and Design Failed 6 times, Passed on my 7th Attempt
- Project Development and Documentation 6 times, Passed on my 7th Attempt
By my count that is 27 exams total. That means I walked into a Prometric Center 27 times and 21 times my results were a FAIL a couple of days later. That did not get any easier. I took my first exam in 2014. I averaged ONE exam PASS per year until this year when I was able to Knock out PPD in September and PDD last week.
I studied everything you can think of, from the sources found in the ARE Handbook to the most popular third party sources. Still could not get a good pattern of passing these exams consistently. I DO NOT blame anyone but myself. I was always busy... with my family, my work, teaching on the side, serving the community by volunteering. Heck, two of my three kids where born while I was studying these exams.
I remember going to my Son's Football Practice back in 2014 with my study material and seating on my lawn chair on the side of the field. People would look at me strangely because I had a binder on hand reading about the old Kaplan Material on CD&S for the 4.0 exams instead of looking at the practice. Even with all of that, I still never gave up on studying.
I hope this encourages any of you out there who feel on giving up because you have failed a few exams. . Look at mine. I never thought It would take these many attempts.
When the people at the Testing Center get to know who you are because you have been there so many times you know there is a problem!
From reading the post on the dreaded WhiteBoard I am glad I was able to use good ole scratch paper on my final PDD exam. It was very useful. Great way to finish this horrible 2020 year.
My dear wife always told me to keep going so I have to thank her as well.
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