ballast 5.0 yellow book for PDD?

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    Katie Merten

    PPI and Kaplan merged, so you’re likely looking at a combination of both products. The PPI Learning Hub is GOLD though, imo. 

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    Robert Morgan

    I subscribed to the PPI Learning Hub for PPD which uses this second edition yellow version and found it to be useless. It's a condensed version of the last edition but the PPD chapters reference other chapters so in the end to cover the PPD exam I had to read something like 40 out of the 51 chapters. The case study and quizzes were as irrelevant as the previous version. It was $59 for a 3 month subscription.

    I ended up passing PPD but really from reading the primary material in the handbook and taking practice exams/quizzes elsewhere. If you're planning on spending 3 months or less studying PDD I'd recommend the online subscription, it's much cheaper.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    hi guys.

    thanks for the assist here. i see katie's name which puts a smile on my face and also happy to get input from robert.

    so i had hopes that the new ballast would be sufficient but from robert's response it would not be proper for me to study the exam guide. i gave ballast blue book a more than thorough going over and i was quite surprised at how - well how unhelpful it was. i don't want to repeat this unless there is some seriously specific questions that allow me to "problem solve" specific questions. i've combed through the NCARB suggested materials but short of reviewing my notes i cannot see covering that material again.

    is there anything anyone can recommend that would help me "study to the test" as compared to "study the material"? meaning is there any material out there that would allow me to navigate some of the "logic" aspects of the exam? in some cases i don't seem to be doing a very good job of understanding some of the questions in some way i can't completely explain.

    ALSO, is black spectacles worth spending time with as an approved partner for PDD? or are there others?

    sorry for the rather vague wording i am trying to get in a four week intensive effort and just need something to assist with the "strategic aspects" of being ready for the formulation of the questions as compared (i think) to actual content.

    not sure if that makes sense but guidance is welcome.

    THANKS 

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    Jonathan Chertok

    hi all. 

    also please. PPI learning hub for PDD is what exactly? it looks like $39 per month and it is a video series with a bunch of other stuff? or practically speaking how would you use it (sit in front of videos, take online tests or what?) and how long would you need to get through PDD in the learning hub?

    THANKS

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    Patricia Bourgeois

    I used PPI learning hub for CE and now I’m using it for PA. I’ve mostly used it for the test. There is an online book which is the same as the printed materials (which are basically the same as previous versions just rearranged). You can take quizzes or test, meaning get answer with explanation right away or at the end. Also with the quizzes you can pick which area you want to study and the number of questions.
    I’m also using Designer Hacks, WeARE and I have the Amber Book.
    I find by taking as many tests as possible from as many sources as possible I prepare much better than by reading a book. But that’s me. I have also found several new online tests that are free. Quizlet is good, Archizam is new and improving, you can do 20 questions for free or purchase more.
    If money isn’t a problem, try the Amberbook online. Michael Ermann is an excellent teacher and has test at the end of each video. You can sign up in a group and get a discount. There are links all over the community forum.
    Also Hyperfine is a great study tool that has study plans by the week, broken down into days, with each plan asking questions that really make you think and he provides links to different resources. And it’s inexpensive.
    I tried Black Spectacles but for the money I was not impressed. But if money isn’t a problem for you, try it out. It has 4 test with decent explanations to answers. But not all of the questions are what I would call “well put together”. Confusing in fact. The way I handled those was to look up the subject matter in actual reference material suggested by NCARB. I’m no longer using it.
    Another good resource is the ARE Facebook group and while your at it take a look at the Young Architect web site. Michael Riscica has a lot of useful information and actually reviews all the study materials I’ve mentioned. And he has the Young Architect Academy. I’ve used some of his material. Good stuff. But it’s heard towards PCM, PJM and CE.
    Like I said, my next test is PA, but 2 weeks after that is PPD, then in 2 more PDD. I might move the last one up to get it in before all the changes and to get my final pass. (Thinking positive here!) I am 3 for 3 right now and I started testing in August. I had planned to be finished by now, but Covid slowed me down.
    I hope this helped. I said more than I planned! (Sorry)
    Good luck.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    very good! that’s golden. THANK YOU patricia.

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    Jonathan Chertok

    hi patricia. one more here please? so if i said a one week or week and a half dedicated to “testing thinking” and just mechanically getting your pencil on paper for the actual practice of problem solving in a kind of “rote manner” and to do a limited number of “pencil and paper” problem sets - you would advise going with The Nork, and...?

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    Jonathan Chertok

    and maybe just stuff i can print out. i don’t want to do any videos or online learning. just sitting at the desk with glen gould in the background and reading a print out and working a set over and over three times to get the muscle memory going.

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    Patricia Bourgeois

    To Jonathan... sorry for taking so long to get back to you... I'd get Hyperfine, it's not so much a test but a study guide and kinda rounds out your full knowledge of the material.  Not meant to be a study alone guide.  And I think PPI does have a "practice" book.  Other than that everything I have is online and I use my ipad to study.  I like to read real hard copy books and look at actual paper after a long day at work, but I have to admit that the convenience of the digital format is good for keeping things organized.  

    So going back to your original post, that looks like your best bet. But Hyperfine would "round" it out and give you another vantage point.

    Good luck on your exam.  Do you have it scheduled?

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    Jonathan Chertok

    thanks. got thr material from the norkin. i was impressed but have not dig into it. for a retake i think there is a chance it will do.

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