PA Pass - Third Try

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    George Zazueta

    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your notes!

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    Pui Tong

    Very organized and well covered notes for the PA exam. Thanks for sharing.

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    Emeline Gabbour

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing your notes. I have a similar story as yours, I thought PA will be a walk in the park because I had the experience working with Civil engineers for three years, I failed my third attempt recently, and I'm going to retake in three weeks. Other than repeating practice questions, did you change your strategy while taking the exam? especially with the new WB tool? 

     

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    Katie Layne Shay

    Hey, Emeline! 

    I didn't really change my strategy from the second to third attempt, other than the fact that I didn't take a break halfway through the general questions as I had before. I'll break down all three strategies below so that I don't get my words all scrambled:

    Attempt 1: Started from question 1, answered 50 questions, took my break, came back and finished the exam. I ran out of time and did not have any remaining time to review any marked questions. This was NOT a good method.

    Attempt 2: Started with the case studies, gave myself 90 minutes to answer all case study questions plus 25 general questions then took my break. I came back, finished the remaining general questions and had about 20 minutes to review all marked. This was a comfortable strategy and I actually felt really good about my test, even though I still failed.

    Attempt 3: Similar to above. I started with the case study questions, only I gave myself 1 hour to answer and review all the case study questions (I had 14) then took my break. When I came back from break, I started with question 1 and ended up not taking another break and just answering and reviewing all of them (the remaining 61). I was afraid if I split it up to answer and review, I would run out of time due to the fact that the questions lock when you take a break. So I just didn't take another break. I don't think this is ideal, but time management is huge and I really didn't want to risk it. 

    No matter what your break strategy is, I definitely recommend starting with the case studies for the simple fact that they take more time and it's much harder to quickly answer them if you are running low on time.

    As far as question types/topics that I had on each test - it seemed to focus on space planning diagrams, ADA diagrams, locating a building on a site plan, and topography. I didn't have any questions on structure really, just a few on soils and geotech reports. A few questions on Historic Preservation so make sure you have a general knowledge of the 4 processes. I didn't have many calculation questions, so the whiteboard issue that other people were having didn't have much of an effect on me, but the few times I did have to use it, it was inconvenient for sure.

    GOOD LUCK! You've got this. In my opinion, the new exam format is less intimidating with the lower amount of questions, so go in with confidence and that will be a great first step.

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    Sabrina Richter

    Thank you so much for sharing your strategy and notes! I didn't think about starting with the case studies. 

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    Sean Engle

    Congrats on your pass and thanks for the notes - it provides hope for everyone here!

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