PDD Pass - What to Focus on for PPD?

Comments

5 comments

  • Avatar
    Joshua Shaw

    I scheduled PPD then PDD in 2019, two weeks apart. I failed PPD and passed PDD. I went on to sit for PPD two more times. I am scheduled to take PPD this year in November. This time around I have focused my study on understanding building code, building systems, structural concepts and project budgeting. Remember this exam focuses on planning and integration which is basically thinking on how all these concepts are incorporated and work together in a design project, rather than how it is to be documented. When you study a concept think about how it works more than how do I show it.  I am using study guides with multiple choice content to get my head into "exam speak". For me my biggest issue was time management while taking the exam, I really had to think about each question, If you don't know the answer to the question within 30 sec, skip it and keep going. Make sure you give yourself a chance to see all the questions, its not worth mulling over one question for 10 minutes when you can skip it and use that time to potentially answer 10 questions you might know. Good Luck!!! Also NCARB has a practice exam stimulator, I would suggest opening it up and getting use to the calculator, it performs all the functions you need to do but it is set up a little bit differently than any other calculator I've ever used. Good Luck!!!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Mark Baker

    Interesting you chose to go with PDD first, as I think all the common suggestions are to do it in the opposite direction.

    To your situations though, I actually think most if not all of the studying I thought I was doing for PPD was actually studying for PDD.  I failed PPD, then passed PDD one week later.

    I am returning to PPD by focusing on all the items that I DID NOT study much previously.  These include: solar orientation / solar design, sun control devices,  structural connections and all the diagrams (which I thought I studied enough, but must not have), Basically the entire Environmental Conditions and Conrtext area of the Handbook Sections.  

    The two middle sections: Building Systems ... and Project Integration ... - I found those to be the MAIN overlap between PDD and PPD.  IMO, if you passed PDD you should have enough knowledge of those two sections to pass them on PPD.  According to the Handbook - this can be 50ish - 90ish percent of the exam.

    Finally, Codes and Regulations and Costs and Budgeting can make 24-36% of the exam.  I would say my first exam attempt was on the code and costs HEAVY side of the spectrum.  It is DEFINITELY worth becoming familiar with the IBC divisions and where to find things.  As far as cost estimating, good luck with the NCARB Calculator.....

    I hope this was helpful. 

    Mark

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Haley Walton (Edited )

    Thanks to both of you for your comments!

    I decided to take PDD first because I'm a very detail-oriented person, so I figured I would have greater success understanding the details of these systems more than the conceptual base (which, given my PDD pass, certainly seems to be the case). Now I'm finding myself working backwards to gain a better understanding of the concepts at large that drive the initial decisions before the details.

    In my PPD practice tests thus far, I seem to be lacking most in section 1, just like you, Mark Baker . I failed PA the first time around, so I guess I'm not entirely surprised by this. As for the codes, did you find that you had a lot of questions asking about code memorization? Or was it more based in interpretation of the codes they give on screen? I remember during the latest webinar they mentioned we would not be required to memorize code, but a lot of practice questions seem to suggest otherwise.

    This is my last test and I am so ready to just be done! I'm doing everything I can to make sure I pass and won't need a retake. So thanks again for your advice!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Mark Baker

    Haley,

    I hesitate to answer you in either way. 

    There could be a lot of code stuff that you should know the answer to on your exam.  Like code maximum ramp slopes, or number of exits required, or width of stairs for an egress route.  These are things that it is worth having memorized regardless of the ARE.

    Then there are things that will be provided information you need to understand what you are looking for in the code, read the provided code references, and solve for the answer. These might be things like number of parking spaces required, where you have to know what occupancy the building is proposed to be used for (IBC Chapeter 3), then calculate the number of people allowed to use the building (IBC Section 1004), then follow through to how many parking spaces those people need as a result (provided zoning code).  Another thing I HIGHLY recommend studying is the various CONSTRUCTION TYPES (IBC Chapter 6), which will determine your allowable building height and size, which can lead to a problem about construction COST to build the designated building by area. 

    Hows that for an answer?

    Mark

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Haley Walton

    Mark,

    That totally makes sense. I've seen a few things that I needed to memorize, and of course my mind (paranoia) goes into overdrive... thinking I need to memorize everything! But the balance that you described above sounds like a good place to start.

    I'll probably spend the next 6 days focusing on codes and environmental context... fingers crossed!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk