I pass PDD on my first try in November, right before the new exam standards, and I am now done with the ARE (hurray!). Here are my recommendations for studying PDD :
- I started by reading Ballast, and taking notes. Didn't look at any of the calculation examples. In general, I will not recommend using Ballast for any calculation examples/explanations. Dont get intimated by these crazy calcs! Instead, I used the formulas provided by NCARB and only study examples using these formulas. In retrospective, I will not have stress too much about it because I didn't have to use the formulas during my exam...
- I hate when people are suggesting to read a whole book, but sometimes it might be helpful. I completely read The Fundamentals Building Construction really fast (took me 2 weeks), Building Construction Illustrated and Building Code Illustrated again (which I already studied for PPD). I read Studio Companion again and studied my notes from MEEB.
- I like to study by taking practice exams, so I did as much as possible on Black Spectacles, Designer Hacks and ARE Questions. I have to pay for all of these myself. I can be quite expensive, but worth it.
- I studied Karen's Notes which I found really helpful. I think the Quick Study Notes are not really helpful, you can skip it.
- Reviewed my PPD notes a lot! PPD and PDD are very similar. I also went thru my notes from all previous exams.
- I reviewed ADA, read FEMA chapters 4 & 5 and ARE SS Guide (4.0).
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