PA Fail - Rescheduling

Comments

13 comments

  • Avatar
    Gang Chen

    Yes, definitely. Studying for PPD will help you prepare for PA too.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Rebekka O'Melia

    I'd retake it in 2 months.  I'd continue to focus on PA.  Yes, you can fold in some PPD study, but if you wait longer you will have to restudy everything again.  It's all about maintenance...

    Hope this helps!

    Rebekka O'Melia, B.Arch, M. Ed, Registered Architect, NCARB, ​​Step Up ARE Coaching​​​

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Mansour Maboudian

    I failed PA as well yesterday.  I have passed everything else and PA was supposed to be one of the easier ones for me since i have done a lot of programming and analysis in my line of work.  i found PA questions very time consuming to answer. I did not finish and walked out without having any time left to even look at the last scenario.  that's poor time management on my part.  my scores are 2 2 3 2.  i failed the site analysis portion.  i am retaking in 2 months but does anyone have any idea how to better prepare for this portion during the next couple of months?  

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Hans-Christian Karlberg

    Try Hyperfine study guide. It helped tremendously for my pass.

    Also check out NCARB Monographs, especially the ones one Historic Preservation.

    Problem Seeking and Sun, Wind and Light are good reads for this exam, if you haven't already read them.

    I would schedule the exam sooner than 2 months if you can, as you can now brush up on weaknesses with practice exams and they will stay fresh in the mind. (WeARE, Ballast, Hyperfine, etc)

     

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Rebekka O'Melia

    Mansour, you should do the case studies first.  Watch the clock and take just a 25 min break near the mid-point of the exams.  Skip lengthy math calculations too.

    Be prepared to do adjacency diagrams quickly too.

    Hope this helps!

    Rebekka O'Melia, B.Arch, M. Ed, Registered Architect, NCARB, ​​Step Up ARE Coaching​​​

    -1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Hans-Christian Karlberg

    I tried doing Case Studies first on one exam. This did not work out well for me. What did work for me was tracking my time as I went through the exam incrementally from beginning to end. This was a tip from Desk Crits. Check how much time you are spending on 10 questions and adjust your pace if needed. If you are at 2-2.5 minutes per question, you will have peace of mind that you are on track. Some questions may only take under 1 minute and these will compensate for the 2 or 3-step calculation questions. You may gage your pace at 50 questions, but at 10 you may have already found the pace - at least for me. The idea you will often read when people advocate for "Case Studies first", is that there are "potential" references in Case Study supplements that could be useful for the Multiple Choice question. This is, in my experience, a falsehood. Why? 1) You just lost valuable seconds scrolling through sometimes detailed codes, equations, etc, while trying to remember "potentially" useful information for future questions that you have not yet seen. I have not come across a question where I thought, "oh, here's the info I needed for the previous question". 2) You just locked yourself out of a question(s) if you take a break, or forced yourself not to take a break if you wanted to reference the supplements for verification later on. 3) The idea that you should get the Case Studies out of the way at the beginning may haunt you towards the end of the exam, as you will tend to spend more time than needed for Case Studies. Ease into the exam with Question 1 as a warm up. Check your time, and adjust your pace. It will be harder to adjust your pace after doing Case Studies first, because it is so easy to overestimate your time during Case Studies when the clock shows 3:39:45 time left.

    My recommendation is to take your break right before the case studies. Check the Exam Summary to see how many questions the Case Studies offer. Do not go into a question, as you will get locked out of that question. Check your time. Then during your break calculate how many minutes remain per question. Don't get yourself worked up. Breathe, do your thing, and return to the exam as if it's just another day at the office. A calm mind will get you through it.

    I forgot to mention how much Rahma (RMSM Studio) helped me with PA. She is absolutely awesome!

    Everyone is different, so take my words with a pinch of salt.

    But remember: content first. (Ermann, Riscica, Griendling, et al)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Mansour Maboudian

    Thank you rebekka and hans. 


    Rebekka, I think you are right about taking the case studies first. Taking them when your mind is less stressed and fatigued makes a lot of sense. Thank you.


    Hans, I just downloaded the monographs and quickly looked at them.  Very interesting. Thank you. 


    I am looking for mock exams.  If you know of any that you recommend , please let me know. I just purchased ppi mock exam book.  

    I had to schedule PPA exam for the afternoon due to conflicts at work.  That was a mistake. It has been my experience that taking the exams earlier in the day is better since the mind is not as pre-occupied. 



    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Hans-Christian Karlberg

    Hi Mansour,

    Let us know in this thread how your exam goes when you do Case Studies first. I'm curious about your experience.

    For practice exams:

    Although Hyperfine is kind of a course or guide, it does so by asking questions. It works well for me.

    I agree with you about the morning test taking. So far my passes happen to occur on early mornings. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Christina Nguyen

    Mansour, I also plan on jumping to Case Studies first, not because I think the references will help with the rest of the exam but because my brain is going to be sharpest at the beginning.

    For CE, I did not get to complete the Case Study questions but still managed to pass. For PA, same issue by the time Case Studies appeared I was so mentally exhausted it was difficult to thoroughly read and absorb the prompts.

    Another issue to work on is over-flagging and second-guessing my first choices, which likely ends up with more incorrect answers and definitely a loss of time.  

    Thanks to everyone for all the above references.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Christina Nguyen

    Update, I passed on the second try! Thank you for all your suggestions. What I did differently:

    1. Started with the 14 case study questions and committed to taking a break immediately after. 
    2. Marked for review all long math and more involved diagrammatic questions. 
    3. Actively avoided second guessing my first choices. 

    I was able to finish with just enough time to review all flagged questions. Recognizing questions from the first exam helped me test more efficiently but hopefully one doesn't have to rely on that. 

    For studying, I focused first on my failed sections (Section 2: Codes & Regulations and Section 4: Building Analysis & Programming) and did a quick refresh on the remaining sections. I looked up each objective topic keyword in all the PA references, then Googled them for a well-rounded understanding.

    Resources
    Section 2: Building Code Illustrated (particularly the intro page to each chapter) and online IBC to get familiar with jumping between chapters and knowing where to find certain charts. 

    Section 4: Ballast for overall understanding, Planning and Urban Standards (esp for historic treatment)Site Planning and Design HandbookProblem Seeking, and Architect's Studio Companion

    Practice Exams
    Elif Bayram's practice tests helped with everything. It helped position my thinking for the actual exam and her explanations are extremely useful for weak areas. They are particularly good for spatial adjacency problems as those are hard to come by, structural systems, and passive energy strategies.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Mansour Maboudian

    That’s really fantastic! Congratulations Christina. 
    if I may ask, how much time did you end up spending on case studies? I am trying to figure out how to allocate my time. thanks for sharing your experience. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Christina Nguyen

    Thanks Mansour!

    I spent about 40 minutes on case studies. My goal was to complete them by the 2:26:00 mark, but it was closer to 2:20:00. The allocation is based on the max time for each question, if you spend the same amount of time on all 75 questions (2m24s). I read the questions first, looked for the relevant information in the prompt, then searched the references. 

    Regarding your earlier question about the site analysis portion, the best resources were Site Planning and Design Handbook, Building Construction Illustrated, and Ballast. I looked up each objective topic word in the indexes and read all the pages/chapters they appeared. Also Googled everything that seemed unclear.

    Good luck!!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Mansour Maboudian

    Thanks a million Christina. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk