How are you studying?

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    Bankole Folorunso (Edited )

    Hi Shikha,

    Sorry you had to go through that PDD experience. But you are not alone, if that is any consolation. I felt the exact same way, so much that I convinced myself that it must be some kind of glitch and I immediately turned around and gave it second shot, and, you guessed it!....BOOM!! in my face!!!. So please do not go back right immediately.

    Seat back, task your brain's memory recall. As it comes write it down. Firstly, you would be surprised how much your brain has kept! Then reprocess as you continue to study, you may need to search the concepts from different sources, but you begin to realize how and why you dropped the ball. You may also find that, certain concepts you really did not know enough or probably had not factored into your taught process several other issues that could sway your (would be) decision. I think PDD questions test our knowledge on multiple concepts in one question. You may want to ask yourself, after reading the question "what do these guys really, REALLY want from me" 

    Another thing is, don't slow down your studying, keep the same pace, watch YouTube when you don't feel like studying and you would be amazed how you begin find the links and weave them together to get a wholistic perspective on concepts.

    I did not find BlackSpectacles and WEARE helpful on this exam. Elif, Hyperfine and PPI on the other hand were helpful.

    And the last thing is calculation, you may not necessarily have to do calculations, but in my experience you need to understand the concepts of the formulas to bag enough points to pass this test. If you consider what was thrown at you on lighting, structures and estimating. Several cracks at Elif and hyperfine should put you there, plus most of it is the resources so you only to understand not memorize. Good Luck on your next try. I plan to take another shot at it next month.

     

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    Do NOT spend too much time looking for obscure ARE information because the NCARB will have to test you on the most common architectural knowledge and information. At least 80% to 90% of the exam content will have to be the most common, important and fundamental knowledge. The exam writers can word their questions to be tricky or confusing, but they have to limit themselves to the important content; otherwise, their tests will NOT be legally defensible. At most, 10% of their test content can be obscure information. You only need to answer about 62% of all the questions correctly. So, if you master the common ARE knowledge (applicable to 90% of the questions) and use the guess technique for the remaining 10% of the questions on the obscure ARE content, you will do well and pass the exam.

     

    On the other hand, if you focus on the obscure ARE knowledge, you may answer the entire 10% obscure portion of the exam correctly, but only answer half of the remaining 90% of the common ARE knowledge questions correctly, and you will fail the exam. That is why we have seen many smart people who can answer very difficult ARE questions correctly because they are able to look them up and do quality research. However, they often end up failing ARE exams because they cannot memorize the common ARE knowledge needed on the day of the exam. ARE exams are NOT an open-book exams, and you cannot look up information during the exam.

     

    The process of memorization is like filling a cup with a hole at the bottom: You need to fill it faster than the water leaks out at the bottom, and you need to constantly fill it; otherwise, it will quickly be empty.

     

    Once you memorize something, your brain has already started the process of forgetting it. It is natural. That is how we have enough space left in our brain to remember the really important things.

     

    It is tough to fight against your brain's natural tendency to forget things. Acknowledging this truth and the fact that you cannot memorize everything you read, you need to focus your limited time, energy and brainpower on the most important issues.

     

    The biggest danger for most people is that they memorize the information in the early stages of their exam preparation, but forget it before or on the day of the exam and still THINK they remember them.

     

    Most people fail the exam NOT because they cannot answer the few “advanced” questions on the exam, but because they have read the information but can NOT recall it on the day of the exam. They spend too much time preparing for the exam, drag the preparation process on too long, seek too much information, go to too many websites, do too many practice questions and too many mock exams (one or two sets of mock exams can be good for you), and spread themselves too thin. They end up missing the most important information of the exam, and they will fail.

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

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    Rebekka O'Melia (Edited )

    I would recommend reading the source materials - the Fundamentals book, and reviewing AGS.  Ballast is also a very good exam review.  I highly recommend reading chapters 3, 5, 6 and 10 of the IBC.  You need to really understand the building code.  Use youtube (from industry standard sources) to visually understand the construction. Yes, it's A LOT of material.  None of the materials you listed are source materials.  They are all 3rd party study guides.  You need to spend most of your time reading.  Out of all the resources you mentioned the only one that I used that I thought was helpful was hyperfine.  But I think hyperfine is too focused on complicated math problems.  You won't see many on the ARE, and if they are super long/complicated you are better off skipping them.

    Also, do the case studies first.  And skip strange questions or complicated math problems (they may be part of the non-scored questions anyhow). 

    Hope this helps!

    Rebekka O'Melia, B.Arch, M. Ed, Registered Architect, NCARB, Step UP ARE 5.0

     

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    Shikha Subramanian

    Hi Rebekka,

    I didn't mention it in the post but I have read the resources you mentioned above. Those were my first stops where as the third party materials are used for reinforcing what I read. Which is why I think I just need to organize how I study to retain the information. 

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    Hans-Christian Karlberg

    Repetition. ...and to make repetition entertaining, you consult multiple guides/ books/ lectures/ practice exams.

    "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." - Bruce Lee

    Take jiu-jitsu, for instance. You start learning one technique, but you don't really know how or when to apply it. You just know you have to learn it in order to become good at it (white belt). Then you learn more techniques and string them together using balance, base and connection (blue belt). At purple belt you are starting to understand the timing of the technique, so that a web of strategies etches itself naturally into muscle memory. You receive your brown belt when you master intricate details of your personal web of techniques. At black belt you are innovating your jiu-jitsu game, teaching and evolving the art. ARE 5.0 wants us to be on the cusp of a purple belt: To become a purple belt you need to have spent 5 to 7 years on the mat for at least 3 to 5 days a week, repeating and refining everything you learned as a white belt and a blue belt. 

    Jiu-jitsu - The gentle style.

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    Devina Parbhoo

    Don't give up! You can do it! I made a YouTube video explaining all of the resources I used, my studying strategy, timeline, and study tips I utilized in order to pass the exam. I have made videos for each of the ARE 5.0 Exams. Feel free to check it out and subscribe to my channel so you don't miss out on any future videos. https://youtu.be/hXHFKlN-Bx4 

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    I recommend reading Ballast and the source materials 2xs. I did. Some things may take more professional experience too. Try to get exposure to various aspects of the design & construction process. Keep moving forward.
    Read BCI and ASC (more for PPD).
    Hope this helps!

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