Here is how I did it.
STUDY MATERIAL (see the NCARB handbook):
- Law for Architects: What you need to know. (Michael Hermann)
- Professional Practice. (Paul Segal)
- Small Firm Management. (Rena Klein)
- Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice
- Ballast study guide (2nd edition) with Mock exam and Practice questions
- Kevin Griendling's course on Pluralsight
- Hyperfine study guide
- The Amber Book, 40 minutes of competence
- AIA youtube lectures
- Michael Hanahan's lectures on contract documents
- AIA contract documents.
- AIA Code of Ethics, NCARB Model Rules of Conduct
- WeARE practice exam
- Start your journey by reading the NCARB handbook. + Purchase the AHPP.
- Schedule your exam, then study. Not vice versa!
- Read the contract documents! Read the Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct!
- Cross pollinate between different study guides. Do not rely on 1 single guide.
- The day before the exam: Rest. Get a good night's sleep.
- "Failing is a feature." -M. Ermann; "Be ok with throwing away money." K. Griendling
I read the fairly palpable books first to get into the swing of things. The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice was a beast. I read it once and then sporadically referenced certain chapters in conjunction with study guide material and practice exams. I cannot recommend the Hyperfine study guide enough. Although I did not sign up for the Amber Book course due to budgeting restrictions, Michael Ermann is generous enough to share some highly recommended youtube videos called 40 Minutes of Competence. The Ballast study guide is comprehensive and good to fall back on, especially the practice questions and mock exams. I also recommend the WeARE practice exams.
If this is your first exam, identify the reading load and plan your study pace. Schedule your exam(s) early, so that you hold yourself to the deadline. This is imperative, even if this is not your first exam. Family commitments and work commitments forces my study schedule to slip into the night, which is not recommendable to anyone. The studying averages out to 2-3 hours per day, but there is no stringent schedule as parenting makes life unpredictable, especially during a pandemic. Two weeks prior to the exam I will crawl into my cave and iron out my weaknesses. It is highly advisable to mix up the studying with practice exams, reading guides and online lectures.
DURING THE EXAM
Calm the nerves by knowing that you can tackle each question as they arrive. Read carefully and think about "what exactly" they are asking. Try not to get flustered at the calculation questions, but know that the answer is right in front of you if you are diligent with units and equations. Spend about 2 to 2.5 minutes per multiple choice question (3-4 for calculation questions), and about 4 minutes per Case Study question. A few of the questions you can solve in a matter of seconds, which helped on gaining back some time lost on calculations. I had 10 minutes left on the clock to review Case Study questions. (I was locked out of the multiple choice questions, due to a restroom break prior to Case Studies.)
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