Project Planning and Design Exam
What is the best way to start studying for this exam?
This exam should be taken last. Study whatever way has been working for you.
Read Ballast (both PA and PPD sections), and the entire ASC. Do lots of practice exams. I think this exam is 120 hrs of study for most candidates.
Hope this helps!
Rebekka O'Melia, NCARB, Step UP, Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses
Start with the NCARB reference books first as per the 5 PPD exam contents. I cleared PPD this past Monday on 2nd try and I can say Architect Studio Companion is a good overview book, Ballast 4.0 books are still good for all topics, ADA book, Heating Cooling Lighting is a great book, MEEB for topics you want to get in depth to better your understanding, Building Construction Illustrated is a must read, read FEMA for wind, earthquake & seismic design topics, know your IBC code chapters on where & how to find info. Building Construction & Materials by Madan Mehta for some topics, Elif ARE questions, Hyperfine, Designerhacks, ballast 4.0 are great for practice questions. Understand the concepts, the actions reactions rather than memorizing topics. Think like an Architect, learn to identify problems & provide solutions in design of your & your MEP consultants...
Check out the ARE tab to see notes on different building systems formatted graphically on 8.5x11 sheets
Architecture Exam Notes - Arc Infographics
Test taking was one of my biggest weaknesses but after taking and failing the architecture exams a few times, my perspective on the subject changed. I learned that everyone needs to find their approach to digesting the information, and I found that the best way for me is an organized and graphical representation of the material.
While studying for PPD and PDD, I created detailed diagrammatic notes on the contents of the exam using multiple sources including, but not limited to, Amber book, David Doucette's ARE Prep, Building Construction Illustrated, Building Code Illustrated, Architect's Studio Companion, Heating, Cooling, Lighting, Plumbing, Electricity, Acoustics and more.
To digest and organize the information, I found that graphically translating the material would connect the information both visually and mentally. My memory no longer needed to shuffle all the information coming through, but instead was able to construct the connections between each concept.
My classmates found my notes extremely beneficial once some knowledge was already established regarding the content of the exam. It helped teach, double check, and reinforce their knowledge on multiple subjects as they studied through the months, and was a well-rounded resource to review prior to taking the exam. I spent months organizing and reorganizing these notes, not only for my benefit, but for those who are in the same boat, trying to obtain their architecture license.
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