PPD Structural Content
Hi all!
I am studying for PPD and the study guide I am using is pretty structurallyheavy.
Can anyone who has taken this exam before, is it necessary to memorize formulas (for example, right now I am looking at an example on how to determine what percentage I can decrease a live load by) or do they provide them, if needed? I haven't taken this test before so I have no idea what to expect.
I just want to make sure I am not wasting time memorizing formulas if not necessary, but obviously if it calls for it I will need to make sure I take time to do so.
Thanks! :)

Alyssa, memorizing structures formulas is not a good use of your study time for these exams. They are available in the references tab during the exam, plus, last week at the NCARB licensing summit, NCARB explained that EVEN THOSE reference formulas are generally no longer necessary bc test items now include formulae inside the question….plus 5.0 has surprisingly little rigorous structures content (NCARB basically swapped out structures for accounting in the transition from 4.0)….not saying you won’t see ANY quantitative statics on the exam….but you may see only two questions out of 500 over all six divisions so studying ALL that material will not return a high yield. Michael Ermann, Amber Book creator

Thank you both for the input, good to know! I had a conversation with my supervisor and asked him what he remembers when he took his exams (although this was years ago!) and he said as long as I know basic concepts regarding structures that should be sufficient, but based on this it appears even that is not as critical as originally thought.
Thanks!

PPD is preliminary design, PDD has the heavy structural topics. You don't need to memorize formulas, but you will need to understand forces and be able to solve basic loading/reaction results. You should know the loading diagrams. And you should know that m = force x area.
You won't get many structural calculations. And if it seems like an oddball question, definitely don't waste time on it. Hope this helps!
Rebekka O'Melia, Registered Architect, NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, Step UP, Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses

I just passed PPD today and can confirm that I had no structural questions involving calcs. Most of the calcs were about life cycle costs & construction budgets. In that case, Michael's comments above check out. I'm on to PDD next and I'm hearing from the boards there are not many structural calcs there either.

Hello,
I am taking the Thaddeus structures course, half way through probably. I have heard mixed comments, some people say its really good, and others say its too deep for the ARE 5.0, supported by your comments above. Would you recommend finishing the course or spend my time on something else?

This thread is very useful. I'm taking PPD on 10/4 and realized I haven't been studying the calculations. I've taken and passed all but PPD and PDD and none of those exams were calculation heavy, obviously more conceptual exams, but I definitely see them wanting people to understand the underlying theory than knowing how to use a specific calculation for a specific question.
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