Another fail (PPD/PDD) - I have a 17.9% Rate of Passing

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    PPD is the most difficult ARE of them all.  The pass rate is 45%, and that includes people re-taking the exam!  It's the final hurdle to becoming licensed. Have you passed all the other exams?  I'd save PPD for last.  Lots of people fail.  Don't beat yourself up about it.  Playing the 'blame game' isn't going to help you pass.  Reading ASC cover-to-cover is a great resource.  Have you read Ballast as well?  Do you have a thorough knowledge of Ch 3-6 and ch 10 of the IBC?  I like hyperfine, but I don't get carried away with too many math calculations.

    I say, take a breather for a couple of days, but then get right back to studying.  Keep plugging away!  If you want it bad enough, you will.  The 10 weeks, or 20 weeks, or 30 weeks are going to pass by anyhow....  better to just do it than have regrets.

    Also it sounds like technical issues derailed you during your exam, report it to NCARB.  There's a link on this page to report the issues.  https://www.ncarb.org/pass-the-are/start/test-center   NCARB is the master of disaster.  Don't let issues or lags get your flustered.  I swear they use this as an exam strategy.  :(  They just announced in the General section of this forum that the calculator isn't accurate, and they are reverting to the old one!  OMG!!!

    Hope this helps!

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

      

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    Ariana Parrish (Edited )

    Hi Rebekka,
    Thanks for your response. I've heard from multiple people not to really use ballast as tool but only as a guy to understand which concepts need to be studied for this exam. There's also multiple errors in some of ballast questions. The link you sent didn't work for NCARB issues.

    I have PPD/PA/PDD left. I failed all three about 5/6 times each.

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    Gerson Garcia

    I'm glad I'm not the only one.  I failed PPD 4 times, and I think I've given  up even though I only have  2 tests left, the other is PDD.  I find that this test version does not give people with a weak bladder enough time to finish and check the answers. In addition to this, is the cumbersome of getting the information you need, especially on the first try which was for me was basically getting to know the interface. Getting an extra restroom break will take away 10 minutes of your time because you need to go through the check-in process all over again - fingerprints, etc.. Just frustrated myself. 

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    Rebekka O'Melia (Edited )

    Ariana,

    Ballast is a good guide.  It's very comprehensive.  I think every ARE candidate needs it.  A new version was released in Sept 2020 too.  I haven't found many errors in it.  There are a few sections with repetitive info - it's in 2 exam sections.  I used their practice exams for PPD, PDD and PA and the answers are correct.  I'm not sure who told you that....  It may have been true years ago for 4.0, but not now.

    This is where you report tech issues on the exam.  https://www.ncarb.org/contact#expand-jump-examination

    Hope this helps!

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

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    Abdulaziz Alfayez

    If that's the case then I don't think it's you but the way you study. You have to take a step back and reevaluate your study methods. Focus on the main concepts and truly own them. Don't stop at just knowing the right answer at a given situation, you have to know the reason why that answer was right in the first place.

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    William Hutch

    I failed PPD twice but I passed PA the first time. I put this down to the material I studied and what came up in the exam. I've now taken a break from it as I've been studying since November 2020. Take some time off from it and come back fresh. The material isn't hard its just a lot it. If you are having difficulty grabbing the concepts trying using the Amber Book. It's been great for me. We can all do this. Just keep trying.

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    Peter Mall

    1) Take plenty of practice exams and be sure to review the correct answers (even if you got it right) so that you understand their reasoning, you shouldn't miss it next time. 2) Ballast materials helped me pass all six exams with no retesting, I wouldn't sleep on the wealth of information. 3) Reading material and studying material are two different things. 4) Take more practice exams, this will help you quickly identify what the question is asking, eliminate what does not pertain, and hopefully lead to better time management. 5) Do not discount the power of flash cards, make them from your practice exam questions or study materials, review daily. 6) Passing rate does not equate to the number of times one needs to take an exam to pass. 7) Have I mention to take more practice exams? You should, it helps.

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    Stephen Fish

    Ariana don't give up, I don't know you personally but I'm sure you along with everyone else here are fantastic architects. NCARB doesn't decide who is and is not a good architect, we are all simply playing by their rules to get a certification that they define, I digress on this.

    If you've really exhausted all the practice questions, I would suggest looking at your own testing strategy. You've taken enough of these exams to see how they word questions to try and get you to pick an answer that's right but not the MOST right (for example on any multiple-choice question your most likely going to be split between two answers that are similar, so you can most likely eliminate at least one that's totally not related to the other answers). I don't have links to relevant sources but I would look further into that kind of thing. Also, understand that there's a certain percentage of test questions that don't count toward your score, so skip anything that waste's too much of your time.

     

    The NCARB material is a mile long and one inch deep, yes knowing the subject is a huge part of passing but knowing how to be a good test taker is a good portion as well. Best of luck to you!

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    Edgar Moreno

    Ariana Parrish, I'd like to know who puts this test together for us. Who are the people that write these questions? It's almost like it filters out a certain type of individual, or rather, a way of thinking instead of testing our knowledge of the material. There is a lot of questions in these tests that in my opinion are subjective. Take for example Stephen's example above about questions that ask for the MOST correct answer. Really? Most right according to who? I feel like if you don't think the same way as the people writing these questions we are never going to them right. How do you even study for that? I wish there was an authority overseeing NCARB.

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    Tony Young

    Ariana,

    Don't give up! So little girl is counting on you, your story of triumph will be her motivation to keep moving forward. I understand your pain having failed many test. What keeps me going is that I know my story will I hope one day motivate someone else. Hang in there it may take many fails but just 1 pass! You got this!

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    James Yaw

    Hi,

    I have been enjoying all the topics I can find on PPD.  There are quite a few.  "Enjoy", yes most, if not all, the topics I have been studying will be needed to be a good Architect, thus I have changed my view point to study in short secessions, reward myself for gains, and celebrate pass or fail the test.  I  have worked for the celebration. 

    I also drive a school-bus part time and pass the wisdoms of Intern-Architect onto the 156 students, I try to inspire.   Please enjoy life.  It is really short.            Signed "The really old guy"

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