PPD - fail

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    Christopher Kono

    Also just passed PA & CE about two weeks ago which should of been content area 1 & 2

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    Roma Agrawal (Edited )

    Looks like you are almost there. Here's what I would suggest:
    Area 1 - Heating Cooling Lighting, Building Construction Illustrated, 4.0 SPD topics, FEMA chapters for wind & seismic topics.
    Area 2 - Building Code Illustrated, Have a good handle on code section in IBC itself on where the info can be found, pay attention to exceptions & notes etc.
    Area 4 - MEEB chapters on Mech, Elec & Acoustics. Kaplan BDCS & BS chapters
    Understand the concepts, think on how an Architect would solve the problem piece by piece.
    Question banks from Hyperfine, Designer hacks, PPi2Pass Kaplan and AREquestions from Elif. Practice 20Qs everyday & continue to study. Last week I did 100Qs everyday & brushed up on weak topics.

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    Christopher Kono

    I think they put unanswerable questions on the test. Like I was very confident in most of my answers. I just think with the pass rate being at 43% they make certain tests and questions that are just in not able to studied for or you need to get lucky to find the right answer. I’m almost certain that they do this.

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    NCARB (Edited )

    Hi Christopher, 

    All items on the ARE go through a pretesting (unscored) phase prior to being placed on the exam as operational (scored) items. If nobody is getting an item correct in the pretesting phase, it is flagged by our psychometrician. After an item is flagged, a group of architects from around the country either edit the item and pretest it again or retire the item. We continuously review individual item performance statistics and retire poor performing items. So the idea that there are items on the exam that are unanswerable and impact your score is not accurate.

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    Christopher Kono

    Ok well with the pass rate being so low there must be questions that are deliberately and probably unnecessarily hard or tricky meant to mislead someone who knows the correct answer. I found it mostly in the choose four or choose three answers. There will be 3 obvious correct ones and then 2 gray area items which were a toss up. There was also a few super obscure questions that where basically guesses. I also have another question while we are here. Why does ncarb make the study material so hard to find? Like they list the references and stuff but there’s almost 0 chance you’d pass the test if you only used ncarbs recommended study material.

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    NCARB

    Christopher,

    If you believe that you encountered items on your exam that contained errors, please reach out to NCARB Customer Service and provide information on these items so they can be investigated by our examination team.

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    Christopher Kono (Edited )

    Ahh ok i just reread your previous comment and I just want to be clear. NCARB will put those (pretest) questions on the exam but not score them against the actual score? is that what you're saying??

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    Gang Chen

    Yes, this is always the case and is typical for all standardized tests.

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

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    Using just videos to study is not something I'd recommend.  Read the Ballast PPD section.  Use videos to fill in gaps about topics that you read about but don't understand or cannot identify visually.  I also recommend reading ASC cover to cover for PPD.  I think that is the most important resources for PPD.  And it's pretty easy to read, but more difficult to know/understand.

    Good luck!

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

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    Diane Colucci (Edited )

    You're almost there Chris! I'm learning to see fails as stepping stones to PASS. So you're on your way there. 60 days and you'll get it. Good luck man.

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    Christopher Kono (Edited )

    Ok. Well what happens if I waste an hour or more of my test taking time trying to answer unproven questions? What if those questions are ones that don't end up making the cut and are seen as unusable?

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    Jian Huang

    Hi Christopher,

    So I believe that avoiding stuck at one item too long is a useful exam strategy, flag those tricky questions and come back at a later time.

     

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    Michael Ermann

    Yes, some questions don’t count

    A basketball player will cover his opponent, even if he knows that, were he to stop covering him, his opponent will still miss 7% of his open layups.

    A sniper, fighting a war a centry ago, will still pull the trigger knowing that 7% of his bullets will fail to fire.

    And you will still set about your next hour of work knowing that 7% of the time, the next hour will fail to be productive.

    We don’t know which layups will be missed, which bullets will misfire, or which work hours will be monopolized by an incompetent colleague droning at a meeting, but of course we perform anyway. We do so because (1) everyone else has opponents who miss layups, guns that misfire, and incompetent droning colleagues, so the evaluation of our work—both self-evaluataion and evaluation by others—has the misfire rate “built in”. . . that if Sniper A is twice as accurate as Sniper B, and each has a gun that misfires 7% of the time, Sniper A will still have twice the kill-rate as Sniper B, and (2) Not knowing which bullets will misfire, what’s the alternative to aiming your best and firing?

    Your exam will include some small number (I think it’s 7%) of dummy questions: test items that don’t count toward your pass/fail score, and you won’t know which questions count and which ones don’t. But unless your dummy questions take more time to answer than everyone else’s dummy questions, and you run out of time, your score, on average will be the same as if you didn’t have any dummy questions, just as our more accurate soldier’s kill-rate-per-day will be twice that of his less accurate comrade. If you, on average, answer twice as many questions correctly as I do, your score, on average, will be twice as high as mine, even after 7% of the questions are thrown out. If you somehow knew which items didn’t count, and skipped those, how would your score be any different?

    Every professional licensure exam I know of uses test questions that don’t count to refine and cull future exam items. In our case, NCARB looks at a dummy test question to be sure that not too many get it right, and not too many get it wrong. Experts tell me that if more than 85% answer a particular question correctly, or less than 35% answer it correctly, the question fails to suffiently separate the members of the group. Further, NCARB uses a point binomial to evaluate their dummy questions and determine if they are worthy of inclusion—as “real” questions—in some future exam. The point binomial is a statistical value that ranges between -1.0 and 1.0 such that a point binomial of +0.40 suggests that those who did well on the exam overall also did well on this particular question and those that did poorly on the exam overall also did poorly on this particular question. A point binomial of -0.20 suggests that those who did well on the exam overall also did poorly on this particular question and those who did poorly on the exam overall also did well on this particular question. In my experience as a college professor making and administering 10,000+ exams over twenty years, a low point binomial always means a test item is a bad question and should be thrown out. . .  but a high point binomial test item may still be a bad question, and only separating those who are better at taking exams and not those with more ownership of the concept (NCARB, are you listening? A higher point binomial doesn’t necessarily translate to a better question!).

    So fam, my advice: ignore the fact that 7% of test items don’t count because, on average, it won’t change your score, focus on the fact that 93% of the questions do count, that you don’t know which 93% count, and recognize that the exam you are sitting for has better questions because they’ve been trialed by those who came before you.

    Chrisopher, from your emails to me, I think you passed your first four exams using just Amber Book as a study resource before failing this fifth one (please correct me if I’m wrong). Based on those four divisions’ passing rates, winning those four-for-four puts you in 90th percentile of test-takers. Your results are amazing and we couldn't be prouder of you. To us, four-for-your-first-five with just Amber is a success story and I wish you would have shared that context in your original posting. Of course, we NEVER keep anyone’s money who isn’t thrilled, and though it’s been only once in the last 10,000 enrollees that we’ve had to do this, we’ll of course refund you 100% of your tuition paid and cancel your subscription because it sounds from your post that you are not thrilled with AB. We wish you the best on your PPD retake and your sixth exam.

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    Absolutely do NOT waste time on the exam on strange questions or questions that are going to take long math computations!  Keep in mind that NCARB can throw in any question they want (and it may be one of the unscored items!).  You definitely need to be strategic.  NCARB is!  It's perfectly fine to skip a few questions that are odd or will take too long to answer.  Use the time to get 2 or 3 other questions correct.  That's how you pass!  

    Good luck!  Next time you will be more prepared!

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

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    Christopher Kono (Edited )

    Michael. I've updated the post, I guess i didn't realize it came off so harsh originally. So for that i apologize. I think the amberbook is awesome! Excellent content and the way it's presented is great. I wish i would've found amber book sooner.

     

    I think one of the hardest part of the ARE so far has been finding the right content. There's ballast, black spectacles, amber book, hyperfine, and other random study services. took a little while to figure out which one is best. 

     

     

     

     

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    Christopher Kono

    I was just re reading through this. To use your sniper example. Imagine a sniper who used to shooting at normal targets with 95% accuracy. All of a sudden there's a competition with 100 targets that he needs to hit in 4 hours (2.4 minutes per target). In his head he's 95% accurate. So he assumes he'll hit around 95 targets because thats what hes used to. He goes into the competition and starts to miss targets. Targets that seemed unhittable or targets placed in areas or distances that no one in their right mind would place. He gets shaken off of his normal accuracy. Hes now missing targets he should have never missed because time is running down and his confidence has dropped. All of a sudden in the middle of the competition when he is fully focused. someone stops the contest(prometric) and makes him take his equipment apart and put it back together. this happens 4 times throughout the contest. He ends the competition feeling confused and wondering why anyone would place targets that no one could hit and how its ok for someone to keep stopping and starting the competition in the middle of it. 

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    Edgar Moreno

    Christopher, I completely agree, I don't understand who comes up with these questions. In addition, why are we not provided with the tools necessary to perform these tasks? Why can't we have a copy of the IBC and ADA at a minimum to take these tests? We use these resources in real life every day. What is the point of us not having access to pencil and paper? the whiteboard is horrible and the little online calculator leaves a lot to be desired. I'd like to know who makes these decisions and what they are based on.  

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