oh .. life feels so empty... after passing PPD my final exam on the "sixth" try-now 55 year old, two kids/wife, self employed, providing care to parents, and volunteering work. (...best support has been my wife who relentlessly took care of kids, and worked longer hours when needed before exams and during aggressive studying phase and my daughter made endless bookmarks with positive notes)
What I did differently in my last try - ""Amber Videos/Book""
1- A big shout out to Michael Ermann (AMBER BOOK/VIDEOS) who offered a 20 mins appt. on Zoom. Followed by studying AMBER Course for about 3-4 weeks. What Amber did to me was "CLEANSE" my mind of all the pollution (confusing content) of knowledge from the multiple resources that I had been studying for 2-3 years. Amber helped me think clearly and focus on the "Content" and I throughly understood it. His calm videos prepare you be totally at ease with the ARE, Relax, go with the flow, state the obvious - but be alert of the trap which - if know your content - it is easy to clear out the distractions.
2- I have heard from Candidates to really "read" slowly, so I did that this time around, there are subtlety in the questions and the answers, be alert, breathe deep every question. DO NOT PANIC, it blocks your mind.
3- For the many tough questions that I had doubted, I closed my eyes to rethink. It felt like a Lightsaber treatment- Luke being me, Question being the lightsaber, Globe being the answers.
Feel the force, take control of the exam. you know your content from your best practices- Think clearly.
Background-1st try/fail, (almost passed) I did not study, transitioned from 4.0 with 6/7 pass so 2 more exams to complete in 5.0.
2nd & 3rd try/fail (almost passed), I had studied FBC, HCL, MEEB( skim.) AGS (skim.) IBC (Rev.), ADA, Secretary of Int. Stds.
4th try/fail, (Score got really really bad) Brother had a stroke, gave my third try of the year anyway, my mind was so stressed, here you can see how it affects your performance so think calmly.
5th try/"Fail", By now I did not know what to study anymore.
6th try/ "PASS" Studied with the AMBER course, and Before Amber Video I had also added: FEMA, Green Building Construction, Green Studio Handbook, for my night time reading list for 6 weeks. Michael Ermann had suggested me to read every night, because I am a slow reader and English is not my first language so that really helped as well.
Third party sources I had used prior to Amber: These were helpful because it gave me a structure to my otherwise busy schedule: WEARE, Elif Questions, Archizam, DH, Hyperfine, BS, AEP, Gang Chen, Karin's notes, some Youtube videos
There were no problems with the exam lagging. I don't like the Exam Clock because it does not show the time elapsed so before going in I made a milestone mental time schedule that included the countdown from 4:15 hours. I took no break. Every 70 mins./40 Q's -3:05 rem., next 70 Mins/40 Q's-1:55 rem. Case studies 80/20 Q's-0:35 Mins to review the MC that were marked for the - lightsaber treatment.
I am writing here because this forum has helped me a lot in many ways and I owe it to the other candidates who are on their way to passing the ARE. I think this was it, but if anyone has any specific help, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org Best.
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