PPD Pass First Attempt. Here are my strategies

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    Brent Bumbaca

    Thanks Elif! Yes your questions did help. I appreciate good affordable resources. At first it is very discouraging to take your exams, so I found it useful to treat them as open-book and looked for the answers with various material. I learned a lot just by researching for your questions. So for those getting discouraged by these questions, try finding the answers with the books instead of beating yourself up for getting the questions wrong.

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    Brent Bumbaca

    Hey Danielle,

    Thank you! The extra time surprised me as well. 

    I went through the test in waves. Every question that took me over 1 minute to answer (or looked pretty involved) I skipped. I was able to get through most of the questions on the first pass... I think I just had 5 left unanswered on my second pass. It's easier to answer the involved questions, without too much pressure, when you don't have an entire test to complete.

    For the case studies I found it beneficial to read the question first before looking through any scenario/documents. I personally retain more of the information I read when I am actively looking for a solution to a question. It is also easier to skim through the "fluff" and find relevant information. I've done the case studies first on a few of my exams and I do think that is a good strategy. Remember you can technically use the resources they provide for the regular questions. I actually verified some code questions with the IBC excerpts in the case studies. 

    I did not take any breaks. I just don't want to lock any of my questions.

    PA is the worst! It's either the question is a novel, or it's some kind of IQ test with programming questions. I'd suggest going through the test in waves, check your clock often to make sure you're on track, and practice the programming/diagram questions routinely so you can get through them quickly. Elif's question's helped me out with PA. She has Programming questions that suck just as good as the ARE.

     

    Hope this helps

    Brent

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    Danielle Aspitz

    Hi Brent,

    Thank you this is very helpful! Appreciate your detailed breakdown! I’m not sure I could do the whole test with no breaks, but agree the locking is so challenging. I will try if I can do it while practicing and maybe attempt it. Multiple passes does sound like the best way to focus without worrying about the time.

    I surprised myself and passed the PA exam on my first try! With two breaks, but did feel rushed. I agree regularly drilling with practice questions is the best way to get the strategy/time optimized. I will give Elif’s exams a try for PPD and PDD. Sounds like a valuable resource.

    Thank you so much! Best of luck on the final one!

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    Devina Parbhoo

    Congrats on the Pass!

    If anyone else is looking for PPD study references, I made a YouTube video covering all of the study materials and sample study schedule I used in order to pass the exam in two months. Check it out here and be sure to Subscribe so you don't miss out on any future videos! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOl17gIUWCM

     

    Devina | Exam Coach

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    Elif Bayram

    Congratulations Brent!! I am more than happy to hear that you found my questions helpful. I also agree with all of your suggestions. I love posts like this as they are very detailed and helpful. I am sure you will be done with your exams very soon. Good luck with PDD!!!

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    Elif Bayram (Edited )

    Using the questions as study tool to make sure that you are covering the content was actually my biggest goal/motivation to create them. But of course it is not always easy to transfer that intention to the users. Thanks for that tip!
    And affordability was the second big goal for me. As someone who spent thousands of dollars on test prep, and knows how much an average architectural designer is making in this country, I had to make something cheap and accessible. Thanks so much noticing the effort too.
    And congratulations again! What you have done is something very very admirable. It is not easy and requires a lot of perseverance. No matter how great the books and the prep materials are, you still had to do a lot to get here. Well done!!

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    Michael Riscica

    Congratulations Brent! It was a pleasuring working with you in the ARE Boot Camp. Let me know when you finish PDD. So we can send you a GOLD Medal! 

    Michael Riscica  

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    Brent Bumbaca

    Thanks Mike! It was a pleasure working with you as well. The bootcamp definitely made studying for this test more manageable and enjoyable then doing it alone. 

    I am looking forward to getting that medal! When I get my license I'm gonna wear it around the office like it's no big deal. 

     

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    Danielle Aspitz (Edited )

    Hi Brent, 

    Congrats!! Very impressive! Especially having so much time left on your clock. 

    What was your time management strategy during the exam? Did you take any breaks? 

    I found with PA I had to really rush through the case studies at the end and I am debating if you recommend starting with those first? or just budgeting more time for them at the end? (I left 42 min which felt tight)

    Thank you !

     

    Danielle

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