PCM fail again

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    Matthew Bowers

    Amy, what resources and methods are you primarily using to study for PcM?

    Please don't get disheartened. You can do this. These exams are just as much about knowing how to test as they are about knowing the material.

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    Amy Habeeb

    Hi Mathew thanks for reply I am using amber as well as reading through the contracts. I found Alot of contingency items I had no idea on and after doing some research found how they were applied to budgets. I have AHPP but there is not that much information on risk and assessing it with the contingency’. Thanks for good words trying to keep going!

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    Matthew Bowers (Edited )

    Amy, I've just wrapped up PcM+PjM+CE. I prepared for all three together (mostly), since the most critical resources for all three are AHPP and contracts, in my opinion. 

    For contracts, the best resource is the Hanahan (aka Schiff Hardin) lectures. Listen while following along in the contracts and highlighting/taking notes. His course also includes lectures on business formation, insurance, alternate delivery methods, economics of construction, and budget calculations. They're great, really. AIA Contract Docs also has a YouTube channel with some very informative videos.

    Send me a note at I'll share the Hanahan lectures+slides and my notes, primarily from AHPP.

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    Hi Amy,

    You sound very discouraged.  I completely understand.  Sometime in life things don't proceed at the pace we'd like.  :(

    Two questions for you:  1. Is English your first language?  2. How much and what type of professional experience do you have?  

    PcM is a difficult exam.  The pass rate is only 50%, and that includes folks retaking it!  It involves contracts, firm's insurance, and the legal structure and firm management.  Not many interns get experience in these areas.

    CE has a 62% pass rate.  If you haven't passed CE yet, I'd move on to that.

    Don't be discouraged!!  You passed PPD?!  That's the most difficult of ALL the exams, with a pass rate of 47%.  That's the exam most people fail!!  Chin up!  

    I do think you need a clearer strategy and good resources though.  You also may need to just study more hours per exam than whatever you are doing.  You may need to conquer exam anxiety.  Or it may be a combination of those things.  Whatever it is, I do think that it's attainable.  

    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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    Amy Habeeb

    Hi Rebecca and thank you again for your and anyone’s feedback. Yes I have taken CE once and will probably schedule that one after PDD in two weeks. Everyone is so helpful and kind I really appreciate y’all guys help. Rebecca does your course offer any teaching or is it just a syllabus for our knowledge? I joined YA at beginning of last year and I feel like it wasn’t exactly what helped besides there resource list which is the same NCARB gives you’ but shorter. I am 36 year old single female and have been working since 2012 graduated in 2014 UH Bach Arch. and deciding I want to be architect it was like god but I truly fell in love. I do not have much of experience in contracts and mostly have worked doing CA and CDs in my career AOR and some design firms like Page which I LOVE!! When I first started working, I was able to do entire projects beginning to end at the small firm so that was nice, the old man who is like my grandpa now really showed me how it was to be a woman in the field being the only woman at my office with some good old boys. I love working and I am so much better at it than these damn exams. I have taken them all two times over this and last year PCM is the one I began with over 5 years ago after failing over 5 times now. Since my lay off I have passed those two pJm PPd but after being in a miserable hometown and studying what seems all day and night two just fail twice in a row and much more 10 Exactly think it’s time to get a job, at least I am good at working. I know most people are working who are getting licensed and I am coming to the fact I may never get licensed and that’s ok, but I shouldn’t be giving my life up for something that is obviously very challenging and difficult for me. I don’t really have a family to support me but my sanity and I have decided to get a job and move back to Houston where I am from if not there really wanting to move NEW YORK!! Holler at your Texan!! JK… kind of, Besides being miserable in this little hometown and failing these exams and giving my 100000% I think it’s the only thing that will help me stay sane lol!! Everyone says working helps in the exams but I beg to differ unless you work in codes or something directly related to contacts these exams have nothing to do with working besides identifying things in floor plans, the contracts or when I am an architect and can design truly worldly impacting. I use amber religiously and have all the books you need from sun wind and light to BCI HCl and other. Maybe my mistake was not actually reviewing after I wrote my thousands of pages of notes and just trying to get through all material ASAP. I don’t know my next move ( always keep studying) but I do know my sanity is first and failing these exams with one or two pass in a year ain’t it. And I have been completely studying and not working has not been helping. I’m also tired of these “plans” to help future architects that don’t even offer half of the things they promise. A syllabus and a word of confidence and meeting with people who barley know any information on self given practice exams is way beyond anything the exams expect to you to know. I emailed someone a question who runs these “boot camps” and my question was denied on the forum then I was redirected to another student with more knowledge and her email as a person taking money from people and a lot at that some knowledge should be given at least or like who the he’ll are we learning from? Some bozo stealing my money can’t even answer a question on where to find excavation information for site?? Even Although many of my licensed older colleagues have told me this is basic information needed to be a architect on these exams, I find it unnerving people are offering courses with no knowledge but alot of money, but I do know Elif and Ambers are fire , they help actually knowledge and things they actually teach you are the most effective. If you email them a question they will answer and directly, IMAGINE!! There are hundred of bar exams,, practice test many resources, in becoming a doctor they have plenty of material resources with guide books and practice.with things that are actually covered on the exams. Architecture has none of those except by these rare individuals who knew and found how difficult these exams are to help other architects and not just make money. We are expected to sift through this “study” guide with literally tens of twenty references study guides that are hardly anything to what is real on the exams and that’s pretty much it as far as NCARB goes how they they expect people to get licensed if there are only hundred mama of books to read and no direct source or guide? I am not surprised people don’t want to get licensed or quit I am not surprised that over had the licensed people are white men. Being a lower income class individual, a woman with a test I’m guessing mostly written by men and hardly any resources you can count on without breaking the bank. It’s no wonder hardly any women ever get licensed in the United States. No one besides amber has offered a free weekly video “40 min three of competence sharing there knowledge and important things us “future”architects should know, the guy is funny he’s a professor snd you can tell he loves his knowledge and to share it. I wouldn’t be so lucky the firm who laid me off hadn’t given me so many resources or definitely been hard to even start this adventure. And spending a thousand dollars on a uplifting syllabus just didn’t work for me although I did it later on. I don’t know what my next step is but I know I am not giving up and I also know as my boyfriend told me it probably isn’t going to happen as fast as you want it too because lord knows I have dedicated the most part of my life this past year to nothing only but this testing and studying. My aunt said maybe I have some learning disabilities because my parents were drug addict but I beg to differ, these exams are very hard and challenging and if you read the stories the really good ones always pass eventually so I am hoping for that!!! So for right now I am going to focus on PDD and get a job. Because one thing I realize in this past year nothing is more valuable than your happiness and sanity and although I might be slower than the average joe testing I will make it as long as I keep striving. And English is my first language yes thank you for your feedback and guidance I agree maybe I need to spend more time focusing on each area since I have literally been reading all the books for a year straight almost 8 hours a day sometimes. But I was reading the remember things you must review after, I find 10-20 notebooks I have filled with handwritten notes (good stuff) and I look back I never even reviewed them I just plowed through thinking somehow it would stick. Now and Then I watch some videos about doing the mind palace and other tricks to learning to remember like in the Specs it really worked!! Hopefully things will turn around soon and thank you for your feedback. I appreciate all the teachers and helpful advice anyone has to give as I know we all have our own stories Xoxox

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    Amy Habeeb

    And Mathew I will email thank you!

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    Hi Amy,

    Maybe take a break for a week or 2!

    And you can take and pass the exams while not working in a firm.  You have worked in the field for years.  Use the break to your advantage.

    People are not “machines” that can study or work all day & night and do nothing else. 

    Get some fresh air and exercise!  Make time for yourself too...

    Yes, my programs have live classes taught by me online.  There’s also lessons and readings you do independently. I have a masters degree in education.  I taught college architecture courses. I’ve taken lots of professional exams.  The AREs are the most difficult I’ve taken.  I went through similar to what you are going through now.  I had even given up.  Was too discouraged to continue.  I had no resources. (Didn’t buy books or classes or have a mentor.) Years went by...  Then I got paired up with a female mentor who encouraged me and helped me learn about the new ARE.  First step was planning, gathering resources, and cracking open arch books I hadn’t looked at in years.  I had someone to answer my questions!  For me the difference was a PERSON.  Often it is...

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

     

     

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    Devina Parbhoo

    If anyone else is looking for advice on the Practice Management exam, I made a video explaining the best study materials and how I passed the exam in one month. Check out the video here: https://youtu.be/OTme7fsJBhw

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