Based on a lot of recommendations I read on this forum, I decided to take PcM, PjM and CE as my first bundle of exams. I passed PcM, PjM on first try but failed CE this morning.
NCARB-approved study material like Ballast/PPI and also the handbook make it seem like this exam is all about bidding procedures, contracts, who pays what when there is a problem during construction kind of stuff. However, maybe just half of the exam was (or felt like) it was covered in that study material.
There was a ton of accessibility, egress code, hvac, thermal resistance, excavation, fire code, concrete-related questions in the exam. I actually also studied some of these sections in the Amber Book for this exam as suggested in the program, I studied details and felt pretty confident about most of my answers, but the exam was just too comprehensive for me to handle. I now strongly believe that this exam is meant to be taken last, not part of the pro-practice ones. You just need to know everything going in for this exam.
And also, lastly, I doubt I answered any questions of the case studies correctly. There is no study material out there that would prepare you for the case studies that was given in this exam. There was so much information on the CD sets, so many pages to go through on the other documents. They were high resolution and super slow to load. Search result highlighting is impossible to see in the drawings. There wasn't an on-screen "pan" function, my mouse acted up so wasn't able to scroll around efficiently. I really really needed to copy and paste part of the specifications on the white board and look for that info on the drawing, but surprise surprise you can't do that on the white board. You can't open two documents at the same time. All the tools I was given felt archaic and insufficient.
I don't know what my score card will show I failed in. I'm very discouraged now because I cannot possibly study the contracts, bidding etc. more. I feel like nothing can prepare me for those case studies. I guess I'll have to switch gears and tackle the technical exams next.
I would appreciate any advise you guys might have on this. This is my first fail so it's probably normal that I'm not handling it very well. :)
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