I took the exam today, in person, first attempt, and got a likely pass! I did the multiple choice questions in 1hr 50 minutes and the case studies in 1 hr 3 minutes and took the last 7 to review the single marked question I had. I didn’t take any breaks, just ran through the whole appointment like I’ve done in the previous 3 exams. What I used to study: Ballast/PPI but honestly I just skimmed the PA material and some chapter from PPD. I found that this study guide gets really caught up in extreme details that will never make it to the exam. The practice questions and exams are also like this and many of the questions are tricky or just plain absurd. But, I had bought the entire course so I felt like I had to use it. The guide that REALLY helped was Architect Exam Prep. I’ve used it for all 4 exams I’ve passed after an initial failure and I find that the practice exams are very similar to the real thing. Also, the NCARB practice exam was an excellent tool. The subjects on the real exam are exactly like the practice test. There were no real structures questions in this exam, even though some guides include this material. There were questions related to soils and appropriately choosing a foundation. A couple of questions about sun angles, many drag in place questions about room adjacencies and lay out and white a few calculations about FAR, parking spaces, etc. You really need to understand occupant loads, FAR, climate zones, passive heating/cooling, site evaluation, historic preservation, soils, sustainable design, environmental factors. This exam will test your ability to solve puzzles in finding the best location for a particular room or best site. The case studies are time consuming and some of the questions required consulting 3 of the resources given so make sure you have an hour for these 14 questions. Having said that, I didn’t find that the questions were particularly hard, just read carefully and gather all the information. The whiteboard was glitchy but what can you do… 4 down, 2 more to go. Good luck all of you!
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