PPD NCARB Practice Exam score

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    Rebekka O'Melia

    Nadia,

    It's great that you did well on the practice exam. It doesn't guarantee that you'll pass the real exam though.  Just keep pushing forward with your studies.  And research topics that you got incorrect.

    Good luck!

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

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    Michael Justus Wunderle (Edited )

    Nadia,

    I scored a 79 percent on the PPD practice exam and was in the same boat you are, minus already having studied for the tests in the past. The practice exam seemed pretty easy and I felt like I could have passed without even studying. I've passed 3 tests in a row prior to the PPD test I took last weekend.

    I found the real test to be much, much harder and failed (although not by much). There will be much more complicated questions and very few layups like I found on the practice exam. The questions involving math were much longer calculations as well and the questions that required you to look up code sections were much more time consuming. Know your HVAC systems, structural systems, acoustics and code stuff. Know egress stuff, ramps, stairs, walking surface slopes etc.

    I personally found the site layout questions to be more confusing than those on the PA exam and many questions had at least two answers that were very difficult to determine the correct one. They both made a lot of sense and it felt like a coin flip to determine what the test question was getting at.

    I hear there is a lot of variability between tests and maybe I got a harder one or unlucky with the material I had studied. I wish they offered a much harder practice exam because I'm sure I'm not the only one to underestimate the test based on the practice test I took. I studied hard for a week after taking that practice test and didn't underestimate it. Good luck and hope you don't have as much trouble as I did!

     

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    Nadia Lauterbach

    Thank you for your reply. My test is scheduled for next Monday but I’m going to reschedule it. I consistently score 79 on architect exam prep practice exams but I have yet to take Ballast, which tend to be harder. I have gaps in my knowledge regarding hvac and structures and if the exam is more weighed towards those subjects I won’t do well. Thanks for the feedback and good luck!

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    Michael Justus Wunderle

    Nadia,

    Good idea pushing it back a little as I think you can now reschedule up to 48hrs in advance for no extra fee.

    The only other practice tests I take are the weare practice exams, which I found to be harder than the actual tests in regards to minimum passing score and require much more specific knowledge. I am new to the forums and will be using the information here since my fail. Do you find the ballast exams do a good job preparing you for the tests or mimic the actual kinds of questions the best?

    Also study passive heating and cooling along with seismic stuff and means of failure in an earthquake.

    Know the building shape, orientation in different climates stuff cold. Know what types of HVAC are appropriate in different building types AND climates.

    What type of basic support structure or bracing shape is needed to stabilize a given structure and applicable foundations, floor and roof structural systems for different spans and building types or applications. structures might come up too. 

    Also roofing systems composition of parts and how the systems relates to energy usage or cost.

    Just a few extra areas I wish I had study. Hope that helps, as it helps me to list them out for next time.

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    Nadia Lauterbach

    Michael, 4 exams in and I have found that Ballast is nothing like the real exam, it gets super specific with lots of calculations on obscure stuff, sometimes I just give up on their practice questions. I find the theory to be helpful but not the exams. Architect Exam Prep material has been worth every penny, very similar to the real thing, I’ve passed every single exam one on the first try using AEP diligently and ballast only skimming.

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