PPD FAIL

Comments

11 comments

  • Avatar
    Valerie D-S

    Sorry for your fail. I've failed PPD twice now (I was one of the guinea pigs that took the 5.0 tests when they FIRST came out, before the scoring was even set) and am attempting it a third time tomorrow. PPD and PDD have a lot of overlapping materials, so it's best to study for them both simultaneously. Your studying for PDD will help you greatly the next time you take PPD and your studying for PPD will really help you with PDD. Good luck!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Lauren Printz (Edited )

    Nooo Nadia, I'm sorry to hear. I failed PPD as well, retaking in 3 weeks.


    This was my experience as well: I work in an A&E firm so I know a fair amount of how to coordinate the systems together, but the exam was mostly selecting these awful pictograms - I didn't even know what I was looking at! I was shocked about the sheer amount of seismic questions as well.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Nadia Lauterbach

    So many lateral force questions! I don’t think I failed it by much according to my score, but I have deficiencies in structures and hvac. My other scores were better than the average passing, I just need to work on those two topics.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Violetta Madi

    Same here. I feel all these test preps are outdated now and no longer valid. 

    Amber book would probably be the best to help you with PPD, but in my experience it was not enough for PDD. Almost every question had a math formula in PDD. 

    In PPD I had only one question on HVAC, and one question on electrical, most of them were on FEMA, passive strategies, and fire code. They were actually good questions, reasonably challenging. For my PPD retake i will study FEMA and MEEB and Sustainable Strategies. 

    PDD don't know, it was a disaster.. Maybe I'll need to go get masters in structural engineering or something.

    Good luck to all! 

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Hans-Christian Karlberg

    Hi Nadia.

    I passed my last exam in September, which was PPD. Passed PDD some weeks prior. Both retakes. I wasn't working at an office who could sponsor the big prep subscriptions, so I did it on a shoestring budget. Here is what I did beyond what you already listed:

    • Don't let the fail get the better of you. Stay focused.
    • Take the NCARB practice exam more than once, just to get the language down in the questions.
    • Follow Elif's structures videos. If you go through the whole list, you'll be well prepared. Maybe over prepared, as the series is probably more in depth than the questions on the exam. She explains things in a way that gets you hooked on structures. This is what the doctor ordered. (affordable)
    • Try Ben's Hyperfine course. He links structure questions to youtube videos where he explains the problem solutions. (affordable)

    It sounds like you were very close. Confidence goes a long way in exams. Keep at it! You've got this!

    Hope this helps.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Rebekka O'Melia (Edited )

    Hi Nadia,

    I would not recommend sitting through a nearly 4 hr exam without a break.  Use the break(s) to your advantage!  Raise your blood sugar by eating protein, drink water, use the lav, walk around, etc.  You can also use a cheat sheet during your break.  Take every advantage!

    I'd HIGHLY recommend reading ASC for building system integration.  Also read Ballast exam review guide.

    Doing the case studies last is not a good idea.  Do at least one case study first.  If you want to send me your score report, I'll help you analyze it.  I'd bet you didn't do well on the case studies considering you did those last, when you were most tired...

    Good luck & keep studying!

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

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Hans-Christian Karlberg

    Here are my extra tips after reading other posts.

    The format a candidate feels comfortable with to keep nerves at a minimum during the exam is what each candidate should focus on. For some, a 4 hour concentration period can work well without a break, and not for others. In my experience, I started out believing in taking a break between multiple choice questions and case studies. A break felt like the right thing to do in a few of my exams. In the last two exams that I passed in September (PPD & PDD), however, I was so concentrated that a break didn't make sense to my body or mind "in the moment". I purposefully took the exam in the morning, without breakfast or coffee, just a few sips of water. It was fine and it worked out. Sitting through a 4 hour exam without a break is completely doable, if you're prepared and if it makes sense in the moment. It can work, yet you should do what you are comfortable with.

    I agree with reading ASC for system integration. I bought the Ballast bundle 2nd edition: review book with both practice questions and practice exams, plus flash cards, and read it once which was enough to get into the mindset of a test-maker. So if you can find a copy at your local AIA chapter to save a chunk of change, I recommend this route. The only exam guide you need to read is the NCARB handbook.

    Doing the case studies last is an absolutely fine idea. It was my preferred way after testing out both options: One question after the next, diligently plodding, 2 minutes per multiple choice and a tad more for case study questions. I once tried doing case study questions at the beginning of the exam after reading an online forum post and it did not work out, because it gave me a false sense of time management. You could say "each to their own", but in the current format of the exam the likelihood of either locking you out of questions due to the break protocols, or getting flustered with jumping in and out of the summary page and therefore mismanaging time, is high.

    If you fail, you were likely close to passing. The score report will only tell you how close you were, but it will not tell you much about content. Yes, it provides some percentages per section, but it would be false to think that focusing your studies in that section would get you a pass in the next exam. Every exam is different, so it doesn't make sense to mull over the score report. Each question is worth 1 point, whether you are in the case study segment or in the multiple choice segment. If you are still reading this, you are one of two people: 1. you are a test prep representative looking to analyze your market, (and/or) 2. you probably went through graduate level architecture school and recently failed an exam. In the latter case: You've got this! It's absolutely within your reach! Focus. Believe in yourself. Keep enjoying the journey of learning, and take all online posts with a pinch of salt (even mine).

    HC

     

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Nadia Lauterbach

    Thank you Hans-Christian for your comments. Yes, 4 hours of concentration is absolutely the best for me. Jumping around seems like a recipe for getting locked out of questions and poor time management. The case studies are hard and require time, it’s best to get the multiple choice out of the way and have as much time as possible in the end. I’m currently concentrating on PDD and we’ll see how it goes.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Lauren Printz

    Circling back Nadia... Just failed PPD a second time.... let me know if you want to chat again - Sounds like we are in the same boat!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Toshea Shouse

    anyone want to start a study group?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Rebekka O'Melia

    Hi Lauren, 

    Sorry to hear that you failed.  That's frustrating.  I failed this exam once as well.  It really helped me craft my programs.  

    ASC is a great resource for this exam.  

    I have taken a lot of professional exams, and while the AREs were definitely the most difficult of all of them, I think the advice about sitting thru a 4 hr exam without food, water, or a break is a recipe for disaster.  It's a much better strategy to think of this very long exam as 2 shorter exams instead - each two hr long exams with a break in the middle.  During your break eat some protein, drink some water, walk around a bit, clear your head, look at notes briefly...  Try to do the case studies first or after your break, when you are fresh.

    Get help if you need it.  These exam cost a lot of $$$, time and energy, so getting help makes sense if it saves you money, time and heartache.  You need to be very disciplined with your study routine and smart about your exam strategy.  It will be worth it when you're licensed.

    Good luck and keep studying!

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

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk