I took PPD today and got a likely fail. I felt super prepared in the morning, I had scored 85 on the NCARB practice test, 85 on designer hacks, 80 on architect exam prep, I thought his was in the bag… My deficiencies: HVAC and Structures. I clearly need to spend more time with all the different types of mechanical systems and more time on seismic design and lateral loads. I studied concepts from Ballast and used Designer Hacks, Architect Exam Prep, and NCARB practice exams, none of which were good representations of the real thing. There’s a lot of emphasis on egress, occupant load, FAR, passive heating/cooling, and concrete, in the practice exams and while there were certainly questions on these subjects on my exam, it felt like the bulk of it had to do with HVAC and structures. I studied so much concrete and I think there was only one question about it. I’m going to buy amber book since everyone is raving about it. I did what I always do, sat through the whole thing without a break. I had 1:40 minutes left for the case studies and I used 1:30 of it with 10 minutes to spare which I used to review some marked questions. The case studies were probably the only satisfying thing about the exam. They were time consuming but the information was there and it was all concepts I was very confident about (egress, occupant load, zoning, parking, value engineering). So now I’m onto PDD while I wait for my retake. I’m sad to have broken my passing streak. 4 down and still 2 more to go. Good luck to all!
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