PPD FAIL

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.

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 I feel all these test preps are outdated now and no longer valid.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

     

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    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

     

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    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.

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    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!

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    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

     

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    Susan Arnold (Edited )

    After passing PPD I second the comments of others that there were more questions about lateral loads and seismic performance than I anticipated, including evaluating pictures or diagrams of building failure post-earthquake and also very basic shear/ moment diagrams without calculations. I was grateful to have studied that material prior to the PPD exam, although I didn't anticipate seeing it until PDD, which will be my final exam. Structural behavior was not, however, a focus of the PPD case studies I had. Based on the recommendations of others here (after taking PPD) I've now watched Elif's structural video series to prepare for PDD, which include seismic.  Elif's seismic videos addressed some of the questions I saw on PPD so I recommend them prior to either exam.

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