I passed PPD on the first try. I've been studying for PA, PPD, and PDD at the same time for the past 2.5 months using Amber Book. I studied about 25 hours each week, on top of my weekly 40-50 full time job. I do agree that this is not an ideal way of studying, but it sure is the quickest way of getting it done. What inspired me to attempt the remaining 3 exams all at once was knowing that the older generation of Architects would have 1 opportunity per year to pass all exams. If they could do it, so can I!!
You have to treat this Amber Book course as if it were a regular college course with full dedication and commitment, especially since you are getting charged. I wish I had signed up for Amber Book before, but here I am now.
I scheduled my 3 remaining exams 1 week apart. I passed PA on my 3rd attempt. I failed twice using other competitor's study materials and finally passed using Amber Book. On Week 1 of testing, I took the PA NCARB practice exam and ran out of time and failed to answer 28 questions. This put me on panic mode!! My main issue was starting with the case studies first followed by the multiple-choice questions. I know this helps for some candidates, but clearly this strategy did not work for me. I re-took the Practice exam the day before my PA exam and passed both the Practice and the Real PA exam.
On week 2 of testing, I took my very first PPD practice exam on Monday, (NCARB PPD Practice Exam) and scored a 74. I passed all 5 sections and had about 15 minutes left to review. I felt pretty confident w/ the content of the exam both Practice Exam and real exam felt relatively easy. Amber Book really does a great job of illustrating the content in a way that makes it easy to learn. Make sure to utilize every resource that the Amber Book has to offer! I finally know how to read a Psychrometric Chart!! Thank you, Amber Book. If only my college systems professor could see me now!
I was scheduled to take PDD this morning, but NCARB cancelled my appointment late last night. I was on a roll w/ only PDD left as my final exam, but due to my cancellation I will test next week. This may be a blessing in disguise since I only gave myself 3 days between PPD and PDD exams. A few extra study days will surely help.
Before I was only using Black Spectacles, but I struggled to grasp some of the concepts while watching their lecture videos. The lecturer goes on for hours without much visual explanations. I would not recommend Black Spectacles since it's so expensive and you can gain so much more knowledge using Amber Book, which comes out to the same price.
My main study source was AMBER BOOK.
I also used Building Codes Illustrated and Building Construction Illustrated. I skimmed both books entirely, which helped visualize construction assemblies.
I used Ballast for PA only.
I used a copy of the IBC2018. No need to memorize information since each edition will change things up a bit. However, become familiar with Chapters 3,4,5,6,7,10,11 and know which tables are located on what chapters. Use search tool on the exam to find specific terms.
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