on stupid mistakes, the drudgery of studying, and surprisingly good reads

Well, I’ve been busy the past week or so, and there really hasn’t been much to highlight. Here’s a rundown:

Finished reading Defensible Space, which turned out to be a much more interesting story than I was expecting. It’s nice to have a personal narrative tie together the guidelines, and it also serves as a reminder that applying strategies to design and planning isn’t always a straightforward task. It takes a lot of collaboration with professionals and users to create an environment that will be a success. The Architect’s Handbook For Professional Practice basically says the same thing in its ginormous section on the project. Granted it’s not quite as stimulating to read (I still have a good 300+ pages to get through) it’s interesting and incredibly helpful. I can see why so many say that it’s a must-have study tool. I agree 300%.

in section it helps to draw the max building height at the actual max building height. duh.

I finally gave the NCARB vignette problem a shot. Besides the obvious, and really really embarrassing screw up of the max building height in the section (what was I thinking?) I think I’m doing alright. It took me about 40 minutes, and most of the time was spent drawing those stupid sketch lines by the river and getting the areas as close to the tangent line of the circles as possible. That’s going to take some practice in order to get my speed up. Last night I sketched out (by hand) the two Kaplan vignette problems and did well on those. Seems to me that the biggest challenge on this vignette is plain ol’ accuracy.

During lunch today I took a run through the Kaplan practice exam problems on their online supplement and got a whopping 35% on the outsanding 100 questions left that I haven’t tried before. Needless to say, I thought I was doing well, but that was a kick in the pants that my day didn’t need. So I’ve got a list of things to look up tonight, notes to get through, equations to memorize, and AHPP to read. Oh and it’s supposed to snow (but they’ve been saying that for days) so there’s that distraction. Looks like it’ll be another fun night.

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2 thoughts on “on stupid mistakes, the drudgery of studying, and surprisingly good reads

  1. Salo Daniel says:

    Hi Jenny,

    Fist of all THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! (i’m sure you have received a lot of thank you’s before but they are never enough) Your time and materials are really appreciated by all of us.

    I wanted to ask something specific about your post regarding the Kaplan online supplemental for PPP. Is it worth the $80?

    I was considering it but not sure. Testing this saturday and almost went over all practice exams I could find (NCARB, Kaplan Manual, Kaplan Q&A, Lesson Quizes etc)

    What do you think?

    Thanks AGAIN!

    • jennypdx says:

      Hi Salo! You’re so very welcome!! I love hearing that other people are able to use the guides, it makes my day a little brighter when people drop me a note. Thanks for the kind words. Personally I like using the Kaplan online supplement as a way to really hammer the big concepts home and I’m kind of lazy sometime. Meaning, that the questions online are essentially the same as those in the paper exam books, I just don’t have to grade myself. If you have the Kaplan exam book and Q&A (sounds like you do) I think you’re just fine and it’s probably overkill. One resource you didn’t mention is the ARE Study Review 4.0 website. Do you know it? If not, check it out, lots of free multiple choice questions for each exam. Best of luck this weekend, I’m sure you’ve prepared well. Cheers!

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