Ain’t no rest for the wicked

In lieu of taking some time off now, I decided to go ahead and schedule my next exam, Schematic Design, for Sunday, July 15. There’s a Timbers match the night before against the LA Galaxy, so my goal is to be done by then so I can go enjoy it.  It’s probably a long shot, but I’m hoping that we’ll have a hell of a shut out against them like we did last year.  A girl can dream, right?  Also, since we’re on the subject of the mighty PTFC, the new Adidas commercial with Darlington Nagbe and the Timbers Army featured is pretty cool (I can almost feel the green smoke in my lungs watching it).

Anyway, my options were to take the exam on the 15th, or wait until after my sister Amanda’s, Nate’s, and my birthdays (aka: 2 weeks of party time).  That would push it back to mid/late August. It seems kind of silly to wait that long, and to be honest, I’d rather have another test under my belt before I get a year older.  27 is, after all, the goal age to have my license.  Time is ticking!  From what I’ve gathered on the forum and from conversations with others, it’s definitely reasonable to knock this one out in a couple of weeks.  That’s probably a good thing, seeing that I have just over four weeks to prepare and I’ll be in Los Angeles for one of them!

I downloaded the software/exam guide from NCARB and will spend today familiarizing myself with it.  I’m pretty excited to have a break from compiling a huge study guide, but I’ll still put together a step-by-step process like I do for all of the vignettes.   I know it’ll take some work, and plenty of practice, but I have a good feeling about this exam already.  It’s kind of nice.

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13 thoughts on “Ain’t no rest for the wicked

  1. Jennifer says:

    All you need to remember for the SD exam is to use your chart (examples are on the forum) and stay methodical. It is a lot like the SPD, only interior. Two weeks is ample time to prepare as long as you are finishing on time….there is a lot to do in your allotted time segment. Not difficult, again, just meticulous. Good luck and way to go for keeping it moving!!

  2. Rumen says:

    Def go through, practice and post all of your solutions for the Alternate Plans found on the forum. This was a stumbling block for me, I failed it the first time around. I think my failure had to do with using hard copy study materials from Kaplan, nothing substitutes using the actual program.

    Second time was a pass and I think mostly due to just practicing the various Alternate Plans on the forum. Good luck!

  3. derek says:

    also, don’t go for a design award, i had what i would consider to be ugly/bad design for the interior solution and i still passed. also know the little tricks, like the bookcase can be up against the side of the desk, ugly and not what you would ever do in the real world, but it has access so its a pass to NCARB. little tricks like that will help you out in the bind. also on the building design, keep track of where things are supposed to be. i got lost in the placement of rooms and when i was checking out my final solution, realized that i had program on the wrong side of the building. the are forum had a lot of good info for this exam!

    • jennypdx says:

      Thanks much for the handy tips, derek!! I imagine the designer instinct is to create a nice building…will probably have to keep a note on my monitor that reminds me otherwise, haha. I’ll keep your tricks in mind when i start attempting layouts, i’m sure they’ll come in handy. cheers!!

  4. Kim says:

    Hi Jenny, I’ve been reading your posts for a while, but this is my first response.
    First off, thanks so much for the Study Guides! I used them for SPD and PPP and they were a huge help! I took all 7 tests in exactly a year. I’ve passed the first 6 and I’m waiting on the results of PPP that I took on May 21st. Like you I had an age goal. I’m 28 and will be 29 in September. I hope you get your pass letter on Structures! For me, Structures ended up being the easiest b/c I was so scared I studied the most for it! But then I was really nervous when I left thinking I did well, that hadn’t happened before! My order was CDS, BDCS, SS, SD, BS, SPD, PPP.

    I think its a really smart choice taking SD now, its a nice break from all the hardcore studying from Structures! I only studied SD for two weeks, and took it with no problem. The all drawing test is a nice relief from the WTF mc. The hardest thing is practicing the Interior Design problems enough to get to an answer within the hour. Try all the alternates you can, and don’t worry about having a “pretty” answer! I liked the SD vignettes b/c I just saw them as logic puzzles.

    Also, after SD, BDCS would be a good one to take next b/c it relates to your Structures stuyding a lot! Good luck with everything and thanks again for your posts! 🙂

    • jennypdx says:

      Thanks for reading and for dropping me a note, Kim. I’m so glad to hear the notes were helpful, and congrats on your successes!! I like your suggestion of approaching the vignettes like a logic puzzle, definitely makes it more enjoyable. Also, thanks for your recommendation on BDCS, I’ve been struggling to make a decision on which to take next. Hope you get that final pass letter back soon! 🙂 Cheers!!

  5. alkikat says:

    Congrats on getting SS done. Am on PPP now and am enjoying your notes. SD should be a fun one. Here are all the vignettes and notes I’ve collected for SD if you’re interested: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cvxqs2tju8z4elm/Ly806o68Pr

    • jennypdx says:

      Thanks for the files and docs, I really appreciate it! On first glance they look incredibly thorough. Glad you’ve enjoyed the PPP notes, good luck!

  6. jyoungarch says:

    I agree with Kim on taking BDCS next. It also has light some BS content, so it will be a good prelude to the “beast” as I like to call it! LOL

    • jennypdx says:

      Well if the motion has been seconded, then I move we accept! 🙂 thanks for your input J…and here’s hoping the “beast” doesn’t turn out to be quite so fierce. YIKES.

      • Jennifer says:

        I gave myself 6 weeks for the beast and actually passed it the first time around. When you get there (after BDCS) let me know and I’ll dig up my notes. 😉

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