ok, so now what?

This has nothing to do with this post, I just think it’s wicked cool (I suppose it could be considered a construction system…)

So far in the ARE process I’ve had a pretty good plan of attack.  CDS/PPP/SPD all related and would be a good place to start, SS would be in the middle in case I bombed it, and I’d use SD as a breather or when things were busy and there wouldn’t be much time for study.   It appears that my cunning plan has worked well, and now all that’s left in my stack of NCARB exam guides are BDCS and BS.    The problem is, I never really figured out which order to take them…I just assumed that I’d figure it out later.

Well, later is now and as I read over the guides I’m not totally convinced of a proper direction to take.  Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) the subject matter for each was covered in courses that I really geeked out in at school, so I’m not facing uncharted territory in either case.   I looked at the suggestions from a few of you and read exam order posts over at areforum, and my gut feeling is to go with BCDS.

I’ll give it one more day to think about, but I’d love to get it scheduled sooner than later.  I’m planning on taking the next exam at the end of September, and then the final right before Thanksgiving.  I think both are doable in the time frame, but of course welcome any thoughts that others might have.

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13 thoughts on “ok, so now what?

  1. Matt says:

    I too was in the same boat … BDCS or BS … I went with BDCS then BS … I think I made the right decision.

  2. Takaren says:

    Hello Jenny. I enjoy reading your blog. It is very informative.
    I took BS and passed. And I am studying SS. Next one is BDCS. Originally I was planning to take BS, BDCS and SS. Because BDCS contents overlap little bit SS and BS. But I thought SS knowledge reduces time to study BDCS. That’s my hope. Since SS and BS are totally different creature, so I think it’s good to take BDCS next in your case. Good luck!

  3. apmoon says:

    You’ll do fine on bother! BDCS wasn’t bad and all you need to read for BS is the “MEEB” book. Best of luck!

  4. Dom says:

    Jenny, love your Study notes. Do you think it is doable to pass all Seven Divisions just studying Kaplan, Ballasts, ArchiFlashcards and Jenny’s Notes

    • jennypdx says:

      Hi Dom, Anything is possible, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend limiting yourself to those. Kaplan, Ballast, and Archiflash are all awesome resources, but they’re pretty general and most (myself included) need more sources of information specific to each exam in order to pass. I’m thrilled to hear that you love my notes, but I can’t guarantee that they cover everything you’ll need to know on your exam. That being said, at the end of each of my study guides I include a list of references that I found helpful, there’s also a list at the end of each NCARB exam guide with suggested reading. Don’t skip that stuff. For example, the AIA contract documents are critical to know for CDS and PPP and FEMA 454 and Buildings at Risk should be read for SS. There are resources on arefourm that are helpful and people are always posting what they found useful when studying. Read those posts, they’re the best. I hope that helps you a bit as you prepare, please don’t hesitate to ask if you need more advice, I’m happy to help if I can. Cheers!

  5. Dom says:

    I have been stuyding all Seven Divisons for 6 months. I plan to take the exams in Oct. Whatever divsion(s) I fail, I plan to take either AIA Seminars or attend to Funkaar Studios, http://www.funkaarstudios.com. What are your thoughts on the Seminars. I friend of mine recently passed Structures just attending AIA Seminars.

    • jennypdx says:

      Wow, congrats on going for all of them at once! I don’t think I could do that, haha. I haven’t taken or read much on any of the seminars, so I’m afraid I can’t offer an opinion on them…sorry. I’ve seen them mentioned on arefourm, perhaps someone over there could give you a better sense of their value.

  6. alkikat says:

    Jenny- welcome to BDCS. I’m up for it in two weeks and have saved it for last based on comments from my coworkers and forum members who’ve taken it (lots of random questions, lots of questions from other exams like CDS, BS, SS, some history, sustainability…) It actually feels like studying for BS again- a broad category of topics and trying to guess which one to cover (the well-rounded approach) w/o wasting a lot of time on anyone topic.
    Dom – after seeing how a lot of my co-workers have passed these exams (with minimal or without Kaplan, or Ballast or AIA seminars), I’m starting to doubt the relationship between study time or breadth of material and passing. It all comes down to what makes you feel most comfortable & ready to take these exams.

    • Dom says:

      Hello alkikat – I am not going to stress myself. I read the areforums, however, is it overwhelming on what to study. Overall, I do have an understanding on all divisions. If I fail, I have 9 more attempts on passing =) Enjoy the weekend and be safe

      • alkikat says:

        Dom- Keep in perspective that people who take the time to comment on the forum also tend to over-worry and over-study (like me :). Like I said, I know people who’ve passed without kaplan, or Ballast or the forum, or months of studying, and there’s really no way to answer the question “can I pass if I…” because no one knows you better than yourself. But you’ve got it right not to stress yourself.

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