…and SD makes 5!

It’s funny how involuntary reactions work with exam results.  Every time I see an NCARB envelope my stomach drops to my diaphragm (oh no!) and then jumps up to my esophagus (oh boy!) and I hold my breath as I tear open the envelope.  My hands shake, ever so lightly, as I peek at the header of the NCARB letter still tucked inside.    Somehow this all occurs in a matter of seconds that feel like hours and is done without any conscious thought on my part.  I’m sure you’ve experienced something similar too.

And then an honest to goodness smile as I see the word PASS.

I’m pretty dang happy and a bit relieved, like always.  While I had a good feeling that the exam went well, it’s really nice to officially have another confirmed pass to my name.  With five down, this is truly the first moment when I’ve felt that the end is near.  There’s still plenty (and from what I’ve read on the forum that means a ton) of information to get thought on BDCS and BS  but I’m ready to buckle down and focus.   I’ve realized that  my goal of knocking out the last two exams in the next four months means that both must be a PASS so I’m not wasting any time waiting around for six months to retake either of them.

But for now…let’s party, like we have before and will no doubt do again.  While the examination process is getting a bit tiring, here’s hoping that celebration never does.

party cat by the very funny nedroid (click for the whole series, which surprisingly sums up the ARE process quite nicely)

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11 thoughts on “…and SD makes 5!

  1. archetect says:

    Well….whilst I am super duper happy for you jenny…..sigh……..(letting a huge breath audibly….in a state of uncertainty)….I continue to wonder what it is I must be not doing. I thank you for your study guides by the way, and have tackled compiling some of my own, and fusing other’s loose study notes into more comprehensive booklets. Nevertheless, things seem daunting and I become even more perplexed that whilst I am covering similar material…..what else must I do to truly pass these exams.

    Took BS, and knew I blew something on the vignette, but apparently was not strong on the MC. As for the CDs….felt super well prepared, and yet to hear anything, and now…..Im doubting that PASS. Don’t ask me why, just am.

    Sorry dont mean to be a downer on your page/blog here, just wondering if there is something else that you could share (personally or openly here on the blog) of how to attack these exams (since you seem extremely well prepared for it and successful to boot). I am truly feeling beat down, and trying to lift my spirits to press on. I know we all have experienced it, but I want some sort of focus….however that may be/come.

    Anyways, not to take away from your celebration…..5 down and 2 more. Gosh, that seems like so far for me, but it must be soooooo sweet for ya! Well done.

    • jennypdx says:

      Hey, I’m sorry it took me a couple of days to get back to you! So bummed to hear that you’re having a heck of the time with the exams, but please know that as long as you keep the desire and drive to pass them alive, you will. Keep the faith! It’s fantastic that you’re compiling your own booklets of information, I think that’s a really good way to prepare. Perhaps you might find that in addition compiling the notes of others, reading and then writing your own directly from recommended resources will help solidify the information further.

      A good thing to ask yourself, if you haven’t already, is how best do you study? Are you really absorbing the material in a way that works best for you? For me, I learn best by writing/compiling outlines of information, hence the study guides. If you find quizzes helpful, the website ARE Study Review 4 has lots of additional multiple choice things to practice. The Archiflash cards (and Kaplan flashcards) are great, I start my studying for every exam by going though the stack to see what I know and what I don’t. If studying alone isn’t working, then it might be time to get some help from others. Personally I haven’t taken them, but many have found seminars helpful. Depending on where you live your local AIA chapter might have some options for classes or study groups.

      So much of the ARE is about having a grasp of the big concepts as much as it is about knowing little details. Take a good look at the Exam Guide NCARB provides and make sure you address all of the topics listed when you make your booklets. Once you have a good understanding of the big picture the little details will fall into place.

      I sincerely hope I was able to be of some help, please keep me posted on your progress and know that I’m rooting for you. Best of luck, you’ve absolutely got this!

      • archetect says:

        Jenny,
        Thanks for being so kind. Yeah, believe it I’ve been thoroughly frustrated with the exams. I wish I was living out there in the PacNorthwest to pay u to tutor me cause man Im guessing I need some intervention, lol.
        After getting my letter (confirming my feelings of NO GO), I become further infuriated with the way they report our results – giving you the littlest of information about the exam. Turns out I only lacked enough on 1 section out of 5 total. How in the heck is that possible? Then the frustration turned into doubt because of how I have been studying. Not sure if I should continue that route for this next exam (PPP). It’s scary enough with the amount of info we are asked to absorb.

        I am busting my brain now trying to “redefine” my study methods to give this next exam a try, but it hurts the psyche (as well as the wallet) when you have the doubt of whether or not you covered the material in the right manner to pass. Never really had issues with the vignette (other than my fumble of the BS one – totally my fault). So it’s just the MC portions.

        Anyways, thanks again. You’re an awesome prodigy and cheerleader!
        I hope this next one is a pass for me, cause I dont know if I can take any more beat downs.

  2. Dom says:

    Congrats!!! All the best to you

    I am looking forward reading your Building System and Building Design & Construction Systems Study Guides.

  3. A Moon says:

    Jenn – I got my PASS letter yesterday for BS! That makes 5 for me too!! I just took SP+D on Monday and feel really good about it! Thanks again for the blogging! 🙂

    • A Moon says:

      I forgot to mention that SS is my last one… Any advice?

      • jennypdx says:

        Congrats on BS and I hope you hear back on SPD soon! As for advice on SS, be sure to have a solid conceptual understanding of lateral, seismic, and wind forces. Read multiple sources for each (eg: Kaplan, FEMA, Buildings at Risk). Also, knowing what equations and their components mean conceptually is almost more important than how to solve them. In hindsight, studying the Kaplan Q&A was probably the best thing I did. It truly helped me think about structural concepts more thoroughly and really helped me feel prepared for questions on exam day. Hope that helps, good luck!!

  4. archetect says:

    Oh and aside from this endeavour you are tackling right now, jenny….i came across your site (which has your projects). I have to say I am very impressed wtih your work. Not only are you kicking butt on these exams, and created some sweet projects (and renderings)….you’re a cutie to boot! Man you got it all!! 🙂
    Hope you update the site with more cool projects (if you have any more). Im def. a fan!

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