if only BS was as fun as PBS

For as long as I can remember, well back into the early days of my childhood, one of the highlights of my non-cable-dwelling lifestyle was turning on PBS and watching “This Old House” on Saturday evenings. While my weekends are typically a little busier now, I still catch myself  streaming episodes I miss online when I have a free time.  And besides, now that Kevin, Richard, and Rodger tweet, the good times don’t have to be limited to one day a week, right?  As I wasted a bit of time looking for anything to do but study, I watched an episodes that included a bit on alternative septic systems.   While the chances of the information about “Poop Central” showing up on the exam are slim to none, I can at least confidently say that it helped a tiny bit in my  BS preparation.   And if it does, well, I guess I’m going to have to send PBS a bonus contribution in thanks.

In other tweet news, a few weeks ago user @simplybrinn posted a link to a document she’s compiling for ARE Resources.  It’s really handy, and I’m sure it will become even more in depth as she knocks out her last exams.  Thanks again for sharing, Brinn!

I’ve gone through the vignette a few times and am feeling pretty good about that portion. My completion time is just where it should be, and my solutions seem to work.  I should probably post to areforum as a final review…but it’s kind of a low priority at this point.  I passed the vignette portion of the exam the first time around, so I guess I’m not too worried about it.

oh so *that's* how they work

oh so that’s how they work

Multiple Choice studying is going well, and with 1o days to go until the exam I’m feeling like I’m at the point I was walking into BS the first time.  That means that I have just over a week to review, retain, and organize all of the information in my brain….and it’s probably going to take the entire time to do so.   I’m still working on finalizing my revised study guide and I’m a little surprised to see just how much I missed.  So far I’ve added about 25 additional pages of notes, charts, and diagrams, and hopefully it will be useful come exam day.  I’ve taken a few practice exams and gone through all of the Kaplan Q&A questions and as of right now my scores aren’t too great.

My next step is to go back through what I missed and understand why the correct answers were selected  and what the incorrect answers actually mean.   It’s going to be time consuming, but a worthwhile exercise.  I haven’t gone through any MEEB diagrams yet either, so this weekend I should be able to kick back and look through those now that I have a more well rounded understanding of all of the information.  Overall, I’m finding that I can explain strategies and systems conceptually, but getting stuck on the proper terminology and definitions.   I won’t be satisfied that I’ve prepared myself well enough for exam day until I have this review and honing portion of study covered.  That being said, at this point that goal appears attainable.   Fortunately I have the majority of the weekend to study and I’m looking forward to knocking out the last few pages of revised notes and getting to the review.

And, as always, taking a break for This Old House.

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7 thoughts on “if only BS was as fun as PBS

  1. archaalto says:

    First of all, just wanted to say thanks for sharing your experiences and contributing all the concise study notes. They came in handy for my reviews.

    Next, I want to say good luck on that BS exam. I know how weird that whole experience is. I received my pass letter on that one a few weeks ago and after looking back, I realized it wasn’t necessarily the material that was troubling–it was the vague and generic test language that kept throwing me for a loop. It seemed like it didn’t matter what some mechanical system was named or any kind of technical information that made sense in the real world.

    I found that at some point during the exam, all the studying and information I retained faded into the background, and I just went with my gut in choosing the correct answer. It becomes more about passing their ridiculous test format and filtering through their language vernacular than testing your true knowledge on the subject. The good news was I passed, the bad news is I feel like I’m being brainwashed by NCARB. Ugh…

    Anyways, good luck–I know you can pass!

    • jennypdx says:

      Hey! Congrats on the pass and thanks for sharing your experience, it’s nice to know the feeling of trying to comprehend the exam format is mutual. In previous exams I’ve found myself often going with my gut on answers, too. Sometime it really is the best strategy.

  2. Arch526 says:

    Can you post the additional pages you’ve added? Thanks

    • jennypdx says:

      I will do that! I still have some work to do on it over the weekend, so keep an eye out (tentatively) early next week for a post on the revised guide. Cheers!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Let me know if you happen to want Gang Chen’s mock exam. I’ve got mine for sale and thought it was fairly good in regards to the wording of questions.

    • jennypdx says:

      Thanks Elizabeth! I’m up to my eyeballs in review material to get through at the moment, but if I’m feeling like I need another source I’ll shoot you a message this weekend.

  4. Marji Lucero says:

    Hi, Jenny, just wanted to wish you good luck on your BS exam. I failed it once also, and I am hoping that your study guide will help me pass it this time. I plan to take it again in August. Also, thank you for helping me pass the SPD exam, the second time I took it, with the help of your study guide. You will do great!

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