Tag Archives: exam order

BDCS it is

please, take my money.

I thought about it for a few days, reread the exam guides, and talked to a few of you, and  I finally decided to go with BDCS next.

After finally settling on the division I went to Prometric’s site and was pleasantly surprised to find a new design.  It’s pretty good…definitely an improved color palette,  and really easy to use.  While the overall process hasn’t changed, I’m a big fan of being able to type in NCARB into the search bar and get our exam to pop up instantly (instead of scrolling through the list of available exams and missing it every.damn.time.).  It’s the little things that make my day, I suppose.

After dropping the $210 (and realizing that I’ve well passed a grand in exam fees, ouch) I confirmed a Saturday appointment on September 22.  That gives me plenty of time to enjoy birthdays, partake in a big family wedding in Seattle, reintroduce myself to the gym, and still get lots of studying in.   Now it’s time to start laying out my study guide based on the NCARB guide, and looking at all the recommended sources on the forum.

I’m still waiting for my SD results, but I’m not expecting them until later this week at the earliest.   Here’s hoping that getting a jump start on the next round will keep my mind off of the results.

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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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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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Day 71: 360 days to 26th birthday

It’s been a struggle trying to decide which exam to take next. I’ve narrowed it down to either Site Planning and Design or Programming, Planning, and Practice. I tried the sample questions in the NCARB exam guides and scored a 30/39 and 32/40 respectively. Both exams cover topics similar to CDS, and it looks like many interns take the three in sequence, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter which on I pick at this point*. I really enjoy history, and am still in the mindset of thinking about general concepts, so I bet PPP is the way to go.

*Dad interjects: “Take the site one so you can tell me how much fill I need to fix the grade change in the front yard.”

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