Tag Archives: flash cards

on electricty and keeping the faith

So far, my strategy for re-studying has been to start with with the basics and work my way, slowly, through more advanced concepts.  Looking back over my notes (it’s really nice to have a study guide to start with, by the way) and my posts here revealed that I glossed over a lot of information during my first attempt.  I still don’t think that I missed anything, but I do recall moments in the exam when I quietly kicked myself for not getting into the level of detail that I should have. I’ll be damned if that’s the case again.

Last week I worked through an overall assessment of where I stand.  My biggest concerns are really getting a handle on mechanical, electrical, lighting, and acoustical systems.  I’m feeling alright with passive, fire, and pluming, and I’m not quite sure where I need to improve on conveyance and security.  Addressing those will be the goal of this weekend.  I should probably also dust off the vignette and give that a go, too.


no, not these.

This week  I’ve spent the better part of the evenings tying to wrap my head around the basics of electricity.  I was doing alright until I got to transformers, and then all came to a standstill as I stared at single and three phase configuration diagrams.  I read, I sketched, I googled, I YouTubed, everything was either too vague or ridiculously complex to help me figure it out. Yet after banging my head against the desk a couple of times something must of rattled right, because I could comprehend just how Wye and Delta connections work.  That, or walking away for a milkshake was the break I needed for it all to sink in (unnecessary calories included).  My next goal is to address different voltage and amperage types, their characteristics, and common values for residential and commercial applications.  Like transformers, I’m assuming it’s not that difficult once I’m really in the right mindset.   The challenge is getting there.

The studying process for a retake is surprisingly different than the first time around, and I’m I starting to notice that perhaps I’ve gotten myself overly worked up for BS 2.0.  For the first attempt I tried to learn as much as I could, with the mindset that a well rounded approach to learning the content would be the best strategy. With a retake I’ve found myself almost pessimistically believing that what I knew before wasn’t good enough.  I’ve noticed that I’m obsessing over studying and making sure I understand every little detail before moving on to the next topic.  That’s a big red flag. If I keep up with this frenzied attack I’ll stress out or burn out long before exam day on the 25th.  Quite frankly I think I already am.  Stepping back and looking at the big picture, and then zooming in on the most critical details is really the best approach.  It worked 6 out of 7 times, so perhaps it’s time to take a little of the advice I tend to dole out. Keep the faith and keep plugging away.  It’ll all make sense eventually.

I mean it’s a multiple choice exam…it’s not like we’re preparing to fight the Decepticons.


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on recovery + progress

First off, the really good news: uncles are both improving.  One has gone home for recovery and the other, who had a stroke is starting to non-verbally communicate with people.  He’s out of ICU and doing a bit of physical therapy on a dedicated rehab unit.  We have to measure progress by weeks rather than days, and it’s going to be a slow recovery, but everyone is much more optimistic than they were  a few days ago.  Thank you all for your thoughts and well wishes, they have been sincerely appreciated.

Now onto the ARE update.  (That’s why we’re all here anyway.)  I’ve been getting my focus back (finally) and have been dumping information into my study guide as quickly as possible.  I’ve read a few chapters of Fundamental of Building Construction, but still need to write notes on them.   Archiflash cards are collecting dust on my desk, although I did manage to get through a stack of them while waiting for the Timbers match last weekend.  I’ve clicked through all of the vignettes and studied Dustin’s solutions.   I’m hoping to dedicate a few hours this quiet Labor Day Weekend to them.  I’m not too freaked out by them, but then again I always say that.

Not much else to update at this point, but as I start dedicating more of my time to studying in the following weeks I’m sure there will be more to talk about.  I’ll leave you with this question for now.  Did you know there’s an equation to calculate  just how much of an architect you are?   It was created by the very talented Andrew Diehl , and is calculated thusly:

 (years of school finished/years of school req’d + IDP hrs complete/5600 + ARE’s passed/7)   3

I tried it and turns out I’m unofficially 90% an architect!   If that isn’t something to bring up at Labor Day BBQ’s, then I don’t know what is.   And joking aside, it’s a nice reminder that the exams are only a fraction of the amount of time that goes into becoming an architect.   Even if we struggle now, there’s literally years of accomplishments to remind us of just how far we’ve come.  That’s definitely something to be proud of.

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the current state of my (other) desktop

learn all of this? no big deal…right?

Well the Timbers didn’t win (another 0-0 draw) and now haven’t scored a goal in, oh, 427 minutes.  That’s over 4 matches.  Damn.  On the plus side, Houston’s Stadium was gorgeous, we got a point on the road, and no one got kicked in the face.  Sometime you have to remind yourself to always look on the bright side of life.

The same rings true for studying.  I’m now four chapters through Kaplan, and I think I’ve made it over the nasty calculations hurdle.  I’m able to work through equations and problems fairly efficiently,  but my understanding of what all the components mean is still weak.  I don’t know what I need to memorize what resources will be available,  so I want to review the NCARB supplied list before I go too much further.   The less I have to store in my brain, the better.

I’ve got to admit it’s a little strange sitting at a desk with books.  I don’t think I’ve done this since…well since I took structures in college.  While I’m enjoying  the reprieve from typing in a pages document, I feel like I’m ultimately going to have to take all of the information I’m highlighting and jotting down and put it into my notes later.  I hope I’m not wasting time.

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SS also stands for So (much to) Study

SPD has been on my mind all day. It’s been two business weeks since I took the exam, so my results should have been in the mail when I got home. I checked the stack:

Junk. Junk. Bill. Junk. Subscribe to Architecture Record Now For Our Low Professional Rate!!!

Damn! Guess I got all worked up for nothing…oh well…it just means that I can focus on studying tonight instead of drinking in celebration/disgrace.

Matches are the only way one could possibly burn through all those flashcards.


Now that I think I have just about every study guide, resources and pdf sitting on my desktop, not to mention the tower of flashcards and textbooks on my real desk, I can finally start organizing them in my study guide. I have absolutely no solid strategy at this point aside from “read everything.” Fortunately like PPP there is a ton of information out there, and I’m sure a lot of what I have is redundant. I feel like I have the resources I need to do well at this point…I just need to start using them. My plan is to get through as much of the general information as possible and then start practicing the calculations. With a bit of luck, most of it should come back to me quickly. It looks like my class notes are pretty detailed (also: covered in studio project sketches/to-do lists) and I forgot that I had kept all of my quizzes and exams. Jackpot.

A friend clued me in on SHARKS today, so I’ve been listening to their new album while writing tonight. For some reason I really enjoy listening to punk music while studying, so this will be a great band to add to my ever-growing ARE playlist. I just have to make sure those Schiff-Hardin Lectures finally get unchecked. They’re helpful, but don’t have a very good beat.

Ok…back to reading FEMA

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So many flashcards…

reach for the sky, mister

Fun Fact: This is what a set of Kaplan and Archiflash Construction Docs & Services, Site Planning & Design, and Programming, Planning, & Practice flashcards looks like.

Not so Fun Fact (unless you savor schadenfreude): This is the first obstacle to tackle in the next week. Thankfully…and I say that very lightly…I already worked through the bottom third while studying for CDS. I still want to review them as it sounds like those topics are fair game for PPP though.

I guess I can’t say I lack study materials…

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