Hi @mcclaranjayna ,
No worries! We are all here to learn
What resources are you using to study? If you have Black Spectacles beyond the lectures the flashcards are a great resource to quickly look up definitions for things such as “Critical Path” and “Gantt Chart”.
The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice is a huge resource for the exams, in particular for PcM & PjM. If you have a copy I would read through Chapter 10 in particular to get a good overview of these concepts. The glossary in the AHPP is also a huge help.
I think if you see the term “Design and Management Plan” they are talking about the overarching plan for a project or firm. Within this plan there will other plans, like a “work plan” for staffing and completing a specific project. The firm with have internal budgets which govern how much money they can spend.
Critical path method is a very important concept to learn. It’s a scheduling method tasks are arranged by optimum sequence and include information about the task duration. This helps you understand the ‘critical path’, which is a term for the minimum amount of time the schedule will take given everything is done in the appropriate sequence. A lot of times in practice you will hear contractors refer to something as a “critical path item”, which means something that needs done ASAP because it is holding up other tasks. I’d also look up and understand the concept of “float” in regards to critical path.
There are absolutely a lot of different plans and methods for understanding schedules and staffing! As a part of studying for the exam I would recommend knowing the different ones listed in the AHPP and when you would use one over the other, as they are all appropriate for different scenarios.
These topics really relate back to Objectives 1.1 ‘Assess resources within the practice’ and 2.1 ‘Evaluate the financial well-being of the practice’ in particular. If you do have a Black Spectacles subscription I would give the videos in those sections a look first!
These concepts will also come up in the PjM exam, so it might be worth looking through those objectives in the ARE 5.0 Handbook and watching some of those lectures as well.
Hope this helps!