Pacing yourself in PA, PPD,PDD?

How do you get better at pacing yourself in the exams?
I ran out of time in my last exam, and would like to know strategies to pace myself.
Maybe if I time myself in practice exams, and questions?

For me the site analysis and design take a lot time to solve sometimes, even though I feel I got it right it takes several minutes for each of those questions for example and didn’t have time to answer well some case study questions because of that.

1 Like

Hi @sergioclaure93 ,

My biggest piece of advice, and the skill that helped me the most while testing, is benchmarking your time.

Let’s take PA for example.

  • The PA exam has 75 total items to answered in 3 hours (180 minutes)
  • I need 1 hour for the two case studies, or 30 minutes per case study.
  • The two case studies have 10-20 questions total. Let’s call it an average of 15.
  • That leaves 60 normal questions to be answered in 2 hours (120 minutes) or an average of 2 questions a minutes.

Therefore, if I start testing right at 8AM my benchmark times will be as follows assuming I take the test in order, not starting with the case studies:

  • At question 15 by 8:30AM
  • At question 30 by 9:00AM
  • At question 45 by 9:30AM
  • Starting Case studies by 10AM

I would establish these benchmarks prior to your test. Then, write them on your white board right when you start because the longer you test the harder it is to think. Don’t rely on yourself to calculate them in the moment. Keep an eye on your benchmarks to understand if you need to slow down or speed up and adjust accordingly.

My other advise is to try to stick to 2 minutes max per question and don’t be afraid to immediately move on from questions you just don’t know.

If you encounter a calculation that you don’t think you’re going to be able to solve, just ‘mark it for review’, guess at answer, and immediately move on. The questions are all weighted the same. Don’t waist time on a calculation if you’re not sure you can score a point. The worst thing you can do is let it eat at your time when there is little chance of a positive outcome!

Hope this helps!

1 Like

Ok yeah this advice is helpful for testing, I will do that.

1 Like
6300 N. Northwest Highway P.O. Box 31846, Chicago, IL 60631-9998 / All rights reserved © 2020 Black Spectacles.