First off, I got a fail on my PA exam sadly. I felt very prepared and studied all the Black Spectacle videos and flashcards, Ballast book, and the referenced books and codes from the NCARB Handbook. I felt that I knew all of the topics and yet as I was going through I was unsure how to approach some of the case study questions and other questions. It would be great to know what I need to do differently when I retake it because at this point I thought I knew everything and not sure what happened.

Next, I was told by a few coworkers and friends that the next two exams, PPD and PDD, overlap a lot on material and that they found it beneficial to study for both and then take them within 2 weeks of each other. Do you think that this would be smart to do for these next two exams? I would like to push PPD back closer to PDD and take them both around the time to take PPD if that makes sense. I’m really wondering because they had said they failed because they overlap a lot and I would hate to fail this next one after the PA exam I just failed and felt very prepared. Let me know you thoughts and maybe this week I will push PPD back.

Congrats to you all that passed!! That is always a great feeling to get one more done.

Hi @critchie. First off, I’m sorry that PA didn’t result in a pass this time. I know how frustrating a fail is, especially when you went in feeling prepared. Perhaps some more of our group will have thoughts on general topics to review more in depth before a retake? We can discuss during our next meeting.

As for PPD/PDD being taken close together, a lot of people do like this approach. A lot of the content does overlap, with the exams supposedly testing your knowledge of that content in different project phases. So if you feel like this might be an approach that works well for you, then I definitely say go for it.

One thought in taking them a little bit farther apart is that if there is a fail on the first one, you give yourself more time to review and get in a little better mindset heading into the second one.

Both approaches can work. However, I am seeing more and more people tackle these close together. So if you feel like you want to study for a longer amount of time, and take both tests within a couple weeks of each other, I do think that is a good strategy.