PPD Exam Strategy

As I was preparing for the PPD exam, I noticed that there is an overlap between PPD and PDD. For instance, on the PPD practice exam, some questions came from the materials which are more related to PDD. Do you recommend that I should also be familiar with PDD in order to pass the PPD exam?

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@Arch123 welcome back to the ARE Community! @coachlizschneider do you mind jumping in?

@Arch123 Thanks for the question. There is quite a bit of overlap between PPD and PDD. I think the best way to think about the two exams is that PPD is like the Design Development phase of a project and PDD is like the Construction Documents phase. So the content is very similar but PDD has a much greater level of detail and goes more in depth on the same topics. It wouldn’t hurt to cover some of the topics that you feel are more related to PDD while studying for PPD, because you may encounter them on the exam and at the very least they will help deepen your understanding of the PPD concepts. Some candidates have even found it helpful to study for both exams at the same time since the content overlaps so much.

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@Arch123 I agree with everything Liz said! Most people study for these 2 exams together. For example, if your schedule allows for 3 months of studying for both exams, I would suggest studying for both exams for 2 months, then take PPD. Then take 2-4 weeks to study some topics more specific to PDD, then take PDD.

Some differences between the 2 exams are:
PPD is more about concepts, PDD is more about details. (But the resources to study are rarely divided on concepts vs details.)
PPD has more emphasis on site design, zoning, and programming.
PDD has content on the project manual/specifications, project delivery, scheduling, and quality management.

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