Test IBC Reference Document (PDF) - Searchable for Key Words?

So on the BS Practice Tests the IBC 2012 (not 2015) that is provided in the Case Studies is an image scan of the code. This is important because that means the document is not searchable for keywords.

I cannot recall my PPD last week, so in prep for my test this week my question is;
Is the IBC 2015 reference provided in the actual PDD ARE test searchable for keywords?

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Hi @brycebounds ! Let’s see if our expert @heatherrivera can answer this!

According to a poster on the NCARB forums, the answer is yes, but I would appreciate confirmation from anyone since I test tomorrow morning.

@brycebounds There are mixed results. The search tool is there, but it doesn’t always pick up every word. It’s best to have a general understanding of where things are in the Code so you can quickly scroll to that chapter.

Good luck on your exam!


@heatherrivera, as you stated, you CAN search the text of the IBC sections provided, which vary by what test iteration (or as NCARB calls it, Form). But, as you stated, the search term is hit or miss.

Fun fact, if you put in two or more words in the search box, it will only search for the last word in the phrase. So if I type “Fire Wall”, it gives me all results for the word “Wall”. My solution was to always search for the most unique word in a phrase or term as it would yeild the fewest, but probably more relevant results.

I pondered this yesterday, and figure part of what NCARB is trying to test is the ability to work through large volumes of material, some of which is not relevant, to drill down to what you need on a time crunch (Ya know, like when you boss calls you on a recces of the zoning board and tells you he needs to know an obscure piece of zoning before he presents in 10min, please text him the response)

@brycebounds Your last sentence made me laugh out loud.

To your earlier points, yes. Unless you have a general idea of what you are looking for, the search tool may not prove very helpful which is why I say it’s hit or miss (you get lucky with a unique word or stuck with searching for “wall”.)

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