If you are coming to this test after passing ProPrac trifecta, you will soon realize that PA does not have quite the equivalent of AHPP. Some people say AHPP is too dry and boring, but there is something very practical about having almost all the content packed in one book. Programming and Analysis exam prep will require a lot more self management and self knowing. Because this exam packs a wide range of topics, your prep and study skills will be particularly reflected in how you juggle all the sources.
Figuring out what works for YOU while preparing for Programming and Analysis can take some time, so be gentle on yourself, but stubborn with the obstacle. There is so much that goes into this test. Your strategies that work for YOU will help you get that blue pass DESPITE everything that makes your studying more challenging and hard. It’s hard, but you can do this! First step, and probably most important, is to really familiarize yourself with the ARE handbook and research resources. My goal here is to help you gauge yourself on how to wisely distribute your studying efforts for this test. I took this test three times, so you can take my word.
Us exam takers are all different. I understand that our order and pattern obsessed brains would love to see a solution that can fit all. A breakdown of the total number of hours X dedicated to prepping, divided accordingly per each source and/or objective, within a specific time frame. That approach, unfortunately, simply does not work with everyone. Life happens. We happen.
In my case, I was a natural science nerd in high school. I particularly enjoyed physical geography. Because of that, mostly everything that is climate and site related is rather easy for me. Not to brag, but it’s true. On the other hand, I have zero or nearly zero previous experience in zoning, phasing, historic properties, types of project financing, etc. I had to dedicate a lot more time to those topics than somebody who works every day with issues of that nature. I had to work hard to build some sort of expertise in it.
There is a lot I want to share with you regarding resources and how to’s for Programming and Analysis. For the sake of brevity of this post, I saved my in depth analysis of each resource as a pdf and uploaded it under file sharing. You can take a look at it to supplement other two pieces of information I am sharing with you here: commentary on ARE Handbook objectives, and an illustration of how I recommend to sequence your prepping for Programming and Analysis.
This exam will take you to places you didn’t know, but it will also bring out something special in you. Be patient, resilient, and you will end up being very proud of yourself.