Building Design & Construction Systems (BDCS) Video Seminar

Free Sample Videos

Watch a free sample of each of the following topics through the links below. Links will open in a new window or tab.

Wood
Concrete
Steel 1
Steel 2
Roofs

Purchasing Information

For most people, these courses are intended to replace studying (rather than initiate it), even if you study no other content.

Take the online course within three weeks of receiving it (it expires after that), and take the exam right away. Go ahead and book the exam right after you purchase the course.

Tuition is $375 for the BDCS video (which doesn’t include a book)

To enroll, email online@amber-book.com. Let us know you want the BDCS video, your address, and the date you want to start.

The BDCS course includes about 9.5 hours of video, which should take you about 25 hours to complete, including the assignments that come with the course and the substantial vignette practice required for the three vignettes on this exam. If you watch it twice, it’ll take you about 35 hours to complete.

Know that you will not be able to share or copy this video. The license is only for one user on one computer. We customize each video with a watermark of your name (one frame only, in several different locations in the video, so too fast and too small to find it.) If you share the video, you’ll be charged for each person you share it with. If you receive a bootlegged copy, let us know. We’ll give you half of the net legal damages we recover.

There is a $100 discount per video for all orders of two or more, so if you have a friend or friends who are interested, you EACH receive $100 off, and you don’t need to start your three-week video access window simultaneously. You and your friend will also be billed separately so you won’t have to gather the money for everyone.

There is no discount for signing up for both videos.

Because we customize each video with your name, you can typically expect the link to the video and digital copy of the book to arrive with an email within 48 hours of when you purchase it. We are often able to get it to you quicker than that. Let us know if you need us to rush it to you and we’ll do our best to expedite turn-around.

“I want to enroll, but don’t want the three week window to start just yet.” If you order the video now, just tell us when you want the video delivered to your inbox (it needn’t be right away). To purchase either online course, send an email to  online@amber-book.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my partner and I want to pay separately and start at different times?
No problem. Just send the addresses of everyone interested to online@amber-book.com and we’ll work out the details and contact each of you separately.

You say that people can pass these exams with these videos, even if they don’t study other material. Can this be?
I think this course allows for the highest likelihood of passing the exams in the least amount of study time. In 2017 we asked those who had enrolled in our BDCS video seminar to let us know by survey if they had passed (non-scientific poll, 71 responses). 80% passed–compared to a 64% national average pass rate.

Do you really think I should schedule the exam for right after I’m finished with the video?
Yes. This suggestion isn’t based on a deep-held conviction, but rather sprouted organically from the emails I’ve received from folks who took the test right away and from emails of those who waited.

How quickly can I go through the BDCS videos?
I think three days is the fastest you’d go through them.

Should I take the full three weeks to go through them?
I’d do it in less than a week and then take the exam a day later  if you have the time during the day to put into it. Three weeks is fine if you are studying after work each day.

I’m signing up with a friend, but she is not taking the exam for a while. Is it okay if I take the seminar now and she takes it later?
Sure, but she’ll need to pay for the seminar within 30 days after you do so you can each receive the $100 discount, otherwise you’ll be charged the additional $100. She can start the seminar any time after she has paid.

What is the discount if there are three of us signing up together?
$100 off each one.

What is the discount if I take both seminars?
There is no discount for that.

What is the discount if I take the BDCS seminar and my friend takes the BS seminar?
There is no discount for that. The $100 discount is for two or more different people taking the same course.

I’ve scheduled my BDCS exam in a month and want to begin the video in a week. What should I study in the mean time, while I’m waiting to start the videos?
Practice the vignettes. There are three of them and a critical error an any of them will mean a fail on the whole section. The more familiar you are with those, the stickier the vignette videos will be. Look over the NCARB practice exam, too. I think that source is underutilized and I find it to be surprisingly similar to the “real” exam you’ll see in the testing center. We’ll go over those questions in the video.

How old is the video?
I’m always adding content and editing what I have. I won’t let this series of videos become outdated.

Any suggestions for those taking the online seminar?
Yes, spend at least 45 minutes (90 minutes is better) practicing each of the vignettes on your own BEFORE viewing the vignette portion of the video. I think this is important. Learning the vignettes by watching me do them on the screen alone is like learning software by watching someone else use it: it’s just not the best way. You have to struggle a bit with the vignettes on your own. . . then when I go over things on the screen it’ll have more meaning.

Will you have videos for ARE 5.0?
Yes. They are coming this fall.

Which ARE 5.0 exams will you prepare us for with your videos?
Programming & Analysis, Project Planning & Design, Project Development & Documentation, Construction & Evaluation

Will I be able to pass all four of those exams with just your videos?

I’m not sure. I’ll let you know a few months after the new exams come out and I know more.

How many questions do I need to get right on the practice exam to pass?

Stop determining whether you are ready for an exam based on the number of exam prep questions you answered correctly and stop guessing if you passed a division when you leave the testing center. ARE 5.0, like ARE 4.0 does not have a fixed percentage of correct items you need to achieve a pass across all the divisions. In fact, currently in ARE 4.0, a multiple choice score as low as 59% can be a pass in Structural Systems and a score of 76% might be a fail in Site Planning & Design.

Good luck to everyone.

Free stone video excerpt