Programming, Planning & Practice (PPP) & Construction Documents & Services (CDS) Seminar

(Please know that these videos don’t include vignette instruction like some of our others do)

Purchasing Information

Take the online course within three weeks of receiving it (it expires after that), study the vignettes from other sources, and take both exams right away.

Tuition is $275, inclusive of both the PPP and CDS multiple choice exam prep  (which does not include vignette instruction)

There is so much content overlap between PPP and CDS, that we made one video for both. There is no way to purchase just one of those two exams, nor is there a way to watch only the video content from just one of the two exams.

To enroll, email online@amber-book.com. Let us know you want the PPP/CDS course, your mailing address, and the date you want to start.

The PPP/CDS course includes about 7.5 hours of video, which should take you about 15 hours to complete, including the assignments that come with the course. You can watch as many times as you like in that three-week window, and if you watch it twice, it’ll take you about 25 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, your credit card will be charged for each person you share it with, and each person they share it with and so on. 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 this seminar and another one of our seminars.

Because we customize each video with your name, you can typically expect the link to the video to arrive with an email within 48 hours of when you purchase it. If you are in a hurry, let us know and we’ll do our best to do a quick 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 link delivered to your inbox (it needn’t be right away).

To purchase any of our online courses, 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?
That is true for most of our videos, but I can’t make this claim yet with our PPP/CDS videos because they are new and I haven’t gotten enough feedback yet from seminar participants. Because these videos don’t cover the vignettes, you’ll certainly need to study those from another source.

How quickly can I go through the PPP/CDS videos?
I think two days is the fastest you’d go through them.

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

I’m signing up with a friend, but he is not taking the exam for a while. Is it okay if I take the seminar now and he takes it later?
Sure, but he’ll need to pay for the seminar within 30 days of you so you can each receive the $100 discount, otherwise you’ll be charged the additional $100. He can start the seminar any time after he 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 multiple seminars?
There is no discount for that.

What is the discount if I take the PPP/CDS seminar and my friend takes another 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 exam in a month and want to begin the video in a week. What should I study in the meantime, while I’m waiting to watch the video?
Practice the vignettes. Once you feel very comfortable with those, then open the Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice. Don’t be intimidated by its length. Read chapters 5, 9, 10, 15 and 17. . . or just watch our videos, which I suspect are enough for most of you in terms of professional practice studying.

But the Handbook of Professional Practice is so big, what about the other study guides, shouldn’t I read them?
I think that most of you will be fine with just my video (plus vignette studying on your own), but if you want to study more, I’d spend the time with the Handbook of Professional Practice. 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.

How old is the video?
I’m always adding content and editing what I’ve made based on my understanding of the exams’ priorities. I won’t let this series of videos become outdated.

Any suggestions for those taking the online seminar?
Yes, spend at least 90 minutes practicing each vignette on your own. Then post your attempt on a forum for feedback from others.

How many questions do I need to get right on the practice exams?
Every question has the same weight on your score and there is no partial credit for a question (like if you correctly identify some but not all of a check-all-that-apply item). Your pass or fail is based on your overall score, so if you fail every “Environmental, Social & Economic” item, you might still be able to pass the exam. (Currently, the format of the exam report that shows up when you fail a division might make you think otherwise.) For this reason, you should spend the most time studying the topics that comprise the largest portion of the exam. The video has that weighting built in. Stop determining whether you are ready for an exam based on the number of exam prep questions you answered correctly. The ARE 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.

Then how do I know if I am ready to take the exam?
If you are not sure, but you think you may be ready, my advice is to take the exam as soon as possible.

Good luck to everyone.

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