Watch youtube videos at speed 2x

When one is tired of reading lengthy study materials, sometimes watching explanatory youtube videos is a good way to take a break, while still getting some studying done. The problem is, while some videos are informative, they are often at a very slow pace, some even more boring than plain text.

Recently my friend Ninad shared a simple trick with me to overcome this – he said to simply watch the videos at twice the speed. It works surprisingly well! Even the narration can still be understood. Use this one as an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ_8aPTydr4

youtube speed

Click on the little gear icon to speed up the video

For vidoes like these, ones that just give you a little bit of visual aid/ big picture rather than specific details, I think this is the way to go. Now you can be twice as efficient!

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My ARE 4.0 Timeline

Visualizing ARE 4.0 [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]

People always ask how long it takes to study for one exam, and the answer is often a generic “it depends”. Since it’s close to impossible to have an objective standard to base one’s study time on, I can only share my own journey with you. Here’s what it looks like, my own ARE timeline with my morale/ spirit/ emotion line running parallel:

click on image to get full resolution

click on image to get full resolution

I have included my trips in the chart, represented by the empty boxes, and I think those are the only days that I genuinely wasn’t studying at all (not even reading on the train). For the studying days, lighter colors are more laid-back studies (procrastinating in the library) and darker colors are more intense studies (studying while eating lunch).

Not included are office deadlines, birthdays, Christmas, as well as all the ups and downs of my personal life. As you can see I didn’t spend too much time in the “sane” zone- the line rises and plummets like the stock market. I am sure everybody has their own struggles and their own version of this curve that, only after it’s over, and only from a distance, can you see that the highs eventually outweighs the lows.

Walking out of it I do see a lot of things that I totally would have done differently if I knew better, but I guess one can say that about a lot of things in life. This is just a retrospective diagram that illustrates what I did, and I by no means suggest anyone follow it.

On a side note, NCARB recently published a document called “NCARB in numbers“. It says that people with a master’s degree on average take 1.81 years to complete the exam(page 28). I spent 1.33 years, so I guess you can see it as a sample timeline of a person with a master’s degree, slightly on the short side.

So that’s the past 16 months of my life in a glance. I will write more about each specific exam later…

Visualizing ARE 4.0 [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]

Difference between Malleability and Ductility

“The difference between malleability and ductility is that malleability is the ability to deform easily upon the application of a compressive force, and ductility is doing the same with tensile force.

*Ductility is a mechanical property used to describe the extent to which materials can be deformed plastically without fracture.

In material science, ductility specifically refers to a material’s ability to deform under tensile stress; this is often characterized by the material’s ability to be stretched into a wire.

Malleability, a similar concept, refers to a material’s ability to deform under compressive stress; this is often characterized by the material’s ability to form a thin sheet by hammering or rolling. Ductility and malleability do not always correlate with each other; for instance, gold is both ductile and malleable, but lead is only malleable. ”

Source: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090303051823AAFRJmT

Difference between Insurance & Bond (CDS)

Both insurance and bond are important concepts in the CDS exam.

There are actually 5 major difference between these two, as explained in this website:

http://www.yutzmerkle.com/2012/05/04/5-key-differences-between-insurance-and-surety-bonds/

For me difference no. 3 is easiest to comprehend- insurance is protection against damages, while bond is a guarantee of fulfillment of obligations.

ARE 4.0 contents

Visualizing ARE 4.0 [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]

ARE 4.0 content

Click on image to get full resolution

ARE 4.0 has 7 divisions, and for those who are looking to get the process started, the amount of information can seem overwhelming and intimidating. When they are trying to figure out their exam orders, they often want to know which exams overlap most so they can schedule those back to back or study both at the same time. While I was procrastinating instead of studying last night, I thought, maybe I can visualize it with a venn diagram. I have only taken 5 tests (passed SD, PPP, BS and SPD, failed SS), but I think I’ve read enough to make a summary. Here you are- all 7 exams and their contents in one poster. You can click on the division to access NCARB’s official exam guides. You can also click on the links at the bottom for my blog and pinterest page with additional ARE info.


The Multiple Choice
There is a general consensus that CDS, SPD and PPP belong to one group (left half of the diagram), while BS, SS and BDCS belong to another. In my opinion, BS and SPD actually also have some significant overlaps, as illustrated above.  Unfortunately I could NOT get the sizes of the circles to correspond to the amount of materials in each test– SPD and PPP are definitely much “lighter” tests. As you can see in the diagram, these two have minimal exclusive topics and a whole lot in common with others. SS is almost the opposite.

Now I am not saying they can’t ask you how elevators work in CD or test your structural concepts in PPP… because they can. But as far as studying goes, this is pretty much it. Most people take all three of the same group and then move onto another group, but I personally chose something that looks more like a heavy-light-heavy-light order.

SD is a stand-alone satellite, it has NO multiple choice questions, and is the easiest (although of course, one should by no means underestimate it). People either take it first, because it can boost their confidence; or they take it right in the middle, so they get an easy pass through the mid-way hump; or they take it last, because there’s nothing worse than failing your last test and waiting for 6 months without doing anything.

In the center of the diagram is ADA, IBC and zoning. They matter more to some exams than others, but in general they are sprinkled throughout. You can really get any code-related questions in any test. So, no matter which test you are taking first, start by getting your hands on the codes and you will benefit from it. You will find yourself going back to it for every single test.

The Vignettes
Vignettes are generally easier than MCs. Most of them can be prepared for within a week. Out of all 11 vignettes, I’d say SD’s interior layout, BS’s M&E plan, as well as SPD’s site design are a little trickier than the rest, mostly because of the time limit you are given. Anyway, all it takes to pass the vignettes is a little patience, the ability to follow directions, and attention to detail. Practice, develop a strategy for each type, be careful, and you will be fine.

I have 3 more test to go, so I am somewhere between seeing light at the end of the tunnel and having a long way to go (I have to RE-take SS for crying out loud!) So far I think getting started is THE hardest thing to do. Once you get your feet wet things will pan out one way or another, and so I hope this article will give you an overall idea of what it’s like and make the first step a little easier. Please feel free to share it and/or leave me some comments. Good luck fellow ARE-takers!

Visualizing ARE 4.0 [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]

List of Sizes, Spans, Spacings, and Ratios (SS)

[WOOD]
– Wood joists: 2×8, 2×10, 2×12 spaced 12, 14 or 16 inches apart
– Maximum slenderness ratio for column (l/r) is 50

[STEEL]
– Deflection limit for steel members= L/360 for live load only
– General steel beam depth= 1/22 x span
– Depth to span ratio of joists is limited to 1/24
– For composite beam to be efficient= slab thickness of 4 to 5 1/2 inches
– Preferable maximum allowed radius of gyration(Kl/r) = 200

[CONCRETE]
– Code specifies width b of T beam may not exceed 1/4 of span
– For T beam, in general d should be about 1.5 times b
– Net strain reinforcement must be greater than or equal to 0.004
– For Tensile reinforcements, code requires a maximum spacing between bars on the main reinforcement for bending to be 3 times slab thickness or 18 inches, whichever is smaller
– For compressive reinforcements, ties must be at least #3 in size, at spacing less than 16 times the diameter of the longitudinal bars or 48 times the diameter of the tie bars
– Minimum size of spiral reinforcement is 3/8 inch
– Clear spacing between spirals must be between 1 to 3 inches
– Reinforcing bars with strengths of 40, 60 and 75psi are common

[STUD WALLS]
– Common 2×4 studs places 16 inches on center

[REINFORCED BRICK MASONRY]
– Bar spacing about 18 to 36 inches

[SYSTEMS]
– Wind tunnel test: for buildings with height to width ratio > 5:1, or taller than 400′
– Staggered truss is good for buildings at least 8-10 stories tall, with spans larger than 45′
– Optimum depth to span ratio for truss is 1:10
– Span to depth ratio for diaphragms: 4:1
– For wind force, drift should be limited to 1/500 of building’s height, and drift between adjacent stories should be limited to 0.0025 times story height
– Removal and compaction of fill for foundation is usually economical up to 6 feet
– Base isolation is most effective for buildings 4 stories tall
– Depth of 2 way systems varies between 1/12 to 1/20 of span
– Cable structure: economical up to 150 feet