I wrote this post about exams ages ago [UPDATE] #passivhaus #conservation

I wrote this POST on exams & taking tests ages ago and since then I’ve taken and passed two big exams:

RIAI Conservation Accreditation (Grade III)


Certified Passivhaus Designer (and Consultant)

And in the light of these exams and posts I have a few observations:

• I’m pretty average; I have to work hard to get the results. So this is what I do, I work hard to do well. If you’re an average student and work in an average way you’ll fail.

• Neither exam was easy but what’s interesting is the approach taken by each Institute:

– The RIAI Conservation exam is taken within a prescribed time limit at home. You certify that the exam is all your own work and is marked after you send back the completed papers for marking within the prescribed deadline. The passmark is pretty high, I think it was 80% minimum.

– The Passivhaus exam is a “rigorous” 3 hour invigilated exam taken under exam conditions. This is then ‘first marked’ by the training institution that you took the exam with and then ‘second marked’ by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany. The pass mark is much lower at 50%.

• Which is the better approach for an exam?

– A tricky one, the RIAI Conservation is probably the more ‘work realistic’ way of approaching ‘real-life’ conditions. You would in the work-place research a problem, take your time thinking about it and then give a measured and comprehensive response.

The Passivhaus way however is a real test, it’s a hard exam where you have a lot of questions to answer very quickly and very accurately. It is a true exam that is truly testing, your hand at the end will ache from the amount of writing and your brain is frazzled at the end.

Comments as always welcome, especially if you’ve taken either & have an opinion…