Jan 1

The right way to learn the “Ontario Building Code”

Discover effective methods for mastering the Ontario Building Code. This guide offers practical tips and integrates real-world applications, perfect for architects and students seeking a deep understanding of the OBC
Writing the ExAC (Examination for Architects in Canada) is like any other academic exams, but with a bit of twist!
Before expanding on how to nail your ExAC on the exam day, make sure you review “how to prepare for your ExAC”.

The ExAC questions are composed of the following types:
  • Multiple Choice;
  • Pairing/Matching of components;
  • Placing steps/statements in order – sometimes combined with multiple choice;
  • Sentence completion/Fill in the blank;
  • Short Answer;
  • Extended Answer.
Before the exam:
  • Notwithstanding your sufficient site/office experience, you’ll need to read all the references indicated on the ExAC website. 
  • Try to join a study group or take a preparation webinar that would help you to put your thoughts together and/or answer questions you may have.
  • You’ll receive a “Letter of Authorization” from the ExAC representative in your jurisdiction. You must bring it with you to all ExAC sections exams.
  • The above letter states to bring a few items i.e. Photo I.D., sharpened HB Pencils, eraser, NBC, Basic non-programmable calculator, etc.  make sure you read it carefully and follow it precisely.
  • Arrive to the exam venue 1 hour early, account for traffic, weather or unexpected events that may delay your arrival. You rather be more focused than panicked due to being late (or on time).
  • Do not read anything 24 hours prior to the exam as this will confuse/distract your memory rather than enriching it.
At the exam:
  • Each exam is 3 hours long, twice a day for two consecutive days. which means it’s an intense experience that requires speed read/write skills.
  • Time management is a key! I cannot reiterate how important is to properly manage your time.
  • Spend 1 minute once you get the booklet to review it and appendices, do a fast calculation to see how much time for each question is appropriate.
  • The amount of questions varies per section and per year, but the types are as stated above. interns have found starting with Short/Extended answers type of questions is better as they may take some time, but they are always worth more points than other types of questions.
  • Set a specific amount of time for the Short/Extended answers type of questions and do not exceed it as you’ll run out of time for sure! The allocated time shall be according to the ratio of those questions vs the rest of the other types.
  • For SECTION 2 exam, make sure you tag the codebook for fast flipping through its parts. and use the index as it will assist for fast search.
  • If you think a question will require some more time to think about, mark it and move on to the next one. Once done from them all, you can go back to it. like this, you can guarantee all questions that you can easily answer.
  • If you finish all questions ahead of time, make sure you go back and read all (or as much as you could) of your answers again.
  • If you run out of time and there are still more questions to solve, just pick an answer (if it’s multiple choice type) as you have a 50% chance of getting it right. But DO NOT leave any unanswered questions.
After the Exam:
  • Relax! and pat yourself on the shoulder for all your hard work.
  • If you took one of our workshops, tell others on GOOGLE how amazing it is!

The above tips and tricks are based on other students’ feedback and may not apply to everyone, or to future exams. For official ExAC guidelines and resources please refer to www.exac.ca and your authorization letter.


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