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KatyLied P.E.

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About KatyLied P.E.

  • Rank
    The Alchemist.
  • Birthday 07/13/1966

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  • Engineering Field
    Electrical Engineering
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    PE
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    Casio
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    Electrical

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    Male
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    Alabama
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    distance running, motorcycling

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  1. One other thing. Go check out the test site the day before. Know exactly where the room is. If you have a lot of books use a hand cart/truck. You'll get rattled if you get there the morning of and it takes awhile to find the room. On test day get there early. I took the test at a convention center and there was a gun show and an auto show going on the same day. I was glad I got there early and got a good parking spot. Bring your own lunch and eat it by yourself in your car. Restaurants can take too long to serve. Eating lunch with other test takers may lead to problem discussions and that leads to second guessing which leads to freaking out. (Sounds like an old DirectTV commercial. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Probably more than you want to know about my strategy and resources. This is from a post of mine from several years back. I put in about 300 hours. These were the books I took in with me. This was my third time taking the test and I passed. There was a 17 year gap between my 2nd and 3rd attempts. The first two times I took the exam I had AOL and CompuServe accounts. ( Do some of you even know what those are?). Thank God for the "internets" and its "world wide webs". Two three ring binders. Composed of GA Tech material, solved problems, and miscellaneous info I printed from the internet. One of the binders was the GA Tech one. By the time I included all the supplemental info I had to split it in two. GA Tech really gives you a good foundation. It also has a good section on code and NESC. I also cross referenced information sections with sample test problems Camara reference manual along with the associated sample test and solved problems. the reference manual came in handy but I did not really use the other two books. Graffeo book. Electrical Engineers Guide to Passing the PE Exam. Handy reference manual good and concise. Good lighting and wattmeter info. I recommend a good cursory reading of this book. A nice amount of miscellaneous info which could come in handy. Good section on CT's. also has helpful sample test. Complex Imaginary sample tests. Good sections on ideal transformers, motors, and code problems. Some problems are on par with actual exam problems. Spin Up exams. Problems are not as difficult as exam problems but they focus on details which come in handy during exam. NEC handbook, as opposed to actual NEC book. The additional, clear explanations worked better for me. Grainger and Stevenson's Power System Analysis. I used it more as moral support than an actual reference. NESC book. Focus more on NEC as opposed to NESC. I would recommend becoming familiar with the basic goals of NESC and what it covers and doesn't cover. If you read through NESC introduction I think that will be sufficient. There are some who've had different experiences with the NESC so make sure you take the book with you. Complex Imaginary NEC drill book. I highly recommend getting this. Time was tight so I only worked through about a third of the book. the drills helped me become familiar with where the topics were located. As I attempted each problem I would underline the nouns in each question. then go to the index, look up the nouns and go from there. You just have to grind it out but if you use that process you should be able to answer the drill problems in 6 minutes or less. I felt really good about the NEC test questions as a result of this book. As I worked through each sample test, if I couldn't find the answer in my reference book I would google it. I'd then print that info out and add to my notebook. A lot of this included PLC's, VFD's, GFCI's, harmonics, voltage classifications, short circuit calc, generation prime movers, load flows/bus types and any other subject I couldn't find. NCEES sample test. Good overall study guide. Know different ways that the problems can be asked. I only carried in the 2011 edition but also had 2009. Problems are exactly the same. 2009 contained a lot of general info which is now found on NCEES website. My guess is NCEES wanted to be able to quickly update any rule/guideline changes. If I have to do it again I will spend a little more time on this test. Finally spin-Up suggested a good test day strategy. 1) Don't skip around the test but go through each problem in order. On first pass, work the ones that you know off the bat and don't necessarily have to dig deep to solve. 2) Mark the NEC/NESC problems with a "2" and work on the second pass. That way you don't have to worry about going back and forth between the code books and other reference matl's. 3) Mark all problems with a "3" that you think you can solve after digging deeper in your reference matl's. Also, any code problems that you couldn't work on the 2nd pass should also be marked with a "3". 4) Mark all problems with a "4" that you really don't know but maybe can use solid engineering reason to solve. Hopefully by this time you only have about 20% of test left. I'm not saying I was fortunate enough to have this happen to me I'm just telling you my strategy. 5) Mark all problems with a "5" that you have no idea how to work. Assuming the light bulb doesn't come on for these, I would recommend doing a quick scan on the rest of your answers, seeing what letter is trending and go with that. On some of the "4" and "5" the light bulb did come on for me after a 2nd or 3rd look. Hopefully that made up for any careless errors I might have made on 1-3. I actually used that same strategy to pass the CEM (Certified Energy Manager) exam in 2013. Hopefully all this translates into a passing score but nonetheless I felt really good about my test prep. As a result of my cross referencing and various tabs I was able to quickly access a good amount of info. How you organize your references and sticking to a test strategy are just as important as knowing the material.
  3. An additional thought. let's say you decide to take the test in Spring '18. Well maybe you take a class like GA Tech in Fall '17. You can really dive deep into the material without having the pressure of knowing the test is 3-4 months away. I the spring you'll still have access to the videos as you work CI, Spinup, etc. Just an idea.
  4. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason as to who passes and who doesn't. At times it can be more luck than knowledge. I will say that sometimes, and I'm not saying that this would work for you, it's best to wait and take it again rather than taking the test back-to-back. I did back to back my first two attempts and failed. Sometimes it's good to sit out a session, gather your thoughts and then take it. It's easy to want to jump back in thinking that you'll forget something if you don't. Waiting allows you to gather your thoughts, fully evaluate what you need to focus on and firm up your process. Although I waited waaaaaaay too long to take it my third time I was in a much better mental state and was finally able to pass. Only you know what works for you.
  5. Amen brother! I used that strategy and recommend it to anyone who asks.
  6. If you aren't able to answer any practice problems with what you have search the internet for answers and add it to your binder.
  7. Similar to the way I approached things. GA Tech was my only review course. The class provided a huge 3 ring binder with each subject tabbed. As a result of adding additional material (internet stuff, sample test problems, etc.) I ended up expanding the one binder into two. I carried those two binders along with other materials in (CI sample tests, Spinup, Graffeo, etc). In each section I also added a sheet of paper showing the location of sample test problems (NCEES, CI, Spinup, etc.) that were relevant to that section. Basically a cross reference.
  8. True that!
  9. Nice and congratulations! I also work for an electric utility. I just finished my 30th year including part - time work during college. I passed the FE 8 years after I finished college. Turned right around and took the PE twice and failed both times. For the next 17 years worked for the same utility in a variety of roles which did not always stress my power systems education. In 2013 I decided to go for the PE again. Decided on Power and it was just like learning from scratch. I also have a family although my sons were high school age at the time. Five months to prep which included the GA Tech course. Two hours a night M - Th. and 4 hours a day Sat. - Sun. For the last two months I would take a sample test on Saturday in addition to that. Finally passed it April 2014. I empathize with you on learning something from scratch. Especially by me being a geezer. Two many brain cells lost in college. When I began my prep it felt like the only thing I remembered from my college studies was V = I * R.
  10. I too the power PE and saw no suggestions for the IBC in my studies. Furthermore, there was no need for it on my test. Per Wikipedia the IBC does refer to the NEC and NFPA but a lot of it seems to deal more with architecture(?), structural(?), etc. Based on my experience I see no need for it.
  11. Sure you can do it. I passed the FE in 1997 eight years after I graduated. Promptly took the PE twice and failed both. Became gun shy but finally buckled down took it a third time in April 2014 and passed. If I can do it you can do. I basically isolated myself and treated like it was life or death as I studied. What discipline? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. BigWheel........I passed the PE prior to Zach Stone's course but it's good to hear several positive reviews about it. Sounds like a good course. Your test taking strategy was very similar to mine and we used several of the same materials. I totally embraced Spinup's test taking strategy and highly recommend it. I also had what I felt was an interesting strategy about the problems I knew nothing about and had to guess. (Thankfully there weren't that many.) Whatever letter was trending the most in my other answers I chose that one for those remaining problems. It was probably no better than just doing a straight guess but it made me feel better in that I was able to apply some kind of logical process. Congratulations!
  13. I even went so far as to work a sample test each Saturday for the last month prior to the exam. Either a CI or Spinup under simulated test conditions. Whatever problems I struggled with I'd focus on studying that material the following week. It does get you into the zone.
  14. You've already received excellent advice on how to use your diagnostic sheet. I really can't add anything to that. I recommend reviewing the test taking strategy in Spinup's introduction. Gives good tactical advice on approaching test problems. I also strongly encourage you to get the CI NEC Drill book. Even if you only work a third of the problems you'll be well prepared for the test. Once again, use the tactics in the drill book's intro. Also, among many other topics, the internet has invaluable info on such subjects as PLC's and VFD's. Finally spend 2-3 weeks making a thorough note sheet and organizing your reference material. Cross reference material with sample test problems. One final important point. Sign up for a review class. I recommend GA Tech but I've heard a lot of good things about School of PE. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk