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Krakosky

Final Prep and Exam Day

43 posts in this topic

With just about a week left what are your final study plans? What day are you going to stop studying? How are you planning to transport your books to the exam site?

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I'm going to take the NCEES practice test this weekend to get a little more timed practice, and I'd been 'taking' the Lindeburg practice test this week...but am finding it very difficult, so instead of letting it get my confidence down I'm using it for practice problem sessions.

I'll take this weekend and Mon-Tues to go through tabbing some last items in my references and maybe doing some MD problems.

I'm going to have EVERYTHING ready to go by Tuesday and take Wed-Thurs off work to relax, probably go hiking w my dog and out on the boat.

I don't respond well to cramming, and figure that if I don't know it by 2 days prior I won't know it come test day.

Have a hotel right next to the test location so I don't have to drive an hour and worry about traffic, break-downs, crashes, etc...just one less item to fret about.

I'm going to have a solid dinner Thurs evening (no booze) and pickup a sandwich and juice for lunch the next day...I was rushed bigtime to find lunch during the FE exam and barely made it back by the time doors closed, that definitely took a few months off my life.

In general, I feel good about my knowledge and abilities at this point...though I will always feel like I don't know anything and am grossly unprepared.

I hope sacrficing all my personal free time since mid-January pays off...I'd hate to have to do this all again, much less over the summer.

Good luck, everyone!

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I timed myself with the 2008 NCEES exam last weekend and have been reviewing those problems, along with redoing/adding tabs to the MERM, this week. I am planning on retaking that exam (again, timed) this weekend to boost confidence and pace. I would love to say that I'll be done studying after this, but I don't think my mind will let me stop thinking about it. So, I will most likely be looking at problems and organizing my things through Wednesday. I'm driving to the test site Thursday afternoon and staying in a hotel Thursday night. I will take my references in a backpack. I'm pretty sure I can fit all of my items in one bag and maybe carry one or two by hand.

My biggest issue right now is mentally dealing with the uncertainty that lies in how the real test will deviate from the problems that I've completed thus far. I've created a habit of reminding myself that just because I can do the practice test, that doesn't mean I can relax and assume I'll do well on the real thing. Good or bad? Not sure. Not great for confidence, but good to keep me on my toes and alert. Either way, time is running out and i think the best thing for me to do is to review problems and work on my pace.

One other thing I'd be interested in polling the forum on is what to take with you on the exam day ("survival kit," if you will). I want to pack a good, energy boosting lunch that won't leave me in food coma. Need to do some thinking about that. Luckily my hotel room will have a mini-fridge so I can keep items refrigerated overnight. Need to think about snacks and misc items as well...

We can do this Krak. I know we have been lighting this forum up like a Christmas tree and I'm sure it's completely obvious that we're concerned about passing with the questions and posts we've generated. We've put a lot of time and mental energy into this thing and with the invaluable help of the forum members, learned a good path to ensure we're prepared for test day. As easy as it is to create self doubt, we have to reside in confidence from the preparation that got us to where we are now. Keep our heads up and do the best we can, ignoring the "what ifs."

Wow, that was off topic and similar to the several speeches I've had with myself in the mirror. Sorry about that... :deadhorse:

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LOL. No problem. It's good to hear that someone else feels exactly the same as me. I keep fluctuating between feeling confident to feeling completely unprepared. I really need to focus on my pace, units and not making stupid mistakes. Those are my biggest pitfalls right now. I'm going to take a couple timed practice exams tomorrow and sat then spend the last few days working problems in trouble spots and organization of references. I'm going to stop studying after Wednedday and am taking Thursdsy off work to relax.

Good luck everyone!

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Like absolutcq20v, I'm going to take the 2008 NCEES practice exam this weekend in exam conditions. I'm pretty light at work so I've been lucky to be able to get some studying done while I'm here. The Lindenberg exams are brutal though. I'm using them as practice problems too, but man do they bring my confidence down. I think at one point I skipped around 15 questions in a row.

Call me crazy, but I'm going to be driving down one of the busiest highways next Friday morning to get to the exam site. I'll be waking up at around 5:30 in the morning, leaving the house at 6 and maybe stopping by Dunkin Donuts for some coffee and breakfast. Hopefully an hour will be plenty of time for the 30 minute drive. I'll be packing everything inside a rolling suitcase.

Does anybody know what the policy is on taking a sealed calculator? I bought a back up, but don't want to open it unless I really have to. What about cell phones? Do you guys plan to bring them in or leave them in the car?

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Not sure about the sealed calculator. I ended up opening mine so I could make sure the setting were the same as the one I'm using. I figure I can always use another calculator. I am planning on leaving my cell phone in my car, no reason to bring it in that I see. Glad to see I'm not the only one skipping some of the Lindenberg questions. That test is tough, talk about a confidence killer!

As for Studying, I'm thinking hit it hard this weekend, go over mistakes on practice tests, and be packed up and ready by Wednesday night.

I have an old milk crate I used in college for a night stand, I will be using that to carry my books in.

I plan I taking Thursday afternoon off to allow time to get to Lincoln, where my test will be, early enough to eat, check in and relax a bit.

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Not sure about the sealed calculator. I ended up opening mine so I could make sure the setting were the same as the one I'm using. I figure I can always use another calculator. I am planning on leaving my cell phone in my car, no reason to bring it in that I see.

That's true. I guess I can think of the calculator purchase as cheap insurance.

I have an old milk crate I used in college for a night stand, I will be using that to carry my books in.

My boss told me when he took his exam, there were a couple of people that brought in a couple of milk crates and set them up on the table as a makeshift book case. Pretty clever.

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Hmm, sealed calculator. Not sure about that. I haven't seen anything in my candidate agreement that says anything about sealed package. Although, I don't know why they would care. Maybe, if something happened and you had to use it, they would want to open it for you or watch you open it to make sure you weren't trying to sneak something in.

Cell phone, I'm leaving mine in the car. Not sure if they check, but the candidate agreement says dismissal if you even have it in your possession. One of my coworkers is taking the test with me and his wife's due date is the 18th. He's pretty damn nervous about not having his phone with him...

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Yeah I'd say definitely don't bring your cell phone in. Not worth getting dismissed over. I thought everything had to be in a clear plastic bag? Trying to remember from the FE last year.

On a side note, how much time have you put into the end of MERM chapters such as Electricity, Economics, Manufacturing Processes and Program Managment? I haven't had a chance to get to these yet so I might try to skim thru them and do a few problems from them this weekend.

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Looking at my candidate agreement now...it specifies FE and FS examinees may bring personal items in a clear plastic bag only. I think because we are allowed bags/suitcases/moving trucks, we can put our personal items in them. Just not the restricted items (cell phone, anything that takes pics, etc.), obviously.

I put a little time in Economics, but definitely did not work all 40 or 45 problems in the MERM. I think if you look at the first 10 or so, you can get a handle on how to use the tables in the appendix. Similar to how you need to for the problem on the morning portion of the 2008 NCEES practice exam. I basically left my knowledge their. The other sections you list, ummm, I don't believe I have any time on those.

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I am also going to do the 2008 NCEES full test this weekend. I have been trying to work through the Lindberg Practice test this week and have been getting discouraged. i was able to make it through the first 29 problems in 4and a half hours getting 20 correct. Not exactly a confidence booster. I just could not figure out the cyclical stress questions. In fact all of the machine design stuff I am worried about. i think I will probably do the afternoon part of that test in one sitting and see how I do.

After the practice tests I will brush up on the few things that I feel the least confident about and finish adding tabs to my MERM. That is about it.

I also did a fair bit of the eng econ sections. It seems that there will be a few questions about it on the test. I would know how to use the tables in the back and the main principles behind them. Once you get the nomenclature and functions down they are pretty easy problems.

I feel pretty similar to you guys though. I have spent so much time on preparing for this test and am worried that it just was not enough or in the correct areas. I know that my wife is ready to get this test behind us. She has been really great in letting me have so much time to study. I know that she doesn't want to do it again in Oct. with two kids instead of one. So I hope we can all pass and be done with it.

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Not sure about the sealed calculator. I ended up opening mine so I could make sure the setting were the same as the one I'm using.

I was allowed to bring an unopened one. Leave your cell phone in the car.

I brought a bottle of water and an unopened snack (hostess cake or similar).

Dont load up on coffee that morning! even a bathroom trip is a distraction!

Good luck

Tim

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I've been thinking about this calculator thing...I was hoping to find a non-solar one as backup in case the lighting in the room was weak and my solar was deemed no good. But, I've been using the Ti-36X and, from what I can tell, there aren't any similar offerings in NON-solar. I might need to go to Wally World to look around, but all of my coworkers used solar and laughed at me for being concerned about lighting; "Hahahaha...300 pissed off, stressed out, PE applicants will revolt if their solar calculators don't work...." Needless to say, I can only find a solar one to borrow as backup. Unless I can find a non-solar to purchase.

Tim brings up an excellent point about coffee. As someone who is very dependent on coffee, I was surprised at how one cup got me through the timed practice test last weekend. I think the testing procedure will provide enough adrenaline in itself.

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HAHA Can you tell how stressed and worried everyones getting!!??

I feel like i know enough, but its getting it 80 times correctly on paper! Wonder if ill be the first to get a perfect score. Haha. gotta keep the optimism right????

Curious how many people will be at my test sight.

Studying a bit today, little tomorrow, then probably study every night through thursday night when ill pack it all up to go. I do my best work under the final cramming sessions. I passed the FE with 2 nights studying. One night for each section AM/PM. To study 14 weeks long isnt like me. Never had to study in college. Now after 8 years out....i didnt have a choice. Basically had to teach myself my 6 years of college again !!! But hey if the test was easy, everyone would do it. We'll be part of the elite designing bridges!!

my head hurts.

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How did everyone do on the practice test. I got 36/40 on the morning section. I had taken that a few weeks ago though so I had studied the one I missed. I had gotten 30/40 my first pass probably remembered 4 that i had gotten wrong that i only got because i had worked the test before so lets call it 32/40 The afternoon HVAC went ok but I really see what I need to review. There were a lot of refrigerant cycle problems that I thought were hard. I think is missed 5 out of 6. But I got most of the other type of problems. 30/40 total on the afternoon. So 62/80 so 77 percent. I am not too upset from today. I figure it is probably a pass overall if a 70 percent is a pass. But not a real big confidence boost. I just need to know thermo cycles as well as I do psychrometrics then I should be ok.

I was ok on time though. 2hr 45 min morning

3hr 15 min in the afternoon before checking then questions that I had marked for review

Good luck to everyone.

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I got a 31/40 on the morning session the first time I took the 2008/2010 NCEES morning section last weekend. I reviewed the problems early last week and retook the morning section today. Got a 40/40, but I'm really doubting the validity of this. There were only a couple I kinda had to think about to recall how to do it. There were a large majority that I found myself not even paying attention to what I was reading by the time I got 3/4 of the way through the problem description. Completed in 2.5 hrs; same as last weekend on my first run.

I'm going to retake the T/F afternoon tomorrow. I'm predicting this will be closer to reality, compared to my second run through the morning. I know there will be more that I won't remember right off the top of my head and that I'll have to think through. I need to practice my timing on it too.

Matt, I was in the exact same place as you last weekend on my first run through the NCEES practice exam. 31/40 in the morning and 31/40 in the afternoon. Feeling pretty good about a 77.5%, but not super impressed either. I haven't taken the real exam obviously, but I think we should feel pretty good. :thumbs:

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I agree that we are probably in good shape for the exam. I know that I have done about as much as I could to prepare for it. I think I can pass the exam most days. It is the possibility that there are a majority of questions that are not in my wheelhouse that worries me. The afternoon portion of the test today was kinda like that. I do not have to pay attention to the refrigeration cycles for my day to day work and in all of the other practice tests that I have done they have not been emphasised to much. ohhh well at least I have something to do this week before the real thing on Friday.

I think it says something for the few who are posting here that we care enough about the exam to be this worried about it. I think that we will all be OK and have put in the work to have a good test. Good luck to everyone on friday.

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I agree that we are probably in good shape for the exam. I know that I have done about as much as I could to prepare for it. I think I can pass the exam most days. It is the possibility that there are a majority of questions that are not in my wheelhouse that worries me.

Preach. At this point, I think all I can do is review. Not going to stress about cramming or trying to capture the unexpected.

Good luck to us all!!!!

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I hope so... Though my morning 24/40 wasn't exactly inspiring. I know I missed a COP question by using F instead of R and the ksi and AISI questions baffled me. I've never seen that before!

The afternoon went well. I got a 35/40, but a couple of questions were the same as the 2001 exam, which I remembered, so let's call it 32/40.

I would have barely passed had it been the actual test. I need to go over what went wrong. Hopefully it was just stupid mistakes since I can fix those. While taking it, I was sure I only missed 6 problems max in the morning.

Any tips for the morning section? Should I look for a conversions book? That PDF I posted earlier didn't help with the ksi problem...

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I think once you see the solutions, you'll feel more comfortable. On the ksi question, ksi is just thousands of psi (i.e. 35,000 lbf/in^2). Then you can use the conversions at the front of the MERM to turn it into MPa and sqrt(inches) into sqrt(meters). For the AISI material selection, there are a couple of pages at the beginning of the materials section in the MERM that discuss this nomenclature. I'll look tomorrow for the pages exactly.

I made quite a few minor mistakes the first time I ran through it too. Using F instead of R was one. Although I thought it was a Carnot efficiency problem instead of COP. Either way, I think those are just part of the learning process. I know those minor mistakes I made on the first run stuck with me today on my second shot. Sucks to know what you're supposed to do, but you still get it wrong like you had no idea. :(

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Thanks Outlaw. I guess I'll skim through the MERM one last time and make note of things that appear important. One thing I did learn was to mark down the page number for problems I'm coming back to. I spent a few minutes looking through the index again tr ting to look for stuff.

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*trying to look for stuff.

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I also made a bunch of stupid mistakes on my first run through. Diameter instead of radius, F instead of K, forgetting to square something. there is a pretty good checklist in the front of MERM for things to look out for.

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I was feeling pretty confident after taking the 2008/2010 morning session a couple weeks ago. I had gotten 30/40 but didn't get a chance to even answer 5 questions and I didn't bother guessing bc I didn't want to count guesses for my practice test. I took the afternoon portion and got a 18/40 again with timing being a huge issue. I realized there were a few topics within my MD depth that MERM skimped out on that I brushed up on since. Took the NCEES 2001 and Chapek practice exams this weekend and was really dissapointed in myself. For some reason the morning section of the 2001 NCEES exam seemed harder than the 2008 exam. Maybe it's just that it touched more of the topics I'm less familiar with. I thought there were more multi step problems than compared to the 2008 exam. I was ok on the afternoon portion as far as material goes but timing is killing me.

I think I'm going to review the 2 practice exams I took, specifically looking at my trouble spots and then try to squeeze in some time to redo some of the portions of the test, morning, afternoon, full test.

I worked the breadth section of the 6MS HVAC and thought the problems were comparable to the 2008 exam. I still have to take the T/F 6MS.

Stressed out and burned out. Ready or not, it's coming.

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For the AISI material selection, there are a couple of pages at the beginning of the materials section in the MERM that discuss this nomenclature. I'll look tomorrow for the pages exactly.

Page 45-6 has a couple tables with the AISI material designations in it. Also, there is a paragraph in the lower left hand corner of the page describing the nomenclature.

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