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uzairsyedahmed

Qualitative questions in PE

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I recently found out through a friend that not all questions are quantitative. Some questions come in the exam that are descriptive (not needing any calculations). Can any of the past exam takers ratify this?



Also, how many are there? is it in the mornign section or both? and were those question difficult caz either such problems are easy or way too difficult.


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My experience is that the exam has ~3-4 problems which can be handled through reasoning, ladder logic, or inspection. As I recall most are in the morning with maybe 1 in the afternoon.


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I recall about 4-5 in each section (morning and afternoon). I took the test in April '13. I found the best way to study for these was to review material outside of the MERM, think about the kinds of systems and components that the test will address, and spend time reviewing fundamentals outside of your work specialty. These problems do put a bit of luck into play, because you might happen to get a question pertaining to something you know a lot about, or you might get a question from a part of the field that you rarely even think about.

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Okay.. so would you guys say that the theoretical stuff in MERm isnt sufficient to answer those questions and you ought to have some insight on what they are asking? caz the MERM does cover alot of theory.


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I took HVAC. Some afternoon questions were definitely not in the MERM and were best answered with the ASHRAE handbooks. Others were very application-based and required you to draw on professional experience. The morning questions were easy and could be answered with the MERM or your personal knowledge, but for HVAC, the afternoon required knowledge outside of the MERM.

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I can confirm that there are some questions which are qualitative.


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This is news to me... So there are questions that can be instantly answered simply by knowing the theory behind the subject? i.e. reversible / irreversible processes, etc.?



That should save some time - if you know the subject, I suppose.


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yeah.. that would surely save time, since with qualitative you either knwo it or you dont. there arent many calculations to be done usually.


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I have been putting a lot of thought into generating an example gualitative that is not based on my knowledge of test questions. I have determined that the following question is an example of a qualitiative question that contains NO information from any NCEES material.



Which of the following structural shapes would you expect to have tapered flanges?


A) M4x4.08


B) W12x31


C) C8x11.5


D) HP12x84



The answer to this question is readily available in the AISC Steel Construction Manual, but if you have experience in steel design, you will immediately know which of them has tapered flanges.


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I took the HVAC afternoon session and some questions were best answered with work experience and the ASHRAE books. For anyone taking the HVAC exam, I cannot stress enough how important the four ASHRAE books are. I only brought one of the four and had to submit educated guesses for some qualitative questions that I did not have the appropriate ASHRAE book for.


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I have been putting a lot of thought into generating an example gualitative that is not based on my knowledge of test questions. I have determined that the following question is an example of a qualitiative question that contains NO information from any NCEES material.

Which of the following structural shapes would you expect to have tapered flanges?

A) M4x4.08

B) W12x31

C) C8x11.5

D) HP12x84

The answer to this question is readily available in the AISC Steel Construction Manual, but if you have experience in steel design, you will immediately know which of them has tapered flanges.

The answer should be C.

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I recall 2 -3 problems that that could be answered straight away from experience. I took the test 28 yrs after graduation, so I'm not sure someone with just 6 yrs of experience could have answered then as easily.


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