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Audi driver, P.E.

For those discovering they didn't pass...

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Sooner100    10
1 hour ago, paigelida said:

I failed again too. That's twice now. I really don't know where to go from here. I studied A LOT for this exam. And I somehow did way worse than first time. I don't understand. 

Shouldn't have looked at the result at work. 

I would also say instead of looking for another course, study the materials that have collected by yourself. Read and solve similar problems from relevant textbooks. 

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hjg7715    14

For repeat test takers that failed, did you find review courses to be more/less beneficial? And did you focus your study based on the diagnostics? My diagnostics from the exam were pretty consistent with diagnostics I got using PPI2PASS Exam Café so I knew my weaknesses and strengths going into the exam, so I'm trying to avoid overthinking my original study strategy as I prepare to retake. Looking my results, I basically failed this exam in 3 or 4 subject areas and I don't feel I put nearly enough time in preparation. Any advice would be appreciated.

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paigelida    2

@Sooner100 I took a course each time so I think that isn't the way to go for me. I almost want to find a tutor for areas I'm weak in but I honestly have no idea how to go about finding if that even exists. Going to start studying again in mid January after the holidays. Hopefully third times the charm because I'm only giving it one more go. :(

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matt267 PE    3,319
21 minutes ago, paigelida said:

@Sooner100 I took a course each time so I think that isn't the way to go for me. I almost want to find a tutor for areas I'm weak in but I honestly have no idea how to go about finding if that even exists. Going to start studying again in mid January after the holidays. Hopefully third times the charm because I'm only giving it one more go. :(

@paigelida, does your local engineering school offer a review course? If so, that might give you access to "subject mater experts" that can help you with individual questions.

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Zags12    3

Keep your head up if you didn't pass.  I just found out I passed on my 4th time, Civil, Water & Resources depth.  While attempting to pass the test I had a baby and was busy with work, as most everyone is.  But I found the EET class and it was awesome! I highly, highly recommend this course to anyone trying to pass.  Nazrul and his co-workers are amazing and truly care about each and every student in the class.

Keep your head up and don't get down if you don't pass right away, keep trying!

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mainewater    1

The EET course really helped me (on-demand webinar for Water Resources) get past the hump after I failed the first time. Having all of the resources in one binder was extremely helpful and reduced the stress alot. Totally worth the money, especially because it replaces at least 3 references. Also, Nazrul seemed to know the test format and what to expect very well.

Another tip/what worked for me, was to load up on practice exams and test books. I then organized and classified each problem into a spreadsheet so I could find a representative problem. The list topped off at at least 30 questions for each topic for breadth. Didn't work for every problem but definitely helped on any of the transportation and materials questions.

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paigelida    2

@Zags12 sorry but what does EET stand for? Maybe I will look into this course for next time. I am WRE depth section as well. But I do mainly pipeline design now so I have very little experience in the other WRE areas in the past 4years.

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paigelida    2
1 hour ago, matt267 PE said:

@paigelida, does your local engineering school offer a review course? If so, that might give you access to "subject mater experts" that can help you with individual questions.

I think that was my mistake the first time around. I paid a lot of $$ to take the University of Maryland PE exam prep class. And I live 1.5hrs each way from the campus. That was a lot of time spent in the car driving to class every week. I didn't study as much outside of class as I should have so I can't completely blame the course/drive time but I'm not willing to make that commute again.

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matt267 PE    3,319
9 minutes ago, paigelida said:

@Zags12 sorry but what does EET stand for? Maybe I will look into this course for next time. I am WRE depth section as well. But I do mainly pipeline design now so I have very little experience in the other WRE areas in the past 4years.

http://www.eet-california.com/

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matt267 PE    3,319
7 minutes ago, paigelida said:

I think that was my mistake the first time around. I paid a lot of $$ to take the University of Maryland PE exam prep class. And I live 1.5hrs each way from the campus. That was a lot of time spent in the car driving to class every week. I didn't study as much outside of class as I should have so I can't completely blame the course/drive time but I'm not willing to make that commute again.

Oh. You might benefit from EET (http://www.eet-california.com/)

 

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npcannon    11

Mechanical F&TS: I might be in the minority here, but I think a lot of people study too much. I was reading 200, 300, 500 hours of studying. Strictly speaking of mechanical here, but if you study to the test there's just not THAT much time necessary. Get the practice exams and work the questions, flagging the MERM while you work through them. If you can, take the "School of PE" course,  I feel like it was a huge help with the general section as well as more relevant practice problems, and help with focusing on the depth. It also helped me not waste a bunch of time studying stuff that wasn't on the test.

The first few weeks I studied I just worked ppi problems and I felt like a complete idiot to the point of just giving up. Once I gave up on that and went to simpler problems I was able to cover more relevant material and gain a little confidence. The flagging I did in my MERM from the PPI problems was so dense it was practically useless, I can just see other folks sticking to that system and ending up with entirely too much information and not being able to sort through it all in the test.

As I said in another thread, I'm not a particularly smart guy, 3.0 student, 10 years out of school, 10 years post EIT, usually pretty average on tests, sometimes I'd kill them and sometimes I'd totally blow it (I got a 10% on a dynamics test, although the average was only 35). I will say I do a lot of work on pump design and heat exchanger work, which is why I went F&TS. I had the cameron hydraulic data book on my desk for years and was able to make good use of it during the test. 

I made a study spreadsheet and it looks like I came in around 160-175 hours total (including the School of PE hours), I'm not totally sure on the time since I fudged the first few weeks a bit. This includes a bit of wasted time and hours I logged but just flipped through the book daydreaming. 

I was semi-confident coming out of the test, but fully prepared to not pass. Maybe I'm completely off base here though, so really, just hit it hard and good luck next time. 

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JHW 3d    124
7 minutes ago, npcannon said:

Mechanical F&TS: I might be in the minority here, but I think a lot of people study too much. I was reading 200, 300, 500 hours of studying. Strictly speaking of mechanical here, but if you study to the test there's just not THAT much time necessary.

Are you saying too much studying is detrimental or just unnecessary?

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npcannon    11

Well, both I guess. It's unnecessary and potentially detrimental if people are filling their brains with useless information. It's a small sample size, but the two friends I have who failed 1st time both said they felt like they studied too much without getting focused on the right stuff.

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3 minutes ago, JHW3 said:

Are you saying too much studying is detrimental or just unnecessary?

I don't think it's possible to study too much.  Being well versed at solving problems quickly is a necessity, as is a breadth of knowledge concerning the subject matter.

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npcannon    11

I suppose that should include a "you know yourself" disclaimer and a "your mileage may vary". I never pulled an all nighter in college or anything like that. If you're a "study 300 hours" kind of person or a "take a practice test and flip through the MERM" kind of person, you probably already know that. My college roommate passed the PE and claims "I dunno, like 40 hours, maybe" of studying. I watched this guy smoke weed and play mario for 3 years while acing engineering school, I completely believe it. I guess that style isn't for everyone. 

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JHW 3d    124

I agree with @Audi driver, PE... For people just starting the process (possibly for Spring 2016), my advice is:  get started as early as possible, and study as much as you can given your family, social,  working and mental constraints.

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12 minutes ago, npcannon said:

Well, both I guess. It's unnecessary and potentially detrimental if people are filling their brains with useless information. It's a small sample size, but the two friends I have who failed 1st time both said they felt like they studied too much without getting focused on the right stuff.

Isn't that what we engineers do? :D

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I do believe it's entirely possible to study too broad without going deep enough.  You really do need to know the "why" as much as the "what"  and "how" IMO.

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Zags12    3
1 hour ago, paigelida said:

@Zags12 sorry but what does EET stand for? Maybe I will look into this course for next time. I am WRE depth section as well. But I do mainly pipeline design now so I have very little experience in the other WRE areas in the past 4years.

Here is the site with more information: http://www.eet-california.com/  .  I live in Montana, not california but found the live webinar and on-demand webinar worked great for me.  I do a lot of pipeline and wastewater treatment design, I needed help in other areas of WRE depth.

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CntrlEngrPE    0

Failed the control systems PE exam for the second time...totally surprised as I felt good after the exam...did worse than the first time after studying more than the first time..cannot explain that...absolutely in a brain freeze..more surprised than sad ...just cannot figure out what happened...feel bad for my family more than me who will have to go through it again with me...

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35 minutes ago, Audi driver, PE said:

I do believe it's entirely possible to study too broad without going deep enough.  You really do need to know the "why" as much as the "what"  and "how" IMO.

THIS IS KEY.

While studying you should see key themes repeat through different questions. The exam (especially the AM) is testing your understanding of basic principles of engineering (thus the title of the exam: Principles & Practice). You need to deeply understand the basics of each topic and this will make answering questions easier. The AM portion of the test has very very minimal calculations and is mostly theory based with a line or two of calcs (if that). 

I did not compile a book of solved problems and actually did not even reference any of my books like Six-Min Solutions to look for similar problems and to plug/chug. I knew the theory behind each problem and could think it out like an Engineer before even diving into the calcs. For example: when solving a crane problem I wouldn't immediately start putting my equilibrium formula together... i would look at the givens and what they are asking and would map out the problem in my head... then I would assemble the formula to solve the problem and work to the answer. 

When studying you will know when you are prepared when you are able to see a new question on a common topic (i.e., cranes) and see what the subtle differences & pitfalls are with the problem. 

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paigelida    2
5 minutes ago, CntrlEngrEIT said:

Failed the control systems PE exam for the second time...totally surprised as I felt good after the exam...did worse than the first time after studying more than the first time..cannot explain that...absolutely in a brain freeze..more surprised than sad ...just cannot figure out what happened...feel bad for my family more than me who will have to go through it again with me...

I know exactly where you are comign from. This is me to a T - except I took the WRE depth section. 

Going to *try* not to think about it over the holidays and give it one more go in April. 

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4 hours ago, hjg7715 said:

For repeat test takers that failed, did you find review courses to be more/less beneficial? And did you focus your study based on the diagnostics? My diagnostics from the exam were pretty consistent with diagnostics I got using PPI2PASS Exam Café so I knew my weaknesses and strengths going into the exam, so I'm trying to avoid overthinking my original study strategy as I prepare to retake. Looking my results, I basically failed this exam in 3 or 4 subject areas and I don't feel I put nearly enough time in preparation. Any advice would be appreciated.

So i am a two time taker and failer (is that a word?).  I took my diagnostic exam and studied the EFF out the three topics i whiffed at the first time.  For example, 1st exam I was 0/8, 0/4, and 0/6 in 3 sections hat i didnt give much effort in studyng the first go round.  My results for Oct showed gains of those same 3 sections to 6/8, 3/4 and 4/6.  Those are great gains.  However, I was counting on SUSTAINING my competeny level in the other sections, which i didnt spend too much time on, thinking that I "knew the material".  Well, bad assumption.  I regressed substantially in 2 sections i was counting on a certain score.  End result, a marginal increase in the number of correct answers this 2nd time around.

I am debating whether to take a course this time.  Not sure, but i have to do something different. My way hasnt worked twice. 

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