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REsonance503

So...How long did you study what was your game plan and what was your result

60 posts in this topic

I'm curious what most people did to prepare.

Discipline? Prepare time? What study materials did you use, bring to the exam? How did it work for you? What would you have done differently?

Me:

Electronics

I took a week off work and crammed, probably around 40 hours total.

I purchased the PPI study materials but did not take the class. I mainly studied the NCEES practice exam, tabbed my books.

Passed.

I would have taken more reference books in with me.

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Mechanical -TF

Took Testmasters class (96hrs), studied at home for 200hrs

Used MERM, unit conversion book, test masters binder, my own adhoc binder, pe practice exam, two rulers, plenty of snacks, lunch, water, energy drinks

Passed, barely.

The afternoon session ate my lunch, probably diversify my study material.

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Mechanical - TF

Studied at weekends for 2 months (approx. 200 hrs)

Used MERM, separate binders of 1) appendices, 2) unit conversion table(of my own), 3) extra sheets of psychrometric chart, mollier diagram

Passed

Keeping physical condition for 8 hrs is the key point. I was a bit tired and couldn't concentrate in the latter half.

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PE Civil Construction - NY

PASSED

Self studied every day during the week from 3:30pm to 8:00pm and 12 hours every weekend for three months. Also took every Monday off one month prior to the exam and the day before the exam. I would say I spent easily 350 hours studying.

I used the Learn Civil Engineering afternoon guide for construction (highly recommended for the PE Civil Construction). I also used the CERM, NCEES practice test, all resource books listed on the NCEES Construction testing list, took PPE practice exams once every month on all subject areas (geo, trans, structural, construction, water resources). Made my own binder with key concepts and formulas for each subject area tied to the NCEES topics.  My library at work was a great help due to the cost for each reference.

I wish I had more time to study. During the three months leading up to the exam I found out I was having my first child (due in April) and changed my job. Failing this fall exam was not an option seeing the due date was April 25th and the next exam being offered was April 21st.

 

 

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Mechanical: HVAC + Refrigeration

Overall time studying: 450+ hours mostly in the 5 months leading up to the October 2016 exam and a chunk of hours in the past couple years prior to taking the October 2016 exam ... but I never took any previous exams.  This was the only PE exam I have taken.  

I took approaching the exam very seriously and I would most likely fail if I didn't.  I have solved at least 90% of the problems in the MERM (Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual by Lindeburg) companion problems and most of the sample problems in the MERM itself.  I bought sample exams including NCEES exams, 6 Minute Solutions, and old school practice exam problems that are 1 hour long and have partial credit.  I bought a few textbooks (like Shigley's Mechanical Design) and solved problems from those.  I am sure that I have solved at least different 1,500 problems.

I made eight (8) 2" binders full of notes, sample problems, charts, and tables separated by topics.  1 binder had the MERM appendix and it was much easier to look through than the giant MERM book appendix.  

I passed the exam. :D

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Electrical - Power.

Studied on my own for about 180 hours. Then took School of PE live review. Worked the practice test afterwards. 

Probably around 220-250 hours total. 

Passed.

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Civil - Structural

I spent about 20 hours total studying for this specific exam (I was also trying to study for seismic and surveying since I live in California).  I studied all on my own - no SoPE, EET, or anything like that.  Most of my studying was going through the NCEES practice test and figuring out what my strengths and weaknesses were.  I also spent some time making sure I really understood where everything was in my resources.

My resources were pretty much all of the design standards listed in the NCEES exam specifications - AASHTO, IBC (as CBC 2013), ASCE 7, ACI 318, AISC, NDS, TMS 402/602, OSHA, and PCI.  (The exam specifications also mention AWS - I looked at those briefly but did not bring them with me.)  I also had my NCEES practice test, the FE reference manual (I remembered the layout well from when I took the FE and thought it would be helpful, and it was), a structural analysis textbook, a steel design textbook, and a reinforced concrete design textbook.  My AISC, TMS, and PCI resources were one version older than what is on the current list, but I did not suffer any ill effects because of that.  I did not have the CERM.

I passed.

If I had to do it again, I would study a little more soil mechanics/geotechnical engineering, as that was probably my weakest section on the morning portion.  For the afternoon, I would have studied NDS and TMS more for masonry and wood design, as I have much more experience with AISC and ACI for steel and concrete design and found those problems to be relatively easier.

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Electrical - Power

Took the SOPE live class (4 hrs a night, 4 nights a week for 5 weeks) - Sub-total: 80hrs.  Weekends on my own - about 75hrs.  Last week before exam - about 40hrs (took 4 days off from work).  Total about ~200 hrs.  Was a bit panic and feeling unprepared at the end.

Passed (first time).  AM session took me about 3.5 hours and PM session about 2.5 hours.   I think I did well thanks to the qualitative questions..

If I had to do it again?  Bring a copy of NESC.  Dress in layers (morning was ok but afternoon was roasting as the old ladies (proctors) cranked up the heat!

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Civil/Structural.  Somewhere in the 30-40hr range.  Self study.  NCEES practice exam and PPI 6 minute solved problems.  I only half finished the PPI questions... they were terrible.

SE exam (both). Somewhere around 120hrs.  Self study.  Ran through my class notes.  Summarized class notes into a single 3-ring binder.  Took NCEES practice exam and PPI practice exam.  

Passed both.

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Civil Construction

Spent ~250 hours over 12 weeks studying, primarily through School of PE (80 hours of classes). I felt very prepared compared to others I've talked to. Used School of PE problems, NCEES practice exam, and several other practice problem books - all of which were helpful. I believe 12 weeks is a perfect amount of time to study, any less isn't enough and any more will burn you out come test day. Also kind of depends on how fresh some of the material is for you.

Passed on the first attempt.

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1 hour ago, smahurin said:

Civil/Structural.  Somewhere in the 30-40hr range.  Self study.  NCEES practice exam and PPI 6 minute solved problems.  I only half finished the PPI questions... they were terrible.

SE exam (both). Somewhere around 120hrs.  Self study.  Ran through my class notes.  Summarized class notes into a single 3-ring binder.  Took NCEES practice exam and PPI practice exam.  

Passed both.

you're a machine! i hope i can pass with 120hrs for the SE. we were similar in actual study hours for the PE, but i had to take it 2x. I blame test anxiety. 

I'm gearing up to start thinking about when I should take the SE and am leaning towards doing one day at a time. anyway, congrats!

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Civil Structural

I studied for about 16 hours for the first round (I was bed ridden sick the weekend before the exam so it would have been double), failed with 52/80 April 2016.

I studied for another 16 hours for the second round. Passed October 2016.

I was not confident and did not feel significantly prepared. I was very familiar and tabbed the shit out of my references, but If i had to do it again, I would study somewhere around the 50-60 hour range and do a lot more practice problems. I forgot I had the CERM companion practice problems until i was packing up my references to take to the exam, and was like WTF. So yeah. I think sometimes the more people prepare the more confident they feel in answering the problems, which helps them pass. I would have prefered to go that route, but there's no way I could focus enough to spend 300 hours because I get distracted SO easily. Mad props to everyone who found the system that worked for them!!

Next up, SE...someday. not looking forward to it.

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Civil Water Resources & Environmental

Started studying the moment i was approved on June 20th. Studied almost everyday at least 3 hours. With a couple days off here and  there. So give or take 300 hours. 
160ish was School of PE. Both the previous semesters and the current ones On Demand. 

Passed first try Oct 2016

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Chemical

About year before i started reading the ChERM during lunch and breaks at work.  About 6 months before I kept at the ChERM, the ChERM practice problems and 6 minutes solutions during lunch/breaks and probably 3 hrs at home every night.  about 3 month out I added 3-4 hrs sat/sun too.  I took some textbooks with to the exam, but really the ChERM did me just fine.  I passed.  

mr snick was traveling a lot for work at the time, like only home on weekend sort of thing, and no kids at the time so no family guilt.  

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180 hours total for PE structural Depth, seismic and surveying. Didn't go to any courses and pass at the first try.

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Took Testmasters (96 hr) and probably studied another 30-40 hr outside of class.

 

Passed Transportation on the first try.

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Civil/Structural

April 2016: Company paid for ASCE civil review course (breadth). I briefly looked over code references prior to exam.  Went through NCEES practice exam.  Solved a few problems for each afternoon area.  Failed with 50/80.

October 2016: Re-reviewed ASCE breadth notes.  Paid for EET Structural Depth On-Demand Course.  Spent 1-2 days per weekend studying for about 3 months (fortunately I work 4-10's and get long weekends).  Solved close to 200 problems in all categorizes covered by the exam (put into an organized/tabbed binder).  Probably close to 250-300 hours of studying.  Pass.

I work mainly as a mechanical engineer (BSCE, MSME) that does seldom structural analysis and/or review.  My exam review was more extensive due to the lack of regular code usage at work.

Put in the work and you'll get the results.

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Civil/Geotechnical - CA

~ 180 hours for 8hrs and two state specific exams all together. Signed up EET for seismic and self-studied the other two. Passed all three in Oct.  

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Civil - Geotech

I got drunk the night before, and just winged it.

Passed, duh...

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25 minutes ago, merp said:

Took Testmasters (96 hr) and probably studied another 30-40 hr outside of class.

 

Passed Transportation on the first try.

WRE, Passed 1st Attempt, 82% (Texas)

Similar story here, I took Testmasters in Dallas with the WRE depth and spent some time working on the WRE sections during the "Non-Required" days for Testmasters where they focused on the other depth sections. (72 hrs required + 16 hours non-required time).

Did most of my self study starting the Saturday before the exam and continued after work for 4-5 hours the week of the exam. Thursday night before the test I read through different practice exams from various resources w/ solutions. I didn't want to hand write anything so I would basically read the problem statements and work though the steps of "how would this be solved" but never used a calculator or wrote anything down. Then reference solution to see if I had the right plan of attack for the problem and moved to the next one. Drank two 24oz Miller Lites in the hobo brown bags from the gas station ice chest next door to the hotel that night while reading through the exams. 

My biggest enemy for test taking is being stressed the day of and not being able to sleep the night before. Just tried to keep myself in the right state of mind when I got there and get my eyes closed by 10pm the night before.

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EET

Lectures, homework and practice exams... I probably studied 100 hours, but it's hard to say, I am easily distracted. I know I spent a lot more time on the depth portion than the breadth portion.

Passed, phew!

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Self Study (No Course)

Reviewed problems from my university classes and doctoral prelim exam. Reviewed and practiced problems in the MERM and the NCEES practice exam.

Studied 6 weekends - Saturday/Sunday, for about 3-4 hours a day. Total of around 40-ish hours total of studying.

Passed Mechanical T/F PE Exam, 1st attempt. Coming out of the test, I felt that there was only about 6 questions that I had to guess or make an educated guess on, so it felt okay.

I've noticed that how you should study depends a lot on how familiar you are already with the different types of material when you start studying, how comfortable you are in testing environments, and most importantly how you personally best learn. Some people do well when cramming, some people do well when studying a little bit at a time over a long time, etc. 

For me, I have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and did my course specialization in Thermal/Fluid Sciences when getting my masters, so the material was mostly very familiar to me in the depth part. I reviewed the depth part a decent amount but spent more of my time on the general section since it had material that I didn't use for a while (i.e. mechanics of materials, etc...). 

 

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HVAC and Refrigeration

I started studying around May, but didn't get serious until mid September.  I ended up studying for a little more than 100 hours total.  I tabbed a ton of stuff in my book and used almost none of it.

I took two days off before the test to do some last minute cramming.

I purchased the 6 Minute Solutions Book and the NCEES practice exam.  The 6-minute solutions book was pretty good.  The questions weren't too similar for the most part, but the difficulty was about right.  The NCEES practice was not great.  I found it way easier than the exam, and it seemed to focus on completely different areas. I did received some great advice to make a summary sheet of all the problems in the books for quick reference.

I Passed.

If I had to do it again, I'd do more practice problems and less reading out of the MERM.  I'd also study the stuff that seemed unlikely to be on the test, because a lot of it ended up being on the test.

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Electric Power

Self Study

Started studying from august, every weekend  about 4-6 hrs (2-5 weekends were missed), random weeknights 1-3 hrs (1-4 week had 0 hrs), total time was probably about 150-200 hours. give or take 10-15 hours of me goofing off to random topics in PE that I just wanted search deeper into. This figure doesn't include my failed attempt of April, i didnt review indepth on few items that i knew i would be OK in.

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Discipline?

Took power. no background in electrical

 

Prepare time?

unknown. spent about 9 months reading books and watching courses.

 

What study materials did you use...?

PPI, chelapati, graffeo, complex imaginary. mike holt, much more references

 

bring to the exam?

everything. Huge crate came with me

 

How did it work for you?

pass

 

What would you have done differently?

nothing. 

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