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jvanoye

Study Guide Recommendation for Mechanical PE (MDM) in April '17

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I will be taking the Mechanical PE exam in April '17 and have chosen the Machine Design and Materials (MDM) exam specification. Being that I graduated quite some time ago, I've enrolled in a refresher course which starts in a few weeks, but in the mean time I was wondering if somebody could make a recommendation for a book or study guide that covers these topics which make up the 2nd part of the exam. I already have MERM (Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual), 13th edition, but it only covers them superficially.

 

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Machine design might be the toughest of the three.   I've seen reference book suggestions in the past.  It did sound that you'd want other reference book(s). Try searching the board.

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I didn't take MDM (I was TFS), but I know people who used Shigley'sRoark's, and Machinery's. Also, it was recommended to take some AISC Beam Tables (link here).

Biggest Thing I can stress ... make sure you are very comfortable with any references you bring. You don't have time to endlessly search through books. Best of luck! 

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I'm taking the same test as well and am a bit unsure/nervous as to what additional materials we should study and bring since the test has been revamped.

I currently have:

MERM 13th edition

MERM practice problems

6-minute solutions

Shigley's 

Roark's

Machinist Handbook

Kennedy's PE review book (had not seen very many people recommend this one but it has been really helpful to me  http://amzn.to/2iEHChr)

Lindeburg unit conversions

MERM practice exam (still need to buy the updated one though)

 

Also considering taking Dr. Tom's Fast Track class so that it keeps me accountable for studying

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Shigley's is a must.   Machinery's Handbook is also needed.   I never touched Roark's for either the prep or the test.  

You'll probably need a good supplement for Vibrations,,for the MERM is lacking greatly in this area.   I used my old college textbook in addition to 'Schaum's outline for Mechanical Vibrations'.   Although, the vibrations problems were very simple back in April 1'6 but I heard they were much harder this past October.  

A good Dynamics textbook is also a plus but the MERM is adequate. 

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I only used the MERM but it did take me 3 tries to pass. I had the 6 minute solutions, MERM practice problems, MERM practice exam and the NCEES practice exam as my problems to work to get me prepared for the exam.

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On 1/3/2017 at 9:20 AM, engineerdude123 said:

I'm taking the same test as well and am a bit unsure/nervous as to what additional materials we should study and bring since the test has been revamped.

I currently have:

MERM 13th edition

MERM practice problems

6-minute solutions

Shigley's 

Roark's

Machinist Handbook

Kennedy's PE review book (had not seen very many people recommend this one but it has been really helpful to me  http://amzn.to/2iEHChr)

Lindeburg unit conversions

MERM practice exam (still need to buy the updated one though)

 

Also considering taking Dr. Tom's Fast Track class so that it keeps me accountable for studying

Hello Jon and thanks for your response... I've never used Shigley's in my professional career and the book is pretty thick, so not sure about bringing that to the exam. Not familiar with Roark's either but have all other books on your list already. What the Machinist Handbook... is it pretty good for looking up information about welding symbols, fasteners, etc? 

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On 1/3/2017 at 10:06 AM, starquest said:

Shigley's is a must.   Machinery's Handbook is also needed.   I never touched Roark's for either the prep or the test.  

You'll probably need a good supplement for Vibrations,,for the MERM is lacking greatly in this area.   I used my old college textbook in addition to 'Schaum's outline for Mechanical Vibrations'.   Although, the vibrations problems were very simple back in April 1'6 but I heard they were much harder this past October.  

A good Dynamics textbook is also a plus but the MERM is adequate. 

Hello Starquest and thanks for your response... my problem is that I've never used Shigley's in my professional career and not sure now is the time to become familiar with it....I will go ahead and purchase the Machinery's handbook and thanks again for your recommendation.

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On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 3:44 PM, jvanoye said:

Hello Starquest and thanks for your response... my problem is that I've never used Shigley's in my professional career and not sure now is the time to become familiar with it....I will go ahead and purchase the Machinery's handbook and thanks again for your recommendation.

I haven't used it in my career either but it was the textbook for my Machine Design course back in college 19 years ago; not sure if I had any retention from that long ago.   Although I consider it a must for the MDM test, even more-so now that it is 100% depth.   I literally read this book cover to cover in prep for the exam; thanks to a long flight I was on for work at the time...if you do this, take notes along the way!     

The MERM only gives a brief overview on MD, nothing more than a few formulas for each MD element (spur gears, helical gears, fluid and ball bearings, clutches, etc., etc.).   You need Shigley's to fill in the gap.  One key area, that I remember off the top of my head, of which Shigley's was heavily utilized was bearing life. 

It's simply a MUST...I can't stress that enough.   I couldn't even do the 6MS problems without the aide of this textbook!   You learn to navigate it just like the MERM during exam preparation.   My Shigley's book was tabbed and marked up just as heavily as the MERM come test day.     

My copy is the 5th edition; it's been heavily updated since then...from what I heard, they reorganized the textbook and added many new examples since.  I will say that I did find a few errors and discrepancies between Shigley's and the MERM..... 

 

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On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 3:42 PM, jvanoye said:

Hello Jon and thanks for your response... I've never used Shigley's in my professional career and the book is pretty thick, so not sure about bringing that to the exam. Not familiar with Roark's either but have all other books on your list already. What the Machinist Handbook... is it pretty good for looking up information about welding symbols, fasteners, etc? 

Don't worry about the size of your textbooks or amount of them.  There were people coming to the exam with wagons of textbooks; literally, there was a guy pulling an old 'red ryder wagon' stacked with books!  He had them all lined up, organized, tabbed, with even pull handles on them for ease of retrieving during the test.    Thankfully the MDM test doesn't need this much of material.  I was fine with a bankers box. 

Here is my thread on what I used when I took the exam this past April:

 

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On 1/4/2017 at 9:00 AM, JonA2B3 said:

I only used the MERM but it did take me 3 tries to pass. I had the 6 minute solutions, MERM practice problems, MERM practice exam and the NCEES practice exam as my problems to work to get me prepared for the exam.

Hello Jon... I'm on my 2nd attempt now and would like for it to be the last. I have all of PPI's material which includes MERM. I also recently purchased 1 additional NCEEs practice test, the Machinery's Handbook and the PE Exam Review for ME from Dr. Timothy C. which has lots of exam-like problems. My plan is to work through all of these sample problems, be comfortable with them and know where to find the related material in MERM... thanks for your advice !!

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1 hour ago, jvanoye said:

Hello Jon... I'm on my 2nd attempt now and would like for it to be the last. I have all of PPI's material which includes MERM. I also recently purchased 1 additional NCEEs practice test, the Machinery's Handbook and the PE Exam Review for ME from Dr. Timothy C. which has lots of exam-like problems. My plan is to work through all of these sample problems, be comfortable with them and know where to find the related material in MERM... thanks for your advice !!

I felt that working the 6 Minute Solutions until I could get every problem correct really put me over the top on my 3rd attempt (I purchased that book prior to my third attempt). Or I could have just got lucky with the problems that were chosen to be put on October's test compared to the previous two. I just saw some of the prices of those other books and just couldn't purchase them for almost a one time use for this test. Passing this test was one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life.

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I will be taking the Machine Design exam in April 2017 also. My plan currently is to do all the problems in the Practice Problems for the Mechanical Engineering PE Exam by Lindeburg (13th edition / ISBN-13: 978-1591264156 Link: http://a.co/bV39HWm)  in the following topics

Topic I: Background and Support, Topic VII: Statics, Topic VIII: Materials, Topic IX: Machine Design, Topic X: Dynamic and Vibrations, Topic XI: Control Systems, Topic XII: Plant Engineering, Topic XIII: Economics, Topic XIV: Law and Ethics.

With the new exam specification I don't see a point in doing the problems in Topics II: Fluids, Topic III: Thermodynamics, Topic IV: Power Cycles, Topic V: Heat Transfer, Topic VI: HVAC.

I am also planning on doing all the problems in Shigley's that have an answer in the back of the book since I'll be able to check myself (don't see a point in doing problems with no answers to them since I'll have no way to know if I am doing them correctly). FYI, I am using the 9th edition since that is what I used in college (ISBN-13: 978-0073529288 / Link: http://a.co/bJEOjaC). 

Once I finish all that I am going to take the NCEES practice exam. Wherever I do poorly I will go back and read the MERM / re-work those problems. Depending on how long all that takes and if I have time, I may pick up the six minute solutions book and work through that, but comparing the table of contents of Shigley's and the Practice Problems book by Lindeburg to the exam specification, I am thinking/hoping that will be enough problems.

All I am using while I work the problems is Shigley's, The MERM (ISBN-13: 978-1591264149 / Link: http://a.co/hujZFY1 ), and the FE supplied reference handbook (8th edition / ISBN-13: 978-1932613599 Link to 9th edition: https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/fe-reference-handbook-9-4-edition) and the Machinery's Handbook (28th edition, ISBN-13: 978-0831128012 / Link: http://a.co/goxcQeF ). All the problems I work I am doing neatly on computer paper and plan on bringing with me bound in a three ring binder. That binder and all the books mentioned in this post are all I plan on bringing to the exam.

I can't imagine bringing a wagon of books with me. I may be naive, since this is my first time taking the exam, but I did excellent in college (3.94 out of 4.00 GPA) and graduated in May of 2012. I passed the FE exam in April 2012 (my senior year) without studying at all. I just imagine that if I need to go beyond the references I listed in this post, I will be doing so in an act of such desperation and actually finding an answer in any of the books I own will be pretty much slim to none.

Please feel free to critique my strategy and give me advice. I do not want to take this exam twice!

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Sounds like a pretty good strategy to me...if you have the time to do both the MERM and Shigley's problems.   Now that there isn't any thermo/hvac to focus on, this may be a good strategy.   I didn't do any of the problems in Shigley's; only used it as a reference for the formulas, better explanations, and reviewed the example problems.   I wouldn't skip the 6MS book; it covers all of the topics in MDM including challenging, but excellent, econ problems, etc.   Doing and mastering the 6MS problems first will give you great confidence for when you get to the MERM practice problems.   I couldn't imagine starting out with the MERM PP, I would have been so discouraged.   

Note: there are a few thermo problems in the MDM 6MS book...I've also heard on here that a few stray thermo/hvac problems have made it on the MDM depth exam in the past.   Not sure if that will still be the case come the new format in April '17.    

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12 hours ago, MEC_SBU said:

I will be taking the Machine Design exam in April 2017 also. My plan currently is to do all the problems in the Practice Problems for the Mechanical Engineering PE Exam by Lindeburg (13th edition / ISBN-13: 978-1591264156 Link: http://a.co/bV39HWm)  in the following topics

Topic I: Background and Support, Topic VII: Statics, Topic VIII: Materials, Topic IX: Machine Design, Topic X: Dynamic and Vibrations, Topic XI: Control Systems, Topic XII: Plant Engineering, Topic XIII: Economics, Topic XIV: Law and Ethics.

With the new exam specification I don't see a point in doing the problems in Topics II: Fluids, Topic III: Thermodynamics, Topic IV: Power Cycles, Topic V: Heat Transfer, Topic VI: HVAC.

I am also planning on doing all the problems in Shigley's that have an answer in the back of the book since I'll be able to check myself (don't see a point in doing problems with no answers to them since I'll have no way to know if I am doing them correctly). FYI, I am using the 9th edition since that is what I used in college (ISBN-13: 978-0073529288 / Link: http://a.co/bJEOjaC). 

Once I finish all that I am going to take the NCEES practice exam. Wherever I do poorly I will go back and read the MERM / re-work those problems. Depending on how long all that takes and if I have time, I may pick up the six minute solutions book and work through that, but comparing the table of contents of Shigley's and the Practice Problems book by Lindeburg to the exam specification, I am thinking/hoping that will be enough problems.

All I am using while I work the problems is Shigley's, The MERM (ISBN-13: 978-1591264149 / Link: http://a.co/hujZFY1 ), and the FE supplied reference handbook (8th edition / ISBN-13: 978-1932613599 Link to 9th edition: https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/fe-reference-handbook-9-4-edition) and the Machinery's Handbook (28th edition, ISBN-13: 978-0831128012 / Link: http://a.co/goxcQeF ). All the problems I work I am doing neatly on computer paper and plan on bringing with me bound in a three ring binder. That binder and all the books mentioned in this post are all I plan on bringing to the exam.

I can't imagine bringing a wagon of books with me. I may be naive, since this is my first time taking the exam, but I did excellent in college (3.94 out of 4.00 GPA) and graduated in May of 2012. I passed the FE exam in April 2012 (my senior year) without studying at all. I just imagine that if I need to go beyond the references I listed in this post, I will be doing so in an act of such desperation and actually finding an answer in any of the books I own will be pretty much slim to none.

Please feel free to critique my strategy and give me advice. I do not want to take this exam twice!

Hello MEC... I agree with starquest, don't skip the 6 min. solution guide as it has problems that you'll definitely learn from. If you can get a hold of the 2010 version of the NCEES exam, I'd recommend using it to practice as well (at least the depth section will be useful since the format has now changed). There is also a NEW version of the NCEES available from them directly, which reflects the latest exam format changes, get it and use it to test yourself when you feel ready.

Good luck to us all in April !

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I did the problems at the end of the first 5 chapters in Shigley's and after comparing them to the MERM Practice Problems I have decided to skip the rest of Shigley's end of the chapter problems. I don't think the MERM Practice Problems are as difficult as some people say, but the problems in Shigley's are definitely difficult and they are very long. Most people tend to say the MERM problems are way harder than the exam, but the Shigely's problems are several order of magnitudes more difficult than the MERM Practice Problems. I think doing the problems in Shigley's is overkill and not sure I even have the time. I am still using Shigley's as a reference, but instead of doing the problems at the end of the chapters I picked up the Six Minute Solutions and PPI Practice Exam and am going to work those problems instead.

Once I finish the MERM Practice Problems my plan is to do the Six Minute Solutions, NCEES Practice Exams, and PPI Practice Exams over and over again until exam day. I should finish the MERM Practice Problems with about a little over a month to go before exam day. I don't think I could go back and do all the MERM problems again, but I could probably get multiple runs of the Six Minute Solutions and the NCEES & PPI Practice Exams. 

I also did the fluids sections, and a few of the thermo/heat transfer sections from the MERM Practice Problems book based on PPI's new study schedule for the Machine Design Exam.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will prepare me enough to pass!

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On 3/6/2017 at 9:34 AM, MEC_SBU said:

I did the problems at the end of the first 5 chapters in Shigley's and after comparing them to the MERM Practice Problems I have decided to skip the rest of Shigley's end of the chapter problems. I don't think the MERM Practice Problems are as difficult as some people say, but the problems in Shigley's are definitely difficult and they are very long. Most people tend to say the MERM problems are way harder than the exam, but the Shigely's problems are several order of magnitudes more difficult than the MERM Practice Problems. I think doing the problems in Shigley's is overkill and not sure I even have the time. I am still using Shigley's as a reference, but instead of doing the problems at the end of the chapters I picked up the Six Minute Solutions and PPI Practice Exam and am going to work those problems instead.

Once I finish the MERM Practice Problems my plan is to do the Six Minute Solutions, NCEES Practice Exams, and PPI Practice Exams over and over again until exam day. I should finish the MERM Practice Problems with about a little over a month to go before exam day. I don't think I could go back and do all the MERM problems again, but I could probably get multiple runs of the Six Minute Solutions and the NCEES & PPI Practice Exams. 

I also did the fluids sections, and a few of the thermo/heat transfer sections from the MERM Practice Problems book based on PPI's new study schedule for the Machine Design Exam.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will prepare me enough to pass!

IIRC, Shigley end-of-chapter were not of the 6min variety. Shigley is *great* if you own it and have used it in the past... but if you own a different ME Design book (and are familiar with it), then use that. Just my $.02

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I am planning on just going through the Lindeburg Practice Problems, 6 minute solutions, the online questions cafe and a practice exam but was wondering if I should go through and tab my MERM book first or start working the problems and tab the book from there.

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I would just tab as you go along.

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