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University PE Refresher Courses?


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#1 Clydeman

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:31 PM

I am wondering if any of you have feedback on the value of PE refresher courses offered by universities.

I am an OSU (Oregon State) grad and live in the Portland area. PSU (Portland State) offers a weekly three hour refresher course (syllabus link below). It is fairly expensive at $400 (considering how much I have already spent on books). I am on the fence regarding whether or not to take it.

If I cover MERMs extensively will the end result be the same? Any thoughts?

http://www.me.pdx.ed...hedule_2011.pdf

Thanks for the help.


#2 navyasw02

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:12 PM

I think it all depends on the professor doing the review. I'm in grad school now and my school offered a review course with a fairly similar syllabus that you posted. It met once a week I think for 2 hours and it was just a prof literally reading the book to us. He did go into some detail on how to read the steam tables, Mollier diagrams, and psych charts, but this is all stuff you can figure out in about 30 minutes yourself on your own. Overall, I was very disappointed and felt like it was a waste of time. I dont know if all review courses are the same, but honestly, I felt far better reading a few chapters of the MERM while my wife watched something dumb on TV, then doing problems until I couldn't do any more. I ended up reading (and understanding) the material far better than by listening to a prof drone on about cycles.

#3 HerrKaLeun

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 02:20 AM

In my opinion you should be able to teach yourself by using good study material. thsi also gives you the opportunity to be very fluent in that material. the test is open book and you can take everything with you...

If you have failed the test multiple times despite studying hard, then you can consider those expensive options. but unless the professor knows the test you will take, it is a waste of money IMO.

#4 Master slacker

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 01:22 PM

My advice, as always, is to start doing problems. You'll learn your weaknesses and how / where to tab your MERM as needed.

#5 RobertR

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:28 AM

Personally, I found the PPI review course to be extremely valuable. The instructor had a lot of insight into the exam and how best to tackle it. He also gave the class very valuable supplemental material not in MERM. It helped that my employer paid for the class...

#6 Relvinim

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:46 PM

I've been out of school 23 years and was able to pass first time by reading thru most of the MERM and doing the practice problems. The last 2 months I focused on nothing but all the Sample exams and 6 Minute solutions. This is where you will really learn the material. I would say save your money and just focus on the MERM especially your depth area.

#7 HerrKaLeun

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 06:41 PM

one of engineer's trades is that you are able to figure out things on your own. With this said, you should start by getting all the books needed and study on your own. This site has quite some information on how each sample book relates to the test in regards to difficulty (some are way too difficult).

When you attend a class, there is too much danger to "get lazy"meaning, not to think yourself but some other student or professor shows the solution.

The thing with knowledge and studying is, you still have to do it yourself.

If you are out of school for so long, you may consider taking a course after you exploited all other options. I can't judge on that specific course, the syllabus looks generic. But there also is the chance the course sucks. Obviously it can be good too. but if you current knowledge is so behind (after so many years out of school), a few classes won't make a difference, except in your wallet.

I also suspect many of the courses are targeted towards the "bad" students. with this, you might get bored if you already know what you are doing.
I bet if you study on your own, do sample questions, you will be ahead of everyone who takes that course. Many of the course takers probably don't stat studying before the course because they expect all the knowledge magically gets handed to them in class.


#8 Clydeman

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 05:09 PM

So I did end up taking the course. It is weekly, the second class was last night.

They give quite a bit of notes and sample problems. The professor is very knowledgeable about the PE exam and has some really good tips on what to expect. I have already covered everything in MERMs beforehand, so it is more of a refresher of what I have already been reading and learning.

Also there are quite a few sample (homework) problems given out every week. It does not hurt to have as many sample problems as possible.

At this point I probably have more sample problems than I need. I have 2001, 2008 & 2010 NCEES exams as well as all six minute solutions books. My plan is to do tons of problems starting in the begining of Feb. (after I have gone through the entire MERMS book).


#9 HerrKaLeun

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:29 PM

QUOTE (Nathan Satter @ Jan 12 2011, 11:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So I did end up taking the course. It is weekly, the second class was last night.

They give quite a bit of notes and sample problems. The professor is very knowledgeable about the PE exam and has some really good tips on what to expect. I have already covered everything in MERMs beforehand, so it is more of a refresher of what I have already been reading and learning.

Also there are quite a few sample (homework) problems given out every week. It does not hurt to have as many sample problems as possible.

At this point I probably have more sample problems than I need. I have 2001, 2008 & 2010 NCEES exams as well as all six minute solutions books. My plan is to do tons of problems starting in the begining of Feb. (after I have gone through the entire MERMS book).

Good to hear the course works out so well. And it seems you do a lot of studying on your own IN ADDITION to the course. With your intensive studying you also have plenty of time till the test.
Is the 2010 NCEES sample test the same as 2008? I know 2008 has all 3 depths in one book, and 2010 has each depth as s single book (to make three times the money??).
in my opinion the test was a tiny bit more difficult than NCEES sample test. not much. It gives you a very good idea what to expect.




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