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Envl October 2011


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#1 VTEnviro

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 02:40 PM

Well, how was it?

And don't post anything you shouldn't, or we'll beat you up.

#2 Zargo

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:20 AM

The test went fine for me. I only guessed on one question in the morning and one in the afternoon. I hardly used any references except Lindeburg"s Reference Manual, and Lindeburg's book of engineering unit conversions. I did study pretty intensely for about three months.

All the tabs on my books proved to be worthless during the exam. Every time I picked up a book thinking that I had the relevant section tabbed, I couldn't find the right tab. It was easier using my separate booklet of Lindeburg's index. The tabs may have been useful for my studying. If I was reading something important, I would just stick a Staples "stickies" flag on the page. I went back later to review the material and I wrote keywords on the stickies. I don't think I ever found the right sticky during the exam.

Edited by Zargo, 03 November 2011 - 01:38 AM.


#3 ENVEguy

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:14 AM

I found that it had much more Air and Remediation questions than I expected. I would go as far as to say it was over the prescibed percentages that they said were going to be in there. Course I'm bias as a water guy, but still.

The most annoying thing to me were the unit conversions...really? Come on, at the level of a PE all the unit conversions do it annoy...in the real world we are going to be using units we will be working with and be able to recognise the difference.

#4 CU07

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:31 PM

People generally seem to think the level of the questions was similar to the NCEES sample questions. Do you guys agree for this round? Assuming NY lets me, I'm taking the April '12 exam. Thanks!

#5 VTEnviro

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 05:26 PM

I found that it had much more Air and Remediation questions than I expected. I would go as far as to say it was over the prescibed percentages that they said were going to be in there. Course I'm bias as a water guy, but still.

The most annoying thing to me were the unit conversions...really? Come on, at the level of a PE all the unit conversions do it annoy...in the real world we are going to be using units we will be working with and be able to recognise the difference.


Uhhh...I convert back and forth regularly enough. Those are the easy questions - convert gallons/day to speed/hectare.

#6 WANT2BPE

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 05:52 PM

I found that it had much more Air and Remediation questions than I expected. I would go as far as to say it was over the prescibed percentages that they said were going to be in there. Course I'm bias as a water guy, but still.

The most annoying thing to me were the unit conversions...really? Come on, at the level of a PE all the unit conversions do it annoy...in the real world we are going to be using units we will be working with and be able to recognise the difference.



100% percent agree with you, a little frustrating for Enviro Engineers that works in water.

#7 Soil_EngineerVA

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 01:07 PM

I thought the morning was pretty tough. there didn't seem to be any wastewater problems on the test. I was a little frustrated. The afternoon was ok for me. I had two really great references that proved to be very useful, so i just hope my afternoon score will be abnormally high to offset the morning.

#8 gtg754f

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:11 PM

I thought the morning was pretty tough. there didn't seem to be any wastewater problems on the test. I was a little frustrated. The afternoon was ok for me. I had two really great references that proved to be very useful, so i just hope my afternoon score will be abnormally high to offset the morning.


I felt the exact same. I just kept thinking, please let me score high enough on this afternoon to offset that morning portion. The lack of wastewater questions and amount of air problems was irritating as well. It seemed in all the practice exams there were many wastewater problems, so I thought for sure there would be alot and it was all air...not ideal if you are a water person.

#9 WANT2BPE

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 12:12 AM

I thought the morning was pretty tough. there didn't seem to be any wastewater problems on the test. I was a little frustrated. The afternoon was ok for me. I had two really great references that proved to be very useful, so i just hope my afternoon score will be abnormally high to offset the morning.


Which were those two references? Just in case.

#10 okeng

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 01:45 PM

I thought the exam was pretty fair after taking the NCEES and PPI practice exams. I don't feel like I aced it but I was familiar with almost all the questions.

The questions were written similar in style to the NCEES practice exam and also had the range of questions similar to PPI practice exams. I felt the range of questions in both the PPI practice tests and the 101 solved problems helped prepare me pretty well. Topics that seem obscure in these materials may also be on the exam.

The books I used most were( in no particular order):" Env Eng. and Sanitation", Salvato; "EERM", "FE Supplied Reference", "Env. Eng. Dictionary", C.Pan Lee; the lecture notes from the University of Vermont and North Carolina video series respectively. Again, the PPI "101 Solved problems: and practice tests were also helpful.

In preparing for the test I used Jeff Kuo's "Practical Design Calculations" and the Cooper and Alley "Air Pollution Control". They were helpful in getting familiar with the material but I didn't use them directly on the exam.

There is no magic bullet except for study. I came to the exam with 3 crates of books I had a pretty decent understanding of. I think one of the posters above said it well that if NCEES references a book, you should study it or at least similar material. The range of the test is pretty broad and it would be difficult to know it all unless you worked in the specific field. I think you really have to know a little about a lot and be able to pull key references when you need a specific solution. Knowing what information you have in your references is key. The books I used during the exam may not be needed on the next exam because the range of possible questions are broad, Don't rely on what I used and start building a decent library for yourself based on NCEES suggestions and posters on this board.

#11 pleasantliving

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 07:27 PM

I actually liked the morning section better. As long as I didn’t make careless unit mistakes or fill in the wrong bubble, I just may have completed the exam with an average score. I took the FE reference manual with me to the exam (reorganized and without 1/2 the sections) and found it to be very useful as a quick reference. If NCEES put this book together, they're probably fond of the material, equations, coefficients, etc. A majority of the equations in the NCEES practice exam can be found in the FE manual.

In case anyone is interested who hasn't taken the exam and wants an organizational strategy, here's what I did (and it worked rather well): Have one very large binder as your go to for the first attempt to answer a question. Tab the binder based on the category and type of question. In each tab include all of the study material collected (regulations, frequently used equations, copies of tables, etc.). For example, one of my post-it tabs was blue (which corresponded to Air) and read "Stacks." It included pages 170-172 of the FE manual followed by the relevant NC State powerpoint slides and all of the NCEES sample questions (with answers) that had to do with ground level concentrations for exhaust stacks. If anyone cares to know more I can ramble on in a more relevant section of the forum about the organization and things included in each section or share the tabbed categories.

Water – For the basic principles category the number of questions seemed to be more than the advertised percentage. A lot of hydrogeology questions, relatively speaking. I agree with everyone else in the lack of wastewater material.

Solid Waste – Overall it was what I expected. Even while studying I found you don’t need to know anything about solid waste to answer 1/2 of the questions (a specific equation isn’t needed).

Air – I was very surprised by the amount of air questions, although now looking back at the percentages I’m not so surprised anymore. Most of the questions were straightforward.

Site Assessment & Remediation – I wasn’t solid on the remediation questions (before, during or after the exam) and didn’t have much time at the end to hunt through references to find the exact answers. This section was the most difficult for me. If I had an extra hour I probably could have found the answers somewhere in the reference material, but most of the questions seemed to lend themselves well to intelligent guessing. I hope I guessed correctly!

Environmental Health and Safety – I was surprised by a few of the questions asked in this category and the rest were easy.

Associated Engineering Principles – Some quick and easy points.

#12 Dleg

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 09:45 PM

Thanks for sharing your advice! To make sure this info does not get buried in the forum after a few months, please consider taking the time to copy and past your advice posts into the "Advice about the exam" thread we have 'stickied' at the top of the forum. I may go change the name of that thread to sound even more relevant.

I'll say one thing here about the exam. It has been 5 years since I took the exam, and I have participated in this forum an read/moderated exam taker's posts for every exam cycle since then. One common theme has been that there is NO good, single reference source for site remediation. I find this hard to believe, especially considering what a money-making field it is. Seems like a great opportunity for someone to write the definitive reference. Too bad I don't do much of that work myself.

#13 Soil_EngineerVA

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:29 PM

The 2 books i thought were very useful were Air Pollution - Cooper Alley and an older book, but this book was probably one of my top 3 references, and i would suggest picking it up if you don't already own it. Hazardous Waste Site Soil Remediation by Wilson/Clarke. it's a MUST have for the Enviro PE exam

#14 envirotex

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 05:17 PM

The problem with references for remediation is that they are, for the most part, technique or contaminant specific and they really don't provide good examples for exam practice...There does seem to be a need for a decent general text...The Wilson and Clarke book (above) is pretty obscure, and the only one I could find was $278 and almost 20 years old...

#15 Dleg

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 11:22 PM

The age seems like a deal killer. I don't work closely with site remediation, but I am around it enough to know that things have probably changed a lot in the last 20 years.

#16 ipass11

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 09:54 PM

I thought the morning was pretty tough. there didn't seem to be any wastewater problems on the test. I was a little frustrated. The afternoon was ok for me. I had two really great references that proved to be very useful, so i just hope my afternoon score will be abnormally high to offset the morning.


same feeling. tough morning and easy afternoon!

all the water related problems are in the morning section. The rest is covered in the afternoon. The reference manual alone with the NCEES sample problem probably can make you pass (which are the only books I used). However, a good waste management/site remediation book and a good hydrology book will help in a great deal if you have time.

Edited by ipass11, 16 December 2011 - 10:02 PM.


#17 VTEnviro

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 11:55 PM

good waste management/site remediation book - 'Hazardous Waste Management' by Lagrega et al. is a great one.

hydrology book - I like 'Hydrology and Hydraulic Systems' by Gupta.

#18 Jeffrey

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:26 PM

'Hazardous Waste Management' by Lagrega was a great resource during the afternoon. I think I found 3 qualitative answers there. There was also a quantitative problem in Lagrega. I had to guess on the quantitative one despite finding it in Lagrega - I just ran out of time!

Edited by Jeffrey, 19 December 2011 - 05:28 PM.





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