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To quit or not to quit?


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#1 Gura

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:33 AM

Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum. Today, I’ve received my result and failed the FE exam; this is my second attempt. Just to give a little bit of my background, I graduated last year with a BS in Civil Engineering and currently working for a small construction company. I do road inspection (pretty much working 8 hours every day in the sun and heat). I can’t seem to focus on studying for the FE because of my job (I am always exhausted).

I have been thinking about quitting my job to focus on the FE exam this upcoming April 2012.
1) What’s your opinion on my situation, should I quit my job to focus on FE?
2) How should I attack the FE exam this upcoming April 2012, any advice would be greatly appreciated?
(I will take your comments/advices/opinions constructively, so please don’t hold back)

#2 MickDozier

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:22 PM

1) Don't quit your job.
2) If you post your diagnostic, it will be easier to pinpoint areas to concentrate on.

#3 Gura

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:58 PM

I will, as soon as I get the Diagnostic from NCEES. Thanks MickDozier!

#4 snickerd3

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:46 PM

i second the don't quit your job. Maybe make some changes in habit. alter your day to wake up a little earlier and study in the morning, or set aside half a day each weekend to dedicate to studying

#5 Peele1

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:03 PM

I used vacation time to study.

#6 Thunnda

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:14 PM

Yeah, dont quit your job, especially if not passing isnt putting your job in jeopardy. I'd take Peele's advice and use some vacay time to study, or sign up for a review course. Thats the route I took. Good luck.

#7 monkeywinky

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:38 PM

Don't quit, many of my friends took the test more than 4 times. take a nap when you get home, and study. Study on weekends. When I was studying for my PE (results pending) I basically became a hermit for a few months, but hey, you do what you gotta do.

#8 Justin Dickmeyer

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:41 PM

I would definitely stay put with your job. I know it may seem impossible at this point to pass the FE exam while still working, but believe me, you can do it. You are just going to have to become ultra productive with the use of your time. I personally, and I am sure many others, worked while studying for both the FE and PE. There is no doubt that this created some unnecessary difficulties and constraints, but some effort up front really made a difference in the effectiveness of my studies personally. These up front efforts included simple things like setting up a study schedule, reflecting on the content included in the exam, and networking with others taking the exam.

Another effective practice is to continually monitor the way you use your time in a typical day period. I often do this by noting what I do for a period of a week or so, just to get an idea of where my time is going. I was amazed when I did this and realized that I was spending inordinate amounts of time reading emails, looking at the internet, and watching TV. I was able to dramatically decrease all of these and have found from doing that I have a bunch more time to do things that are productive.

Another suggestion, as snickerd said, wake up earlier and stay up a bit later while preparing. The time that you spend “uncomfortable” for the short period you study for the exam (say 4 months) should far outweigh the time you feel “uncomfortable” with the thought of retaking the exam (say 1 year). Of course this is only a suggestion and something that may help focus when you need the motivation necessary to push forward during the tough times.

This site is full of support and advice and you have found yourself in the presence of a good community. This network will help you stay accountable and on point as you prepare, so stay connected.

I hope that helps, I wish you luck, take care!

#9 acesar

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:59 PM

Do not quit. I have been working 40 hour weeks and taking 2 classes and I was able to pass on my 4th try. Did I mention I have a 4 year old. I have a awesome wife that helps me. Just find time. Especially weekends. You might not have a life for a few months but it will be worth it to see the "Pass" next time. It brought me to tears

#10 aneesu786

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:10 PM

Don't Quit, especially in this economy.

#11 Trev... P.E.

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:22 PM

Study in the morning before work & really use your weekends. Sucks for a couple of months, but it's worth it. You can't study for 8 hours a day anyhow, so quitting isn't going to get you anything. Maybe take vacation or unpaid leave for a couple of weeks prior to the test if you need the last push.

#12 SAEngineer

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 10:17 PM

I passed the FE exam last Oct and just found out I passed the PE exam. For both exams I started studying about 5 months before the exam date by doing 2 hrs a night Mon-Thurs (8pm-10pm). Friday and weekend I did not study. As I got about a month away from exam day I up'ed the studying to Mon-Friday 2 hrs a night and a week before exam I did every night 2hrs a night. I did a total of about 200hrs study for each exam. I left University 14 years ago so I needed those hours of study. Best way by far to study is to do practice examples and more practice examples. Do as many practice problems from as many sources as you can ie ncees, ppi etc. When you make a mistake in a problem, highlight the mistake so you can go back over your problems and remember not to fall into those traps again during the exam. Ncees loves to put the '"correct wrong" answer as part of the multiple choice answers. In my case I also prayed really hard too.

#13 Dexman PE

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 10:27 PM

Keep your review material with you in the field. I've done roadway construction inspections and know you'll get a few 15-30 minute "breaks" in the day. You could just sit down in your truck with your material and start reading/reviewing. Then in the evening, take about an hour to re-read and review what you looked at that day as a refresher, maybe attempt a few practice problems associated with what you read that day.

But I definitely agree that there's no need to quit your job.

#14 fba0861

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 11:03 PM

I studied for the Oct. 2010 exam beginning January (yes that long). This is because I've been away from school so long I wanted extra time to get up to speed on all the subjects in the exam.

Wake up an hour earlier to study. That way you are rested from a good night's sleep. I studied 1-2 hrs 4 days a week and as much as I have time for in the weekends.

Worked for me both time. Passed the Mech PE too this year.

Good luck and I hope you pass next time.

#15 addi

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 02:51 PM

Dont quit. Correct me if im wrong, but u can keep taking the FE. Not like you can take the PE right away ne ways. You gotta wait 4 years. Use those 4yrs and keep trying to take it

#16 atyler529

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:00 PM

Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum. Today, I’ve received my result and failed the FE exam; this is my second attempt. Just to give a little bit of my background, I graduated last year with a BS in Civil Engineering and currently working for a small construction company. I do road inspection (pretty much working 8 hours every day in the sun and heat). I can’t seem to focus on studying for the FE because of my job (I am always exhausted).

I have been thinking about quitting my job to focus on the FE exam this upcoming April 2012.
1) What’s your opinion on my situation, should I quit my job to focus on FE?
2) How should I attack the FE exam this upcoming April 2012, any advice would be greatly appreciated?
(I will take your comments/advices/opinions constructively, so please don’t hold back)



Don't quit your job. I just found out I passed on my 6th try. I final decided to take a prep class. You should probably sign up for one.

#17 okeng

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:28 PM

Dont quit! Try a structured online prep class that meets on weekends. Nothing like interactive question and answer and demonstration to help you visualize and conceptualize. I used EITexperts.com and found it very helpfull. It may be tough to buckle down these next few months but it is a short term sacrifice for long term benefit. Keep your spirits up. Tell yourself how much you love to study! Get plenty of exercise too. It helped my mood and kept my back from hunching over after hours of study! lol Dont need to waste time at the gym just a few pushups etc will do wonders.

#18 treyjay

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 04:36 PM

I agree with everyone else....DON'T QUIT YOUR JOB.....you will miss the money, you will trash your resume and you will lose out on work time that can be used in your PE application process.

I took the FE after being out of school 20 years and I worked in construction in the field also. Believe me...if I could pass the exam, then you can also.

Your problem is most likely your study routine. The FE is more of a "work as many problems as you can" exam then the PE is, in my opinion. The good news is that you know what they are going to ask you on the FE. I made the decision to go General Engineering in the PM and used the FERM and the PPI Exam Cafe to get myself passed while only studying nights & weekends (for about 5 months).

You need to be honest with yourself about how you are studying, what you need to do to be more effective and then focus on it.

Good luck my field construction brother.

#19 Jacob_PE

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 06:51 PM

If I were you, I'd try to find another job. If you can afford to not have a job while you're studying for the exam, then I say go for it. The biggest down side is that your Resume will have a gaping hole in it that you'll have to explain at you next few interviews. But it wouldn't be too horrible to explain it with the truth, that you wanted to obtained your EIT and felt you needed to devote special attention to that.

#20 Chris Cat

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 10:28 AM

Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum. Today, I’ve received my result and failed the FE exam; this is my second attempt. Just to give a little bit of my background, I graduated last year with a BS in Civil Engineering and currently working for a small construction company. I do road inspection (pretty much working 8 hours every day in the sun and heat). I can’t seem to focus on studying for the FE because of my job (I am always exhausted).

I have been thinking about quitting my job to focus on the FE exam this upcoming April 2012.
1) What’s your opinion on my situation, should I quit my job to focus on FE?
2) How should I attack the FE exam this upcoming April 2012, any advice would be greatly appreciated?
(I will take your comments/advices/opinions constructively, so please don’t hold back)


I feel for you, buddy.

#21 chemicalpe

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 10:55 AM

I agree with folks here. Do not quit. Put in some extra effort by getting up early in the morning and devoting your weekends. The best advice I would have to you is to do the problems again and again till you have better understanding because most of the problems are pretty much the same provided you understand them. Its like pracitse makes your perfect. When I took my FE, I basically did the same problems over and over till I got tired of them. May be you need to develop a strategy on weak areas. I would start working on weak areas and then go onto working areas you are really comfortable with. You might end up spending more time on the weak areas but do not panic because that's what you are trying to do, closing out the gap on subjects you are not good at. I am not sure if you are taking any review course, but if you have issues concentrating and understanding, I would advise you to go for review course. I wish you the best. Good Luck.

#22 solomonb

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 02:32 AM

OK, you can do this! DO NOT quit your day job. You need the money and you have to live. Besides, you cannot study 8 hours a day for 6 months and pass the test. Let's develop a gameplan.
A. Review the diagnostic and see where the weak areas are. These are areas where you will need to put extra attention to.
B. Plan on studying about 2.5 hours a nite, after work and 8 hours on the weekend-- 4 hours on Saturday/4 hours on Sunday.
C. Take a structured review course. There are lots of ideas here-- Mr. Dickmeyer answered a question above, he has a web site that is quite intriguing to me-- and it is free!
D. See if there is a college around that offers the review course-- if so, see if you can get in and "audit" the course.

You graduated with your BS degree. YOU ARE NOT A BONE HEAD-- you can do this-- working the problems, working the problems and working the problems is the way to be successful. As others have cited, you may have a basic study flaw-- ok, we can fix that. I do think that you need to take a review course with some mentorship-- there is no reason to continue doing what you are doing and thinking that the results will be different-- they won't.

I have great faith that with a couple of field adjustments that you will do just fine. Good Luck!

#23 cement

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 03:05 PM

I know that construction inspection can be taxing. Part of that is that is mental exertion of keeping up with all the work, part of it is you are mostly standing idle while the contractors are working.

I would suggest that you might want to get some excersize when you get home. A walk, a bike ride, lift weights, whatever, just something to get your energy levels up. It's hard to start but you will feel better, believe me. Just take a half hour. Then you can spend time studying. Look at it as an investment in yourself.

And there is no reason to quit your job. I passed the EIT 4 years after school while working full time in construction management, you can do it too! Now go solve some problems!




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