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When should I start studying??


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#1 atyler529

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 12:23 PM

I plan to take the PE in 2013. When should I start studying for it? Some people are telling me now.

#2 roadwreck

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 12:46 PM

the earlier you start the easier it will be.

#3 TatumPE

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 12:53 PM

I just took the October 2011 Civil PE exam and passed. A lot of sources recommend approximately 300 hours of study prior to the exam. This is right about where I was when I walked into the test, including a TestMasters prep course I took. I started studing about 3 mos out, but 6 months out would not have been too soon. Hope this helps.

#4 jco0518

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:02 PM

I plan to take the PE in 2013. When should I start studying for it? Some people are telling me now.


"asap as possible" - Michael Scott

#5 addi

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:16 PM


I plan to take the PE in 2013. When should I start studying for it? Some people are telling me now.


"asap as possible" - Michael Scott


ditto. I attempted to study 4 months earlier but i only really started studying hard 2 months before exam. You gotta get your feet wet
Early

#6 TrussGuy85

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:23 PM

Everyone is going to be different on this. I eased into studying by tabbing the CERM and getting familiar with how and where to find info QUICKLY. Really, getting to know the CERM was the hardest part (most intimidating) for me. I started doing problems every night about 3 months before the test. Problems, problems, and more problems....passed on the first go. I too have heard that 300 hours is the recommended goal, however you just need to study until you can do the problems. I think I studied for about 100 hours.

#7 Gordapeak

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:38 PM

Define the term "study" first. Just reading books will not get it done. Doing problems until you know it cold is what worked for me. Took an review course and put in a solid 5 months of every evening, every weekend locked in my home office running problems - passed, and it really seemed easy to me. Did most of my "tabbing" during the review course also.

#8 Boomer01 PE

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:25 PM

Begin early by skimming the CERM and getting yourself familiar with it (flag pages). The best advise is to do as many sample problems as you can get your hands on.

#9 HeaLI

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:57 PM

Cracked the books (MERM) with the PPI Passing Zone (expensive but I thought worth the structure and guidance) 4 months before the test and with 3 weeks left I was doing 4 hours of problems a weeknight and atleast 8 hours each on Sat & Sun....passed Mechanical HVAC but felt that I definitely did not go in feeling very comfortable on MD since all my problem sets were HVAC.

#10 ACC_HOKIES

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:26 PM

I'd suggest to start planning as soon as you can, but actually studying is much more of a personal preference. About a year in advance I was working out the application process and speaking to coworkers and friends for resource and study material, planning my study and test regime, and I started completing hand calculations instead of using software and spreadsheet aids at work to help in my preparation. I preferred to wait on actually beginning that planned study regime, partly because of professional workload and partly because I was better motivated closer to the exam.

#11 YMZ PE

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:39 PM

Like others have said, it will be different for everyone. If you practice in a general type of engineering field like construction or building systems, you'll need to study more than if you practice in a focused discipline like hydraulics. I have a Masters in my discipline, so I spent about 100 hours doing the breadth questions from all of the six-minute solutions books for civil, and the depth questions from the geotech one. As I did each problem, I wrote down important equations/constants and tabbed my references for quick access during the test.

I shoved all my studying into the four weeks before the exam so it was fresh in my mind. It might help if you could take a few days off before the exam and do as many practice problems as possible to put yourself in "exam mode".

#12 dontlikebeinganeng

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:54 PM

I did it out of discipline and I crammed it all in 3 weeks for the national. It wasn't fun, pretty much nonstop studying.

I recommend a good month or two out minimum. I also recommend a class if your employer pays for it.

#13 atyler529

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 05:07 PM

Thanks for all the advice! I am considering talking a review class since my employer has agreed to pay for it, but I will probably do so either in the fall of this year or the spring of next.

#14 Jacob_PE

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 06:15 PM

I started 6 months out and passed on my 1st try. I think what I did was overkill, I evolved from not knowing how to solve the problems at all, to then needing help when i got stuck, to finally being able to work problem after problem, getting the correct solution without ever having to look at a solution guide. Think about how long it will take you to get to that final phase.

#15 azerndt

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 06:50 PM

i don't think anybody has mentioned this yet - you said you are planning on taking the PE in 2013. If you are already approved to take the test why don't you take it in 2012 (October)? That way you can go into the test cold and see how you do - that will give you the best assessment of how well prepared you really are and how much you need to study.

#16 noghre111

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 06:53 PM

Fo the OCT 2011 exam, i started studying Mid June. I studied 4 nights a week (2 1/2 hrs/night), and Minimum of 9 hours every friday, sat and sunday and solve at least 1000000000 problems. One/two full day of break every month. I also sugget you gather all the references/study material/sample exams and questions/school text books or any other documents before you start studying. and I PASSED.

#17 nitestare

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:04 PM

What discipline are you taking? I started early August for the October PE and passed. Honestly it all depends on how you do on test. I'm a natural test taker and do not get rattled on tests. I just needed to refresh myself and remind myself how to do certain problems. One thing that really helped me is that NCEES sells practice exams. Don't burn yourself out. I had a friend who did this. He started studying early June and by September was so burnt out he wasn't sure he'd take the test. It's best to study at a pace that allows you to learn than to force all of it on you.

#18 DASmith

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:15 PM

I studied for about 8 months. Weeknight evenings (when I was single) and longer on the weekends, without burning myself out. I found that taking the practice exams were really key to time management, as well as understanding what you know. My reference materials were the Lindeburg package from PPI, including the 6-minute solutions. Since I was weak in Structural, I studied the other 4 first and passed with no problem. Skipping Structural only exposed me on 8 morning problems, so it was worth it.

#19 atyler529

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:44 PM

i don't think anybody has mentioned this yet - you said you are planning on taking the PE in 2013. If you are already approved to take the test why don't you take it in 2012 (October)? That way you can go into the test cold and see how you do - that will give you the best assessment of how well prepared you really are and how much you need to study.



Right now I am in graduate school and since I am close to being complete I would prefer to not take the exam while in school. I am also working so it would be too much.

#20 atyler529

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:45 PM

What discipline are you taking? I started early August for the October PE and passed. Honestly it all depends on how you do on test. I'm a natural test taker and do not get rattled on tests. I just needed to refresh myself and remind myself how to do certain problems. One thing that really helped me is that NCEES sells practice exams. Don't burn yourself out. I had a friend who did this. He started studying early June and by September was so burnt out he wasn't sure he'd take the test. It's best to study at a pace that allows you to learn than to force all of it on you.



I plan to take the Civil-Water Resources.

#21 azerndt

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:48 PM


i don't think anybody has mentioned this yet - you said you are planning on taking the PE in 2013. If you are already approved to take the test why don't you take it in 2012 (October)? That way you can go into the test cold and see how you do - that will give you the best assessment of how well prepared you really are and how much you need to study.



Right now I am in graduate school and since I am close to being complete I would prefer to not take the exam while in school. I am also working so it would be too much.


I understand...sounds like you have a lot going on. I was just suggesting you go in completely cold - all it will cost you is a day, then you will have the experience of taking it once and the diagnostic report to tell you areas you should focus on. Best of luck in 2013!

#22 JohnHu

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 10:43 PM

I just passed the fire protection and had only 6 weeks to study. I didn't start studying until I knew the state would allow me to take it.

#23 chemicalpe

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 10:51 PM

I guess everybody's study structure is different. In my case I read the reference books and pretty much glanced at the test master's material to begin with. When the exam was close to 3 months and thats when I put in lot of time studying and doing problems, problems. i was not worried much about the time because I wanted to understand thoroughly in whatever I was working on because even if you put 400 hours or 500 hours and donot understand the technique, it's no good. I spent lot of time understanding the fundamentals and how the problem was approached and in how many ways can a single problem be solved and is it possible that the problem be given in any other way than the current form. I had lot of questions to myself when I started working on the problems but slowly as I was working on them and doing little bit of research, I was feeling more and more comfortable with the problems. Ofcourse, I even repeated the same kind of problems atleast twice just to see if I remembered what I did and see how much time I was taking to solve the same kind of problems.

I would say, sooner the better. Everybody is different and I wish you good luck whenever you take the test.

#24 GUNNERDOG

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 06:20 PM

Take the NCEES practice exam and see how you feel.

I found it was a good approximation for the difficulty and type of questions on the actual exam (chemical Oct 2011)

I only had time to study for the two weeks leading up to the exam (16-18 hours total) and ended up passing somehow.

I think my signature sums it up

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V

Edited by GUNNERDOG, 16 January 2012 - 06:27 PM.


#25 ARbj

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 01:31 PM

Experience from studying for PE Electrical/Electronics: I started about 8 months prior to the Oct 2011 exam. During the first 6 weeks, I reviewed much of the math that I thought I'd need once I started doing problems. The math review was helpul also in terms of getting familar with integral tables, transform tables, etc. I used ENSYS quite a bit during this period. Ater that 6 week period, I did very problem I could get my hands on from the Internet, textbooks, and ENSYS (ENSYS started being less useful as I moved through the variuous topics b/c their content was not keeping pace with my progress). To sum up: review the fundamentals enugh to convince yourself you know it an then do sample problems, problems, and more problems.




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