Spin-Up v. Complex Imaginary
Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:34 PM
Posted 29 March 2012 - 03:11 PM
EDIT: There was some more discussion on difficulty level in this thread as well.
Edited by knight1fox3, 29 March 2012 - 03:12 PM.
Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:12 PM
- I think the Spinup problems are the easiest overall. They are also by far the quickest to get through, since there is very little calculation involved in a majority of their questions. Also, by the time you get to the 5th test, you feel like you've seen about 70 of the 80 questions in the other four tests. The repitition does help to drive certain concepts home, but I think the limited scope would definitely hurt if this was your only resource.
- The Complex Imaginary tests were more difficult than the Spinup ones, and the questions involved more calculations overall. These tests also seemed to cover a pretty broad range of topics, which I liked. Each of the four volumes felt unique to me. I don't regret only going with one or two. They did a good job with these.
- I thought the PPI samples were pretty tough. For the most part, though, it seemed like the difficulty was more because some of their topics seemed very obscure, and that unfamiliarity made things tougher. I do feel that these were the most involved and difficult NEC questions that I ran across. I haven't seen that CI NEC book that just came out, but I learned quite a bit just by reviewing these questions. I didn't get that from most other practice tests, where you typically just need to look up one thing per question. The obscurity of some of these questions would make things difficult if this were your only resource. I did like how familiar I became with the EPRM while doing these questions, since most answers could be found if you dig deep enough into that book.
Obviously the official NCEES sample is going to be the most realistic practice. On thing I will say about the difficulty of this test is that it seems like they put a lot more effort into the incorrect answer selections than any of the third-party sample exams. In most CI or Spinup problems, at least a couple of the incorrect answers would be fairly obviously wrong. In the NCEES sample, I found it more difficult to weed out the wrong answers.
Take this review with a grain of salt, because I've still got 2 weeks to go myself! Having done this many sample exams though, I do feel very prepared for anything they can throw at me. I'll try to follow up after the big day, hopefully not to eat my words!
Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:00 AM
Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:00 PM
Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:01 PM
Ahhhh the Doe autotransformer!! That's been a 3-month mystery for me as well. I haven't found a think explaining what this means! If anyone can elaborate on this, it would be greatly appreciated!
There is no such thing as a "Doe" autotransformer. I think it is there to confuse, since a "Buck" autotransformer does exist.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:41 PM
Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:57 PM
I agree with Mauldinite so far (haven't finished the CI tests yet)- I bought SpinUp thinking that it would be a great value at $20/test but I felt more frustrated as I went through, feeling like I'd answered each question in test #1. It does have some useful questions on relay logic that I really liked, and since I didn't ace the final relay questions, maybe I'm out of place complaining about the repetition. For each full "8 hour" (more like 2-2:30) SpinUp test, I didn't fill even one side of paper with calculations. I did like how a number of terms are defined in there, but it made me concerned about what surprises would be on the test since they weren't anywhere in my references (doe autotransformers? Magnetic Pickup Units?).
I definitely agree, I also found myself getting frustrated with the spin-up exam at times, feeling like I bought one exam that is repeated 5 times. I will admit it does help to drive home the point, but I felt like it was overkill at times with the relay logic diagrams, the same paralleled transformer/generator questions in each exam, the horrible grammar and poorly worded questions, as well as the multiple errors. I also did not like how there was little to no explaination of some of the solutions where an explaination would have been helpful. I don't want to bash the author too much as this was obviously his first attempt at writing a PE exam prep book, but there is definitely room for improvement.
I just purchased two of the CI exams, trying to do some cramming this weekend before the exam!
Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:08 PM
Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:24 PM
If anyone is interested I have the CI exam volume 2, version 2 for sale on the yard sale site at http://engineerboard...showtopic=20014
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck everyone!
Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:45 PM
Does anybody else feel that the Spin-Up exams do more harm then good? It may just be that I'm using the 1st edition, but I feel that the questions are so unrealistic, poorly worded, and at times just wrong that I may be learning things wrong by using them. When I grade my exam i have at least a few that I don't count as wrong because the question was so terribly done. Also the explanations are lacking.
In comparison, CI more NCEES like and that solutions are well explained so that you can learn from your mistakes easier. Each spin-up test is also nearly identical, so much so that you have to force yourself to read the questions carefully to pick-up the minute difference from the last test. Whereas, CI doesn't have obvious repeats. I felt a little bit with CI like I was getting very good at taking a CI test by the end, but it wasn't because the problems were near identical like spin-up. Half way through the 3rd spin up test I lost interest and moved onto something else.
The NCEES test is still the gold standard, but there are only 80 questions and that will not keep you busy or teach you all the concepts you need to cover.
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