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Well, how did everyone feel about the April 2012 Exam?


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#1 Judowolf PE

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:47 PM

I'm not sure about everyone else, but firstly, I'm glad its over! :o)

I thought the morning session was tough, I skipped to all of the NEC and low hanging fruit problems first, but for some reason it took me longer to find the NEC questions in the code than it did on the practice tests and that made me feel behind and rushed. I ended up flat guessing on a couple of questions at the end which I never did on any of the practice tests(NCEES, CI or Spin Ups)

I felt the afternoon was a little more straight forward and I was a little more settled and focused after the lunch break. Hit the low hangers and NEC questions again and got thru a little faster than the morning. Still guessed on a couple at the end, but felt a little less rushed and had more time to work the more difficult ones.

Overall, I thought the Power test was not very close to the practice tests, just my opinion. I thought the practice tests focused on some areas that were supposed to be a major portion of the test and there were not as many questions on those portions. I never scored under an 80% on any practice test, but I'm thinking 70% is going to be pretty close for me...I hope I made it and hopefully if you're reading this then you made it too!

Good Luck!
Spence

#2 Ken 2.0

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:54 PM

I feel the same way as you do.
The afternoon seemed to be better than the morning. I struggled with a lot of the questions on the AM portion.
Overall, I feel the test was better than the October exam. Only time will tell if my preperation payed off. I'm not sure if I can handle another attempt.

#3 Judowolf PE

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:02 PM

So kgil, did you feel the test overall was easier than October or were you better prepared? This was my first and hopefully only attempt at this, but I'm curious...Also, did you see many of the same questions or at least similar ones? Thanks!

#4 Nittany_Lion

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:30 PM

I agree about the afternoon part. Glad there was a lot of NEC since I work for an AE Firm. Ltg and econ were cake and some of the theroy problems weren't to bad. I took the exam 11 yrs ago when there was only one electrical exam and you had to pick 4 out of 8 essay problems in the afternoon and it was pot luck....The exam now is much easier (to me) and I would say for me it's a 50/50 chance of passing. PU problems were harder for me because of my study prep. I didn't feel to bad after the morning and would say I got almost 100% correct of the first 25 I worked in the afternoon. Time will tell and I'm glad it's only a 6 week wait and not like in the past when it was 3 months!!! Hope everyone passes.....

#5 Nittany_Lion

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:35 PM

I feel the same way as you do.
The afternoon seemed to be better than the morning. I struggled with a lot of the questions on the AM portion.
Overall, I feel the test was better than the October exam. Only time will tell if my preperation payed off. I'm not sure if I can handle another attempt.



Take it until you pass it! I'm 52 yrs old and I'm taking it for the second time.....Remember when you get your stamp it doesn't say how many times it took you to pass. I know a PE from another local company and he took it 8 times before he passed!!!! Good luck and hope you passed....

#6 EAM85

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:27 PM

Very encouraging words. The April 2012 test was my second attempt. I feel like I did better than the first time (Oct 2011). Studying is very time consuming and mentally draining. After reading your post and about the person that took it 8 times before passing, I feel motivated to give it another shot if my results arent passing.
Thanks!

#7 zachtos

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:56 PM

I thought it was a bit easy, but I overstudied. I took the FE a year ago and that helped a lot. I feel like I got 80-90% and finished 1.5 hours early both AM/PM and reviewed the rest of the time. I was dissapointed in the lack of fault current calculations (only 1 for me). 25% NEC questions total and 5% econmics... very odd. A few questions that didn't even require a EE background too. I know the proportions of questions is just a suggestion, but they were way off in my version. I think the complex imaginary exams, PPI sample exam and NCEES were the best for my reviews (not so much the spin ups). I must have done 12 sample exams and done 6 of them twice.... scoring about 90-95% on sample tests the week prior. But, 200+ hours of study time put in.

#8 dirk2827

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

This was my second time. I felt prepared going in (unlike the 1st time), but I found myself guessing on many more questions than I wanted to... about 5 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon. There were a few others where I was only 50-75% sure in my answer.

I think this puts me on the borderline of pass/fail. Unfortunately, it seems like whenever someone thinks they are on the borderline, they end up failing.

#9 mauldinite

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:16 PM

I came out feeling pretty solid as well. I did the practice tests for PPI, CI, Spinup, and the official NCEES one twice apiece and had them all basically memorized. I really thought the actual test was much more difficult than anything I had encountered up to that point, but I also felt like alllll of that practice helped me figure out quite a few. I think the biggest advantage that all of those practice tests gave me was speed. Like zachtos, I had plenty of time. I took my time a lot more than any tests up to that point, but I still had an hour and a half or more in each section to go over things again or dig deeeep into my materials. I actually felt like I learned a few things just from going through certain sections there in the room! Good luck everybody! Let the wait begin!

#10 Ken 2.0

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:09 PM

So kgil, did you feel the test overall was easier than October or were you better prepared? This was my first and hopefully only attempt at this, but I'm curious...Also, did you see many of the same questions or at least similar ones? Thanks!


I was better prepared in some areas, but I also think that some sections were a little bit easier. Put it this way, I guessed at fewer questions this time.

#11 Blak

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:07 PM

I felt better prepared this time then last Oct. I guessed less. The difference between the last time and now was doing sample questions and trying to understand the concepts. I used SpinUps and NCEES sample exams. I feel confident this time.

#12 Sparky07

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:28 PM

I don't feel very good about this exam at all. I was 100 times more prepared, but I felt this test was significantly harder than the October Exam. If I would have studied for the Ocober exam like I did this one, I would have aced it.

I work at a MEP consulting firm, so the NEC questions and econ questions were pretty easy. I found the motor and transformer questions to be very similiar to the NCEES practice test, so they were pretty easy, just not many of them. It was the Transmission Distribution and power flow analysis that kicked my butt. I was a little dissapointed in myself on those questions as I studied the theory pretty well, but for some reason I just couldn't get any of the answers provided. I was probably missing a square root of 3 or a phase shift or something......

All in all, I will be very happy if I pass.....but I am fully expecting to retake it.

Nittany_Lion- Where did you see that it will only take 6 weeks for results? Last October it took 10 weeks to the day....

#13 Nittany_Lion

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:20 PM

I don't feel very good about this exam at all. I was 100 times more prepared, but I felt this test was significantly harder than the October Exam. If I would have studied for the Ocober exam like I did this one, I would have aced it.

I work at a MEP consulting firm, so the NEC questions and econ questions were pretty easy. I found the motor and transformer questions to be very similiar to the NCEES practice test, so they were pretty easy, just not many of them. It was the Transmission Distribution and power flow analysis that kicked my butt. I was a little dissapointed in myself on those questions as I studied the theory pretty well, but for some reason I just couldn't get any of the answers provided. I was probably missing a square root of 3 or a phase shift or something......

All in all, I will be very happy if I pass.....but I am fully expecting to retake it.

Nittany_Lion- Where did you see that it will only take 6 weeks for results? Last October it took 10 weeks to the day....





My friend passed it last April and he had his results before Memorial Day.....and a lady I work with got her AE results at the same time....I live in Pennsylvania so maybe my state issues early...not sure...

#14 Nittany_Lion

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:23 PM


I don't feel very good about this exam at all. I was 100 times more prepared, but I felt this test was significantly harder than the October Exam. If I would have studied for the Ocober exam like I did this one, I would have aced it.

I work at a MEP consulting firm, so the NEC questions and econ questions were pretty easy. I found the motor and transformer questions to be very similiar to the NCEES practice test, so they were pretty easy, just not many of them. It was the Transmission Distribution and power flow analysis that kicked my butt. I was a little dissapointed in myself on those questions as I studied the theory pretty well, but for some reason I just couldn't get any of the answers provided. I was probably missing a square root of 3 or a phase shift or something......

All in all, I will be very happy if I pass.....but I am fully expecting to retake it.

Nittany_Lion- Where did you see that it will only take 6 weeks for results? Last October it took 10 weeks to the day....





My friend passed it last April and he had his results before Memorial Day.....and a lady I work with got her AE results at the same time....I live in Pennsylvania so maybe my state issues early...not sure...


But his certificate was dated June, 2011

#15 stinkycheese

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:26 PM

I felt pretty good about it too and am hoping I'm not being naive (200+ hrs studying I guess: SpinUp once, 4 CIs once, PPI twice). A reference that was VERY helpful was the ABB Protective Relaying book. It pays to have friends in the utility business, or you can have a few bake sales to buy that absurdly expensive book. I too was sort of hoping for more fault analysis questions so that I could impress the scantron machine with my MVA mastery. I didn't use any of my self-printed references-- just the NEC, Wildi, ABB, Overbye power systems, and of course the Camara EPRM book. I don't think I opened the NESC so I'm glad I could borrow that one from a friend. I took the FE in Oct '10 and it took about 10 weeks to get those scores. I'm guessing it'll be the end of June before we get word. Still, starting mid-May I'll be pouncing on the phone every time I get a mail alert!

#16 strebe

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:45 PM

I felt like i just nailed at least 60 of the questions and I know for sure that I missed 2-3. Unless my estimations were wildly off then I should be okay. This was my first time taking the exam and I studying like crazy for three weeks and passively for about 4. I was hoping for more short circuit questions also because of my new found love for MVA mastery as well. Holla stinkycheese!

This whole idea of getting the results before memorial day is rocking my world right now. Although I thinks it is ridiculous that the ENGINEERS exam takes 6-8 weeks or longer for the results while the nursing folks get their results immediately. If I pass I am going to fight to change that...

#17 bethy

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:16 PM

I am on the same boat as Nittany_Lion. I studied more than 250 hrs this time. Took the advises from the Board, do all the practices 2-3 times and reading more sources about transmission line and protection. On the morning section, I didn't have enough time to finish it since some of the induction machine problems, I thought it so easy since all the information are given, just use the formula to find it. But it didn't come out any answer matching with the multiple choices. I thought something worng with my calculator, and I tried it again and still couldn't ge the answer. So I skip it to do differenf problem. I go back later to redo it and still get the same result and it's slow me down. Also, I was panic with some problem given alot of reading (I am a english second language. Some terms they use, I couldn't understand it??). So I guess the morning section was not well with me. On the afternoon, I did better. For the first problem in the afternoon about energy calculation, I thought I got it after doing the practices problems and reading discussion in this forum. But the problem given with many information and that confusing me and I didn't get the anwser either. If any of you can point it out to help me understand it. Very appreciate!! I understand that we can not discuss the exam on the forum. Please let me know if I can email you.

Usually, the results will be send out in 6 week (1st week of June).

#18 BH_Cubed

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:58 PM

I took the same approach as many of you. I went through the AM and PM sections and answered the NEC, and realtively easy or shorter questions first. I think in both the AM and PM it ended up being 16 questions each that I was 90% confident on. I then went back through the rest of the questions and I would say I'm probly about 70% confident on the rest of those. I probably had at least an hour left on the AM and at least 1.5 hours on the PM. I left the PM session at the 45 min mark, but I had allready gone back over the questions twice. So, I'd say I'm kinda on the border line too. I don't feel overly confident that I passed but I also don't think that I completely bombed it. I don't really feel like the actual exam was really that similar to the NCEES practice exam. Although, there was one question that was exactly the same as on the practice exam but it was worded differently, and some different information was given. I also felt like a couple of the NEC questions were pretty obscure and took me a bit more time to find than it should have. Is engineering economics on the exam specifications? I was a little surprised to see these questions because i did not see them on the exam specifications. I don't think they were that difficult and there were only a couple, but I'm pretty sure I did get one of them wrong. I really hope it only takes 6 weeks. I took the FE exam in April 9th 2011, which definitely helped some on this exam, and I had the results by May 16th. I took both the FE and PE in Delaware.

#19 KSU-EE

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:25 AM

I guess it's my turn to chip in. That was my second time taking the test, first time was last October. This exam was totally different than last time. I think there was only one question from the last exam that was either super similar. I thought this exam was easier than the October one. I did very good on the morning section (only guessed 5), but the afternoon section was a little harder (guessed about 8), the problems were easy i just wasn't able to get the right answer. I had a great book as a reference with me that helped me answer about 15 questions for the morning section, that totally increased my confidence level and made me smile.

First time i failed i studied like a mad man for 3 months and since that didn't help one bit, i studied maybe for 80 hours for this exam, and that was more than enough. I was disappointed with the power flow problems, i used my graduate class notes to do these problems and another reference book from school which had one page about power flow, but i am not certain i got them right.

I guess if there is one thing i scored gold on during my studying and if i pass is due to the following: i used a highlighter and a blue pen to underline important subjects in the engineering books that i had. I tabbed the crap out of my books (both vertically and horizontally) and man that did wonders :) i knew exactly what to page to open, read for a few minutes and concluded the answer. I suggest that future exam takers (hope not me anymore) to buy several engineering books mentioned on this board and start reading chapters and get crazy with the highlighters.

In all honesty, all the complex imaginery/spin up and similar exams are only about 30% effective, it's good way to get you going but definitely won't help you pass. The NCESS book is the best. Camara book is total crap, i still used it, but for power equations and lighting questions only.

For the NEC questions, the best investment i had was to buy the $17 colored tabs online, i solved a few problems just by locating the appropriate pages on those, along with my own tabs on top of the book. Even though i am a T&D engineer, i am excellent at NEC problems, no clue why. But i suck ass at other subjects, like power electronics, which thank planet jupiter wasn't heavy this time around.

I did all the econ questions correct (i think) but the energy demand problem (and the problem before it) i coudn't do either, they seemed so easy but i am not superman. I also hosed these up last exam, damn KWH, i just pay the bills here..

Best of all luck to all the good ppl on this board. I never want to take this exam again, i am tired of studying POWER engineering. Real like work involves project scheduling and budgeting, not p.u. calculations. But who am i to point out the obvious.

Cheers

#20 Chante05

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

I am in agreement with most of the posters, AM was more challenging than PM. In addition, the NCEES practice test was pretty much NOTHING like the actual exam!

I work at an AE firm, so I was loving the NEC questions (there were a few of them). The engr econ questions, not so much. I thought the economics questions would be relatively simple and very few; so I really didn't study that subject too much. However, it seemed like every other page had an econ question!

And like everyone else, I felt I mastered short circuit and per unit calculations, just to find out there weren't many on the test!

The best tool in my possession during the exam was my SELF-MADE reference book. The PPI Power Reference Manual was awesome! I went through that book once, and then went BACK through the book, writing down important equations and concepts and example problems. Then I was able to tab my SELF-MADE reference book per chapter, and I included additional tabs for important items (i.e. transformers, PU, etc.). I used my spiral reference book and the NEC most during the exam.

I have no clue whether I passed or failed, but I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting my results. Also, there was a question on the exam that I DEFINITELY knew how to do and I kept getting the wrong answer - frustrating!




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