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mikecart1

Senior Member
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About mikecart1

  • Rank
    Intern
  • Birthday 10/22/1983

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Pittsburgh, PA

Previous Fields

  • Engineering Field
    Mechanical
  • License
    PE
  • Calculator
    TI
  • Discipline
    Mechanical
  1. Are these places any good? These were 2 of the biggest sites I found when searching alternatives to get PDH hours. Both cost about $25-30 per PDH hour. So basically every 2 years for PA it would cost about $720 at the most (24 PDH x $30/PDH) + $50 renewal fee. I had planned on getting a master's in mechanical engineering and take my time (3-4 years part-time) at the same place I got my undergrad (Virginia Tech) but wanted to take a break since I finished my MBA in 2010. Advice?
  2. mikecart1

    PE vs. FE

    My opinion is based on the fact that my FE and PE were different test styles. FE: Took it before I graduated from Virginia Tech. Morning section was multiple choice and resembled the math portion of an SAT exam. Very simple problems, almost did a double take if the problems were real or were trick questions. I completed all the multiple choice of the morning section (over 80% math based) within the allowable time and was able to check some. My prediction is I got over 90% of the morning correct. The afternoon section had choices that day of which to take. I was able to glance through the various sections of General, Mechanical, etc. and found the easiest to being General. Not so easy though. Was able to work out 4 of the 8 problems given I think. Work counted. I didn't really know completely any of the 4 I chose and my test score (which was given out in 2006 still) showed. I had to have been given 60-70% partial credit since my overall score showed that I did a lot worse on PM portion than AM portion. PE: I knew it was going to be hard and it was even harder. Took prep class. Tried to balance work and study after work. Morning section had easy parts but also hard parts that I had to just make logical educated guesses on. Lot of drafting and welding questions I had no clue about since I do neither. Found out later I got these right. PM portion was even harder. Unlike FE, you only have 1 section to work in (mine was Thermal/Fluids). I would guess I knew about half the 40 PM questions and had to make decent educated guesses on the other 20. Was able to narrow those 20 into 50/50 questions. Overall, PE is the hardest test I've ever taken. I wouldn't say FE is 2nd hardest since I took the GMAT which I thought was insane. FE requires general knowledge of many things related to engineering. PE requires general knowledge of many things related to engineering plus very fast speed. That is why I think PE is hard for many people and why many that don't pass the 1st time, never pass it (~35% for re-takers).
  3. FE April 2006 BSME May 2006 MBA August 2010 PE April 2012 6 years
  4. mikecart1

    PA PE Certificate in Mail Today!

    Received everything now including stamp and seal embosser. Pretty cool. Got everything framed nicely ($4.99 frames from Michael's FTW lol). Engineerseals.com is great and make great products although I wish I didn't have to pay $80 heh. I used the stamp the first time yesterday and it looks sharp but bleeds into notebook paper. Probably better for computer or layout paper. Now I need to decide how I want to satisfy my continuing education credits to maintain the PE. Would like to have my time used for something solid that I might be able to use for my resume. Too many people take the easy way out and attend some seminar or some presentation and have that count towards hours. Trying to kill 2 birds with 1 stone on my hours. Debating between: 1) Engineering graduate certificate programs (ability to do less course load than full blown Master's degree work - usually 9-12 credits and have a certificate that counts for all the hours needed for PE and finishes something I can add to resume). Also I can take different topics every couple of years and build my knowledge base without the huge time and $$$ investment of actual master's degrees. 2) Professional presentations like ASME 3) Generic work presentations and meetings (cheapest aka free but not really something worth my time - probably laziest and easiest way to satisfy hours) 4) Masters degree in electrical, mechanical, or other engineering (already have BSME, MBA, might as well go for a 3rd LOL). Costly and time consuming but imagine a resume with: BSME, MBA, PE, and MSxx. Hard core!
  5. mikecart1

    Named used on your license/seal?

    I used my middle initial on both the stamp and seal. Unless they give us something bigger than the 1.75" circle, most full names won't fit in that space. I should have mine arrive tomorrow. I can't wait
  6. mikecart1

    NCEES Sample Exam from 2001

    There are only so many questions they can give you that are under the mechanical exam that are realistic to be done in an exam setting at an average of 6 min per problem that fit the need to be considered PE Exam problems. In reality, you are better off looking at the older tests. My prep class teacher gave us hundreds (yes hundreds) of problems that were old ncees problems and a lot of those showed up on the test. Why would the PE exam resemble a test from last year? I've always said, to pass a test for a class in school, think like a teacher. To pass the PE Exam, think like the insane psycho NCEES board members.
  7. mikecart1

    Suggestion on Books to buy

    Going to keep in real. The book you will use during the exam the most is the MERM. Forget any Quick reference book or shortened version of anything. When you want answers, you want to get them from the source. Not some Cliff Notes worthless version that doesn't even explain how to use the formulas in the first place (like finding COP or efficiency and using C or F for degrees). Don't get scared the day of the exam when you see people carting in libraries to the test or suitcases like they are traveling around the world. No exaggeration, this past April I was looking at everyone and thought I was not prepared enough. These same people were taking the test for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, x times and they saw their solution as to being to bring even more books to the exam. I had a back pack of a reference binder from prep class I didn't use, a couple of 0.5" binders of practice problems I did, calc, ruler, and the MERM. How to prepare: 1) Do problems over and over. The more the better. NCEES sample exam is the best. In fact, doing problems would be better than reading the concepts if you had to choose only one IMO. 2) Tab the key sections in the MERM that you use the most when doing these practice problems. 3) Know everything in the MERM book. I mean know from cover to cover! You have 6 minutes per question and during the test you don't have time to go through the index and look up where topics are. At the very least you should know exactly what chapter to go to when given a question. That way if you do flip through pages, you have about 20 pages to scan instead of 1000+ pages. 4) Take a day off from work the day before the exam and sleep the entire day. You will realize why this is important at 12pm the day of the test. Reference Book that will help a lot outside of MERM: 1) Unit Conversion Book (I didn't have this for the test as I created my own bootleg version but I wish I had bought one) Good luck!
  8. mikecart1

    PA PE Certificate in Mail Today!

    Received both the license and wallet card over the weekend. Thought about separating the wallet card and getting it laminated but then I they are attached to some instructions that I may need in the future to register or renew. I will probably just frame it in a separate cheap frame from Michael's so I will have the certificate and license separated in their own frames at work haha. I saw some people must not be as proud where I work. They jam a thumb tack through the license into the cubicle wall and their certificate is jammed under pictures lol. I know what you mean though. I will have it framed at work so if I ever question myself, I can realize that 1 day for 8 hours, I was really great at engineering ahaha!
  9. mikecart1

    PA PE Certificate in Mail Today!

    Yeah I've seen my coworkers with a PE in PA with that blue and pink background document. It is smaller. I will still frame this 8.5 x 11" document for the mean time. Thanks for the info though. Let us know when you get more documents so I will know if I should expect them soon.
  10. mikecart1

    PA PE Certificate in Mail Today!

    What is the formal license document? I thought the certificate was that? Did you pass this April? Have you received all 3 already?
  11. mikecart1

    PA PE Certificate in Mail Today!

    Was pretty surprised based on how slow PA was to give results out for the April 2012 exam. Looks good too. It is 8.5" x 11" with a gold emblem, my PE license number, and everything. Going to be framing this bad boy this weekend and will be ordering my stamp now. Ironically I have had a vacation planned starting tomorrow that was planned over 2 months ago. Life is funny sometimes when it just works out perfectly. Place: New Orleans Contact: Don't Bother Alcohol: Plenty Girls: Yeahhhh buddy!
  12. mikecart1

    Map: April 2012 Results

    I am not returning the books lol. I didn't have the MERM reference book or a unit conversion book for the exam. I will keep them and use them for reference. A lot easier than looking on Google Sucks or wikipedia for answers to different engineering questions I have. The only books I might return is the Lindeberg practice problem book and Kaplan practice problem book I recently got since I have no intention of doing more practice problems for 'fun' lol. The NCEES practice problem book was enough.
  13. mikecart1

    When Can I use PE in my signature?

    This is what one of my supervisors told me on Tuesday. I send a lot of emails weekly to other engineers and contractors answering random engineering questions. I put the PE on my name the second I saw my name in the database as a professional engineer. When I email people now, I now like answering their questions more so I can reply and have my signature say I'm a PE lol.
  14. mikecart1

    I passed, now where to get PE rubber stamp?

    Can anyone give advice on whether to stick with a rubber stamp or go for the embossed version? The engineers at my company all seem to use the rubber stamp with black ink. Thought it would be cool to have an embossed stamp. But I can see how the embossed version might not be so great on big drawings as it can damage the paper or may not be seen as easily as actual ink. Also is engineerseals.com the place everyone is going to get these? Are they the best?
  15. mikecart1

    Map: April 2012 Results

    Official NCEES email just arrived 4:15pm EST for those waiting for the email if you didn't see your name on the list yet.
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