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smckeon pe

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About smckeon pe

  • Rank
    Vice President

Previous Fields

  • Engineering Field
    Environmental
  • License
    EIT
  • Calculator
    HP
  • Discipline
    Enviro

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    NJ
  1. I took the test twice - and had difficulty with time both times, but the second go-round, when I came to questions I had no idea how to tackle, I didn't waste any time trying to figure out how to solve, I just went on to the next one and made a star at the top of the page to remember to look at that problem again if I had time to review things. The first time I think I definitely spent too much time on complex problems, which didn't leave me enough time to adequately do the ones that I found easier. Try to use the last 5-10 minutes going over your answer sheet to make sure you have all the bubbles filled out correctly (the way you want them to be) - it's amazing how you can sometimes mistakenly color in "b" when you really mean "c"! Also - make sure to use the bathroom BEFORE you enter the test room to sit down - they didn't let us leave once we were in the room until after the test started, which, obviously, led to me wasting a few precious minutes to relieve my bladder. I wish someone would have told me that before I took the test the first time! Good luck to you!
  2. I sent my check/application in on June 11 - they still haven't cashed my check...assume it will be a few more days for that, then a week or two after that for the certificate to arrive. Can't wait to have something official to hang up in my cubicle. I'm such a dork that I hung up my NCEES letter on my cubicle wall the day I got my results. I'm proud of what it stands for, even if it looks a little silly. I know it's temporary
  3. Is the Env. exam the only one with 100 questions? I could have done much better with even just 10 fewer questions! Those questions are pretty labor intensive - but I assumed all of the PE exams had 100 questions - until I started seeing people guesstimate their cut scores out of 80 - I didn't know what that was about, but assumed there was some curve associated or something.
  4. I'd also like to know how I did - even though it doesn't matter. The passing rate for Environmental is so low compared to many other disciplines, and it's kind of intimidating! I had to take the exam twice, and really didn't feel super confident coming out of the April 2013 exam. I'm guessing the low pass rate may have something to do with the wide variety of specializations in Environmental - but I also believe it has a lot to do with the need to really understand basic chemistry to work the problems correctly. The problem, in my mind, is that in real life, Env. Eng's aren't necessarily designing wastewater plants, but they're managing them or maintaining or upgrading them - or they're simply an "air" person - who needs to re-learn all that water stuff for the test only. Personally, my experience with "real world" environmental engineering is mostly focused on remediation, so pretty much 90% of the test was "new" to me - in that I hadn't practiced the types of problems on the test in almost 10 years since I graduated college. The good news is that if you put the time in to study, you CAN pass - it's just accepting that you have to re-hash all the stuff you learned and forgot while getting your degree.
  5. Hi All - finally ready to post here - Good Luck to all those planning to take the test in October! I took the test twice - first in April 2012, and again in April 2013. Failed the first time, I think mostly to lack of appropriate time dedicated to studying. I spent much more time studying for the second go-round, and, although I didn't walk out of the test SUPER confident that I'd passed, I did feel that I performed much better than on my first attempt - which lead me to 1.5 months of second guessing everything I had done. Thankfully, I got my passing notice about two weeks ago, so I don't have to go through those very daunting 8-hours again. Anyway - here goes: Test you took: PE Environmental Engineering, April 2013 (2nd attempt) Where you took it: Newark, NJ Exam was administered in a large student center room - lots of long tables with 2 people sitting at each table. The room is pretty quiet relative to some other people's experiences, but I still made use of ear plugs. Chairs are decently comfortable - they have thinly padded seats and the backs of them are flexible while still being supportive. The temperatures were pretty warm in the room both times I was there, so I was glad to have layers that I could put on/take off as needed. *The test admins made people tuck in their hoods if they were wearing hooded sweatshirts or jackets - best to just avoid wearing anything with a hood for the test. You can bring snacks and water into the room with you, but they can't sit on the table - I placed a water bottle on the floor beside me, but honestly, didn't have time to think about drinking anything during the exam. Free parking in the student parking lot, which is nice given the location. Short outdoor walk from the garage to the student center - if the weather is icky, have an umbrella or rain jacket to avoid having to sit in wet clothing all day. The student center has food available for purchase, but I brought lunch with me in a cooler and walked to my car to eat. If it's a nice day outside, there's a campus green adjacent to the building where the test is administered, it's nice to sit outside to get some fresh air and to calm yourself down between the morning and afternoon sessions. Don't bring cell phones into the testing room - they will ask you to turn them in if you do - and you won't be able to collect them before the end of the day. What books you brought with you: 1. Environmental Engineering Reference Manual, Lindeburg* 2. Wastewater Engineering, Metcalf & Eddy 3. Air Pollution Control, Cooper & Alley 4. Practical Design Calculations for Groundwater and Soil Remediation, Kuo 5. Practice Problems for the Environmental Engineering PE Exam, Lindeburg 6. Environmental Sample Questions & Solutions, NCEES* 7. Environmental Law Handbook, 21st Edition, Steinway, Ewing, Case, Nardi, and Brownell* 8. 3 Binders of notes from School of PE online class with sample problems and solutions included* 9. 1 Binder of RCRA rules and regs (based on recommendations from School of PE instructors), plus some other EPA regulation printouts. What books you actually used: Everything with an asterisk. I used the EERM and the three binders from School of PE for the majority of the test. The other references were used much less, but I was VERY glad I had the Enviromental Law book because I know, for certain, that I would have answered at least 3 questions incorrectly without that one. I didn't have that book when I took the test the first time, only got it based on a recommendation from a co-worker, and was glad I did. What books did you wish you brought: Nothing General impression about exam and format: If you want to know about the format, get the NCEES practice exam. The actual layout of the test is very similar to the sample tests, and sometimes they use similar problems on the exam, which makes the sample exams pretty good references. I did all of the problems in the NCEES sample exams, and all of the samples that were provided by School of PE. I actually did all of the School of PE sample questions twice - once when we were going through each topic as part of class, and again after the classes ended, when I still had two weeks to test time, keep the problems and concepts fresh in my brain. Advice for future test takers: 1. If you don't know where to start studying, I recommend the School of PE review course. I initially signed up for it only because they offered a free repeat if you fail the test the first time around. I did have to take advantage of it and was glad that I was able to make it work. 2. If you do take the School of PE ONLINE classes, I recommend taking the weeknight course as opposed to the weekend one. I took weekend classes for my first attempt, but found that I was lacking ambition to study at night after work. When I took the online classes during the week, it forced me to focus after work on whatever subject we were reviewing, and I used all of my weekend free time to study and go over whatever we had done the week before. 3. Get to the testing site early and use the restroom BEFORE you go into the testing room. The first time I took the test, I made the mistake of thinking I could drop my stuff off at my seat THEN go to the bathroom - but the proctors wouldn't let me leave the room before the exam started even though we had at least 15 minutes before the official start of the test. 4. If you do take a review course, going over the material on your own AFTER you've gone through it in class helps to solidify the concepts - I highly recommend this approach for feeling more comfortable with the material. 5. If you fail at first, take some time to be disappointed, but then get back on the horse, and study again - there is no shame in having to take the test more than once, and the feeling of accomplishment you have after finding out you pass is well worth the aggravation, time, and frustration you have getting to that point. 6. Tell your family/friends/innocent bystanders that you will let them know when you know the results, and kindly request that they not ask you for updates while you're waiting on results. It's annoying enough to have to wait for your state to release results, it's even worse when your Mom calls you every other day to find out if you're in or out...especially when your mom/aunt/friend doesn't fully understand what getting a PE actually means. 7. As others have mentioned, take your time and read each question carefully - you can save a TON of time by understanding what they're asking for and crossing out the info in the problem that doesn't pertain to the question being asked.
  6. Thank GOODNESS!!! Congrats to all in PA who finally know...one way or another! (Hoping for all passing!)
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