Good morning all. I received the green "Pass" for my Power PE exam this morning, so I'm ready to release the write-up of my experience. I will reply to this with an attached PDF for those who want a simple 2-page print-out (the site isn't letting me attach it here). Hoping this is a help to you future test-takers! As a side note, I took (for the first time) and passed the FE exam earlier this year. I have a write-up for that in the FE forum.
My Therapist Said I Should Do This for Closure (Joking)
I did a lot of research before prepping for the Power PE exam, and many of my resource choices came from input of others in this forum. Thanks everyone! For you future Power PE exam takers prepping, here is an overview of my resources, study plans, and experience (don’t worry – no prohibited exam info in here):
Custom 4” binder (had this out and used for ~70% of questions on the exam)
Printouts from all sections in Electrical PE Review premium course.
Handwritten and typed additional notes and formulas
Random articles I expected to be useful (including FE Handbook sections)
GRAFFEO’s book (out a few times during the exam)
2014 NEC (whichever version applies to your exam is a must-have)
PRM (Camara) (used a few times on the exam)
2017 NESC (no brainer, even though it makes up a small percentage of the exam)
Electrical Machines and Drives (Wildi) (fantastic book – out a few times during the exam)
Power System Analysis and Design (Glover) (may not be the best book, but I used it in school and it has some helpful sequence network, 3-phase analysis, and transmission model information) (out a few times during the exam)
Power System Analysis (Grainger) (usually my go-to for power flow and sometimes transmission)
NCEES Practice Exam (was helpful for exam prep)
CI volumes 2-4 (was helpful for improving exam-style question speed – does not cover all topics)
Spin-Up (was somewhat helpful for exam prep – very simplified questions)
I took some extra references with me to the exam, but did not include them on the list since I didn’t use them or see them as worthwhile.
6 Months Out:
Started researching resources and other engineers’ experiences with study prep. I mostly did this on forums and with engineers at work.
4 Months Out
Avoided any practice exams.
Purchased and went through Graffeo’s book (except exam).
Started typing out custom notes/formulas pages broken down by the NCEES “Power Exam Specifications.” I used Graffeo and PRM as my primary sources for this.
Hit rotating machinery and realized a class might be a good idea.
Previewed some rotating machinery notes from Electrical PE Review (EPR)…decided to go with that as my class. Signed up for the premium class at the end of the month.
3 Months Out
Created binder tabs for each section in the EPR course. Pre-printed everything so I could highlight and take notes as I went through the course and videos. This was a good move…by the end of the course, I generally knew right where to go in my custom book for common formulas and question types.
I probably made it through the course in ~100 hours (others would be much faster/slower depending on what they intend to get out of it). There are 100’s of pertinent quiz questions and many helpful videos. I feel like I saved weeks of my life by not having to create more formula sheets and not having to run through tons of questions that would not have been pertinent to the exam.
2.5 Months Out
Started taking one practice exam per weekend:
Complex Imaginary (CI)
2 Months Out
Took the NCEES Practice Exam…didn’t cry (high 80’s)
Fell into a big project at work that consumed most of the rest of the next two weeks
Worked Spin-Up problems here-and-there.
Tabbed the heck out of my references.
1.5 Months Out Through Test Day
Breezed through all the EPR courses again.
Started over on the ‘1-practice exam per-weekend’ cycle.
Watched and/or participated in the EPR live classes.
Printed articles and just tried to patch holes in my knowledge.
Test Day Experience
Got a hotel room the night before for fear of a flat tire keeping me from making it on time.
Packed a lunch the morning of the exam and packed in coffee and a couple of CLIF bars.
Got to the exam site 30 minutes before doors opened (I was not the first there).
Took the morning section and found it played to my weaknesses.
Had most questions done in 3-hours. Spent the remaining time on a few of the harder questions and checking answers.
I use the multi-pass testing approach. For me, this means: with exception of NEC questions, do all questions requiring minimal or no look-ups on first time through (~60%); do all NEC questions on second time through (~20%); do hardest questions 3rd/4th time through (~20%).
Felt pretty confident on 30/40. I’m guessing I got 75-85% on the morning.
Side Note - I recommend not going in dehydrated – plan for one restroom break. It cost me less than 5 minutes.
Had lunch in my car and just hung out until the doors opened for the afternoon section.
Took the afternoon section and found it played to my strengths.
Had most questions done in 3-hours. Spent the remaining time on a couple of harder questions and checking answers.
Felt pretty confident on 35/40. I’m guessing I got 80-90% on the afternoon.
As I write this, that experience was yesterday…I won’t know if I passed for several weeks. I will say I felt fairly well prepared. For what it is worth, I feel like a better engineer for the study and experience; now I am ready to move on!
Hope not to see any of you in six months…then this really is closure! Good luck in the future, everyone.