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amats42

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About amats42

  • Rank
    Intern

Previous Fields

  • Engineering Field
    Mechanical Engineer
  • License
    EIT
  • Discipline
    Mechanical
  1. Refrigeration Pressure - Enthalpy Diagrams on Test Day

    Point with your eraser. There's no reason to risk failing just because you get a stickler of a proctor. Also, the advice I was given many times is that if you write in pencil on your own material make sure you highlight over it. I can't remember if I needed to draw on the actual test, but the practice test for TFS from NCEES includes charts when you might need to draw some lines. I personally used my own chart on that problem as mine was color coded and highlighted.
  2. I'm curious if you need to sign up for anything to get invited. Do they send this email out to all registered PEs, PEs from specific locations?
  3. I loved Kennan and Keyes for steam tables and I got a used one from the 80s for about 3 bucks on Amazon. I felt that having a book with tabs saved me enough time that it was money well spent. The engineering conversion book was worth its weight in gold. Tab the common conversions and highlight any conversion used during your prep. Bring SI steam tables!!! You can find them for free with NIST. All of the above breadth and study prep information is accurate. Follow this and you'll succeed. Personally, my company pays for prep courses so I took one at UCLA. I think it was perfect for me as they hold your hand--they give you a study schedule to follow (which wasn't perfect since April was the first time with the new breadth requirements) and you might meet a study buddy or two. The material covered in class didn't help me pass the test, but the motivation to study and the accountability was worth the cost for me. If I did an online course I would argue I would have gained nothing from it.
  4. PE Exam Format: Thermal/ Fluid Systems (October 2017)

    Just echoing the other comments. Reading comprehension is absolutely critical for this exam as most of the questions are trickier than any of the prep material I studied with. If you can't read through instructions (problems) quickly and know exactly what you're solving for then you won't have nearly enough time to complete the exam. Missing critical information such as how the test is administered is not a good sign. Read through the NCEES information posted on their website twice. Read through the MERM introduction. All of these questions are answered save for the number of HVAC problems. For answers to those, read through the posts from the past 6 months on this website--the exam breadth has been discussed heavily. If you walk into the test and are surprised by anything that's a HUGE indication that you didn't prep well.
  5. NCEES new Exam specifications as of April 2017

    I posted on this before if you read through some posts from this year. The NCEES TFS practice exam is pretty accurate. I was surprised by how many questions were not directly on the breadth of knowledge sheet and would recommend not skipping statics when reviewing for the test. Otherwise, there were no surprises. Review some HVAC, do the full review section on statics (think free body diagrams), and know thermodynamics very well. Bernoulli's equation was very important! Heat transfer was easier than I expected, but still challenging as I find the topic hard to begin with.
  6. Do I need more practice problems?

    Sorry, I can't speak on MDM but the 6MS for TFS was not exactly helpful. I would say at most half of them were close to the real problems and some had some questionable solutions. I wouldn't normally recommend it unless you have a lot of time and can spare the cash. I think removing his affiliate link post is a good idea. The MERM problems for TFS is pretty solid and are worth your time. If you get stuck don't waste time--check the solution, mark the problem, and move on. After you get through more material return to problems you skipped and at least make sure you understand an approach. NCEES practice test is either best taken first (as a sample test, in 4 hour increments) or at the end to prepare. I went the end route and wished I had taken it earlier, but having that valuable practice test a few weeks out from the exam had its merits.
  7. Is the Machine Design and Materials exam less popular?

    The California application is also rather tedious. It took more hours than I expected to assemble everything and verify I met all the requirements. I think a lot of states require work directly under a PE. I know in California you need a PE to put supervisor for the months you are using as experience. However, with our recent decoupling you can knock out the test immediately and just wait for years under a PE. This route definitely makes the test taking part easier.
  8. Is the Machine Design and Materials exam less popular?

    @namod65 's post mirrors my experience in mechanical engineering as well. I do design that requires AHJ permits and so my company needs PE signatures in order to get those drawings approved. As such, all of our engineers are expected to get licensed. When I worked at a manufacturing company zero of the engineers were licensed. It was actually a big reason for me to switch careers--I wanted to design larger scale projects and possibly work in consulting so I needed to work under PEs. For me, TFS was the closest field to what I do at work. It involves pipe sizing, flow analysis, and meter/valve selection. The thermal/power is outside my scope at work, but very much something I enjoyed in school so it was a good fit for me. I think when someone works in design and needs to get licensed they are either directly doing HVAC as mentioned above or they work in some sort of pipe/plumbing design so TFS is the closest they can find (like me). IMO this is why the majority of takers are in these two focuses. I knew one automation engineer who took the machine design test because he wanted to get licensed just because and not for career advancement. I think others like him take MDM and quite a few others just feel this is more applicable to what they learned in school (but maybe not as applicable to what they do for work). In terms of licensing whatever test is easiest for you to pass is the best for you to take, but for me I would rather study something that I do for a living rather than try to take an easier test.
  9. ME Thermal and Fluids

    @Philscrimp I used the Keenan, Keyes, et al. English units book (ISBN-13: 978-0471465010). Tab the hell out of it for fast lookup. I printed the NIST tables available online (https://www.nist.gov/srd/nistir5078) and tabbed and highlighted key anchor points. I agree, this should be posted in the Mechanical Forum.
  10. Survey: time spent studying and your result

    ME TFS passed 1st attempt. I took an in-person course (36 hours) and spent probably 100-125 hours running problems, tabbing, and testing. Classes are fun, but they aren't nearly as effective as running problems. I felt like I could have used another 50 hours doing problems, but I was confident on about 60/80 problems, struggled through another 10, and probably guessed on the final 10. Those 50 hours probably would have pushed me into 70/80 confident answers (I didn't review statics and could have used more HVAC review). I think the suggested 300 hours is excessive for TFS, but the confidence on test day may be worth it! I was rather nervous walking out of the test.
  11. CA IS OUT

    @OldenEngineer that was wise. I sent it all in together and never received my postcards back, but did get the email telling me the application was approved. Hope that means everything was received and cleared!
  12. CA IS OUT

    Thank you. I might email them, then. I had submitted before the original fall deadline, received the email stating they had my application as well as the email saying I was approved, and I have notified them that I passed. I'll reach out to see if there's something holding up my license. Thanks for weighing in.
  13. CA IS OUT

    Any disciplines other than civil seeing numbers yet? I know I should be patient, but it's difficult.
  14. CA IS OUT

    Can't find my license either. First time taker in Mechanical, sent NCEES notification the afternoon it came out. Received email notification from the Board stating they approved my application. Do they usually release licenses in waves? I wasn't expecting license numbers until the end of the month.
  15. HVAC vs. TFS exam

    I think deciding the topic is a very personal choice, but if avoiding buying materials is your top priority TFS is a great choice. You should already have the MERM, most tables are available for free online, you don't need to buy the unit conversion book (but it does help and save prep time), and I didn't open any college textbooks during the exam (passed). In my opinion TFS and MDM are the core mechanical topics while HVAC seemed too new to me. I don't work in HVAC so I didn't want to waste the time learning something new for a test. Now in your case it sounds like you have studied a lot for HVAC and purchasing ASHRAE handbooks is all that is holding you back so I guess it's a decision of study time versus money.
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