I feel as if I owe this to future test takers, my strategy was somewhat different than other posts I read. I was a first-time test taker. My work experience is pretty broad but I was most comfortable with being on site at various types of projects (land development, road, water/sewer) so I went with the construction exam. I took no review courses and was completely self-study, on my own. I was 7 years removed from college at the time I began studying. I didn't do any studying until after New Year’s.
I began acquiring study materials and was trying to be cheap initially, which was a mistake. Over the first month and a half of studying, I ended up getting every reference listed on the NCEES website which turned out to be crucial. I also obtained as many practice problems as I could. I believe I used every reference at some point during the exam. I also had the CERM which I tabbed and highlighted as I studied.
My strategy was practice problems. I didn’t read the CERM or any of the references for that matter. I went straight into practice problems. I worked problems on average 3 days per week after work for about 3 hours and one long day on the weekend (7-8 hours). I repeated this every week up until the exam. I missed a couple weekends of studying doing other things so I would guess I had around 175 hours into studying. I did a practice exam at the start, prior to studying and then another, two weekends before the exam. As I worked through problems, I continued highlighting formulas and tabbing pages and I was getting a lot better at finding things in the CERM and the other references.
Another important note is to stick with the NCEES exam outline and don’t waste time on things not on the exam. A lot of my practice exams contained environmental questions and I never attempted any of those.
I spent a lot of time reading through posts on this forum which was also very beneficial hence the reason I am writing this. I never felt confident about the exam, before taking it or after. Thankfully I passed. This is what worked for me but may or may not be what works for others but thought I’d share my experience. Good luck to future test takers and thanks to all who have helped me pass.