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I passed my exam on my second attempt. I attribute my exam failure on the first attempt to being unorganized, nervousness, and procrastination. I learned my lessons from my failure and adjusted. This is the best advice I can give to those of you who are studying for the upcoming PE exam: If you have a hard time motivating yourself to study, take a live webinar review course that forces you to attend at certain times. Get good at taking an exam. Take as many timed exams in a mock-exam environment as you can. Be set up as closely to exam day as possible - use a pencil and bubble sheet. Do not look at the material beforehand. Build your own “Quick Reference Guide” binder. I put together my own reference guide that contained material from all the outlined test material. I also had a section for conversions. Each section had a summary of formulas and hand written step by step outlines on how to do certain types of problems. Have all the specified references and flag important chapters or pages. Don’t over flag or you’ll never find what you’re looking for because there’s too many flags. If you’ve borrowed material from your colleagues, remake the flags, bookmarks, or notes in your own hand writing. It’s a lot easier to read your own handwriting when you’re under the gun. If you are taking a review course, do all the practice problems. Seriously. I took EET Structural and there’s hundreds of practice problems. I. Did. Them. All. If your review material didn’t come with or have good indexes, make your own. If the pages weren’t numbered, number them yourself. It’s hard not to be nervous when you take a big exam, especially when you want to pass and not feel like a failure in your office. Do your best not to worry what people will think about you if you fail. If you fail, you will adjust and overcome. Buy a seat cushion for your exam day chair. Seriously. You will thank me. While taking the exam, if you’re stuck on a question or find yourself endlessly flipping around looking for answers, skip it. That question will be in the back of your mind while you continue and it will probably eventually come to you. I wasted way too much of my exam time flipping around trying to find something.
What are you guys listening to while studying? I didn't want to get used to solving problems in complete silence so I try to have some background noise going. I mainly listen to Spotify study playlists. Needing a break from all the classical music, I've been listening to John Serrie based on someone's comment on the boards (thanks, whoever you are!). There are also Sigur Ros, Mogwai, Mokhov, and some "chill electronic" or instrumental mixes that have been great. When taking the practice exams, I don't listen to music since that won't be possible for the real deal. I let the neighborhood car honks, garbage trucks, kids yelling outside, and boyfriend watching minecraft videos in the livingroom be my symphony. He was sick one week, so all the coughing in the background actually made it more realistic, based on my FE experience. I tried to take a practice exam with earplugs once and it was unbearable. My brain is too loud to be plugged up. It needs release!
I am currently waiting for my state board to approve my PE application. They have already approved me to take the FE. My plan as of now is to take both on the same weekend in April (PE on 4/11, FE on 4/12) so that I only have to study once. My problem is that I really don't know where to begin. First of all, how much time do people typically study? Are there any good resources anyone knows of for making a study plan of which topics to review? Right now, I look at the sample problems and I think to myself, "I probably could have done that in college, but I have no idea how to even approach it now." Secondly, what review materials are good? I sold almost all of my textbooks after college, so I don't really have any review materials. As such, I assume I am going to need to buy all new review material and references. Since I have worked mostly in HVAC. I haven't done any work on statics, vibrations, materials, mechanical design, dynamics, etc so I am very rusty on these subjects. Any recommendations for comprehensive review books? Third, is it worthwhile for me to take a prep class? Which ones are best? I'm fairly certain that my employer will pay for whatever prep classes and materials I want within reason, so cost is not my concern. Any other general preparation guidance would be appreciated.