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JB66money

Guidance Needed For PE Power Exam Preparation Please Help!

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Hello All,


I will give some background about myself.



1) I Have a BS in Electrical Engineering.


2) I had machines and power system analysis courses (one semester without covering fault analysis and power system protection).


3) I passed the FE Exam in October 2010.


4) I have been working at a utility for five years.


5) My strengths are in mathematics, circuit analysis, three-phase power and transformers.


6) Some of my weaknesses are the NEC and Power System Protection.



God willing, I am planning on taking the PE Power Exam in April 2014 and I have been studying on my own now for about six months. It is really difficult because I do not have any guidance on how to study or what order to study in, because I have never had any topics such as the National Electrical Code and system protection or at least developing protection schemes. At work there are several people who have taken and have passed the PE within the last 2 years, but whenever I ask them for any suggestions or how did they prepare for the exam it is like trying to pull teeth, probably because I am a black person and they do not care to associate with black people. In fact that is not a new experience for me in the engineering field since it is a white male dominated field anyway, but that is another story. Anyway would any of you please be so kind as to provide a few suggestions on what books to study and learn from and how to study? I am willing to work hard I just need some direction. Please feel free to share your experiences.


Edited by JB66money

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Its so sad to hear about people not helping other people because of their color. We are all humans that feel the same way as any other people. But anyway. Are you willing to enroll on a PE course. Georgia Tech have a good one. Regarding NEC. no one knows what questions it is going to appear on the exam. Recomend to understand article 250 which is grounding....Ampacity....Motors...over current protection....learn how to use the table of content of the NEC as well as using the index....buy the tabs for the NEC....they are good help...you can buy one of those master electricians books they are very good on helping you how to use the NEC...since master electricians depend 90 percent on NEC..

Regarding what method to use to study....that is something that you need to work on your own.....if you have the sample test by NCEES...look at the criteria...try to find as much information as possible regarding the topic discuss in the power exam.

ex....induction motors.....read a chapter on a book regarding induction motors....characteristics....formulas etc.

But most important of all.....work a lot a lot of problems.....buy the complex imaginary tests, also spin up test....work all the problems. If you really want to pass this PE test you just need to put the effort to it and the create an schedule to cover the criteria of the exam.

I dedicate about a year studying...i didnt rush it....when i study i tried to understand as much as posible about all the topics that are covered in the exam.

I think thats the way to do it....

But base on your post, you looks to be well covered in at least 60 percent of the exam....the rest i would say is NEC..protective relaying and motors.

let me know if this helps. If you have any questions let me know.

BTW sorry for any typos...or misspelled words....im sleepy :)

Edited by Wildsoldier PE

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It is sometimes hard to explain on how to study for PE tests.



Base your studies on Subjects/Topics listed in NCEES guidelines for Power test. Study a topic/subject for a week or two (and make your notes/references for that topic). Then do sample problems (from CI books, Spin up sample tests, and NCEES sample exam). Go through all the topics like that. If you are planning to take exam in April 14 start studying now. CI code drill book is good one to become familiar with the NEC book. I would also suggest to buy NEC handbook and code or atleast handbook.


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Sounds like you should be familiar with a big part of the exam given your listed experience...you say you aren't familiar with NEC but if your doing distribution engineering you should at least be familiar with the NEC grounding, conductor sizing and transformer sections not to mention conduit sizing sections...for running cables/conductors underground as is often done in industrial distribution stations...so practice NEC....I browsed through the whole book and made tabs...took about a month...but is helped a lot....don't forget luminaires, symmetrical components and other such information...if you can get this stuff down and are good at 3-phase calculations, p.f. corrections, and other listed topics you should be able to pass this exam .....make sure to do the practice exams


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Thank you all for your suggestions, I really appreciate them all.


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Sounds like you should be familiar with a big part of the exam given your listed experience...you say you aren't familiar with NEC but if your doing distribution engineering you should at least be familiar with the NEC grounding, conductor sizing and transformer sections not to mention conduit sizing sections...for running cables/conductors underground as is often done in industrial distribution stations...so practice NEC....I browsed through the whole book and made tabs...took about a month...but is helped a lot....don't forget luminaires, symmetrical components and other such information...if you can get this stuff down and are good at 3-phase calculations, p.f. corrections, and other listed topics you should be able to pass this exam .....make sure to do the practice exams

I work with sub transmission line voltages (34.5 kV or 69 kV) with regards to distribution planning. We deal with whatever is from the secondary side of the bulk substation (138/34.5kV or 161/69kV) to the primary side of the distribution substation (34.5/ 12kV or 34.5/4kV or 69/12kV). Distribution engineers deal with 12kV or less. So we do not have any exposure to the NEC.

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I have posted this in other topics: just remember, your way of studying will differ from everyone else's! I do agree that the NCEES is a must have since it gives a nice outline of what material could possibly be on the exam. I found all my reference material online, did very few problems, but new the theory inside and out.



Ask yourself whether or not you are a good test taker. If you are, you might not have to spend much time doing problems, just focus on the theory. If you are not a good test taker, then yes, practicing and finding short cuts for problems is your best bet.



As far as the NEC goes, it's 900+ pages of whatever the board feels like they want to test you on!


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I would start with the NCEES practice exam.



Take the practice test and get a feel of what is on the exam. I think I got 10 of 80 right the first time. Then I started studying the various questions to understand the theory and other questions they could ask. Retake exam do a little better, study more, retake exam, etc. I passed 1st time. The only practice test I had was the NCEES exam.



I work in MPE consulting. There aren't many questions on the NEC, but if you know HOW to look up stuff you could probably answer 80% of the questions on the exam.

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