Any terrible exam day experiences? - Anything about the PE Exam - Engineer Boards
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TheBigPig

Any terrible exam day experiences?

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I took the exam in Timonium, MD and stayed in the Holiday Inn, which is really close to the exam site. The night before, I took a ride to the fairgrounds to where the exam was being given, scoped out a couple close spots for lunch, grabbed a bite to eat at Panera and then went back to the hotel. After a short walk, and watching some NHL playoffs, I decided to hit the sack early. Well, that didn't work out too well. Is it possible to find a hotel that doesn't use pillows that wrap up your head like taco? Seriously, super uncomfortable. The A/C kept turning on and off and on and off, annoying as all hell. Decided to shut it down completely. Next thing I know I'm sweating my b*lls off with a human head filled taco with a pillow shell... not good. Now I know I need to go to sleep, which makes it that much harder. Next thing I know, it's after 2 AM and I'm still not sleeping. Finally, somewhere between 2 and 2:30, I'm out. Alarm goes off at 5:30, I am a zombie. I get up, eat, coffee, whatever. Start on my way to the site and decide to try some 5-hr energy for the first time in my life. Stop and grab 2 bottles of the stuff.



Morning: Down a 5-hour energy and get in line. By the time I open up the book, I have already told myself I'm going to fail. A few panic minutes in, I stop being a wuss and start busting out problems, starting from the back to the front. I knew how to do most of the problems. There were a few that stumped me and a few that I wish I could have back to do again, but I left there at lunch thinking I still had a chance.



Afternoon: Down a 5-hour energy. Get back into the exam room, it feels like it's 120 degrees with 90% humidity in there and I am sweating like a pig. The 5-hour energy has my heart beating out of my chest, super fast and hard, I literally feel like I'm having a health issue. I'm 20 minutes in and I haven't answered one question. I'm about to give up at this point. I stop, down some water, take a couple deep breaths and again, decide not to be a baby. I bust out 12-15 in a row and build up some confidence. Next thing I know, 2 hours in and I'm half done, so back on decent pace. I'm pouring sweat onto my booklet and answer sheet, and I am not a sweater, it was that hot in there. I finish on time, with some complete guesses and some educated guesses.



All in all, I feel like I left a few out there that I wish I could have back. My mind wasn't in the right place at the start of each session, but I was able to overcome it. Once I got on a roll, I felt a lot better. I feel that I gave myself a decent chance at passing, but probably should have done better.




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Wow. I hope you passed. That's one hell of a war story. Would hate for you (or anyone) to repeat it.


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Holy crap that sounds terrible. I guess the long distance running advice works just as well here - don't eat drink anything you aren't used to the night before/morning of.



Sounds like you were able to make up some good time though so good for you. Hope you passed, would hate for you to have to repeat that experience.


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I guess the worst that happened to me that day was when I was trying to use dolly for the first time. I thought we weren't allowed suitcases, everything had to be in a clear container. I was walking to my car, my container toppled , the lid fell off and all my books were in the middle of the road. I had to quickly out half back in container carry them to the car , come back for the other half ...

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That Timonium, MD site was the absolute worst.



The chairs were terrible, the place smelled like a barn (because it is, I guess), and yes .... super hot. The no boxes thing really threw me for a loop as well. Having 4 bankers boxes full of books spread out all over the floor was less than ideal. I stopped at the 7-11 before the exam, and was going to grab a NOS, because I didn't want to have the coffee poops in the middle of the exam, but decided against it because of the jitters and heart rate thing. I have a lot of experience with long-distance running, and I used that experience as was stated above. Right down to eating the cold Chef Boyardee raviolis and beefaroni like I typically do for breakfast and lunch at work.


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Beat me to it Ram.

Just doing my part. The spam fest isn't nearly as much fun if just the regulars show up.

Sorry I'm such a boar...

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I feel violated and dirty.




Oh, and I hope you don't get banned for high jacking this thread.

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This thread was most definitely not high-jacked. What's a more terrible experience than seeing some wild boar sex first thing Monday morning?


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Nothing too crazy on my exam experience. Just a couple things out of the ordinary. I took the exam at the Cleveland Convention Center in Ohio.



1. About an hour or so into the morning session, an alarm went off in the building and the loudspeaker kept repeating "There is an emergency in the building". The proctor made us put down our pencils and close the exam book. They had to go check and see if we needed to evacuate. Thankfully we did not. About 5 minutes passed and we were allowed to resume our exam. They added the time onto the back-end of the morning session. Minor disturbance, but still disruptive when you are trying to concentrate.



2. In the afternoon when the sun started going down, it was shining brightly through the window wall that I was sitting next to. The entire wall was a window. I was wearing black gym pants and a black t-shirt. I started sweating because the sun was beating so hard on me. Not only that, it was so bright it was blinding me from the reflection on my white papers. I raised my hand to ask the proctor if they can look into closing the blinds. The wall had roll up blinds that came from up near the ceiling, but they were motor operated. It wasn't until about 30-45 minutes later until they finally found someone in the building that knew how to close them. I tried not to let it distract me much, but it was very annoying.


Edited by Kovz

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The only bad part about my test was that the building we were in was right next door to a small airport that just started doing commercial flights recently. As a result, at least once an hour, a plane would land or take off and fly directly over us. Every time that happened, it completely threw off my concentration.



That and the guy sitting next to me who ate 3 rice krispy treats and 3 honey buns during each session (yes, I counted). The wrappers were so loud and he kept them in a plastic grocery bag that he would dig around in for a minute to find each one. I was about to strangle him.


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As mentioned the MD site with the heat and chairs. I also felt bad for folks who didn't have ear plugs bc who would think that there would be a dog show in the same location on the day of an important exam?!

Edited by Blue 8

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Not me but a coworker of mine: arrived at the test center with plenty of time to check-in, etc. Got out of her car and went to open the rear door to get exam materials. It was then that she realized she had locked herself out of her car. Frantically trying to figure out what to do a passerby recommended calling the police on the non-emergency number. Fortunately police responded and were able to unlock the car for her. She was the last to arrive in her testing room minutes before they were about to begin.


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@btcs31,



I also thought I locked myself out of my car when I went in for the 5-hour energies. When I realized I didn't I was extremely relieved. I would have had to break a window, and I would have done it. Luckily it didn't come to that.



@Blue 8, fortunately I had earplugs in and the dog show didn't bother me. But yeah, that would have been terrible.

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Not me but a coworker of mine: arrived at the test center with plenty of time to check-in, etc. Got out of her car and went to open the rear door to get exam materials. It was then that she realized she had locked herself out of her car. Frantically trying to figure out what to do a passerby recommended calling the police on the non-emergency number. Fortunately police responded and were able to unlock the car for her. She was the last to arrive in her testing room minutes before they were about to begin.

I would be in the market for a new window.

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Not me but a coworker of mine: arrived at the test center with plenty of time to check-in, etc. Got out of her car and went to open the rear door to get exam materials. It was then that she realized she had locked herself out of her car. Frantically trying to figure out what to do a passerby recommended calling the police on the non-emergency number. Fortunately police responded and were able to unlock the car for her. She was the last to arrive in her testing room minutes before they were about to begin.

I would be in the market for a new window.

Keep it in mind for when you take the Oct test Matt.

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Yup, brake the window then call the wife to call a glass repair company and have fixed it before the morning session is done.

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Not me but a coworker of mine: arrived at the test center with plenty of time to check-in, etc. Got out of her car and went to open the rear door to get exam materials. It was then that she realized she had locked herself out of her car. Frantically trying to figure out what to do a passerby recommended calling the police on the non-emergency number. Fortunately police responded and were able to unlock the car for her. She was the last to arrive in her testing room minutes before they were about to begin.

I would be in the market for a new window.

We talked about this later that day - even ignoring the time costs associated with having to prepare for the exam again in October, the dollar cost of a new window would've still been less than registering for another exam. Granted smashing your window to get your materials probably doesn't leave you in the best mindset for the next 8hrs - unsecured car, what if it rains, etc. etc..

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