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andrewm24

Over Prepared?

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I'll preface this by saying I took my FE 22 years ago. For the past 19 years I've worked for a very small environmental consulting company that does very little true engineering work. So needless to say, I had a lot of preparing to do for this exam. I took PPI review courses (breadth and depth) and practice exams (Civil Water Resources and Environmental). The PPI depth practice exams were brutal. I never was able to complete one in four hours and rarely got more than 50% correct. So that's what I was expecting on the exam. I thought the actual exam was much easier than the PPI practice exams. I was able to get an answer for every question and had time to check over my answer sheet. I never expected to say this, but did anyone else feel the actual exam was easier than expected?


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Were you distracted while studying? It took me many hours to complete the practice exams.

I would do a problem. I would go to the kitchen and rummage. I would play with my dog. I would make a coffee. I would do a problem. Repeat.

I am a fast test taker. Always have been. During the actual exam I was focused and time was not an issue.

I did not do any PPI exams. But many test problems were very similar (one could say identical) to the various practice exam problems.

I am on PA, so I do not have my results yet.

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I'll preface this by saying I took my FE 22 years ago. For the past 19 years I've worked for a very small environmental consulting company that does very little true engineering work. So needless to say, I had a lot of preparing to do for this exam. I took PPI review courses (breadth and depth) and practice exams (Civil Water Resources and Environmental). The PPI depth practice exams were brutal. I never was able to complete one in four hours and rarely got more than 50% correct. So that's what I was expecting on the exam. I thought the actual exam was much easier than the PPI practice exams. I was able to get an answer for every question and had time to check over my answer sheet. I never expected to say this, but did anyone else feel the actual exam was easier than expected?

I walked out of the exam feeling like "this is it?"

Test was a joke, IMO.

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The PPI depth practice exams were brutal. I never was able to complete one in four hours and rarely got more than 50% correct. So that's what I was expecting on the exam. I thought the actual exam was much easier than the PPI practice exams. I was able to get an answer for every question and had time to check over my answer sheet. I never expected to say this, but did anyone else feel the actual exam was easier than expected?

I had a pretty similar experience. I took a practice exam a couple of weeks before the real exam and really struggled. It was pretty demoralizing since there really wasn't much I could change at that point. I wasn't very confident going into the exam but walked out feeling I did really well. Maybe I lucked out and got an exam with questions in areas I knew well. :dunno:

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I'll preface this by saying I took my FE 22 years ago. For the past 19 years I've worked for a very small environmental consulting company that does very little true engineering work. So needless to say, I had a lot of preparing to do for this exam. I took PPI review courses (breadth and depth) and practice exams (Civil Water Resources and Environmental). The PPI depth practice exams were brutal. I never was able to complete one in four hours and rarely got more than 50% correct. So that's what I was expecting on the exam. I thought the actual exam was much easier than the PPI practice exams. I was able to get an answer for every question and had time to check over my answer sheet. I never expected to say this, but did anyone else feel the actual exam was easier than expected?

I walked out of the exam feeling like "this is it?"

Test was a joke, IMO.

I felt like this as well. After the afternoon session was complete I looked back at a person I took a review university class with and his expression on his face was "WTF was that, that sucked, I failed" I had a moment of selfish joy after that then left and met my GF in the parking lot and guzzled down a 16oz 10% IIPA and thought to myself, "Yes, F*** yes"

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The PPI practice exams seem to have a reputation for being tough. The NCEES practice exams seem to be more on par with the actual difficulty. I wouldn't say the exam was easy, certainly the afternoon session was challenging.

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I had time both in the morning and the afternoon to go back and review any problems I was concerned with. I was able to get answers for all and left feeling very confident. I was nervous going in, so when I got home my wife asked me how it went. I said it was easier than I thought, I was well prepared, and felt good about not making too many stupid mistakes.


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I was only really worried about CA surveying, though even that I was pretty confident. I knew I'd passed the 8 hour and CA seismic.


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I did a good deal of practice problems but taking a prep course was what I feel really propelled me to passing. I personally took School of PE and thought it was great but there are several other courses that come highly recommended on this board. Overall, I felt very prepared (even though in the 2-3 days leading up to the exam I started to doubt myself) and it was evident by my ability to recognize what the problem was asking and efficiently use my resources to solve it. IMO, if you stick to a fairly rigid study schedule and use your time wisely (which I didn't do the prior time), you'll have a very good shot at making it through.



I felt the AM was very straight forward and found myself using the SoPE notes almost exclusively. Other than those notes in the AM, I used my transportation resources (Green Book, etc) and a few other odds and ends for lookups. I ended with almost an hour left in the morning which gave me time to go back through every problem, re-read, make sure I interpreted correctly and to make sure I had transferred the correct answer from my test book to the answer sheet.



I ended with a little over an hour left in the PM with only 4-5 problems that I had skipped. After going back through these, I was left with around 20 minutes to repeat the same check that I had done in the AM.


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Congrats! I know how much time you put into the exam. It was a pleasure studying with you. Stick around the boards!

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