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Audi driver, P.E.

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2 hours ago, Audi driver, PE said:

I do believe it's entirely possible to study too broad without going deep enough.  You really do need to know the "why" as much as the "what"  and "how" IMO.

A.d., what Audi do you drive?  I have a 2001.5 B5 S4 6MT Stage 2, Santorin Blue on Black, fully loaded. 

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4 minutes ago, ptatohed said:

A.d., what Audi do you drive?  I have a 2001.5 B5 S4 6MT Stage 2, Santorin Blue on Black, fully loaded. 

I had (but no longer) a 2004 A6 2.7L bi-turbo w/ Quattro and the sport mode tranny.  I sold it and now have a 2010 F-150 Fx4 haha.

Edited by Audi driver, PE

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On 12/11/2015, 11:39:10, Audi driver, PE said:

I remember how devastated I was when I didn't pass the patent bar the first time.  Second time I passed, I did so as a result of a much more disciplined study routine.  I think that experience helped me prep for this exam.

I have been thinking a lot about taking the patent bar as well. Have you found it to be beneficial to your career? What industry and role are you in?

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4 minutes ago, somemePE said:

I have been thinking a lot about taking the patent bar as well. Have you found it to be beneficial to your career? What industry and role are you in?

To be clear, I am a patent agent, not an attorney (I'm pretty sure you understood that, but I hate to assume). I've worked in electronics cooling, data-center, and telecom industries for many years, and I currently work in the surge protection industry.  My current title is Sr. Mechanical Engineer, but I have had titles such as "Mechanical Engineer, Patent Specialist", "Patent Agent"; "Mechanical Engineer/Patent Agent", and "Mechanical Engineer II" (all with that patent agent license).

 It has definitely been something that makes a hiring manager take a second look.  But it's hit or miss.  Some companies do not put much value on IP whereas others understand the value of it very well.  I'd say about half the time an employer will look at that and not really understand what it has to do with the engineering job they're hiring for (and I'm happy to walk away from them, not wanting to work with or for them).  Start-ups typically do, but the pay is going to be pretty low, typically and a lot of times it's more economical for a start-up to hire a patent attorney that does transactional work as well, and they just get by, by hiring new or mid-level engineers.

But there is a whole other tract available to you if you do go for it.  For example, I contract patent services through a sole proprietorship I started last year.  I have also worked in-house in a law firm (which I would highly recommend before attempting to go it on your own).  If you decide to really pursue the patent route, there is good money to be made working in a law firm, and most law firms that do patent work hire Patent Agents.  Upward salaries in that arena were almost double what I could ever expect working as an Engineer in the same geographical area.  However, I found that I missed doing engineering work too much so switched back to it.  And I keep my patent role active by contracting and by doing a bit of patent work in-house.  As a PE, now I can offer both engineering and patent services to potential clients.  My business is really in its infancy and I don't know exactly where I want it to go yet, but now that I have my PE I have a lot more options.

 

Be aware of a couple things, if you get a patent agent license 1) no one knows what it is until you explain it to them (for some reason everyone immediately understands what a patent attorney is) 2) once you tell someone in casual conversation you're a patent agent, they will tell you all of their ideas they want to patent and expect you to do it at minimal cost for them.

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On 12/12/2015, 8:57:44, kmart30 said:

Keep your head up! I failed my first try and I took geotech as well. I ended up with a 31 out of 40 in the am and like a 21 out of 40 in the afternoon. My first go around I spent a solid two months crunching problems after problems but it wasn't enough. In my opinion you can crunch problems until your blue in the face but if you dont have a true understanding of the topics your chances of passing are alot less. 

This time around I took a class and I passed. Also, another big help for the afternoon section were the Das/Bowels books I brought in as a reference. The class prepared me for both the AM/PM sections but the Das books really helped me for the geotechnical afternoon. I was very shocked last time that I didnt pass because I was crunching so many problems but I took a different approach this time and passed. Also, I think I studied less this time then I did the first; just focus more on understanding and learning topics then just pumping out problems like a zombie.  

 

I failed Geotech with a 60% AM 62% PM. I felt pretty good after the test but obviously not good enough :(. What class did you take? I don't really have the time between work and family to take a live class so I was looking at doing one of the on-demand classes.

Brutal that I have to go through it again but I know I can do it.

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18 hours ago, wirelessengineer21 said:

So i am a two time taker and failer (is that a word?).  I took my diagnostic exam and studied the EFF out the three topics i whiffed at the first time.  For example, 1st exam I was 0/8, 0/4, and 0/6 in 3 sections hat i didnt give much effort in studyng the first go round.  My results for Oct showed gains of those same 3 sections to 6/8, 3/4 and 4/6.  Those are great gains.  However, I was counting on SUSTAINING my competeny level in the other sections, which i didnt spend too much time on, thinking that I "knew the material".  Well, bad assumption.  I regressed substantially in 2 sections i was counting on a certain score.  End result, a marginal increase in the number of correct answers this 2nd time around.

I am debating whether to take a course this time.  Not sure, but i have to do something different. My way hasnt worked twice. 

Yeah, I had a similar mindset going into this first exam where I didn't spend a lot of time studying certain sections and all turned out to be sections I got less than 50% of the problems correct. However, it's really only one subject (wastewater treatment, water quality & water distribution) that I could really benefit from having a review course, however, review course in specific subjects seem hard to find. I took the WRE depth (Civil) because I work in stormwater field and scored very well in all those sections, however, I have no experience working with wastewater and water treatment. I think I will be fine in using my original preparation in the other subject areas, but will definitely keep in mind that I should still put in the time to adequately them so I sustain or even improve my scores in those areas.

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This is my second failure.  For some reason this one was easier to swallow than the first.  The good news is I improved 7 points overall.  I prepared really well for the Geotech afternoon which was my weak area the first time.  Like others, I found the Oct 15 morning more difficult which hurt.  If you had taken my morning from April and my afternoon from October then I would be on a different forum, but that's not the way the cookie crumbles.

In the end, all you can do is press on.

I completely agree with you when you said the morning was harder then the April test. I failed for the second time also. But improved my score.

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Everyone that failed, that is in civil, just take the EET class already ..... I've yet to come across anyone who took EET and failed. I'm still convinced that these guys are the ones that write the exam.

 

One other thing, and yes, I am lecturing you a bit, but this fucking board was virtually dead for the past 6 months. So dead that we figured Matt was the only one taking the exam. You should not be going into the exam unsure of a topic. If you are unsure of a topic, post the question here. This board is more than just a place to check to see when results are out. There are a lot of really smart people on this board, use them!

Edited by John QPE
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@Sooner100 I took a course each time so I think that isn't the way to go for me. I almost want to find a tutor for areas I'm weak in but I honestly have no idea how to go about finding if that even exists. Going to start studying again in mid January after the holidays. Hopefully third times the charm because I'm only giving it one more go.

You are not alone I failed again also and took a review course twice and felt it did not help me enough to pass. I am also going to start studying in January. Hopefully we both pass next time.

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1 hour ago, John QPE said:

Everyone that failed, that is in civil, just take the EET class already ..... I've yet to come across anyone who took EET and failed. I'm still convinced that these guys are the ones that write the exam.

This is exactly what I heard about School of PE (minus PM part - they are not that strong for PM and I now see why). They were even showing us certain problems and keep saying you will see something very similar, but there were none on Oct. 2015 exam. I was told 9 out of 10 people pass PE exam first time after taking School of PE, but it didn't work for me. I must say I didn't study as hard as I should and relay of School of PE on the most part. Will change it for April exam.

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10 minutes ago, Lolla said:

This is exactly what I heard about School of PE (minus PM part - they are not that strong for PM and I now see why). They were even showing us certain problems and keep saying you will see something very similar, but there were none on Oct. 2015 exam. I was told 9 out of 10 people pass PE exam first time after taking School of PE, but it didn't work for me. I must say I didn't study as hard as I should and relay of School of PE on the most part. Will change it for April exam.

In my opinion, no mater what class you take, you'll likely have to do additional studying. No single class can cover every possible question type. I did lots and lots of studying before I took the EET class and there were still AM questions that stumped me. 

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13 minutes ago, matt267 PE said:

In my opinion, no mater what class you take, you'll likely have to do additional studying. No single class can cover every possible question type. I did lots and lots of studying before I took the EET class and there were still AM questions that stumped me. 

I understand that. I was kind of bumped when we all were told to expect certain topic and it was not on the exam. I would prefer School of PE not to mention it at all. I would like to make it clear, it's nobody's but my fault I didn't pass PE this time. I did much better job studying for FE exam while I was in school, but kind of let it flow by itself this time. No excuses for me really. Still feel like School of PE is a little overrated (or I am not that smart)

 

 

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I am shattered as I failed the Control Systems exam the second time around..I had scored a 55/80 in my first attempt..and this time I put in an extra 4 months and scored 40/80...a 15 point drop...Compared the two diagnostics sheets...and it was shocking to realize that where I did well the first time I gave it was exactly where I slipped this time..but the exams are so broad I just cannot know how to answer it all...surprised so many people pass this exam and I cannot..there are folks at work who I advise on how to execute designs..and they have PE in control systems and I dont...the PEs I work with dont even have a grasp of the basics or they have forgotten...it feels so lop sided...anyway, I guess I will wait another year and go at it again next October (Control systems is offered only once in Oct). IF anyone could suggest what to do differently this time..PLEASE share your thoughts..as I want to break out of this cycle next year..thanks! 

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30 minutes ago, matt267 PE said:

In my opinion, no mater what class you take, you'll likely have to do additional studying. No single class can cover every possible question type. I did lots and lots of studying before I took the EET class and there were still AM questions that stumped me. 

Yep. I tabbed all of my references per the spec-and-ref method starting in April, except the CERM. Then SofPE during the week and reworked example problems during the weekend. I also tabbed up my CERM during this time and created indexes of all the things I tabbed. The class ended two weeks before the exam and I spent those two weeks drilling problem after problem until my eyes crossed. I also called a hard stop on all studying at 4pm on Thursday so I'd have time to relax.

There were topics SofPE worked really well (soil phase relationships) and ones that were a total miss (ACI-318 Appendix D in the afternoon). I had a friend's notes from SofPE from October 2014 and they tripled the amount of material covered on the afternoon section for the October 2015 class. And there was still stuff on the exam that I hadn't seen before and was guessing at. I think the exam is less a test of knowledge and more of a test of how well you can find and apply the needed information.

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9 minutes ago, Lolla said:

I understand that. I was kind of bumped when we all were told to expect certain topic and it was not on the exam. I would prefer School of PE not to mention it at all. I would like to make it clear, it's nobody's but my fault I didn't pass PE this time. I did much better job studying for FE exam while I was in school, but kind of let it flow by itself this time. No excuses for me really. Still feel like School of PE is a little overrated (or I am not that smart)

 

 

NCEES publishes a list of what is on the exam. There are only so many ways to calculate a vertical curve, figure out the capacity of a 36" pipe at this slope, find pressure on a retaining wall, classify a soil ... etc etc etc ....

You have the NCEES practice exam, Goswami, Mike's, and Lindeburgh plus I'm sure there are others, but they pretty much cover ever possible way you can ask any engineering topic on this exam. Again, the topics you will be tested on are published, by NCEES. You have 5 months. Just learn them, practice them, and put them in binder. You should walk out of this exam and say I missed these 2 in the AM and these 3 in the PM. You should walk out knowing you passed, and saying that was easy.

You have 5 months, put the work in this time.

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On ‎12‎/‎14‎/‎2015‎ ‎11‎:‎19‎:‎38‎, paigelida said:

@Sooner100 I took a course each time so I think that isn't the way to go for me. I almost want to find a tutor for areas I'm weak in but I honestly have no idea how to go about finding if that even exists. Going to start studying again in mid January after the holidays. Hopefully third times the charm because I'm only giving it one more go. :(

 

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paigelida, with due respect, I would say do not waste a single day. Start studying now instead of waiting for the holiday season is over. Even if you can understand one topic in a week, you will be done by five topics by mid January. It is hard to solve problems when you are on the road or in holiday mode. In this case, read literature related textbook such as CE Materials, Site development and improvements, etc. If I am not mistaken, about 25% questions are theoretical. You can answer them in 15 sec if you know the concept/topic. If you do not know the topic, it will take several minutes (sometimes 10 mins) till you can eliminate wrong answers by reading bunch of texts in the exam room. In fact, these textual questions are sometimes overhanging fruits. Sometimes they could be time killer. So, start today!  

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2 hours ago, John QPE said:

Everyone that failed, that is in civil, just take the EET class already ..... I've yet to come across anyone who took EET and failed. I'm still convinced that these guys are the ones that write the exam.

 

One other thing, and yes, I am lecturing you a bit, but this fucking board was virtually dead for the past 6 months. So dead that we figured Matt was the only one taking the exam. You should not be going into the exam unsure of a topic. If you are unsure of a topic, post the question here. This board is more than just a place to check to see when results are out. There are a lot of really smart people on this board, use them!

I have to eco this. Took Civil Transportation with them and honestly if you pay attention in class, do all their practice problems (work as many problems as you can, plus NCEES, Goswami...ect) and know where to find everything really quickly in the binders they provide, there really should not be any reason you fail. 

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Failed the Electrical Power on my first run. This is one depressing Holiday Season for me; if I can even call it Holiday.  Don't really know how to get myself up at this point :(

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21 minutes ago, OldenEngineer said:

:(

Olden, I'm with you. 40/80 for Water Resources Environmental first try. I studied 6 months for this exam. After I took it, I knew there were questions I didn't answer correctly but felt like I couldn't have studied more to even have touched on those topics. I am feeling a bit stunned. In fact, I felt like I had aced the afternoon portion, which clearly did not happen. Not sure where to go from here. Actually, that's BS. I'm either going to enroll in the EET class everyone is raving about or quit my f'ing job and become a yoga teacher/dog walker. 

Edited by jnuengr

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Jnu, I studied for 4 months giving up weekends & evening time and good decent meals to dedicate for this exam.  I thought I had it walking in the exam room.  Many questions stunned me and like you I thought I could not have studied for those topics.  By the end of the exam, I thought I did a decent job and thought I did enough to pass but apparently that was not the case.  I cannot even look at my score right now, because I'm still stunned & can't think.  Did you take a review course?  I didn't, but I'll have to rethink about taking a review course.  I don't think I want to have this "failed" experience again.

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I didn't pass Construction.:(  Along with some serious studying I went over a couple of sample exams.  I felt the breadth was much more difficult than the depth...which probably explains why I did better in the afternoon than the morning...just not well enough to pass.

Question for those that took 2015_Oct Construction:  What are your thoughts on the breadth portion?  I studied and reviewed 3 different sample exams (2 of which were NCEES practice exam problems)  but felt the morning was NOTHING like the sample exams.

Well, I'm going to sulk for about the next 10 minutes and them I'm going to continue organizing and planning my month-long vacation to the Philippines and Taipei set to begin after Christmas.  As long as I have my health and my loved ones are safe...life is good!  I'll be back at it when I return at the end of January.

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2 minutes ago, OldenEngineer said:

Did you take a review course?  I didn't, but I'll have to rethink about taking a review course.  I don't think I want to have this "failed" experience again.

I did take a review course and would NOT recommend PPI. The instructor was clueless. In fact, he told us we would have the option of answering the questions in English or Metric, which, at the time, I knew was completely false. It was a mess.

But I only took a review course for the afternoon portion. I figured, if I could answer the 40 afternoon questions correctly, and answer even half of the AM questions correctly, I'd pass. Apparently, it didn't work out as planned.

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23 minutes ago, teamspears2010 said:

Thanks Audi driver...I'm not!

Good to hear.  It's a huge pain, but well worth doing again, if it was worth doing a first time.

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