Club for Civil / Structural PM - who failed - OCT 2015 - Engineer Boards
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sunny777

Club for Civil / Structural PM - who failed

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I failed 2nd time - got 41/80 -->56% - took structural PM. I did not study hard enough. This time I am making a strategy / plan and sticking to it, planning to reduce my wasted time. I am weak in the morning portion. Anybody who wants to share strategy / plan?

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I am still shocked at my AM score - its 19/40 and I thought I did 27/40 with confidence and remaining 12 with guess work.

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Are you doing self study? or class? Either EET , Test Masters, SOPE should help. In Civil  I have seen rarely people pass in a self study. I passed in in third time with EET  online WEBINAR after attending  live Test Masters classes  before. My Master completed in 1994 and been out of school a lot. My depth was WRE. There is nothing like EET classes. I had same problem as you in two previous exams, used to get more in PM than AM. I think you take the fear factor of AM (as I did). EET told me AM should be extremely simple, do not  over complicate it and answers are usually 1-2 steps. 80% questions are relatively easier which I used to screw up thinking complicated and it is not. I worked very hard after each live webinar class, solved probably over 500 problems including tests, quiz, home work problems, old NCEES exams etc. 

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Are you doing self study? or class? Either EET , Test Masters, SOPE should help. In Civil  I have seen rarely people pass in a self study. I passed in in third time with EET  online WEBINAR after attending  live Test Masters classes  before. My Master completed in 1994 and been out of school a lot. My depth was WRE. There is nothing like EET classes. I had same problem as you in two previous exams, used to get more in PM than AM. I think you take the fear factor of AM (as I did). EET told me AM should be extremely simple, do not  over complicate it and answers are usually 1-2 steps. 80% questions are relatively easier which I used to screw up thinking complicated and it is not. I worked very hard after each live webinar class, solved probably over 500 problems including tests, quiz, home work problems, old NCEES exams etc. 

Hey nola trader I failed the PE civil again also and was wondering if you new how EET was for transportation PM. I took testmaster twice and it didn't help me. My struggle are on both parts mostly the morning 21/40 and 24/40 in the morning. Please really need to pass in April next year!

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I second nola trader - EET was the way to go and probably the most reasonable price and time commitment wise. EET didn't offer a structural depth for October 2015, but I thought that I needed the most help in the morning and if I could knock the morning out of the park then a 20/40 would be fine in the afternoon. But I'd say taking EET's morning breadth helped me in the afternoon as well. Just having someone explain things to you and give your studying structure is well worth it. In my opinion, if you can afford both the civil breadth and structural depth which is supposed to be offered this spring ($1100 for both I believe) from EET then you should knock it out of the park. But if you want to try just the morning class, that should be enough as well and it is only $600. The civil breadth webinar was every saturday for 8 hours for 6 weeks and then you had homework to do outside of class. The sessions were recorded so that, if you couldn't watch it live, you could watch it later at your own pace. I, personally, took that 8hr class and divided up to two nights/week, doing 2.5hrs on tuesday and 2.5hrs on thursday nights and then dedicating 4-5hours on the weekend. This gave me 8 hours to watch the classes and 2 hours to work the homework problems, and go back through example problems. I thought that 10 hrs a week was plenty of time to prepare for the exam, and a reasonable one when you have a full-time job. 

This schedule got me where I needed to be by the beginning of September for the morning portion and then I took two structural practice exams for a couple weeks in September and spent the last half of september and October reworking EET problems and the structural problems. In October, EET also gave us a practice exam to take for the morning portion, which was very good. The structural practice exam I used was Structural Depth Practice Exams for the Civil PE Exam by James Giancaspro. It is two 40 problem exams, and I really liked it. Here is a link to it on amazon http://www.amazon.com/Structural-Depth-Practice-Exams-Civil/dp/1591263492/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1450103518&sr=8-8&keywords=structural+depth+practice+exam That is the first edition that I used. I think he has a newer edition, but I didn't use it.The newer edition might be updated to the current ncees codes. I'm not sure it's worth $160 for the newer edition, but the $80 older version is well worth it.

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Passed the PE structural first time , the following was my strategy.I hope this  helps.

1) Went thru the structural part of breadth and depth (structural) first ,using CERM, the codes, an analysis textbook, a concrete design text book and a steel design book.(August). Didn't tab anything here nor take notes .

2) Went thru rest of the breadth using CERM only.Also Studied Seismic for one week here since I took PE in CA.(Sept)

3)Took the NCEES practice exam on Oct 1st . Scored 27 AM and 14 PM. Panicked, called myself not fit to be an Engineer and drank beer and played darts at my fav watering hole with some my buddies. Next day I spent going through every problem in NCEES and understood the concept.I Bought Gowswami practice  exam and ppi practice exam (Giancaspro). For the next three weeks Spent 2-3 hrs everyday from Oct 2 religiously going through  codes and took notes from it and tabbed very imp stuff ( think phi values, ld, table 8.3.3 , min t for slabs etc - say 10 tabs max per code , didn't overwhelm myself with tabs ). I Made a 20 +- page All structural notes booklet for myself with important stuff that I know I would forget  ( think simple analysis problems using conj beam , K values for cols, max and min stress ). Last week before the test I took one AM (Gowswami) test and three PM tests after a full day work each day starting sunday .Was constantly  scoring 70% on them. I'm out of state so had to fly out to cali on Thursday but had 4 hrs to kill on the flight . I looked at all the misc stuff for the morning that I never studied before ( think cpm-pert, survey, economic analysis). 

Morning part of the test I made sure I got more than 30 ,close to 35 right. I stumbled with 5 problems but the tests that i took earlier helped get time on my side. So I had time to go back and check my answers and I was sure of 30 at least. This was my afternoon confidence breakdown on the scantron sheet at about 3 hr mrk 8-8-5-5. (25 /40). Then I spent the next hour on the 14 problems I'd left out. I got close answers for at least 10 and the rest were pure wrong. (They were questions u either know or dont) .  So the key is to ace the morning regardless of what u do for a living. 30+ in the morning reduces that much pressure in the afternoon.And make time ur BFF by taking timed test after a days work to get that mental fatigue  into the equation.I really hope this helps. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, ankad said:

Passed the PE structural first time , the following was my strategy.I hope this  helps.

1) Went thru the structural part of breadth and depth (structural) first ,using CERM, the codes, an analysis textbook, a concrete design text book and a steel design book.(August). Didn't tab anything here nor take notes .

2) Went thru rest of the breadth using CERM only.Also Studied Seismic for one week here since I took PE in CA.(Sept)

3)Took the NCEES practice exam on Oct 1st . Scored 27 AM and 14 PM. Panicked, called myself not fit to be an Engineer and drank beer and played darts at my fav watering hole with some my buddies. Next day I spent going through every problem in NCEES and understood the concept.I Bought Gowswami practice  exam and ppi practice exam (Giancaspro). For the next three weeks Spent 2-3 hrs everyday from Oct 2 religiously going through  codes and took notes from it and tabbed very imp stuff ( think phi values, ld, table 8.3.3 , min t for slabs etc - say 10 tabs max per code , didn't overwhelm myself with tabs ). I Made a 20 +- page All structural notes booklet for myself with important stuff that I know I would forget  ( think simple analysis problems using conj beam , K values for cols, max and min stress ). Last week before the test I took one AM (Gowswami) test and three PM tests after a full day work each day starting sunday .Was constantly  scoring 70% on them. I'm out of state so had to fly out to cali on Thursday but had 4 hrs to kill on the flight . I looked at all the misc stuff for the morning that I never studied before ( think cpm-pert, survey, economic analysis). 

Morning part of the test I made sure I got more than 30 ,close to 35 right. I stumbled with 5 problems but the tests that i took earlier helped get time on my side. So I had time to go back and check my answers and I was sure of 30 at least. This was my afternoon confidence breakdown on the scantron sheet at about 3 hr mrk 8-8-5-5. (25 /40). Then I spent the next hour on the 14 problems I'd left out. I got close answers for at least 10 and the rest were pure wrong. (They were questions u either know or dont) .  So the key is to ace the morning regardless of what u do for a living. 30+ in the morning reduces that much pressure in the afternoon.And make time ur BFF by taking timed test after a days work to get that mental fatigue  into the equation.I really hope this helps. 

 

 

What references did you take for the PE Exam? We're the problems more design or theoretical?

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1 hour ago, Superlaker24 said:

What references did you take for the PE Exam? We're the problems more design or theoretical?

Here's the Breakdown.

Im not sure how much the admins allow us to share here but let's say the distribution was very similar to the NCEES exam.Here are the references that came in handy.

Morning

1) CERM( I used the index for most of the problems)

2) Used Gowswami Breadth exam to solve one problem.

 

Afternoon

1) CERM( used only for the beam formulas at the back) and a couple of Misc theory questions.

2)  Aisc Design examples and the 14th edition should be ur bread and butter for steel questions.I also had a steel (segui) text book.

3) ACI 318 and Mcmormack text book for concrete.

4)ASCE 7 ( There are some critical , very very critical examples at the end :) when it snows)

4) One analysis text ( I had hibbler). 

5) IBC 12 , NDS and Masonry code. 

6) I took Aashto coz its what I use every day but never opened it.

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On December 15, 2015 at 10:31:57 PM, ankad said:

Here's the Breakdown.

Im not sure how much the admins allow us to share here but let's say the distribution was very similar to the NCEES exam.Here are the references that came in handy.

Morning

1) CERM( I used the index for most of the problems)

2) Used Gowswami Breadth exam to solve one problem.

 

Afternoon

1) CERM( used only for the beam formulas at the back) and a couple of Misc theory questions.

2)  Aisc Design examples and the 14th edition should be ur bread and butter for steel questions.I also had a steel (segui) text book.

3) ACI 318 and Mcmormack text book for concrete.

4)ASCE 7 ( There are some critical , very very critical examples at the end :) when it snows)

4) One analysis text ( I had hibbler). 

5) IBC 12 , NDS and Masonry code. 

6) I took Aashto coz its what I use every day but never opened it.

I never used Masonry, AASHTO, and the IBC in my work. Did you use those codes alot? 

Did is you use the NCEES practice exams? Were the PPI practice questions helpful?

Any tips for taking all three exams together? Thank you.

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8 hours ago, Superlaker24 said:

I never used Masonry, AASHTO, and the IBC in my work. Did you use those codes alot? 

Did is you use the NCEES practice exams? Were the PPI practice questions helpful?

Any tips for taking all three exams together? Thank you.

I used the Masonry code and the IBC for one table look up question each . Both wood and Masonry questions were not hard on the test ( I only use AASHTO at work).I would suggest not skipping them while studying, because if you just learn how to use the tables and doing simple problems , they are definite points in the pocket versus a  truss problem with method of joints where many things can go wrong computationally.

The level of difficulty in each topic and the distribution of questions were very similar to the NCEES exam, even if the questions are not very similar. 

The NCEES afternoon is a very good datum for the test. The PPI practice exam & Goswami practice exam also have a very similar difficulty level compared to the exam.I basically solved NCEES, 2 PPI tests and 1 Goswami test before the actual exam. I used the NCEES for one Pre-stressed question. I did not find the PPI practice questions (Companion to CERM) helpful , I borrowed an older copy form a colleague but never used it for both Morning and Afternoon. 

You can do all at once if you have the time and are slow at work a bit. I studied for 8 hr + Seismic (starting August - October). I took the 8 hr exam on Friday(30th).Revised Seismic a bit and spent some time looking at survey. Took the seismic the following Saturday (Nov 7th) afternoon. Spent the rest of Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning binge studying survey and took Survey at 2 PM on Monday. Shouldn't a done that!!  I was burnt out at this point and almost tanked survey.

Lessons learned,  I would suggest taking one (either seismic or survey ) as early as possible before the 8 hr exam (say 2 weeks), concentrate on 8hr and take one the farthest possible from the 8hr. This will keep you mentally prepped for all three. It is very very possible to get all three in one try.

 

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2 hours ago, ankad said:

I used the Masonry code and the IBC for...

This might be a bit too specific to share per the terms of the Candidate Agreement.

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3 hours ago, ankad said:

I used Both wood and Masonry questions were not hard on the test ( I only use AASHTO at work).I would suggest not skipping them while studying, because if you just learn how to use the tables and doing simple problems , they are definite points in the pocket versus a  truss problem with method of joints where many things can go wrong computationally.

The level of difficulty in each topic and the distribution of questions were very similar to the NCEES exam, even if the questions are not very similar. 

The NCEES afternoon is a very good datum for the test. The PPI practice exam & Goswami practice exam also have a very similar difficulty level compared to the exam.I basically solved NCEES, 2 PPI tests and 1 Goswami test before the actual exam. I used the NCEES for one Pre-stressed question. I did not find the PPI practice questions (Companion to CERM) helpful , I borrowed an older copy form a colleague but never used it for both Morning and Afternoon. 

You can do all at once if you have the time and are slow at work a bit. I studied for 8 hr + Seismic (starting August - October). I took the 8 hr exam on Friday(30th).Revised Seismic a bit and spent some time looking at survey. Took the seismic the following Saturday (Nov 7th) afternoon. Spent the rest of Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning binge studying survey and took Survey at 2 PM on Monday. Shouldn't a done that!!  I was burnt out at this point and almost tanked survey.

Lessons learned,  I would suggest taking one (either seismic or survey ) as early as possible before the 8 hr exam (say 2 weeks), concentrate on 8hr and take one the farthest possible from the 8hr. This will keep you mentally prepped for all three. It is very very possible to get all three in one try.

 

 

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3 hours ago, ankad said:
46 minutes ago, Patrick1441 PE said:

This might be a bit too specific to share per the terms of the Candidate Agreement.

 

I don`t know how to delete a post!!

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