ME Thermal and Fluids - APR 2017 - Engineer Boards
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Viper5

ME Thermal and Fluids

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Found out I passed! Self study with many weekends on the couch. I thought Thermal and Fluids was pretty hard. Could have gone either way but glad it's over. 

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2 hours ago, Viper5 said:

Found out I passed! Self study with many weekends on the couch. I thought Thermal and Fluids was pretty hard. Could have gone either way but glad it's over. 

I passed PE Thermal Fluids too.

I also thought the test was difficult (especially the morning).

Studied mornings before work, lunch break, and after work before bedtime.

Used the MERM, it's practice problems & practice test, and the NCEES practice test.  Keep working problems until you are fast and get them correct.

 

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5 hours ago, Flluterly said:

Congratulations!would you please share your study reference and experience with us? Thank you!

The biggest resource I used was of course the MERM 13ed. Also used the accompanying MERM Practice Problems and the rather expensive Quick Reference book. With few exceptions, did almost every practice problem of every chapter in the book. Placed additional emphasis on Thermal and Fluids related chapters. Spent around 300 hours total. 

 

Something I don't read about too much on this forum is the benefit of the PPI Quick Reference book. I can say with certainty that I was able to get at least a couple problems due solely to that. You also will save an incredible amount of time using this reference. Just take notes in the book as you progress with your studies to supplement the information there. Since it contains merely information in the MERM it may at first seem like a waste of money, but I would nevertheless highly encourage owning this. 

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Congratulations! I've also taken the T&FS this April and passed. I thought the exam was fair. I also strongly recommend the MERM, PPI practice problems, unit conversion book, and NCEES practice exam. I only needed about 2 weeks to study for the exam, nothing else, make sure you read and understand all the relavent MERM chapters (don't bother with most of the HVAC chapters, they are not included). Self-study is recommended, you can control and adjust your pace.

 

Stay away from the newly published T&FS reference book, it's not worth the money, at least the current edition. Stick with MERM (13th) or if you already have Mark's it will do. (Don't take both!) ASME steam tables were very helpfull (practice interpolation before you go)

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6 minutes ago, Aldo87 said:

Congratulations! I've also taken the T&FS this April and passed. I thought the exam was fair. I also strongly recommend the MERM, PPI practice problems, unit conversion book, and NCEES practice exam. I only needed about 2 weeks to study for the exam, nothing else, make sure you read and understand all the relavent MERM chapters (don't bother with most of the HVAC chapters, they are not included). Self-study is recommended, you can control and adjust your pace.

Forgot to mention that I too used the NCEES practice problems to get a general sense of the level of difficulty of the exam. The MERM practice problems are much more difficult (which is good).  After having taken the exam, I could probably have just studied the Thermal and Fluids along with some Economics and been ok.  

 

2 weeks??? That's sounds extrememly risky. Glad you came up on top though.

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2 minutes ago, Viper5 said:

Forgot to mention that I too used the NCEES practice problems to get a general sense of the level of difficulty of the exam. The MERM practice problems are much more difficult (which is good).  After having taken the exam, I could probably have just studied the Thermal and Fluids along with some Economics and been ok.  

 

2 weeks??? That's sounds extrememly risky. Glad you came up on top though.

Thanks

I forgot to mention, I took the two weeks off work, and spent 13 hours/day on average, I've done the same for my FE, it's just with the kids and all of the responsibilities, I couldn't afford to commit my self to 2-3hrs/day for long period of time. 

Indeed, it was very risky, and it'll put you on the edge, but this was the only affordable option, wouldn't recommend it though. 

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35 minutes ago, Aldo87 said:

Congratulations! I've also taken the T&FS this April and passed. I thought the exam was fair. I also strongly recommend the MERM, PPI practice problems, unit conversion book, and NCEES practice exam. I only needed about 2 weeks to study for the exam, nothing else, make sure you read and understand all the relavent MERM chapters (don't bother with most of the HVAC chapters, they are not included). Self-study is recommended, you can control and adjust your pace.

 

Stay away from the newly published T&FS reference book, it's not worth the money, at least the current edition. Stick with MERM (13th) or if you already have Mark's it will do. (Don't take both!) ASME steam tables were very helpfull (practice interpolation before you go)

Better yet, get a more comprehensive set of steam tables than those published by ASME.

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1 minute ago, Ramnares P.E. said:

Better yet, get a more comprehensive set of steam tables than those published by ASME.

Indeed, it's a better idea, especially since these tables are readily available on the web.

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I passed the ME T&F exam by using Dr. Tom's Classroom. I can't brag enough on this review course. It is the cheapest course I have found and was tremendously helpful in my studying.

I self-studied for the same test last April and failed with a 48/80. I was extremely disappointed, not so much in the result (it was expected), but in the effort I gave preparing for the test. I thought I could cram for it and make a good score just like I've always done with tests in the past so I really only studied a couple hours a day for about 2 or 3 weeks. I decided that this time I was going to really dedicate the time to studying and make sure I passed. I might could have done it by self-studying, but with the help of that course I left the exam very confident that I had passed.

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I passed TFS. References used:

-MERM

-Cameron Hydraulic Data

- Lindberg Units Conversion book (used a ton)

- Printed out steam tables in metric and us that were more detailed (less interpolation needed). 

I studied 5months with maybe 2-8 hrs per week. Total I believe I put in 100ish hours. I did 80% of the merm companion problems but only for TFS chapters. These are so complex they are good to do first because you get a real understanding of the material. 

Next I did the NCEES practice exam timed. I did well on this so I started slacking on studying ... But after that I did the 6MS TMS book, PPI mech practice exam, PPI 101 Mech problems (only partially and only TFS material- problems are for old 1970s test). I also did part of the Oughtredco exam before I gave up because it had so many errors. Finally I redid the NCEES official practice exam the last week. 

I tried to only do problems that were on the NCEES exam syllabus. I followed it to a tee though - the syllabus includes many mechanical topics such as bolts, pressure-vessels etc that I'm glad I studied. 

I ended up outscoring all my practice exam attempts on the actual test. 

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13 hours ago, Viper5 said:

Found out I passed! Self study with many weekends on the couch. I thought Thermal and Fluids was pretty hard. Could have gone either way but glad it's over. 

Congrats!

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1 minute ago, Flluterly said:

Since the discipline of PE has removed breadth section in the morning, do we need to study whole MERM book for TFS?

Not at all. If anything, the specification change narrowed the field of what you need to study. That is where I really found value in my review course. The professor clearly states at the beginning that he is not going to cover everything we learned in college. His goal is simply to cover what you need to know to pass the PE exam and I feel like he did that very well. Throughout the course we worked every question from the sample exam along with "Examples", "Challenge Problems", and "Quiz Problems" that are associated with the course. We also worked select problems from the Six Minute Solutions book, but also skipped some that weren't relevant to exam-type problems. I also reviewed examples from the MERM but did not physically work any of the problems.

The biggest difference for me from my first attempt to my second was organization and efficiency. I was far too slow at finding the information I needed the first time. This course structured my materials in a way that once I identified the problem I could very quickly find my references. References I took into the exam are as follows:

- MERM

- Course Topic Binders (Fluids, Thermo 1, Thermo 2, Heat Transfer, HVAC/Refrig, Engineering Practice, and Exam Day Companion).

- NCEES Practice Exam

The course binders made it incredibly easy to find what I needed. If I came to a turbine problem, I went to the Thermo 1 binder, flipped to the Turbine tab, and there was every problem I had worked over the past few months that related to turbines along with the equations. Pump problem, go to Fluids, Pump Tab, there's all my pump problems. Brayton Cycle, same. The organization of the course made finding what I needed so much easier than the first time when I just used the MERM. Also, the Exam Day Companion binder was an indexed binder of all the equations for every topic, which was tabbed as well. It's a very efficient system. I strongly suggest Dr. Tom's Classroom to anyone who is serious about passing the exam and have doubts about their ability to self-study. You will have to work hard during the course, but you will also be well-prepared on test day.  

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TFS April 2017, passed (first time taker).

1 hour ago, Flluterly said:

Since the discipline of PE has removed breadth section in the morning, do we need to study whole MERM book for TFS?

IMO you still need to review the basic engineering principles, if you have time. If you are strapped for time you can still skip them, but I would recommend reviewing free body diagrams and statics for sure.

Run through as many problems as you possibly can. MEPP and PPI's practice exam are hard. Much harder than what you'll see on test day. It's discouraging and confusing to go through some of these problems early on, but don't waste too much time mastering them the first time. Bookmark hard problems and move on (they're good to come back to ~3weeks before when you understand concepts better). Reworking practice exams helped more than going through MERM/MEPP did so if you're looking to maximize time focus on that.

Cross reference every formula and variable. If you keep forgetting what one variable stands for or what units they are in, just write it in your book. This saved me tons of flipping and was highly valuable.

Knowing your references and where to find things is more valuable than understanding the concepts. Not good engineering practice, but if your only goal is to pass a lot of problems are straight forward enough that finding it in the MERM is all you need to do to solve it. Practice problems cement finding things, but just going through chapters and memorizing/tabbing things will get you so many points.

MERM is really the only reference book I used on the exam, but I brought Shigley's and printed a few chapters from Incropera on heat transfer.

I only opened MERM, steam tables, unit conversion, and pych charts. The practice exams, problems, and college textbooks remained on the floor.

Brought the recommended tables and helpers:

  • Steam table book in US units
    • No interpolation saves a lot of time
    • Highlight and tabbed each page to quickly grab the Pressure, Temperture, etc. for each state, saved me some time
  • Printed steam table in metric from NIST
    • SI unit table was massively helpful for me!
    • No interpolation saves a lot of time
    • Highlight and tabbed each page to quickly grab the Pressure, Temperture, etc. for each state, saved me some time
  • Unit conversion
    • Tabbed common ones such as GPM
    • Highlight every conversion I used during practice
    • Highlighted sections and tabs were a huge help in saving time
  • Made my own cheat sheets
    • I didn't write small, spaced it all out
    • Tried to group equations that were used together
    • Highlight the most commonly used formulas
    • Added some common conversions and the units to enter them in
  • Refrigerant tables
  • Separate air tables, though interpolation was still needed
  • 11x17 colored Psych chart in US and metric
  • Incropera appendix

That's all that comes to mind now, but I can check my bookshelf later.

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First time and passed.  

I exclusively used the MERM for the test and used the MERM and MERM practice problems to study (only the Thermal and Fluids related stuff).  

I really think the MERM is enough if you use it while you study and annotate the hell out of it.  Mine has notes written in all over the place.  I was pretty big on writing in cross-references (I.e. If in a conduction section but you also need convection, go here), routine constants, alternative forms of equations, etc.  I also annotated the index quite a bit to supplement it.  

Basically, as I practiced, whatever instinct I had using the MERM, if it didn't find the answer I would put notes in wherever I tried to look on either a) how to get where I was trying to go to or b) the equation, value, or whatever it was I tried to find.

i was paranoid that it might be interpreted that I was writing in the book on the exam, so I used a very fine point marker to write the notes in a non-black color and also highlighted the note (also for visibility).

Anyway, using one book seemed to help me quite a bit and allowed me to finish 30-45 minutes early on each section.  That helped to give me time to figure out the couple of problems I had trouble with and wasn't sure on my answer.  At the end of the test, I only guessed on 1 question.  I'm certain I got other questions wrong, but on the other 79 I arrived at one of the four answers.

 

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Could someone recommend the best source for steam tables?

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2 hours ago, Philscrimp said:

Could someone recommend the best source for steam tables?

@ptatohed is NOT going to like where this is posted...

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@Philscrimp I used the Keenan, Keyes, et al. English units book (ISBN-13: 978-0471465010). Tab the hell out of it for fast lookup.

I printed the NIST tables available online (https://www.nist.gov/srd/nistir5078) and tabbed and highlighted key anchor points.

14 minutes ago, knight1fox3 said:

@ptatohed is NOT going to like where this is posted...

I agree, this should be posted in the Mechanical Forum.

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12 minutes ago, knight1fox3 said:

@ptatohed is NOT going to like where this is posted...

Ummmmmmmm............... kf................... while you might normally be correct, I have absolutely no idea what a steam table is so I have no way of knowing that the post is in the wrong spot let alone where it should be!  :wacko:

 

Oh, wait........ I see now............ we're in the Results forum, aren't we?  :D 

 

Yeah Phil, ask about steam tables here!  :brick:http://engineerboards.com/index.php?/forum/3-mechanical/   :P

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