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mtd240

PE Thermal/Fluids 10/2017 - A Few Prep Questions

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Hi everyone,

I am taking the PE (Mech, Thermal/Fluids) this October. I am going to be hammering through everything over the next 11 weeks. Finished undergrad in 2011 and grad in 2016, so I'm not too distant from the problem-solving grind. Anyway - I read a few posts, but didn't get a clear answer for the following:

  1. Are courses (looking at School of PE right now, according to reviews) actually helpful for this exam?  Or will they just walk straight through the books, providing little benefit aside from keeping you on track (and barely that, since they are on-demand and online)?
  2. My boss gave me a few books, all from when he took the exam in 2008: MERM (12th edition), Practice Problems (companion to the MERM, also by Lindeburg), Sample exam (companion to MERM, also by Lindeburg), and two ME PE sample exams from Kaplan.  Are these out of date? Which are actually useful?
  3. I have seen a few indicators that the exam is changing - is that effective for the 10/2017 exam? If so, does that impact which books I should purchase?
  4. These are the books I have seen recommended: MERM, Thermal/Fluids Six Minute Solutions, NCEES 2008 practice exam, and NCEES 2001 practice exam.

I really appreciate any advice you have!

Michael

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6 minutes ago, Ramnares P.E. said:

Read this:

 

Thanks - I read that before making my post and it is super helpful. That's where my list of books (item #4) is from.  Just wondering if anyone could specifically answer my questions about classes and the books I already have on hand.

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Thanks for considering School of PE! If you have any questions give us a call at 614-873-7475 or email us at info@schoolofpe.com. :D

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3 minutes ago, School of PE said:

Thanks for considering School of PE! If you have any questions give us a call at 614-873-7475 or email us at info@schoolofpe.com. :D

Thanks, will do!

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To address the question regarding books, the only item missing from your list is the companion book to the MERM which provides practice questions (not the Lindeburg practice exam).  I personally did not see the need for classes and I doubt you will need it considering you are recently removed from academia.

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12 minutes ago, Ramnares P.E. said:

To address the question regarding books, the only item missing from your list is the companion book to the MERM which provides practice questions (not the Lindeburg practice exam).  I personally did not see the need for classes and I doubt you will need it considering you are recently removed from academia.

Thanks - I have the Practice Problems companion book (in addition to the practice exam). Do you know if there is a major difference between the 12th and 13th editions of Lindeburg's books? 

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I'm also preparing to take the TFS exam in October

I can't say much about points 1 and 2. But the exam had new specifications that were in effect last April's exam. Basically, the focus is now more on thermal and fluid systems without the "breadth" part which contained a lot of general mechanical engineering topics. You can see the new specs on NCEES website:

http://ncees.org/wp-content/uploads/PE-Mech_Thermal-Apr-2017.pdf

Regarding other studying materials, I'd also get Lindeburg's "Engineering Unit Conversion" and look into the "Thermal and Fluids Systems Reference Manual for the Mechanical PE Exam".

Best of luck!

 

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7 hours ago, mtd240 said:

Hi everyone,

I am taking the PE (Mech, Thermal/Fluids) this October. I am going to be hammering through everything over the next 11 weeks. Finished undergrad in 2011 and grad in 2016, so I'm not too distant from the problem-solving grind. Anyway - I read a few posts, but didn't get a clear answer for the following:

  1. Are courses (looking at School of PE right now, according to reviews) actually helpful for this exam?  Or will they just walk straight through the books, providing little benefit aside from keeping you on track (and barely that, since they are on-demand and online)?
  2. My boss gave me a few books, all from when he took the exam in 2008: MERM (12th edition), Practice Problems (companion to the MERM, also by Lindeburg), Sample exam (companion to MERM, also by Lindeburg), and two ME PE sample exams from Kaplan.  Are these out of date? Which are actually useful?
  3. I have seen a few indicators that the exam is changing - is that effective for the 10/2017 exam? If so, does that impact which books I should purchase?
  4. These are the books I have seen recommended: MERM, Thermal/Fluids Six Minute Solutions, NCEES 2008 practice exam, and NCEES 2001 practice exam.

I really appreciate any advice you have!

Michael

Starting from the bottom question: yes, the exam has changed.  It was new this April.  Your texts aren't "out of date" in the sense that engineering has not changed.  The 12ed is perfectly sound for use as study material, for example.  And finally, courses are good for a few main things: organization of materials and a study time, answering engineering questions, and they provide some guidance as to the breadth of material that is covered.  Most of all of that you can do on your own.  If you need tutoring,  I suppose they can be helpful, but there are a lot of free resources, too.

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Those books are fine. I just passed TFS on the April exam with the new specs. What worked for me was doing all of the MERM companion problems related to the NCEES exam syllabus. Look at the exam specs and hit all problems that are on that list (including the ones mentioned that aren't core-TFS like pressure vessel, bolts, etc). I found the syllabus extremely accurate so be anal about hitting all the topics and focus on the percentages indicated. 

After doing most of the relevant companion problems which are way harder and more complex you should have a good understanding of the material. Then focus on doing exam type problems. You should order the official NCEES practice exam (side plug I am selling it at discount see my classified). 

The 6MS book is ok. It has some good problems ... I skipped the ones that weren't on the exam syllabus. Note that many of the 6MS problems are wacky or too complicated to be test-like so its not a useful book for doing a timed test or boosting test morale. 

During exam I used the MERM, Lindberg Unit Conversion (great book -I used a lot), and the NCEES practice exam which had a few similar problems. I also used Cameron Hydraulic a little but I think the info I used was also in the MERM so it is not necessary. 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, mtd240 said:
  1.  I took the online school of PE review class for the April 2017 exam. I found it to be helpful, they do not just walk through the books. It is a lot of powerpoint but the additional problems that are provided were helpful and they start with the basics. It helped to get me back in the mindset for studying. If you do the school of PE, I would recommend doing the live classes since they take attendance. That helps make sure you actually attend the classes and pay attention.
  2. Those should all be useful, just make sure to compare the problems to the new exam specification to make sure you don't waste time studying for something that won't be on the exam.
  3. I would recommend getting the new practice TFS exam that covers the new exam specification, it's format was pretty close to the new exam.
  4. I took my MERM, NCEES FE book, and practice exam into the test. I used the FE reference book more than anything on the exam, it was much easier to tab and locate formulas. I only opened my MERM for unit conversions, for information from the appendices(Steam Tables, Mollier Diagram, etc...), and at the end of the exam when I was hoping for an epiphany to answer a question I had no idea on.

 

 

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On 7/18/2017 at 9:35 AM, mtd240 said:

Hi everyone,

I am taking the PE (Mech, Thermal/Fluids) this October. I am going to be hammering through everything over the next 11 weeks. Finished undergrad in 2011 and grad in 2016, so I'm not too distant from the problem-solving grind. Anyway - I read a few posts, but didn't get a clear answer for the following:

  1. Are courses (looking at School of PE right now, according to reviews) actually helpful for this exam?  Or will they just walk straight through the books, providing little benefit aside from keeping you on track (and barely that, since they are on-demand and online)?
  2. My boss gave me a few books, all from when he took the exam in 2008: MERM (12th edition), Practice Problems (companion to the MERM, also by Lindeburg), Sample exam (companion to MERM, also by Lindeburg), and two ME PE sample exams from Kaplan.  Are these out of date? Which are actually useful?
  3. I have seen a few indicators that the exam is changing - is that effective for the 10/2017 exam? If so, does that impact which books I should purchase?
  4. These are the books I have seen recommended: MERM, Thermal/Fluids Six Minute Solutions, NCEES 2008 practice exam, and NCEES 2001 practice exam.

I really appreciate any advice you have!

Michael

Michael,

  1. I took the PPI course for the TFS exam this time last year. The main reason I took it was that I knew I may not have the discipline needed to study. The course was an external driver that helped keep me on track. While I was motivated to pass, there were "those days" where I thought I didn't have the drive to study. This course kept me going.
  2. The books you have are fine for the exam. Personally, I mainly used MERM, Engineering Unit Conversions, a set of ASME Steam Tables in a binder, and Crane TP-410. Crane was by no means required, I am just very familiar with the book and where content was located. Speed is key in the exam.
  3. The exam is changing, and there are no impacts to the books you should purchase IMHO.
  4. MERM is a must (I highly recommend that you tab the book for quick reference), Engineering Unit Conversions is highly recommended. The Steam Tables will be useful if any extreme conditions of steam are on the exam. I would get and take as many NCEES practice exams as you can.

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Personally I find the ASME steam tables to be garbage.  The MERM tables were better.  Alternately, bring a copy of Moran/Shapiro or Keenan/Keyes.

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20 hours ago, Ramnares P.E. said:

Personally I find the ASME steam tables to be garbage.  The MERM tables were better.  Alternately, bring a copy of Moran/Shapiro or Keenan/Keyes.

Agree that the ASME steam tables aren't as good as Keenan/Keyes, but they will work.  And there is no need to spend money on steam tables when there are free ones available. Here is what I used:

Quote

 

You can spend some dollars and get the ASME steam tables for Industrial Use or you can get good ones for free and put them into your binder (like I did).  Here is a link for the best Imperial units table I could find (I did a lot of searching) http://www.tuner.tw/omega%20cd/zsection/STEAM_TA.PDF  and a GREAT compilation of SI units (tables 1, 2, and 3) here: http://www.nist.gov/srd/upload/NISTIR5078.htm

There was definitely a need for a good SI units table.  Note, the Imperial units table is from ASME data, whereas the SI units tables are from the newest standard developed by NIST.  I know how to work a Mollier diagram and had a large format one with me, but it's more accurate to look values up in a table, IMO.

 

 

Edited by Audi driver, P.E.

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I loved Kennan and Keyes for steam tables and I got a used one from the 80s for about 3 bucks on Amazon. I felt that having a book with tabs saved me enough time that it was money well spent.

The engineering conversion book was worth its weight in gold. Tab the common conversions and highlight any conversion used during your prep.

Bring SI steam tables!!! You can find them for free with NIST.

All of the above breadth and study prep information is accurate. Follow this and you'll succeed. Personally, my company pays for prep courses so I took one at UCLA. I think it was perfect for me as they hold your hand--they give you a study schedule to follow (which wasn't perfect since April was the first time with the new breadth requirements) and you might meet a study buddy or two. The material covered in class didn't help me pass the test, but the motivation to study and the accountability was worth the cost for me. If I did an online course I would argue I would have gained nothing from it.

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Thanks for all the help everyone.  I have been working ~1.5hr a night on this (starting with the MERM and associated practice problems). Then I'll move the the TFS Reference Manual, and then start taking some practice exams (will probably be September by that point).

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On 7/19/2017 at 2:54 PM, Ramnares P.E. said:

Personally I find the ASME steam tables to be garbage.  The MERM tables were better.  Alternately, bring a copy of Moran/Shapiro or Keenan/Keyes.

I agree with you, but the ASME tables were in my company's office, had a broader range than MERM and they were free :thumbs: But, I believe you are fine if  you only have MERM.

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23 hours ago, SmilinEd said:

I agree with you, but the ASME tables were in my company's office, had a broader range than MERM and they were free :thumbs: But, I believe you are fine if  you only have MERM.

I passed in April. I only used the MERM. I found it more than sufficient, maybe I spent a few more minutes having to interpolate, but I found that most of the problems just used round numbers since they aren't testing your ability to plug numbers in a calculator.

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15 minutes ago, RaggedyMan said:

I passed in April. I only used the MERM. I found it more than sufficient, maybe I spent a few more minutes having to interpolate, but I found that most of the problems just used round numbers since they aren't testing your ability to plug numbers in a calculator.

You can definitely get by with the MERM tables, but I think it makes more sense to merely look up values in a more complete set, rather than calculate.  And since tables are free (see above) and since bringing them with you is free, why not?

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Regarding the Thermal/Fluids focus - are there actually no non-thermal/fluids problems on the exam?  Seems a bit odd, but that's what the exam specs say (aside from a select few "supporting knowledge" topics).  Just wondering if it is even worth hitting the non thermal/fluids sections in the MERM at all.

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Advice would be to follow the exam specifications when doing your review recalling the change in spec removed a lot of the 'general' engineering questions.

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On 7/18/2017 at 10:24 PM, spacebanjo said:

Those books are fine. I just passed TFS on the April exam with the new specs. What worked for me was doing all of the MERM companion problems related to the NCEES exam syllabus. Look at the exam specs and hit all problems that are on that list (including the ones mentioned that aren't core-TFS like pressure vessel, bolts, etc). I found the syllabus extremely accurate so be anal about hitting all the topics and focus on the percentages indicated. 

After doing most of the relevant companion problems which are way harder and more complex you should have a good understanding of the material. Then focus on doing exam type problems. You should order the official NCEES practice exam (side plug I am selling it at discount see my classified). 

The 6MS book is ok. It has some good problems ... I skipped the ones that weren't on the exam syllabus. Note that many of the 6MS problems are wacky or too complicated to be test-like so its not a useful book for doing a timed test or boosting test morale. 

During exam I used the MERM, Lindberg Unit Conversion (great book -I used a lot), and the NCEES practice exam which had a few similar problems. I also used Cameron Hydraulic a little but I think the info I used was also in the MERM so it is not necessary. 

 

 

 

Did you work on the "Examples" in the 13th Edition MERM OR just the MERM Companion Practice Problems?

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