Jump to content
Engineer Boards

​ ​ ​

Recommended Posts

Has any one here taken Dr. Tom's Classroom as prep for the PE? I enrolled in the fast track course and have currently completed weeks 1-4. I appreciate having the extra guidance and structure but I can't help but feel that the course is giving me a false sense of security. The assessment quiz questions and challenge problems don't seem to be all that difficult to me... is this because I'm well prepared or is the material too easy in comparison to the actual exam? He also assigns problems out of Six Minute Problems TF and the 2016 NCEES exam and I've been able to work through these without any major difficulties (I can answer around 70% correctly without looking at answers the first time through). He doesn't use the PPI Practice Problems book at all, but I had bought this prior to signing up. These questions tend to be a lot more challenging for me and seem to generally require making more assumptions and use more obscure equations. I'm already feeling the pressure of time for the April test and I don't know if I should stick solely to the DTC syllabus or if I should try to work all of the PPI Practice Problems along with it. So in summary:

  • Were you prepared for the PE after taking DTC? (i.e. did you pass?)
  • If so, did you only use the materials referenced in DTC or did you use other resources? (i.e. practice problems from other sources?)
  • Anyone else currently in DTC and feel the same way?

Thanks for any advice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't take DTC, but I can tell you that the actual exam was in between the NCEES practice exam and the PPI Practice Problems in terms of difficulty. I admit that some of PPI's Practice Problems were ridiculously long/difficult but I definitely think they helped. Also, I think you have plenty of time to do some other practice exams like Slay the PE and Engineering Pro Guides. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took DTC in preparation for the TFS exam. There was some material on the exam that he covers that was covered very lightly/not at all in the MERM. The biggest take away from the class for me was the "Dr. Tom Method." I cannot emphasize enough how much having materials arranged and organized is. Time is your worst enemy and being organized combats that. Having the common conversion factors memorized will be a big help as well. I passed. I used the material he recommended plus the technical section of a Goulds Pump Manual. The second piece of advice is MOVE ON. Don't dwell on a problem trying to "figure it out," which he also make a point of his method.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm enrolled in the fast track for April 2018 Mechanical TFS. I think its a great review, but I agree about the worry regarding false sense of security. I know that its all about the "Dr. Tom Method" to just pass the exam and not get too far into the weeds on theory. My main concern is that I'm learning how to solve "that" particular problem, and "that" exact problem most likely wont be on the exam.

I'm really just focusing on problem identification, knowing what exactly is being asked, and really the first step or two of the problem solution. The rest is just number crunching.

I've been out of school for almost 3 years. Took/passed the Mechanical FE September 2017. Flying from VT to CA to take the PE since I can sit earlier in CA. My plan is to just put my head down and keep digging into Dr Tom's material as much as possible, going over practice problems several times, and taking the few days before the exam to take practice exams, get organized and relax.

Best of luck to all sitting the April exam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ME_VT sounds like we are on very similar paths, I just took the mech FE last May, 5 years out of school at the time. I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling this way. I’m currently on “week 11” (thermo 2 combustion cycle stuff) - I think I’ll feel a little better once I’m through with all the lesson and can start doing non-stop problem solving using the PRNs as resources... fluids already seems like a distant memory 

@ericjiangpsu did you use study materials beyond those referenced in DTC? Such as PPI Practice Problems/ PPI Practice Exam, or did you stick just with Six Minute Problems, NCEES 2016 sample test and MERM? Congrats on passing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mckenz007 Yea I wish I had signed up earlier but wasn't sure if I'd be taking the exam. I'm on week 5, but the schedule is laid out such that I complete "two" weeks per week. Kind of brutal considering I have limited free time. I'm really just putting trust in having a TON of examples well organized, doing my best to really grasp/relearn Thermo/fluids, and getting through the actual lessons ASAP so I can focus on doing every practice problem I can get my hands on. The only problem is, most of them will be in my PRN's by that point...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dr. Tom's course uses both the Practice Exam and Six Minute for practicing problems.  He pick the problems from those books in the lecture. 

In the beginning of the course, he will tell you what books to buy.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/17/2018 at 8:28 AM, Sheshtawy said:

Also, I think you have plenty of time to do some other practice exams like Slay the PE and Engineering Pro Guides. 

Thanks! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Sheshtawy thanks I will look into both of those sample test options! I’ve previously purchased the PPI test but I’ve heard since that it not very representative of the actual exam? I haven’t looked through it yet...

@ME_VT Studying in general is just brutal! I leave the dtc lessons feeling quite confident then feel hopeless when looking at problems that he hasn’t hand picked. I’m hoping with more practice it all comes together in the end though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/5/2018 at 4:28 PM, mckenz007 said:

@Sheshtawy thanks I will look into both of those sample test options! I’ve previously purchased the PPI test but I’ve heard since that it not very representative of the actual exam? I haven’t looked through it yet...

@ME_VT Studying in general is just brutal! I leave the dtc lessons feeling quite confident then feel hopeless when looking at problems that he hasn’t hand picked. I’m hoping with more practice it all comes together in the end though!

Unfortunately the PPI practice exam you've purchased is probably based on the old exam specs, but they've just released a brand new practice exam for the new TFS specs, maybe you can check it out if you have $70 lying around that you don't know what to do with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are good to try and challenge yourself.  I personally took a Testmasters prep course that helped me a lot.  I had the same false sense of security going into the exam.  I ignored the 6 minute solutions and PPI problems as they were overly complex compared to the NCEES exam questions.  They always made me overthink every problem, even the simple ones.  I would say if you can get your hands on as many practice exams as possible and can work them through comfortably, you should do well.  I passed the October exam with an 85 and I didn't touch the PPI or 6 minute solutions problems after I started the Testmasters course.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am considering taking the TFS in October 2019.  I got my BSME in 1996 and haven't used much of it for the last 23 years.  In my new career a PE license would be a benefit.  I have borrowed the MERM 11th ed. from a co-worker and started to go through it.  I don't remember any of this stuff.  I am thinking that a class my be helpful for me to relearn this material.  I was considering taking the Dr. Tom's Classroom.  I would prefer a live class but that is not offered.  After reading this post I see that some people a year ago were concerned that the class may have not be preparing them for the difficulty level of the problems they may face on the exam.  Would anyone that has taken the TFS exam lately that has used Dr. Tom's Classroom as there primary preparation be willing to comment on how well it prepared them for the exam?

Thank you for any advice,

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/25/2019 at 10:08 AM, MattW said:

I am considering taking the TFS in October 2019.  I got my BSME in 1996 and haven't used much of it for the last 23 years.  In my new career a PE license would be a benefit.  I have borrowed the MERM 11th ed. from a co-worker and started to go through it.  I don't remember any of this stuff.  I am thinking that a class my be helpful for me to relearn this material.  I was considering taking the Dr. Tom's Classroom.  I would prefer a live class but that is not offered.  After reading this post I see that some people a year ago were concerned that the class may have not be preparing them for the difficulty level of the problems they may face on the exam.  Would anyone that has taken the TFS exam lately that has used Dr. Tom's Classroom as there primary preparation be willing to comment on how well it prepared them for the exam?

Thank you for any advice,

Matt

I was in your situation (graduated in '96 and took the PE in 2015). I did not use a class, but instead used the methods outlined in the stickied post that Ramnares started:

First time passer right here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×