Jump to content
Engineer Boards
​ ​
drewwu

Working Father who Signed up for PE CIvil Transpo

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

My name is Drew and after failing the PE twice, I decided to invest in purchasing EET's study guide to try to pass the PE.

If there are any encouragements or suggestions, please feel free to share. I'm all ears!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Drew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, drewwu said:

Hello everyone,

My name is Drew and after failing the PE twice, I decided to invest in purchasing EET's study guide to try to pass the PE.

If there are any encouragements or suggestions, please feel free to share. I'm all ears!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Drew

Dear Drew

I am a working father such as yourself. It was hard to find time to study but that's where my great wife came to my rescue. After reaching home from work she took care of our kid and let me study for 2-3 hours on weekdays. On weekends I studied about 6-7 hours. This went on for 4.5 months. Good news for me and more importantly for my wife was that I passed in my first try (April 2018)

Know that it's definitely probable to pass PE while working and fathering. You've got to have your partner's support; so lean on your wife for a few months to buy study time. Don't feel too much guilty in asking for her help because she's also a stakeholder when you actually become a PE.

Study material-wise I used school of PE for review. Was well versed with references I took to the exam. Solved a lot of problems from PPI, School of PE and NCEES practice exam. Took timed practice exams which was difficult as I couldn't find 8 straight hours of free time. So I separated AM and PM sections and completed each in 4 hours. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there Drew.  Much respect for trying to pass this test while with a family, I can't imagine.  I too have failed twice, but I just have a husband and dog to worry about :) I am also doing EET to try and strengthen some weaknesses.  I've already started studying (instead of waiting 2-3 months before to start like in the past) and I'm going to focus on doing as many problems as I can.  Good luck to you in October, I know this time you've got it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI Drew!  I'm a working mom of 2 kids, and I did it, eventually.  :)  It just takes a very understanding spouse/family, and a lot of late nights.  Keep trying, you will get there!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Working 3 jobs and a dad with a new-born here. It can be done! Stay focused and determined! :thumbs:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, knight1fox3 said:

Working 3 jobs and a dad with a new-born here. It can be done! Stay focused and determined! :thumbs:

Overachiever. :)

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drew, you can do this. Stay focused and know that this will be a great achievement and could make a huge impact on your family once you pass the test.  Unlike some other people, taking the PE exam twice with a wife and 2 kids at home was very hard and emotional.  It put a big strain on the family when I would work 10 hr shifts and then come home to study and not give the family all my attention.  Honestly,  I studied less than I really wanted to because I tried to make time for the family also. Ifor this happens to you, don't think that you are alone or doing something wrong  as there are many of us out there.

When you work the sample exams, try leaving the house so that you can fully focus on the test and not be interuppted by family who will want your attention.  For me, I went to my office on a Saturday to do my practice exam. It was quiet so it was also a good simulation of the exam room. Good luck. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My area was not Civil (Computer Engineering), but I imagine many of the test taking strategies to be the useful on all disciplines.

I found it helpful to create a 'Cheat Book' - containing all those unusual items on the practice exams, that I could only find online (many through Wiki).  It tuned out to be a70-page document that I had spiral bound and in the center of my most trusted references on the exam table.  I would up using it to helped me on at least a dozen questions.

Also, I have found a four-pass method for taking multiple choice  exams to be extremely helpful (mostly written tests - which are becoming dinosaurs, however the method is mostly applicable to online tests that mimic written in their first few iterations).

First pass - only answer the questions you are absolutely sure you know, without taking longer than the average time to work  (6-minutes for the PE).  If you can, also flag (I use numbers in the upper corner of the problem page, such as 1 or 2), to indicate any answers you believe can be eliminated.  For example, I put a number two in the corner if I can eliminate two of the answers, and a number one if I can eliminate only one).  Also, if you see a problem that you are fairly certain you can answer if you take more time, put a Start on the corner of that page.

Second pass - go through and work on the problems you marked with number 2.  Try and limit yourself to two-thirds or half the average time per problem on this pass - for the PE, I used 4 minutes for a '2' and 3 minutes for a '1' - limiting the time is critical on this pass.

Third pass - go after any of the Stars, and try to divide the time you have left by the count of those stars minus 10 to 15 minutes.  On my test, I believe I got three out of the four Stars correct in the morning and 4 out of the 6 in the afternoon.

    Optional Pass 3.5 - If you have time left at this point - beyond the 10 to 15 Final pass allocation, then go back and visit any of the number '2's you may have not completed.

Fourth pass - try and estimate which of the letters (A, B, C, or D, for the PE) you used least (and if this is the morning session, try and remember the morning letter ratios as best you can for use in the afternoon session), then use that 'least-used' letter in answering all the remaining unanswered questions.

I'm sure some will have issue with my method, however, I passed not only the FE and PE the first time using this test strategy, but it also worked on both of my other Certification exams.

Good luck.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can do it! I’m a working father as well with a 40-50 hr work week and a 2-year old daughter. Started studying in January. Stayed late at work 3 nights a week to study and all day at the Library on Saturdays. Made Sunday a family day to balance that in. Wife was supportive as ultimately me getting my PE license will benefit the whole family. Toughed through that for 3 1/2 month and took abs passed the PE in April. It’s definitely a tough balancing act, but you can do it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found it easier to either go into work and study before I started, or stay late at work and study. Once I got home there was little hope of studying with kids around. By the time my kids would be asleep I would lose all motivation to study.

My advice is make sure you are looking at what exactly is being tested on. Old study manuals and questions will have material that is no longer tested on and you can waste a lot of time going over problems that you don't need to "learn".

Get a consistent schedule so that the kids aren't guessing what when you are "working" and when you aren't.

 

GOOD LUCK!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Drew,

I'm a working father of two (~50hr/wk) as well and passed the Transpo PE this April (2018). As many others have echoed, it's a challenge to study for the PE in and of itself but adding a family makes it a much bigger challenge. For me I'm also working on my Transpo masters and my wife is working on a masters degree as well so we both had coursework. It can be done but it's hard! 

I found the most effective method for me was splitting up my studying from 6:00am to 7:00am in the morning and then 8:00 to 11:00pm at night after the kids were asleep. I leaned on my wife a lot, much like others have mentioned. The weekends were also more intense, I'd study at night until midnight once the kids fell asleep. Although I did not do this, I think you decision to take an EET course will help immensely in getting a set schedule down. 

 

Best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎6‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 12:34 PM, NY-Computer-Engineer said:

 

My area was not Civil (Computer Engineering), but I imagine many of the test taking strategies to be the useful on all disciplines.

I found it helpful to create a 'Cheat Book' - containing all those unusual items on the practice exams, that I could only find online (many through Wiki).  It tuned out to be a70-page document that I had spiral bound and in the center of my most trusted references on the exam table.  I would up using it to helped me on at least a dozen questions.

Also, I have found a four-pass method for taking multiple choice  exams to be extremely helpful (mostly written tests - which are becoming dinosaurs, however the method is mostly applicable to online tests that mimic written in their first few iterations).

First pass - only answer the questions you are absolutely sure you know, without taking longer than the average time to work  (6-minutes for the PE).  If you can, also flag (I use numbers in the upper corner of the problem page, such as 1 or 2), to indicate any answers you believe can be eliminated.  For example, I put a number two in the corner if I can eliminate two of the answers, and a number one if I can eliminate only one).  Also, if you see a problem that you are fairly certain you can answer if you take more time, put a Start on the corner of that page.

Second pass - go through and work on the problems you marked with number 2.  Try and limit yourself to two-thirds or half the average time per problem on this pass - for the PE, I used 4 minutes for a '2' and 3 minutes for a '1' - limiting the time is critical on this pass.

Third pass - go after any of the Stars, and try to divide the time you have left by the count of those stars minus 10 to 15 minutes.  On my test, I believe I got three out of the four Stars correct in the morning and 4 out of the 6 in the afternoon.

    Optional Pass 3.5 - If you have time left at this point - beyond the 10 to 15 Final pass allocation, then go back and visit any of the number '2's you may have not completed.

Fourth pass - try and estimate which of the letters (A, B, C, or D, for the PE) you used least (and if this is the morning session, try and remember the morning letter ratios as best you can for use in the afternoon session), then use that 'least-used' letter in answering all the remaining unanswered questions.

I'm sure some will have issue with my method, however, I passed not only the FE and PE the first time using this test strategy, but it also worked on both of my other Certification exams.

Good luck.

I used a very similar multi-pass method.  In the case of the Power exam I had a additional pass where I just focused on NEC/NESC questions.  That way I minimized having to go back and forth between the code books and the rest of the reference material. 

Funny.  on my last pass I used the "most used" letter as opposed to the least.  I'm sure there is someone who was successful by splitting the difference and using the letter in the middle.:D  The way I see it, try to apply some semblance of logic to your guesses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a 6 month old and trying to study for my first (and hopefully only) time. My husband and I have an agreement that he will take care of the baby after bedtime if she has any problems sleeping so that I can study for a couple of hours before I head to bed myself. So far it has been hard to focus since I started with a topic I was never very good at but it was the first chapter from both of the study manuals I was given. I am moving on to the topic I work in tonight. Hopefully the motivation will be there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 11:44 AM, KatyLied P.E. said:

I used a very similar multi-pass method.  In the case of the Power exam I had a additional pass where I just focused on NEC/NESC questions.  That way I minimized having to go back and forth between the code books and the rest of the reference material. 

Funny.  on my last pass I used the "most used" letter as opposed to the least.  I'm sure there is someone who was successful by splitting the difference and using the letter in the middle.:D  The way I see it, try to apply some semblance of logic to your guesses.

I came up with the last step of guessing with the least used back in the late 90s, when I preparing to take my CISSP (Information Security) Certification exam.  About a year before that test I just happened to be teamed-up for a security presentation series with a person who was involved in the process of creating that exam, and he mentioned how they actually had a software program that produced the final version of each test.  That the program endeavored to make an even split (as much as possible based on the that test being 250 questions) of all the answers for a particular test just prior to generating the internally encrypted answer keys (since there were multiple answer keys for each test to reduce copying from the persons taking the exam nearby - determined by specific values in the test serial numbers), which the scoring computer later used after reading/scoring the Scantron cards.  The reason they did that was to prevent someone from getting more that 20% correct (since that test had five choices per question) by simply guessing all the same letter.

Anyway, he convinced me, so I have used that guessing philosophy with multiple choice tests, when there is no penalty for a wrong answer, ever since.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NY-Computer-Engineer said:

I came up with the last step of guessing with the least used back in the late 90s, when I preparing to take my CISSP (Information Security) Certification exam.  About a year before that test I just happened to be teamed-up for a security presentation series with a person who was involved in the process of creating that exam, and he mentioned how they actually had a software program that produced the final version of each test.  That the program endeavored to make an even split (as much as possible based on the that test being 250 questions) of all the answers for a particular test just prior to generating the internally encrypted answer keys (since there were multiple answer keys for each test to reduce copying from the persons taking the exam nearby - determined by specific values in the test serial numbers), which the scoring computer later used after reading/scoring the Scantron cards.  The reason they did that was to prevent someone from getting more that 20% correct (since that test had five choices per question) by simply guessing all the same letter.

Anyway, he convinced me, so I have used that guessing philosophy with multiple choice tests, when there is no penalty for a wrong answer, ever since.

I like that logic.

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

×