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gomeybear

HVAC Test Taking Strategy

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Hello all,

Ive talked to a couple people about strategy of taking the PE Exam.  I was advised of a particular strategy that makes sense and I wanted to get y’alls take on it.  Basically, the strategy is to read through all the problems without attempting to solve them first.  As you read through each problem, you would mark it as a 1, 2, or 3, 1 being an easy problem, 2 being medium, and 3 being a hard.  Thereafter, you go back and solve all the problems that are marked 1, and subsequently go after the 2’s, then 3’s.  I like the idea, but my only worry is that reading through all the problems first would take up too much time.  Any thoughts or opinions will be much appreciated!

-Mike

Edited by gomeybear

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I did that strategy during the test (MD&M) and passed on my first time. The 1 questions will be very clear to you. You will read it and know immediately what needs to be done to solve. The 3s are also very clear - the topics seem foreign/very challenging and you do not have an immediate way forward. 2s are somewhere in between that. Skimming the problems should be all you need to understand if you want to mark it as a 1, 2, or 3. This activity, for the 40 questions during the first four hours, shouldn't take too long. This strategy was recommended to me by my coworker who used it the second time he took the exam, and he passed that time. 

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I don't see why you wouldn't just answer all the 1s right on the spot.

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On 7/14/2018 at 8:46 AM, gomeybear said:

Hello all,

Ive talked to a couple people about strategy of taking the PE Exam.  I was advised of a particular strategy that makes sense and I wanted to get y’alls take on it.  Basically, the strategy is to read through all the problems without attempting to solve them first.  As you read through each problem, you would mark it as a 1, 2, or 3, 1 being an easy problem, 2 being medium, and 3 being a hard.  Thereafter, you go back and solve all the problems that are marked 1, and subsequently go after the 2’s, then 3’s.  I like the idea, but my only worry is that reading through all the problems first would take up too much time.  Any thoughts or opinions will be much appreciated!

-Mike

In addition to "ranking the questions," I also "ranked my answers" and put a check mark across the question number when I was absolutely, positively, 150,000% sure that my bubbled answer was correct. Questions that I felt iffy about, but I still cooked up an answer for, I circled for second review/math check. WAGs got a question mark above the question number. It took a fraction of a second to "rank my answers" (I guess this is what I'll call this technique) but this was super useful when I did my final pass and reviewed my answers in the final 45 minutes.

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I know several people who have done @gomeybear's method, but with @Audi driver, P.E.'s variation.  They speak very highly of this method. 

I also know a few people that have gone through each question in order.  These people spent way too much time in the morning session on a few problems and ended up running out of time and had to guess on the last problems without even looking at the problem. They changed their method in the afternoon session after making that mistake.  

I think the test taking method is sound and makes sense since each question is worth the same amount.  

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I am one of those people that work through the problems in order.  I have tried the skip through and answer the problems but I always screw up putting the answer down on the scan tron sheet.  I quit doing that method long ago.   If you can do it without screwing up...   Kudos to you.   

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i have taken 14 different professional licensure exams.

not once used that strategy. Passed every single time

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On 7/26/2018 at 12:54 PM, MikeGlass1969 said:

I am one of those people that work through the problems in order.  I have tried the skip through and answer the problems but I always screw up putting the answer down on the scan tron sheet.  I quit doing that method long ago.   If you can do it without screwing up...   Kudos to you.   

I am like you Mike Glass.

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It all depends on your style. In my case, I just go straight answer the problems. If I don't know how to solve it after reading 1st time I skip it and return to it if I still have time.

And if I do know how to solve it, even though I know its like level 3 or higher problem, I will still go and solve it and move on. 

Based on my experience from taking more than 30 licensure and certifications combined, if you go through the problems and grade them, it tends to throw in a lot of information in your brain at a very short period of time and that can mess up your brain in a sense. 

I've heard from some who are repeat takers that, on the first look they know how to answer the problem, but when they get back to it to answer it, they  couldn't understand why they can't get the answer to come out, something is missing. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Then they got upset about it and end up spending a lot of time solving one simple problem. They end up failing the test because the 6 minute per problem got stretched to 15 minutes on some of the problems and still can't figure out the answer. 

 

So my advice is for you to answer the problem in order. Skip what ever problem you can't answer and come back to it if you still have time left because once you saw a problem that you don't know, 90% of the time, you won't be able to answer them. 

 

 

 

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I at least tried every problem in order. If my progress stalled I moved on immediately (super important!). I "finished" each section with plenty of time to go back to the 5-10 questions I couldn't solve the first time. 

I would definitely solve the ones you feel good about first time around. Otherwise, as others have said, you're just wasting time and confusing yourself.

The best thing you can do for yourself is prepare well. When you know how to solve the problems, your confidence goes up and your time worries go down. 

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