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chener16

Preparation for October 2018 Power PE Exam

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the issue with 'most' practice tests is they are far too simple and you get accustomed to easy problems/plug and chug.

there are some, but few very easy problems on the exam.  i got into the routine of 'plug and chug' on a few types of problems and then had issues when those types weren't that easy on the real exam.  i got flustered and even though the problems still weren't that difficult but not straight forward i couldn't figure them out.  when time is of essence and you cant think striaght, you make poor decisions.

 

the best practice exams i've found are engineering pro guides and even better was electrical PE review.  electrical PE review has provided me multiple angles on multiple different types of problems and i feel much more prepared for this exam than the last (49/80).  i know a hell of a lot more than i did the first go around.   the difficulty of EPR was also similar to the exam.

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18 hours ago, chener16 said:

I've taken both exams, below are my results:

1 month into studying, took EngProGuide exam and scored 49/80. 

1.5 months into studying, took the Graffeo practice exam and scored 65/80. This exam contained more "easy" questions compared to the EngProGuide and NCEES practice exams. 

2 months into studying, took the NCEES practice exam and scored 56/80. This exam contained more "weird" questions compared to the previous two exams I took. Seems like most of the easier questions from the previous version prior to this year were replaced with the aforementioned "weird" questions. I probably would've gotten 3-4 more problems correct if I took the previous version.

No one knows the pass rate but a rough approximation would be ~56/80. For the amount of effort I'm putting in to streamline my studying, it seems like I'm barely scratching that threshold. I'm definitely preparing for the worst and hopefully I should be good after building all solutions and understanding what I got wrong the first time around on each exam. 

For 3 months of studying those are actually good scores. The consensus is that the NCEES practice exam is nothing like the real exam. The purpose of it is just to be accustomed to their verbiage. At this stage of the game, my suggestion is focus more on Codes and Standards, Protection, and EngProGuide.

I put in about a year worth of studying on and off. I am feeling pretty confident. I will write a post after exam results detailing my experience.

Edited by RadioBox

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On ‎9‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 3:52 PM, Zach Stone, P.E. said:

Thanks for the kind words and the mention. Glad you enjoyed your time with us!

Hi Zach,

I had joined your course for a couple of month and then left, I think I should have continued. But I must say of all the course materials out there, yours is the best.

I am hoping all your course notes and solved problems which I am taking in the exam will help me.

Thanks..

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For me, Graffeo's book, my cheat cheet, and Wildi's book were by far my go-to references, studying and during the exam.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to know your main references like the back of your hand. Make labeled tabs of useful parts of each reference, especially for subjects you routinely blank on or get wrong because of stupid mistakes.

Wildi's book was amazing in clearing up transformer and generator problems, for me. It saved my life in the exam several times.

And do NOT neglect doing as many NEC/code practice problems as possible. Becoming familiar with where to go for a given subject is key. You want to get to where ANY NEC problem is a gimme.

 

And the best piece of advice I can give is the same as the opening of the CI books: During the test, go through the whole test in multiple passes. If you know how to solve #1 right away, or it seems easy to you, do it. If #2 looks hard/the solution doesn't jump out at you/it seems like it will take longer, skip it. If it's an NEC question, skip it as well. Continue through the whole test. During your second pass through, do all of the NEC/code problems. If you've studied like you should have, it will be a nice confidence booster, getting so many questions right. Plus, you won't waste time constantly picking up and putting down this book. Final pass, trudge through all of the problems you've been dreading. Some of them will finally come to you by then, or worst case you probably have plenty of time to dedicate to each problem to crush them.

Edited by TXPE2k17

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17 hours ago, rmsg said:

Hi Zach,

I had joined your course for a couple of month and then left, I think I should have continued. But I must say of all the course materials out there, yours is the best.

I am hoping all your course notes and solved problems which I am taking in the exam will help me.

Thanks..

Glad you enjoyed it. If you need anything feel free to reach me directly via email at zach@electricalpereview.com

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Hey guys. I just decided to register for this site. Anyway, I have been studying since I got approval to take the exam back in April.

I have all of the typical books. But I've decided to opt for some different books for power systems analysis and protection as well as power electronics. See below:

Books (* Indicates taking to exam):

  1. Complex Imaginary - All Four Volumes.
  2. NCEES Practice Exam.
  3. Spin Up Exams.
  4. Graffeo.*
  5. Wildi*
  6. 2017 NEC*
  7. 2017 NESC*
  8. FE Handbook* - Good for those interest equations and other quick reference equations.
  9. Protective relaying - Principles and Applications by Blackburn - Eh, I read this book for a few days and put it down. It's very informative but it's easy to get lost real quick. Also, not a lot of comprehensive examples. It became a paperweight for me.
  10. Power System Analysis & Design by Glover, Overbye & Sarma*. - Really good book. Breaks things down easily, has clear examples and case studies.
  11. Fundamentals of Power System Protection by Y.G. Paithankar and S.R. Bhide* - This is a good book. I also have the Blackburn book but it's way too convoluted. I prefer this one. It has easy to see diagrams, equations and breaks things down easily.
  12. Power Electronics by Daniel W. Hart* - Another good book. Breaks down equations easily, has the equations boxed out and gets to the point with barely any talking.
  13. Ugly's Electrical Reference* - This book is incredible. It's tiny but very, very powerful. It's just a small handbook of information. Equations, examples and has as all of the good parts of NEC like motor tables, conductor properties and demand calculations rolled into one. I even use it at work. A must have in general and it's cheap and small.
  14. Ugly's Electrical Safety and NFPA 70E* - Bought it because I'm not spending a lot of money on the full version for only one or two questions on the exam. Seems to have all relevant information.
  15. IEEE Books (Buff, Red and Green)* - Got these for like $140.00 on eBay. Very good. They seem to have a lot of esoteric information I couldn't find anywhere else. Not a textbook more like a book of standards and facts, I'd say. I'm sure they'll be good for answering those "out there" type questions on the exam.
  16. Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers (16th Ed.)* - H Wayne Beaty, Donald G Fink - Great book. It's basically like an electrical engineering bible and just as thick. Has just about anything and everything. I usually use this book as a "last resort". It's another book of standards and facts. Just look something up and find it.
  17. EERM by Camara* - Haven't used this much. Seems like a lot of superfluous information. Only small sections for power type stuff. I'd probably use this just for looking up an equation.
  18. Study Guide for PE and Computer - Power Exam by Wasim Asghar - A new book (literally as in last month). Seen it on Amazon and picked it up. Some decent questions but far too much conceptual questions. Broken out into the syllabus of the exam. Has some good stuff I haven't seen before. It was worth it just to see some new questions but seemed a bit too easy.
  19. Engineering Pro Guides - Power Technical Study Guide* - Very good study guide. Printed it out and put it into a binder with the recommended references from online sites. Contains a decent amount of information, gets the point, cleanly laid out and cheap. It's a bit light on most subjects. I would say it provides a great overall look of what you should be studying but unfortunately doesn't get into the real nitty gritty. It was great for hammering down concepts for sure. This is my "main binder" of notes. Has the equation sheet, some handwritten notes and printouts from the internet.
  20. Engineering Pro Guides - Practice Exam* - Awesome exam. Questions seem to be on par with the real exam as what others have said. Makes you think, reinforces concepts and solutions are just the right length.

Study process:

I started off reading Graffeo Front to back. I didn't like the chaotic layout and mess of diagrams then I decided to go with EngProGuides and the difference was night and day. Very good book and by default it's a PDF so you can take it with you when commuting or anywhere else to read. I think I'd prefer to use this as my primary reference for the exam as I did for studying. Easy to read, good bold diagrams and equations and nicely laid out. Tabbed it and has an index.

To be honest, I'm a little all over the place when it comes to studying. But that kind of works for me and makes me feel comfortable. I did the same thing with many other exams and passed. I'll read a subject, work problems and then go onto another subject or sometimes jump between topics in one study session. I don't follow a syllabus or schedule but whatever works right? Did it for the FE passed easily. I also took the LEED exam and passed on the first time with that method.

I still don't feel confident, though. I've always had confidence issues, personal info I know but I'm just being honest. It seems as if there's just an overwhelming amount of material. I tried to cover as much as I could in these 6 months (honestly it felt like a year). I basically started from scratch but now I'm doing complicated School of PE practice problems and getting about 75% of them right. Whenever I don't get a problem right at this point I beat myself up. I probably shouldn't but it makes me feel down like I wasted my time.

I'm feeling a little down lately anyway. Maybe too much material and it's getting to me and I just want to take the exam. I feel a bit overwhelmed an anxious especially working long hours and commuting for nearly 2 hours one way. I wonder if others feel the same way. I just don't want to have had wasted my time studying this whole time and not pass. Especially since I gave up a lot of fun activities. I am a first time test taker for the Power PE. People say it's hard others say it's fine if you do a few problems. To me difficulty is relative. It all depends on the person, their study habits and life activities. There are many factors to consider.

Best of luck to everyone. Feel free to chime in.

Edited by Drewism
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1 hour ago, Drewism said:

 It seems as if there's just an overwhelming amount of material. I tried to cover as much as I could in these 6 months (honestly it felt like a year). I basically started from scratch but now I'm doing complicated School of PE practice problems and getting about 75% of them right.

It is an overwhelming amount of material. This is something we all can agree.  It seems like you are doing it proper. the more study time under your belt the better. From your post I can see the recipe for success. You can do it! Come October 26 we will pass! Cheers.

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I am looking forward to exam day. To be honest, I just want to get it over with already. The build-up is killing me. I wish the exam was on the computer then I could take it whenever I want and not make it a big event like I'm going to a wedding (or a funeral - depends on how you look at it. :D).

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31 minutes ago, Drewism said:

I am looking forward to exam day. To be honest, I just want to get it over with already. The build-up is killing me. I wish the exam was on the computer then I could take it whenever I want and not make it a big event like I'm going to a wedding (or a funeral - depends on how you look at it. :D).

Just remember to answer all of the questions correct and you will be fine

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49 minutes ago, ME_VT_PE said:

Just remember to answer all of the questions correct and you will be fine

Easier said than done.

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29 minutes ago, Drewism said:

Easier said than done.

Just take 4 excedrin, have a redbull and GO GO GO GO!!!!!

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On 10/11/2018 at 12:50 PM, Drewism said:

I am looking forward to exam day. To be honest, I just want to get it over with already. The build-up is killing me. I wish the exam was on the computer then I could take it whenever I want and not make it a big event like I'm going to a wedding (or a funeral - depends on how you look at it. :D).

You can just wait a couple years and it will be available in CBT format to take whenever you schedule it.  In fact, you won't even need to worry about bringing in books for the CBT test, as they'll put everything you need in a pdf on your computer.  Now, whether the exam will be different in difficulty when it's on the computer is anyone's guess.  I assume it will be harder.

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On 10/12/2018 at 2:54 PM, BirdGrave said:

You can just wait a couple years and it will be available in CBT format to take whenever you schedule it.  In fact, you won't even need to worry about bringing in books for the CBT test, as they'll put everything you need in a pdf on your computer.  Now, whether the exam will be different in difficulty when it's on the computer is anyone's guess.  I assume it will be harder.

Eh, they're going to start offering it in 2021. I wish it were sooner. It makes sense since it's a popular exam. I just can't wait that long. If it was next year or something then I would wait. I'd prefer to just get it done. I actually like the idea of just having a single reference handbook like the FE. Makes things simpler than having nearly a dozen books to reference. But then it does limit your studying and test taking. I'm sure it would be a bit simpler since it's not open book and notes wouldn't be allowed.

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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 10:16 PM, Drewism said:

Hey guys. I just decided to register for this site. Anyway, I have been studying since I got approval to take the exam back in April.

I have all of the typical books. But I've decided to opt for some different books for power systems analysis and protection as well as power electronics. See below:

Books (* Indicates taking to exam):

  1. Complex Imaginary - All Four Volumes.
  2. NCEES Practice Exam.
  3. Spin Up Exams.
  4. Graffeo.*
  5. Wildi*
  6. 2017 NEC*
  7. 2017 NESC*
  8. FE Handbook* - Good for those interest equations and other quick reference equations.
  9. Protective relaying - Principles and Applications by Blackburn - Eh, I read this book for a few days and put it down. It's very informative but it's easy to get lost real quick. Also, not a lot of comprehensive examples. It became a paperweight for me.
  10. Power System Analysis & Design by Glover, Overbye & Sarma*. - Really good book. Breaks things down easily, has clear examples and case studies.
  11. Fundamentals of Power System Protection by Y.G. Paithankar and S.R. Bhide* - This is a good book. I also have the Blackburn book but it's way too convoluted. I prefer this one. It has easy to see diagrams, equations and breaks things down easily.
  12. Power Electronics by Daniel W. Hart* - Another good book. Breaks down equations easily, has the equations boxed out and gets to the point with barely any talking.
  13. Ugly's Electrical Reference* - This book is incredible. It's tiny but very, very powerful. It's just a small handbook of information. Equations, examples and has as all of the good parts of NEC like motor tables, conductor properties and demand calculations rolled into one. I even use it at work. A must have in general and it's cheap and small.
  14. Ugly's Electrical Safety and NFPA 70E* - Bought it because I'm not spending a lot of money on the full version for only one or two questions on the exam. Seems to have all relevant information.
  15. IEEE Books (Buff, Red and Green)* - Got these for like $140.00 on eBay. Very good. They seem to have a lot of esoteric information I couldn't find anywhere else. Not a textbook more like a book of standards and facts, I'd say. I'm sure they'll be good for answering those "out there" type questions on the exam.
  16. Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers (16th Ed.)* - H Wayne Beaty, Donald G Fink - Great book. It's basically like an electrical engineering bible and just as thick. Has just about anything and everything. I usually use this book as a "last resort". It's another book of standards and facts. Just look something up and find it.
  17. EERM by Camara* - Haven't used this much. Seems like a lot of superfluous information. Only small sections for power type stuff. I'd probably use this just for looking up an equation.
  18. Study Guide for PE and Computer - Power Exam by Wasim Asghar - A new book (literally as in last month). Seen it on Amazon and picked it up. Some decent questions but far too much conceptual questions. Broken out into the syllabus of the exam. Has some good stuff I haven't seen before. It was worth it just to see some new questions but seemed a bit too easy.
  19. Engineering Pro Guides - Power Technical Study Guide* - Very good study guide. Printed it out and put it into a binder with the recommended references from online sites. Contains a decent amount of information, gets the point, cleanly laid out and cheap. It's a bit light on most subjects. I would say it provides a great overall look of what you should be studying but unfortunately doesn't get into the real nitty gritty. It was great for hammering down concepts for sure. This is my "main binder" of notes. Has the equation sheet, some handwritten notes and printouts from the internet.
  20. Engineering Pro Guides - Practice Exam* - Awesome exam. Questions seem to be on par with the real exam as what others have said. Makes you think, reinforces concepts and solutions are just the right length.

Study process:

I started off reading Graffeo Front to back. I didn't like the chaotic layout and mess of diagrams then I decided to go with EngProGuides and the difference was night and day. Very good book and by default it's a PDF so you can take it with you when commuting or anywhere else to read. I think I'd prefer to use this as my primary reference for the exam as I did for studying. Easy to read, good bold diagrams and equations and nicely laid out. Tabbed it and has an index.

To be honest, I'm a little all over the place when it comes to studying. But that kind of works for me and makes me feel comfortable. I did the same thing with many other exams and passed. I'll read a subject, work problems and then go onto another subject or sometimes jump between topics in one study session. I don't follow a syllabus or schedule but whatever works right? Did it for the FE passed easily. I also took the LEED exam and passed on the first time with that method.

I still don't feel confident, though. I've always had confidence issues, personal info I know but I'm just being honest. It seems as if there's just an overwhelming amount of material. I tried to cover as much as I could in these 6 months (honestly it felt like a year). I basically started from scratch but now I'm doing complicated School of PE practice problems and getting about 75% of them right. Whenever I don't get a problem right at this point I beat myself up. I probably shouldn't but it makes me feel down like I wasted my time.

I'm feeling a little down lately anyway. Maybe too much material and it's getting to me and I just want to take the exam. I feel a bit overwhelmed an anxious especially working long hours and commuting for nearly 2 hours one way. I wonder if others feel the same way. I just don't want to have had wasted my time studying this whole time and not pass. Especially since I gave up a lot of fun activities. I am a first time test taker for the Power PE. People say it's hard others say it's fine if you do a few problems. To me difficulty is relative. It all depends on the person, their study habits and life activities. There are many factors to consider.

Best of luck to everyone. Feel free to chime in.

That is a lot of material my friend to carry to the test. I thought I was taking too many books/binders and should reduce it. I think we all may overwhelm ourselves in the exam if we take too many books. Just a thought. :)  I do have made my own binders with a lot of notes on each one of the nine topics and a index sheet with page numbers so that I don't get too much lost in the exam trying to remember oh my ! where have I seen this particular question/topic.

Good Luck !

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1 minute ago, rmsg said:

That is a lot of material my friend to carry to the test. I thought I was taking too many books/binders and should reduce it. I think we all may overwhelm ourselves in the exam if we take too many books. Just a thought. :)  I do have made my own binders with a lot of notes on each one of the nine topics and a index sheet with page numbers so that I don't get too much lost in the exam trying to remember oh my ! where have I seen this particular question/topic.

Good Luck !

You're absolutely right. I think I may have went a little overboard. I got so wrapped up in reference material. I'll try to reduce it by a quarter. I'll probably just take the School of PE notes, EngProGuides notes, Graffeo, Wildi, Power Electronics, Protection Book, IEEE Books, NEC and NESC. Seems like that's sufficient.

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I'm not feeling confident about the exam at all, to be honest.  I'm still coming across too many questions I get wrong and when I finally figure out how to do them correctly, 2 hours have passed and I've wasted too much time on one problem.  Then I look back at some of the other practice problems I've worked on and I have no memory how I did them.  My mind is just not retaining what I've learned.

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1 hour ago, MEtoEE said:

I'm not feeling confident about the exam at all, to be honest.  I'm still coming across too many questions I get wrong and when I finally figure out how to do them correctly, 2 hours have passed and I've wasted too much time on one problem.  Then I look back at some of the other practice problems I've worked on and I have no memory how I did them.  My mind is just not retaining what I've learned.

I'm banking on my brain going into fight or flight mode on exam day and being able to extract all the information I've stuffed in it over the past couple of months. I'm currently reviewing all of my solutions and resources in an attempt to prime my brain in understanding that all this stuff is important and will be in use very soon..

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2 hours ago, MEtoEE said:

I'm not feeling confident about the exam at all, to be honest.  I'm still coming across too many questions I get wrong and when I finally figure out how to do them correctly, 2 hours have passed and I've wasted too much time on one problem.  Then I look back at some of the other practice problems I've worked on and I have no memory how I did them.  My mind is just not retaining what I've learned.

Although I am also appearing for the first time so cannot be an expert on commenting, but I would advice do not overthink it too much. The chances are that around 50 percent of exam will be very simple : basic one on one transformation to input parameters into the formula and get the result (that would include all code question).

Rest 50 percent would be a challenge, where one has to think beyond the box and sort out a twist or so in the problem. If you have gone through the course material (what ever you are preparing from, be it Eng Pro guide or Graffeo or School of PE etc.) I would suggest that from now on to the exam day, just read all your material and read all the solved problems see how it is solved rather than trying to solve by yourself now. Make notes of which problem is solved how and take those notes with you in the exam. Trust me any handwritten notes you will make now will help you recall where in the material you have to find the solution.

All the best. Keep motivated. Don't panic and loose heart.

Cheers..

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We should all just try and relax, first and foremost. I would like to pass this the first time around. I can't keep doing this again and again. That would be a literal nightmare. However, there are worse things in life so I think we should just all go with the flow. It actually helps not to be stressed then you can think. Let's just show up, do our thing and leave. At least it's only 80 questions unlike the damn FE which was 180 (on the paper exam). At this point I am losing steam and trying to wind down while casually reading some references.

The issue I have is that I have done a lot of practice problems but I have a feeling that when I read the problem on the actual exam that I will "freeze" up and not understand how to solve it. I've learned a lot of the concepts and some tricks to each problem but the wording will definitely throw me off as what I have seen with the NCEES practice exam. I guess the key is to look out for nonsense thrown in the problems on the exam. For example, practice question 1 in the NCEES practice exam. "SCADA system" and "transducer". Things that just add in extra words. In the end it's all solved the same so keep that in mind. Know the concepts and how to apply them and you should be good. If you need an equation look to your cheat sheet. If you need some information on a qualitative type problem then check your reference.

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