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Rasha

I failed PE Civil Structural twice and I am hoping third time is a charm...

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I have taken the PE Civil - Structural twice and the following is how I did:

  • April 2017 in Texas with a score of 26/40 AM & 22/40 PM
  • October 2018 in California with a  score of  22/40 AM & 21/40 PM.

The first round I studied more and used only School of PE. I had three co-workers that used their material and passed the first time so I thought I had a shot, but boy was I wrong. I studied an average of 3-4 hours per night after work and 8 hours per day on weekends.

 

For the second time, I didn't have time at all to prepare. I recently relocated to AZ and my company wanted me to get the CA license since 90% of our bridge projects are actually based there so I decided to take it in CA - San Diego so that I can make a "vacation" out of the weekend and check out our California Office. I moved end of August and didn't really study until mid September when I was settled so I had about only a solid month to prepare. 

 

Due to the moving expense and buying everything again (moved out of Texas with only my clothes and some kitchen stuff), I didn't have money to register in a prep course so I decided to enroll in the company's free PE course and re-use the school of PE notes. I had way too much material at hand and it got overwhelming but for the most part I felt like I may still have a chance to pass it the second time and I was sorely disappointed yesterday morning.

 

With that being said, can someone help guide this lost soul on how to properly prepare? what material I need? what practice books are a good purchase? what is the best study schedule? 

 

I am fortunate that I don't have to buy reference manuals since my company's library lets me borrow them all (so if you have more references you recommend, let me know so I can see if the library has it!)

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I'm in the same boat and would like to know what someone else did that passed.  I've taken review courses and studied on average 2 to 4 hours every evening after work.

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31 minutes ago, wsl24 said:

I'm in the same boat and would like to know what someone else did that passed.  I've taken review courses and studied on average 2 to 4 hours every evening after work.

Sorry to hear that. It sucks but we can't give up!

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Maybe switch disciplines ? I have Masters in Structural but decided to go with WRE depth and passed the first time this October. Although WRE was much harder and more challenging than I anticipated, I ended up saving a lot of time preparing for the test by not going through all the reference books required for the Structural ..... Structural material is huge and the topics it covers seems endless. 

I actually now feel a more well rounded engineer after studying water and wastewater treatment processes which I found it to be very interesting specially the activated sludge process and water chemistry.

If I were you I would give Structural a third try and then switch in case it did not work out ( I hope it works for you next time ). From what I've heard,  EET structural depth class is really good so you might want to signed up for that one.

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2 hours ago, Rasha said:

I have taken the PE Civil - Structural twice and the following is how I did:

  • April 2017 in Texas with a score of 26/40 AM & 22/40 PM
  • October 2018 in California with a  score of  22/40 AM & 21/40 PM.

The first round I studied more and used only School of PE. I had three co-workers that used their material and passed the first time so I thought I had a shot, but boy was I wrong. I studied an average of 3-4 hours per night after work and 8 hours per day on weekends.

 

For the second time, I didn't have time at all to prepare. I recently relocated to AZ and my company wanted me to get the CA license since 90% of our bridge projects are actually based there so I decided to take it in CA - San Diego so that I can make a "vacation" out of the weekend and check out our California Office. I moved end of August and didn't really study until mid September when I was settled so I had about only a solid month to prepare. 

 

Due to the moving expense and buying everything again (moved out of Texas with only my clothes and some kitchen stuff), I didn't have money to register in a prep course so I decided to enroll in the company's free PE course and re-use the school of PE notes. I had way too much material at hand and it got overwhelming but for the most part I felt like I may still have a chance to pass it the second time and I was sorely disappointed yesterday morning.

 

With that being said, can someone help guide this lost soul on how to properly prepare? what material I need? what practice books are a good purchase? what is the best study schedule? 

 

I am fortunate that I don't have to buy reference manuals since my company's library lets me borrow them all (so if you have more references you recommend, let me know so I can see if the library has it!)

Looking at yours scores I feel that you should attempt Structural again . You should try to maximize the score in AM . Target at least 36 questions , it sounds difficult but trust me its not if you follow a strategy. My 1st attempt I scored (30 AM, 15 PM - self study) . 2nd attempt I passed - (speculated score AM : 35 , PM : 25 - used EET classes) 

1. Start your preparation 3 months before the test . Spend the 1st month to study AM thoroughly, practice the problems.  If you can't solve something , make sure to document the reason why you couldn't solve it on a notebook. This is your gospel - write everything important that you keep forgetting in this book. 

2. Take 1 week off and spend the 2nd month to study PM . (At the same time everyday hover over your AM gopsel notebook , if you forget something dig into it and get it clarified). By the end of 2nd month you will feel comfortable with AM.

3. Last month practice PM problems and revise everything.  

You seem to be decent in structural , I would suggest focusing on classes for wood by EET ( They were great and I could attempt all 6 questions on the test) .  And learn to use steel manual, the problems are easy once you know how to use AISC manul ( I am sure you know how to use it ). 

Don't sweat about preparing for 100% of the material. I only prepared for 80% , but I was perfectly ready for the 80% part of it. You are almost there , just 15 need to get 15 more questions right. 

 

 

Edited by PE 2018
typo
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I passed the thing first try but I made a large 3 ring binder of examples. It is mainly just knowing how to solve indeterminate structures and basic material design problems. The SE is much much harder though.

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14 minutes ago, PE 2018 said:

Looking at yours scores I feel that you should attempt Structural again . You should try to maximize the score in AM . Target at least 36 questions , it sounds difficult but trust me its not if you follow a strategy. My 1st attempt I scored (30 AM, 15 PM - self study) . 2nd attempt I passed - (speculated score AM : 35 , PM : 25 - used EET classes) 

1. Start your preparation 3 months before the test . Spend the 1st month to study AM thoroughly, practice the problems.  If you can't solve something , make sure to document the reason why you couldn't solve it on a notebook. This is your gospel - write everything important that you keep forgetting in this book. 

2. Take 1 week off and spend the 2nd month to study PM . (At the same time everyday hover over your AM gopsel notebook , if you forget something dig into it and get it clarified). By the end of 2nd month you will feel comfortable with AM.

3. Last month practice PM problems and revise everything.  

You seem to be decent in structural , I would suggest focusing on classes for wood by EET ( They were great and I could attempt all 6 questions on the test) .  And learn to use steel manual, the problems are easy once you know how to use AISC manul ( I am sure you know how to use it ). 

Don't sweat about preparing for 100% of the material. I only prepared for 80% , but I was perfectly ready for the 80% part of it. You are almost there , just 15 need to get 15 more questions right. 

 

 

Thank you for your thorough input! Everyone seems to recommend EET for afternoon so I will definitely sign up for that. And I decided to start studying in January and attack the AM as thoroughly as possible :)

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sounds like you have all the pieces together (SoPE for AM, EET for PM).. just need to spend the time solving problems now..

try to be as familiar with the codes as you can.. I don't mean reading the code like a textbook, but definitely know your table of contents and the index..

study where you don't have to clean up after each study session.. eliminate distractions obviously..

get your hands on a few practice exams and do those mimicking exam conditions (table space, strictly 8 hours and an hour lunch etc).. 

I'd recommend the following materials:

    - [Indranil_Goswami]_Civil_Engineering_PE_Practice_Exam

    - NCEES practice exam

    - Civil PE Exam Breadth and Structural Depth Practice Exams and Reference Manual: 80 Morning Civil PE Practice Problems and 80 Structural Depth Practice Problems. (Core Concepts            Version 2.0) 2nd Edition – 2017

    - Civil Engineering PE Practice Exams: 2 Full Breadth Exams – 2018

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I bought a whole bunch of PPI books with a grand plan of reading through all the books and having a big arsenal of reference materials. 

What I ended up doing was working through the CERM Practice Problems per the list of topics on the NCEES website.  It seems like a lot of people are afraid of how hard these problems are, but I found it more efficient to learn multiple concepts in a single problem.  I spent around a month or so working through the AM section (something like 3 hours per night).  I didn't get to everything, but I decided to take the NCEES Practice Exam to finally understand how the test worked.  I found that almost all of the problems that I didn't understand, could be quickly answered by looking up the topic in the CERM, so I decided to begin working through the PM section (this wasn't the best idea because the ACTUAL AM section turned out to be significantly more difficult than that practice exam; although my impression was that even if I had put in more study time, I never would have even thought to cover some of those exam questions...). 

With one month to go, I dedicated just about all my free time to cramming the PM section's CERM Practice Problems (every night after work I would study for like 5+ hours, and on weekends I would spend the day at the public library).  I decided to ignore AASHTO and PCI, and get to masonry if I had time.  Unfortunately I didn't get to masonry (I spent the night before the exam frantically trying to learn masonry design, to really no success; and there were quite a few masonry problems on the exam...). 

For the exam, I brought in my huge collection of books and binders (with practice problems and examples).  I ended up only using the Code books, the CERM, and one binder with one example of a method of indeterminate analysis.  There was a particular problem that I couldn't find information about in the CERM, and ended up finding the info in a random college textbook I brought with me; unfortunately I didn't have time to learn the topic so I took an educated guess...

I left the testing facility feeling like I was close to the cut off mark and it could go either way (I would love to know what my actual score was...).  If I did not pass, I would spend more time familiarizing myself with my reference materials (time was a huge enemy for me during the exam as, in addition to struggling with some problems, I wasted a lot of time on references I didn't get anything out of), definitely would have worked on the Structural 6-min Solutions (another good way to learn the PM section), and would have learned masonry design.  In the time waiting for results, I have also been thinking about taking a review course for the afternoon section to really make this material stick.  

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12 minutes ago, Stardust said:

study where you don't have to clean up after each study session.. eliminate distractions obviously..

Thank you so much! I never thought of this...but makes sense. I will look up these texts and purchase them come next paycheck. It will be worth it.

Edited by Rasha
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also, KNOW the stuff you actually bring into the exam room.. shouldn't be wasting time figuring out something you're not familiar with.. I made it a point to go thru enough problems that I could pass with only the problems I already have an idea (at least somewhat) how to attack it..

the goal of the exam is to determine sufficient competency, I don't think you need to solve super involved problems to just pass..

Edited by Stardust
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8 minutes ago, CanadianRebel said:

I bought a whole bunch of PPI books with a grand plan of reading through all the books and having a big arsenal of reference materials. 

What I ended up doing was working through the CERM Practice Problems per the list of topics on the NCEES website.  It seems like a lot of people are afraid of how hard these problems are, but I found it more efficient to learn multiple concepts in a single problem.  I spent around a month or so working through the AM section (something like 3 hours per night).  I didn't get to everything, but I decided to take the NCEES Practice Exam to finally understand how the test worked.  I found that almost all of the problems that I didn't understand, could be quickly answered by looking up the topic in the CERM, so I decided to begin working through the PM section (this wasn't the best idea because the ACTUAL AM section turned out to be significantly more difficult than that practice exam; although my impression was that even if I had put in more study time, I never would have even thought to cover some of those exam questions...). 

With one month to go, I dedicated just about all my free time to cramming the PM section's CERM Practice Problems (every night after work I would study for like 5+ hours, and on weekends I would spend the day at the public library).  I decided to ignore AASHTO and PCI, and get to masonry if I had time.  Unfortunately I didn't get to masonry (I spent the night before the exam frantically trying to learn masonry design, to really no success; and there were quite a few masonry problems on the exam...). 

For the exam, I brought in my huge collection of books and binders (with practice problems and examples).  I ended up only using the Code books, the CERM, and one binder with one example of a method of indeterminate analysis.  There was a particular problem that I couldn't find information about in the CERM, and ended up finding the info in a random college textbook I brought with me; unfortunately I didn't have time to learn the topic so I took an educated guess...

I left the testing facility feeling like I was close to the cut off mark and it could go either way (I would love to know what my actual score was...).  If I did not pass, I would spend more time familiarizing myself with my reference materials (time was a huge enemy for me during the exam as, in addition to struggling with some problems, I wasted a lot of time on references I didn't get anything out of), definitely would have worked on the Structural 6-min Solutions (another good way to learn the PM section), and would have learned masonry design.  In the time waiting for results, I have also been thinking about taking a review course for the afternoon section to really make this material stick.  

Congrats on passing! And I honestly never practiced the examples in the PPI even though I have the book because of how intimidating the problems looked. But I will give it a shot during the month of January

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@Rasha, first off I want to say is take a breath and go have a drink. Smile, laugh and do not allow not passing this cycle affect your upcoming exam performance. YOU GOT IT!

So, now my input. In April '18, I took an failed the PE Civil Structural exam- ~41/42 correct or so if I properly recall. I went into the exam extremely confident as I put in a lot of time studying and preparing myself like so many of us do. I took the exam and felt confident in the AM and defeated in the PM. My results reflected my feelings. I spent too much time on the evening questions... I found myself thinking 'this question isn't too hard... but I need to search to find this one aspect'. 10 minutes later, I would be unable to find what I was looking for and realize I wasted a lot of time in doing the search. I had around 8-9 questions remaining when the 5 or 10 minute mark was called. The scramble was on. If you look at the exam specification, the last 6 questions are Codes and Construction questions. I pretty much had to read them and give it the good 'ole college try with a general understanding guess (unable to verify in the codes). When I received my diagnostic, I got 0 out of those 6 question correct. That was a killer in itself.

Fast forward to this exam cycle (I found out yesterday that I passed the exam! Yes!). I maintained my study habits and expanded on what I thought I struggled with during the first exam in April. I remember thinking to myself that the topics I struggled with may not be on the next exam cycle, but if they are I WILL NOT LET IT GET ME AGAIN!. After reviewing material, something hit me- my 2 year old threw one of her toys and knocked me right in the head! (Remember, SMILE! LOL!) What I came to realize is this... I need to make sure to get those last 6 questions correct, 100% no doubt, correct. If you have all the referenced code books, those questions come directly from them. It's a look up problem, not solving a problem. 

So, at the beginning of the evening section this go around, when we were allowed to start I flipped to the end of the exam and started on the LAST question, not the first. I did the last 6 questions and then started back at the beginning once I answered the code questions. One right after another... Here's the answer, there's the answer, and so on. Very little wasted time. What it also did was 2 things... 1. After getting some of those answered as what I thought (knew) was correct, I found myself being more calm and having more confidence once I started in on the work out, technical, problems. Was a big plus to get that anxiousness out of the way immediately in the evening. And, 2. It allowed me to 'waste' the time on some of the design and detailing problems that I had previously spent too much time on with the whole 'I know how to do this, but I need to find some more information first'. I used all the time again in the evening portion, but when the 10-5 minute mark was called I found myself with 1 unanswered problem left.

After finishing the exam, I knew I had a real shot at passing. Nervous still, but not deflated and defeated as I had felt in April. So, to me, continuing to study and gaining a better understanding with things I struggled with coupled with HOW I took the evening portion of the exam (doing those last 6 questions first) was the biggest influence on my end. Good luck to you on your upcoming attempt. Study from the material you will use during the exam. Make notes from practice exams (knowing the type of questions in them) but don't hand-cuff and crutch on finding things in material you are not that familiar with. Breathe and stay confident and calm!

Good luck and I anticipate hearing from you once you have indeed seen that glorious green PASS!!!!!

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36 minutes ago, StructuralCat said:

I found out yesterday that I passed the exam! Yes!

Yay congrats!! and thanks for your input ❤️

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5 hours ago, Rasha said:

I have taken the PE Civil - Structural twice and the following is how I did:

  • April 2017 in Texas with a score of 26/40 AM & 22/40 PM
  • October 2018 in California with a  score of  22/40 AM & 21/40 PM.

The first round I studied more and used only School of PE. I had three co-workers that used their material and passed the first time so I thought I had a shot, but boy was I wrong. I studied an average of 3-4 hours per night after work and 8 hours per day on weekends.

 

For the second time, I didn't have time at all to prepare. I recently relocated to AZ and my company wanted me to get the CA license since 90% of our bridge projects are actually based there so I decided to take it in CA - San Diego so that I can make a "vacation" out of the weekend and check out our California Office. I moved end of August and didn't really study until mid September when I was settled so I had about only a solid month to prepare. 

 

Due to the moving expense and buying everything again (moved out of Texas with only my clothes and some kitchen stuff), I didn't have money to register in a prep course so I decided to enroll in the company's free PE course and re-use the school of PE notes. I had way too much material at hand and it got overwhelming but for the most part I felt like I may still have a chance to pass it the second time and I was sorely disappointed yesterday morning.

 

With that being said, can someone help guide this lost soul on how to properly prepare? what material I need? what practice books are a good purchase? what is the best study schedule? 

 

I am fortunate that I don't have to buy reference manuals since my company's library lets me borrow them all (so if you have more references you recommend, let me know so I can see if the library has it!)

October 2018 was my second time taking the PE Civil Structural exam and I passed!

I was in a similar sort of situation when I failed the April 2018 cycle (31AM/19PM). I was clueless as to what had gone wrong. I self studied. I put in 250-300 hours of studying (started studying October 2017), might have done around a 1000 problems, but still came out unsuccessful. One of the things I realized was that I was pressed for time in both the sections. About 4 blind guesses in the AM and 5-6 in the PM section. I thought I could have at least made educated guesses in most of the problems time permitting. Took a long hard look at my diagnostic and figured my weak areas. My work is mostly in the concrete and steel area and I remembered the wood and CMU questions really stumped me. My AM was okay. 

So I started studying again July 2018 with the PM section. Now I know it's not very easy to follow the NCEES specifications when it comes to structural depth because one topic can have implications in all materials (eg: beams = concrete beams, steel beams, wood beams, cmu beams, etc.) so I got down to getting intimately familiar with the CMU code book and the NDS. Then proceeded to practice problems. I'm still not an expert by any means, but confidence is all that matters, no? Then it was time to go over and brush up concrete and steel stuff. I got my hands on some practice tests and for a week practiced only problems and took 4 timed PM tests one weekend (2 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday), therefore mocking a real test. (Don't do this. Fatigued myself) Took half a week off, went on an 'end of summer holiday' following that. This took about 1.5 months.

When I got back, I looked at my diagnostic for the AM section. Focused on my weak areas (Water, Construction) first and solved problems. Then brushed over other areas and did this for another 1.5 months.  With two weeks to go, I started taking half AM tests (timed:2 hours) after work everyday on the weekdays. This was followed by tabbing codes: ACI, AISC, MSJC, NDS, ASCE and IBC (Bring the IBC surely!!) One weekend before the test, took a full mock test (8hrs+1hr lunch break) and reviewed on Sunday. You don't necessarily need to do this but like I said, I was pressed for time the first time and my brain was fried the last 2 hours of the PM section. So I needed to do this. Tabbed all my binders (carried one for AM, one for PM) on Monday, and closed my books for good.

Exam day: A new approach beckoned. Someone here on EB keeps stressing on the multiple passes approach. This was a life saver in both the sections. Solved all the super easy ones in one hour, the moderately easy ones in 1.5 hours and was left with the rest of the time for hard questions. This way you know you've done the ones you know correctly for sure, with no pressure of time. I remember walking out of the morning section a little disappointed because it was harder than expected, but I sailed through the afternoon. I think I got 30 correct at least!  Surely, PM was why I passed. Do the multiple passes approach!! There was more CMU and wood this time than in April 2018 but I was ready for it because I could navigate through the code. And then the IBC of course. Straight forward gifts there from NCEES. Make the index/table of contents your best friend!

I fully understand that this test takes a toll on social, mental and physical health but it's not all there is to life. It's only a minuscule part of it, although an important one at that. Treat it as such and don't stress. One piece of valuable advice my boss gave me: Think like an examiner. "If you were the examiner, what would you test the candidates on?" Make sure you understand every underlying concept. This is easily doable and you're almost there. Passing or failing this test does not make you a better or worse engineer than you were before you took this test. You definitely got this!!

 

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I was fortunate enough to pass the exam on my first try this fall, but I don’t make any illusions that I aced it.

Adding on to what other people have said, I highly recommend both the EET morning and afternoon courses. I took both, and ended up primarily using the binders from their course for my reference material during the exam (besides the obvious such as the steel manual, etc.). When I first started studying, I looked at the CERM and came to the conclusion that it was ridiculously large, and I was never going to commit to actually reading it. I feel like the EET binders is the CERM book with the useless stuff cut out. I would still bring the CERM to the exam since you can use the appendix to look up concept/definition type questions. I think I looked up 2-3 questions from the CERM.

When I studied, I made sure I had a firm understanding of the basics for each subject on the exam. For example, in geotech I studied soil properties, phase relationship problems, etc. I didn’t cover topics like liquefaction, because it would have taken too long. For the more advanced topics that aren’t in my field, I glanced over how the problems were done in the EET binder, and left it at that. I think it’s more important to be strong in the fundamental concepts and problems for each area, than to concentrate on learning every detail about all the subject topics. No matter how much you study, you will come across a few questions you don’t know on the exam. Think about those questions, make a best case judgment guess, and move on. 

For the afternoon section, I recommend knowing how to use the codes quickly. For example, if you’re calculating the wind pressure at a 30 ft height, how are your references organized to do this? If you’re actually flipping to ASCE 7-10 and trying to read their wind load equation, this is wasting too much time. You should already have the wind load equation laid out somewhere else where it’s not surrounded by paragraphs of code, and you can quickly see the terms you need. From there if you know where the wind load tables are in 7-10, or have them tabbed, the problem becomes plug and chug. Same goes for seismic, snow, etc. 

For steel design, know how to use the design tables. Most problems that can be solved in 6 minuets will most likely be able to be solved using a table. A lot of P.E. practice problems are unnessarily complicated. For example, calculate the bending capacity of a beam with Fy = 39 ksi and Fu = 44.7 ksi that’s 60 ft long where LTB governs. This problem would take forever to solve since a table couldn’t be used, and is not a reasonable expectation of what can be solved in 6 minuets. If the problem can’t be solved using a table, assumptions are probably provided to cut the problem down to a reasonable amount of time.

For concrete, I think going back and understanding your concrete class from college should suffice. Again, I would stick with the basics and think about what could be asked for a 6 minute problem. Is it more likely you’re going to see a problem where the moment capacity boils down to Mn = As*Fy*(d - a/2), or that the beam is going to be doubly or over reinforced?

Prestressed concrete problems come and go throughout the years on the PE. Being that prestressed Concrete is a very specialized field, I can’t imagine that anything more difficult than what was in the NCEES practice exam would be asked.

If you don’t know wood design already, take some time and learn how to do basic beam and column problems. If you know how to do this and have the NDS tables, these problems are like free points. It’s literally looking up a bunch of coefficients. Masonry design usn’t my specialty, but I learned how to do simple problems, and was able to solve some questions on the exam. I relied on the notes and videos from EET for studying masonry.

For AASHTO, well I didn’t study it, so I don’t have any good advice. I will say if I was a bridge person, I would be very salty about the PE exam. The exam is very biased towards the building side of things.

For structural analysis, you should feel comfortable with the fundamentals, i.e. shear and moment diagrams, trusses, etc. Know how to do superposition for moment, deflections, etc. Most of your studying should be focused on statically determinate beams. Opinions will vary in this, but I think devoting a large amount of effort to indeterminate structures, virtual work, conjugate beam, etc. is a waste of time. I would like to hear from people on this board, what virtual work or conjugate beam problem have you solved in 6 minuets? Be comfortable with the shear and moment diagrams in the steel manual.

Something that I think is underestimated in study material is strength of materials. Know your Mc/I, VQ/It, etc. I also recommended bringing a strength of materials book with you to the exam.

Don’t skimp on bringing references to the exam. I brought every reference on the NCEES list except AASHTO and some really obscure references like AWS. Some questions are find the topic in the appendix, locate the section, answer the questions. In other look up questions, NCEES must assume that everyone in the exam room was a part of the specific committee that was responsible for writing subpart F of paragraph I of section K of table D of Appendix C of section 20.3.4.5.6.1.3.4. This is one gripe I have with the code look up questions, there are ways to test that someone can interpret a code book and has a high school level reading comprehension without asking for the most obscure detail of a code that is only passed down as a family secret through 5 generations to distinguish between exam answers. In addition, and then I’ll stop my rant, it is irresponsible to give the impression that an engineer should only spend 6 minuets interpreting a code book for a specific provision.

When taking the exam, I labeled the problems in order of difficulty from 1 - 3 and solved them accordingly. This should take 2 - 3 minuets at the beginning of the exam, don’t panic, it pays off. Sometimes, I would rank a problem as 2 or 3 even if I knew how to solve it, if I thought the problem was going to take a long time. If I had the exam to do over again, I would have written down the numbers for more intermediate steps for each problem. I know I have a tendency to want to plug everything into one equation in my calculator, but this is a mistake. If you write down intermediate steps, you can check your work. Also, if you get stumped on a problem and have to come back to it, the calculations are written down.

Finally, don’t give up on any of the problems. Some problems that you don’t initially know how to solve can be done with a little intuitive logic. For example, what is the reaction force on a 20 ft simply supported beam with a 10 kip point load in the middle? Let’s say you didn’t know how to solve for reaction forces; which would be really scary. Common sense tells you that half the load has to go to each side, so the answer is 5 kips. While this is an oversimplified problem, this line of thinking is how you can approach certain problems that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to solve. 

Edited by Mama said PE is the devil
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These are all great advice! Don't give up, and multiple passes are what changed my fail to a pass! 

Pass 1 - all the ones you know the answer to with no look up. Gimmes. 

2 - easy lookup fast amswers

3 - short calculation problems

4 - longer but problems you feel confident about solving. 

5 - all the unsure problems. 

Your confidence lasts longer, and your time is better managed. You can do it! I'm starting studying for day 1 of the SE on Sunday :(

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dang that's a lot of passes haha.. I did 3 passes.. 

#1 questions I can easily do without much effort

#2 questions I can do with some effort

#3 questions that I have no idea how to do and/or would take a long time --> educated guesses 

Edited by Stardust
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13 hours ago, Stardust said:

dang that's a lot of passes haha.. I did 3 passes.. 

#1 questions I can easily do without much effort

#2 questions I can do with some effort

#3 questions that I have no idea how to do and/or would take a long time --> educated guesses 

whatever works best for you! For me, the more complicated problems are my issue - i tend to try to solve before comprehending exactly what is being asked for, so having the most amount of times reading through the actual question before solving was helpful for me. I make assumptions and end up spending time solving for something that isn't part of the problem, otherwise.

I also get caught up easily on "easily without much effort" and convince myself i know how to do this and then just spin wheels when I could have had 5 other correct answers by then. I get really in my head.

Edited by tj_PE
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I failed the in PE Civil Structural Exam in April 2018 and passed this October. Do the following things and you will pass. 

  1. Use School of PE for the AM portion of the exam
  2. Use EET for the PM portion of the exam
  3. Watch all of the lectures on demand so you can re-watch anything you don't understand 
  4. Do all corresponding workshop problems with each lecture
  5. Do mock exams with NCEES practice exam and EET practice exam. Simulate the exam environment by timing yourself. 
  6. Be so familiar with your notes from School of PE and EET you know it better than the back of your hand. 
  7. During the exam if you see a problem you don't have any clue how to solve, look for a keyword and research that in that in the CERM I got a couple of questions right by just looking up a keyword from the problem in the CERM index. 

Do that and you will Pass! 

PS: Organize your references. I took in two large rubber maid containers on a hand truck that held my references. In one container I hand morning references the other I had afternoon.  

Edited by USC_Engineer PE
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YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST. Thanks for your time writing me your advice! I registered for EET depth and I have old notes for School of PE breadth (will April 2017 material be good enough?). 

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2 hours ago, Rasha said:

YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST. Thanks for your time writing me your advice! I registered for EET depth and I have old notes for School of PE breadth (will April 2017 material be good enough?). 

Rasha, I passed using over 2 year-old materials and found it very useful still, you should be ok.

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