Jump to content
Engineer Boards

​ ​ ​
 photo CHPE_AnimatedWebBanner_650x1202_zps5704d467.gif
TruHero

Passed the Exam! Here’s my Thoughts & Advice

Recommended Posts

Hey y’allFirst post on this forum. I’ve read this forum off & on during the year as I got ready for the Power PE down here in Orlando.

So, I passed the Power PE exam in October.…first try & all. I figured that I should join the fun and let y’all know what it took for me to get to this point. Hopefully, it will help at least one person reading this post. Here’s my thoughts & advice on the exam:

Time Commitment:

• Yo…..I studied my ass off for nearly 5mos straight. During my 1hr lunch breaks, every night after work for about 2hrs (Mon.-Fri.), and almost all day on the weekends (a minimum of 6hrs each day).
• Unless you’re brilliant (I’m not), you have to commit to studying. There’s no way around it. This exam is brutal.

Books I Took Into the Exam:

• Graffeo – Used this one the most during the exam, but it still wasn’t much.
• Power Systems by Grainger – Answered 1 question directly
• The Wildi book – Answered about 5 questions directly 
• PPI by Camara – Practically useless
• NEC 2017 – Yeah, you need to know it, especially the Fire Pump section. Get familiar with the NEC.
• NESC 2017 – Find/buy yourself a copy. There will be at least 2-3 “gimme” questions on the exam. Don’t miss out on these easy questions.
• NFPA 70E  Again, find/buy yourself a copy. There will be at least 2-3 “gimme” questions on the exam. Again, don’t miss out.

Practice Exams:

• 2 x PPI by Camara practice exams – Practically useless and a waste of time & money. The real exam is drastically different.
• Graffeo (it’s included in his book) – Eh….i found this practice exam far too easy, and not close to the real exam. Good for a couple of the Protection Relay problems on the real exam, though.
• Official NCEES Practice Exam  This is the real disappointment. The OFFICIAL practice exam is easier than the real exam. Like, a lot easier. The real exam has A TON of (primary/utility side) Protection Relay problems that aren’t on the practice exam. 
• Engineer Pro Guides (the Kauwale one) practice exam -  Sadly, not even close to the real exam. Lacking (very much so) on the Protection Relay problems.

Final Thoughts:

• Worst exam I’ve taken in my life. Easily. We’ve all taken a ton of exams to get to this point, right? WORST EXAM EVER.
• Find all the Protection Relay problems you can find. I honestly felt blindsided by the amount of problems that were on the exam. The books & practice exams listed above DO NOT prepare you for this.
• Pomodoro Technique FOR LIFE. Seriously. Use it while studying. I was hesitant (like I’m sure most are reading this) to try it out, but I decided to give the technique a try one day and it’s a game changer. Use it. 
• Your own notes & formulas will be the best resource during the exam.

 

I’ll check the thread later to answer any questions. Good luck!

  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with everything you said. The official NCEES exam sample is laughably easy compared to the exam (I said so in their survey). Graffeo is a good book in it's own right but not very helpful as a reference in the Oct 2018 exam.

Exam was mental. Still have no idea how I passed that thing, on the first try too. Probably on the back of NEC questions (I use it all the time at work) and the non-protection questions being so well addressed in Graffeo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, TruHero said:

Hey y’allFirst post on this forum. I’ve read this forum off & on during the year as I got ready for the Power PE down here in Orlando.

So, I passed the Power PE exam in October.…first try & all. I figured that I should join the fun and let y’all know what it took for me to get to this point. Hopefully, it will help at least one person reading this post. Here’s my thoughts & advice on the exam:

Time Commitment:

• Yo…..I studied my ass off for nearly 5mos straight. During my 1hr lunch breaks, every night after work for about 2hrs (Mon.-Fri.), and almost all day on the weekends (a minimum of 6hrs each day).
• Unless you’re brilliant (I’m not), you have to commit to studying. There’s no way around it. This exam is brutal.

Books I Took Into the Exam:

• Graffeo – Used this one the most during the exam, but it still wasn’t much.
• Power Systems by Grainger – Answered 1 question directly
• The Wildi book – Answered about 5 questions directly 
• PPI by Camara – Practically useless
• NEC 2017 – Yeah, you need to know it, especially the Fire Pump section. Get familiar with the NEC.
• NESC 2017 – Find/buy yourself a copy. There will be at least 2-3 “gimme” questions on the exam. Don’t miss out on these easy questions.
• NFPA 70E  Again, find/buy yourself a copy. There will be at least 2-3 “gimme” questions on the exam. Again, don’t miss out.

Practice Exams:

• 2 x PPI by Camara practice exams – Practically useless and a waste of time & money. The real exam is drastically different.
• Graffeo (it’s included in his book) – Eh….i found this practice exam far too easy, and not close to the real exam. Good for a couple of the Protection Relay problems on the real exam, though.
• Official NCEES Practice Exam  This is the real disappointment. The OFFICIAL practice exam is easier than the real exam. Like, a lot easier. The real exam has A TON of (primary/utility side) Protection Relay problems that aren’t on the practice exam. 
• Engineer Pro Guides (the Kauwale one) practice exam -  Sadly, not even close to the real exam. Lacking (very much so) on the Protection Relay problems.

Final Thoughts:

• Worst exam I’ve taken in my life. Easily. We’ve all taken a ton of exams to get to this point, right? WORST EXAM EVER.
• Find all the Protection Relay problems you can find. I honestly felt blindsided by the amount of problems that were on the exam. The books & practice exams listed above DO NOT prepare you for this.
• Pomodoro Technique FOR LIFE. Seriously. Use it while studying. I was hesitant (like I’m sure most are reading this) to try it out, but I decided to give the technique a try one day and it’s a game changer. Use it. 
• Your own notes & formulas will be the best resource during the exam.

 

I’ll check the thread later to answer any questions. Good luck!

I passed also and I agree my thoughts exactly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This doesn't really help me. I did the same and still failed. I was blindsided by the power electronics questions and protection questions. That's what killed me. Everything else, I performed fairly decent on. It's hard to find a decent reference given the types of questions in these categories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@TruHero thank you for the comments on my Engineering Pro Guides exam.  I am working to add more problems to the exams and technical study guide to cover the Protection, Rotating Machines and VFD sections. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Justin, 

You must be super brilliant. You are a mechanical guy creating Power PE questions??? 

 

Edited by roy167

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@roy167  to be honest, I have a very smart electrical engineer that works with me.  She passed both the Mechanical and Electrical PEs.  I have mechanical and fire PEs.  But I handle the marketing for both mechanical and electrical. 

Edited by justin-hawaii

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tru Hero (and others),

Congrats on passing!  I appreciate everyone's comments here.  I know I echo most everyone's sentiments that the practice exam problems, (NCEES, Eng Pro Guides, Graffeo, Complex Imaginary, PPI among others) fall way behind and is lacking as far as preparing you for the real exam.  That said, since most of what I read recommends that we spend MANY hours taking MULTIPLE practice exams (it seems consistent that most people who passed did this) in addition to learning and understanding the topics, especially on parts of the practice exams we missed.  So, if the multiple practice exams mentioned above are severely lacking, what do you recommend we do different?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our current approach to improve our Engineering Pro Guides products is to focus on Protection, Rotating Machines, VFD (Power Electronic Devices) sections.  It seems like we need to better explain and test the underlying theory/concepts.  For example, we are working on diagrams that explain how the various rotating machines operate during various conditions (start-up, design load, increasing load, decreasing load).  The diagrams would include equivalent circuits, equations and waveforms.  It would also cover how the various parameters (current, voltage, real power, reactive power and torque) change

I think a lot of people understand how to use the equations during normal scenarios, but get tripped up when they need to apply a theory/concept to an unusual situation.  For example, if an induction motor is designed for a voltage of 480 V, then which of the following is true when a surge of 600 V is applied to the induction motor?  It is very difficult to do all the possible problems that could appear on the exam, but if you have your resources and understand your resources and the underlying concepts/theories, then I believe you should put yourself in the best situation to pass. 

This is our current method to improving our products and we will gladly take any feedback and look forward to responses to the question posed above by @MEtoEE.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, justin-hawaii said:

Our current approach to improve our Engineering Pro Guides products is to focus on Protection, Rotating Machines, VFD (Power Electronic Devices) sections.  It seems like we need to better explain and test the underlying theory/concepts.  For example, we are working on diagrams that explain how the various rotating machines operate during various conditions (start-up, design load, increasing load, decreasing load).  The diagrams would include equivalent circuits, equations and waveforms.  It would also cover how the various parameters (current, voltage, real power, reactive power and torque) change

I think a lot of people understand how to use the equations during normal scenarios, but get tripped up when they need to apply a theory/concept to an unusual situation.  For example, if an induction motor is designed for a voltage of 480 V, then which of the following is true when a surge of 600 V is applied to the induction motor?  It is very difficult to do all the possible problems that could appear on the exam, but if you have your resources and understand your resources and the underlying concepts/theories, then I believe you should put yourself in the best situation to pass. 

This is our current method to improving our products and we will gladly take any feedback and look forward to responses to the question posed above by @MEtoEE.   

What is your policy if I bought the PDF versions of your products recently and you update some stuff? within a year? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, justin-hawaii said:

Once you buy the product, you will receive any future updates for free.  @roy167

I recommend to add protection scenarios/ more protection calculation questions

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, justin-hawaii said:

Once you buy the product, you will receive any future updates for free.  @roy167

Can you give us a time frame when the new updated pdf might be released?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, RadioBox said:

Can you give us a time frame when the new updated pdf might be released?

Response: Early January 2019. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, justin-hawaii said:

Once you buy the product, you will receive any future updates for free.  @roy167

The Engineering pro guide helped me so much when I was studying. Will we receive an email on updates to the guide? Thank you so much

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Nashi said:

The Engineering pro guide helped me so much when I was studying. Will we receive an email on updates to the guide? Thank you so much

What proguide products did you buy? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the practice exam and downloaded the free cheat sheets, which I think there are several you can download, some of which are filled out.  These cheat sheets are well organized.  Basically they are formula and diagram sheets organized by topic.  I found them very useful both during studying/practice exams and I used them during the real exam as well.

I don't know what other "Eng Pro Guides" there are but if there's something else that could help me I would be open to getting it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Justin: 

Question for you. Your or anyone's question may not be close to actual exam, I perfectly understand this but can you tell me if I go through your guide, that you have covered all the topics?  It is up to the test taker to understand the concepts to the degree they seem fit.  

I know NCEES has the syllabus out there but that is very general. For example Bus Admittance is not listed in there and it can go under many categories such as network analysis etc. 

How confident you are that the topics you have covered in your proguide is what the exam will test you on.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, justin-hawaii said:

@roy167  to be honest, I have a very smart electrical engineer that works with me.  She passed both the Mechanical and Electrical PEs.  I have mechanical and fire PEs.  But I handle the marketing for both mechanical and electrical. 

Justin,

I had passed and I did like your study guide in certain sections. Your's and PE Electrical Review's material are well written and easy to understand. Thank You and as well to Zach (PE Electrical Review). I had back and forth looked at both the materials in the exam to find the right solutions.

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

×