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Abogos

I need some guidance on the Machine design and Materials PE exam!

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Hello All,

I am new to this forum. I am registered to take the Machine design and Materials PE exam in April here in California, got exactly 2 months left. 

I am confused about something. Does the Machine design and Materials exam test you on Fluids and Thermo? The NCEES breakdown of 80 problems on their website does not mention fluids or thermo in the list of the topics for the machine design exam.

I also wanted to ask what resources I should use to get more practice on top of what I have been doing. I got the MERM, practice problems for the PE exam book (companion to the MERM), and the NCEES practice exam (the thin white/blue book). I have gone through all the problems in the practice problem book (only the topics that NCEES listed), and I have created my cheat sheet. I want to leave the ncees practice test to 1 week or 2 prior to my exam. What other practice book should I use? I read some comments about 6 minute problems/six minute solutions book and some people had bad reviwes on them. What is the difference between 6 minute problems vs 6 minute solutions? 

Thank you in advance!

 

Edited by Abogos

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No. You don't have to study fluids and thermo for Machine Design and Materials exam. 

It used to test all the discipline on AM section but it does not anymore.

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No, but they still throw curve balls at you that have nothing to do with materials and machine design. On the October test they had a question regarding fluids. Really ticked me off, but I think I still got it right. My recommendation is anytime you encounter something like those that you can't figure out quickly, just skip them and go back if you have time at the end. 

Definitely do A LOT of problems. I can't recommend any sources because I only took the NCEES practice exam 😉, but I think I got lucky. You have the right idea in saving that test for last, as most have said it is closest in difficulty to the actual test.

Edited by ct27gt

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2 minutes ago, Tdoodledude said:

@ct27gt, Dude/Dudette, you'd better take down that last post. That's a very specific exam problem statement, which NCEES could seriously f*** you over. Just lookin out for you, home-slice. :) 

Yeah, I guess. I didn't mention any specifics regarding the question. Similar to saying study gears, or economics, or ethics. Doesn't really reveal the content of what was asked. I changed it to be more generic though, just to be safe. 

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@ct27gt Fair enough, my friend. I'm going to delete these posts now. Good luck (if you haven't passed already), and congrats if you have! -Terry 

 

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On 2/4/2019 at 6:58 PM, Abogos said:

Hello All,

I am new to this forum. I am registered to take the Machine design and Materials PE exam in April here in California, got exactly 2 months left. 

I am confused about something. Does the Machine design and Materials exam test you on Fluids and Thermo? The NCEES breakdown of 80 problems on their website does not mention fluids or thermo in the list of the topics for the machine design exam.

I also wanted to ask what resources I should use to get more practice on top of what I have been doing. I got the MERM, practice problems for the PE exam book (companion to the MERM), and the NCEES practice exam (the thin white/blue book). I have gone through all the problems in the practice problem book (only the topics that NCEES listed), and I have created my cheat sheet. I want to leave the ncees practice test to 1 week or 2 prior to my exam. What other practice book should I use? I read some comments about 6 minute problems/six minute solutions book and some people had bad reviwes on them. What is the difference between 6 minute problems vs 6 minute solutions? 

Thank you in advance!

 

Hello my fellow Californian, read your post and thought you might benefit from my past experiences. 

Here you will see what resources I used for the Mechanical MDM PE exam as well as a recommended study plan. Good luck my friend, and feel free to ping me with questions if you get stuck.

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4 hours ago, ct27gt said:

Yeah, I guess. I didn't mention any specifics regarding the question. Similar to saying study gears, or economics, or ethics. Doesn't really reveal the content of what was asked. I changed it to be more generic though, just to be safe. 

I was late, I didn’t see what you wrote, so no worries. Thanks for your input.

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3 hours ago, SacMe24 said:

Hello my fellow Californian, read your post and thought you might benefit from my past experiences. 

Here you will see what resources I used for the Mechanical MDM PE exam as well as a recommended study plan. Good luck my friend, and feel free to ping me with questions if you get stuck.

Thanks a lot for your help. I will definitely review your post and follow what you did to pass the test. I have a friend who passed the PE exam for fluids and thermo on his first try without studying all that much, he got lucky I guess (I think in Apr 2018) 

I decided to take the test a bit late, I started studying early December for the April exam, so I am trying to do as much as I can. But I am sure your post will help me a lot.

the bad thing is that I probably have 2 shots for the PE before they make the mechanical PE all computer based in 2020 (Planned year) because that will change the method of studying for the exam. 

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31 minutes ago, Abogos said:

Thanks a lot for your help. I will definitely review your post and follow what you did to pass the test. I have a friend who passed the PE exam for fluids and thermo on his first try without studying all that much, he got lucky I guess (I think in Apr 2018) 

I decided to take the test a bit late, I started studying early December for the April exam, so I am trying to do as much as I can. But I am sure your post will help me a lot.

the bad thing is that I probably have 2 shots for the PE before they make the mechanical PE all computer based in 2020 (Planned year) because that will change the method of studying for the exam. 

Its not planned anymore, NCEES has announced that the exam will be computer based in 2020.

I'm signed up to take the Mechanical TFS exam in April.

You should be fine.  Just study as if you're only taking the exam once.  That's what I am doing.  

I've had colleagues who have passed the exam tell me I'm studying too much but I'd rather do that then take the exam more than once.

Good luck in your studies!

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28 minutes ago, cvanwy02 said:

Its not planned anymore, NCEES has announced that the exam will be computer based in 2020.

I'm signed up to take the Mechanical TFS exam in April.

You should be fine.  Just study as if you're only taking the exam once.  That's what I am doing.  

I've had colleagues who have passed the exam tell me I'm studying too much but I'd rather do that then take the exam more than once.

Good luck in your studies!

Oh I see, last time I checked which was a month ago it said it is planned to be changed to CBT in 2020. 

I am studying as if I have one chance though. I just need to get more practice till the exam. 

Good luck to you as well. 

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1 hour ago, cvanwy02 said:

Its not planned anymore, NCEES has announced that the exam will be computer based in 2020.

I'm signed up to take the Mechanical TFS exam in April.

You should be fine.  Just study as if you're only taking the exam once.  That's what I am doing.  

I've had colleagues who have passed the exam tell me I'm studying too much but I'd rather do that then take the exam more than once.

Good luck in your studies!

Actually I just checked and it looks like that schedule is tentative and a formal notification should be sent out 1 year before. So if the April 2020 test will be CBT, they will notify everyone by this April. I have attached the picture from ncees website.

 

E51FFC7C-95FE-4E9E-BB2B-3A40D97DCBA5.jpeg

Edited by Abogos

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2 hours ago, Abogos said:

Actually I just checked and it looks like that schedule is tentative and a formal notification should be sent out 1 year before. So if the April 2020 test will be CBT, they will notify everyone by this April. I have attached the picture from ncees website.

 

E51FFC7C-95FE-4E9E-BB2B-3A40D97DCBA5.jpeg

Interesting! Someone posted that recently but I missed the top part!

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Here is a link to my experience after passing on the first try in Oct 2018 and how I prepared. Not the best example of what you should do since I only took once practice test and only studied for 2 months, but the subjects I focused on and the others that I completely ignored or barely paid attention to really paid off and prevented me from wasting hours on studying things that I wasn't going to be asked, or if I was, it would only probably be one question that I most likely would have skipped anyway.

 

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On 2/6/2019 at 3:25 PM, cvanwy02 said:

Its not planned anymore, NCEES has announced that the exam will be computer based in 2020.

I'm signed up to take the Mechanical TFS exam in April.

You should be fine.  Just study as if you're only taking the exam once.  That's what I am doing.  

I've had colleagues who have passed the exam tell me I'm studying too much but I'd rather do that then take the exam more than once.

Good luck in your studies!

Having colleagues that past the exam tell you that you're working TOO hard must be the best feeling. Like a little reassurance that you are on the right path

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6 minutes ago, 23and1 said:

Having colleagues that past the exam tell you that you're working TOO hard must be the best feeling. Like a little reassurance that you are on the right path

It sure is, although most of them are Civil engineers who use their degree daily.  I work in Electrical and am taking the Mechanical exam so naturally have to study harder.

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On 2/4/2019 at 9:58 PM, Abogos said:

Hello All,

I am new to this forum. I am registered to take the Machine design and Materials PE exam in April here in California, got exactly 2 months left. 

I am confused about something. Does the Machine design and Materials exam test you on Fluids and Thermo? The NCEES breakdown of 80 problems on their website does not mention fluids or thermo in the list of the topics for the machine design exam.

I also wanted to ask what resources I should use to get more practice on top of what I have been doing. I got the MERM, practice problems for the PE exam book (companion to the MERM), and the NCEES practice exam (the thin white/blue book). I have gone through all the problems in the practice problem book (only the topics that NCEES listed), and I have created my cheat sheet. I want to leave the ncees practice test to 1 week or 2 prior to my exam. What other practice book should I use? I read some comments about 6 minute problems/six minute solutions book and some people had bad reviwes on them. What is the difference between 6 minute problems vs 6 minute solutions? 

Thank you in advance!

 

I'm also scheduled to take the exam this April. My previous supervisor passed on his first try. He said that if you do every problem in the practice problems book, I'd be fine...but he is some kind of super genius, so I took his advice with a grain of salt...

Along with the NCEES practice exam, I purchased the Lindbergh practice exam, EngProGuide practice exam and review handbook. That gives me a total of three practice exams to go through prior to the real deal.

I'm still working through the practice problems book (almost finished). Outside of that and the practice exams, I intend on solving problems from my FE review book, the EngProGuides review book, and Shigley's. 

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On 2/8/2019 at 11:55 AM, 23and1 said:

I'm also scheduled to take the exam this April. My previous supervisor passed on his first try. He said that if you do every problem in the practice problems book, I'd be fine...but he is some kind of super genius, so I took his advice with a grain of salt...

Along with the NCEES practice exam, I purchased the Lindbergh practice exam, EngProGuide practice exam and review handbook. That gives me a total of three practice exams to go through prior to the real deal.

I'm still working through the practice problems book (almost finished). Outside of that and the practice exams, I intend on solving problems from my FE review book, the EngProGuides review book, and Shigley's. 

Are you in CA?

Yea it really depends. I have friends that passed it on their first try with minimal preparation and they were really average students in school just 4 years ago. On the other hand, I know some bright students who took it 3 times to pass. I think you just need to practice as much as you can and just know where to find all the information in your references. 

I am also doing just problems right now and when I get tired of it I work on my cheat sheet and tabbing important areas. Trying to stay calm and not stress over it too much. 

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On 2/7/2019 at 10:29 PM, ct27gt said:

Here is a link to my experience after passing on the first try in Oct 2018 and how I prepared. Not the best example of what you should do since I only took once practice test and only studied for 2 months, but the subjects I focused on and the others that I completely ignored or barely paid attention to really paid off and prevented me from wasting hours on studying things that I wasn't going to be asked, or if I was, it would only probably be one question that I most likely would have skipped anyway.

 

Thanks for sharing this, it is very helpful and I guess the way you prepared worked for you. I think if one can identify what method of studying works for them is the key. Even if you solve 1000 problems, there will be a problem that will make you scratch your head. I have also noticed that one or 2 options in the answer choices can be eliminated just by logic and using your engineering brain, in some cases at least. However, the more problems you see and try to solve will definitely help.

is there a cut off passing score or is it graded in some specific way? I have heard 70%, 56/80? Does the score also depend on which section you do better on, am or pm? 

Edited by Abogos

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On 2/8/2019 at 2:47 PM, cvanwy02 said:

It sure is, although most of them are Civil engineers who use their degree daily.  I work in Electrical and am taking the Mechanical exam so naturally have to study harder.

That's crazy! I've been imagining what its like to take a test in a different field. I work in a firm with both structural and mechanical engineers. I'm taking the MDM exam, but have been contemplating doing civil/structural after I get my structural experience in.

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On 2/9/2019 at 5:48 PM, Abogos said:

Thanks for sharing this, it is very helpful and I guess the way you prepared worked for you. I think if one can identify what method of studying works for them is the key. Even if you solve 1000 problems, there will be a problem that will make you scratch your head. I have also noticed that one or 2 options in the answer choices can be eliminated just by logic and using your engineering brain, in some cases at least. However, the more problems you see and try to solve will definitely help.

is there a cut off passing score or is it graded in some specific way? I have heard 70%, 56/80? Does the score also depend on which section you do better on, am or pm? 

@Abogos the cut-off score changes with every test. I had once believed that NCEES took a sample of "average" licensed engineers in the field, have them take the exam, then whatever they average is that specific exam's cutoff score. But after minimally fact-checking myself, I may be wrong. Either way, here is the quote from the NCEES website:

NCEES Exam Scoring Process - https://ncees.org/exams/scores/

"When an exam is introduced or when its specifications change, a committee of subject-matter experts works with experienced psychometricians (testing experts with a background in statistics) to determine the level of performance that corresponds with minimal competence in that discipline. This becomes the passing score. NCEES does not publish passing scores because they change with each administration. NCEES scores each exam with no predetermined percentage of examinees that should pass or fail. All exams are scored the same way. First-time takers and repeat takers are graded to the same standard."

 

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21 hours ago, 23and1 said:

@Abogos the cut-off score changes with every test. I had once believed that NCEES took a sample of "average" licensed engineers in the field, have them take the exam, then whatever they average is that specific exam's cutoff score. But after minimally fact-checking myself, I may be wrong. Either way, here is the quote from the NCEES website:

NCEES Exam Scoring Process - https://ncees.org/exams/scores/

"When an exam is introduced or when its specifications change, a committee of subject-matter experts works with experienced psychometricians (testing experts with a background in statistics) to determine the level of performance that corresponds with minimal competence in that discipline. This becomes the passing score. NCEES does not publish passing scores because they change with each administration. NCEES scores each exam with no predetermined percentage of examinees that should pass or fail. All exams are scored the same way. First-time takers and repeat takers are graded to the same standard."

 

This is correct from what i've seen too.  Generally, the rule of thumb is to aim for 70% (56/80).

Edited by cvanwy02

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18 hours ago, 23and1 said:

@Abogos the cut-off score changes with every test. I had once believed that NCEES took a sample of "average" licensed engineers in the field, have them take the exam, then whatever they average is that specific exam's cutoff score. But after minimally fact-checking myself, I may be wrong. Either way, here is the quote from the NCEES website:

NCEES Exam Scoring Process - https://ncees.org/exams/scores/

"When an exam is introduced or when its specifications change, a committee of subject-matter experts works with experienced psychometricians (testing experts with a background in statistics) to determine the level of performance that corresponds with minimal competence in that discipline. This becomes the passing score. NCEES does not publish passing scores because they change with each administration. NCEES scores each exam with no predetermined percentage of examinees that should pass or fail. All exams are scored the same way. First-time takers and repeat takers are graded to the same standard."

 

Thanks for the information. It is graded completely different than the FE exam. 

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On 2/9/2019 at 2:48 PM, Abogos said:

Thanks for sharing this, it is very helpful and I guess the way you prepared worked for you. I think if one can identify what method of studying works for them is the key. Even if you solve 1000 problems, there will be a problem that will make you scratch your head. I have also noticed that one or 2 options in the answer choices can be eliminated just by logic and using your engineering brain, in some cases at least. However, the more problems you see and try to solve will definitely help.

is there a cut off passing score or is it graded in some specific way? I have heard 70%, 56/80? Does the score also depend on which section you do better on, am or pm? 

Shooting for 70% score will almost be a guaranteed pass. I think there are only 1 or 2 reported fail scores of 56 across all different disciplines over a few years.

Problems, problems, problems. Don't go really deep into subjects. They test on breadth rather than specifics. Knowing the basics of each area is more beneficial than being very proficient in only a few.

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