April 2019 TFS Feedback - Mechanical - Engineer Boards
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cvanwy02

April 2019 TFS Feedback

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Alright, where are all my TFS buddies?  I was comfortable with 31/40 on the A.M. and 30/40 on the P.M.  Overall I thought the exam was very fair and if it was anything like the 4 practice exams I took I got somewhere between a 75 and 80% overall.  My mind was for sure starting to slip towards the end of the P.M. portion. 

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I thought the AM was moderately difficult. The PE was very hard for me as I guessed on several problems and didn't have time to finish really. I think the fatigue factored into my performance for the PM exam quite a lot. I was disappointed after the exam as I felt like it was harder than I had expected it to be and I felt like I will be on the border of passing even though I studied ~260 hours. Glad you felt more positively about the exam, best of luck to all of us! 

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Yes, I agree with the OP regarding the fairness of the exam.  I'm a second time taker and it definitely didn't give me as much trouble as the last administration, although I'm obviously better prepared now.  It's gonna be a fun 8 weeks of waiting!  

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1 hour ago, CJ Patel said:

I thought the AM was moderately difficult. The PE was very hard for me as I guessed on several problems and didn't have time to finish really. I think the fatigue factored into my performance for the PM exam quite a lot. I was disappointed after the exam as I felt like it was harder than I had expected it to be and I felt like I will be on the border of passing even though I studied ~260 hours. Glad you felt more positively about the exam, best of luck to all of us! 

I guessed on around 19 but I estimate around 5  were blind guesses.  I had slightly more studying in than you but not much.  Did you do any mock tests?

54 minutes ago, GordyJ said:

Yes, I agree with the OP regarding the fairness of the exam.  I'm a second time taker and it definitely didn't give me as much trouble as the last administration, although I'm obviously better prepared now.  It's gonna be a fun 8 weeks of waiting!  

Less than 8 right? Haha from what I've seen in the past for MI I should know by the 1st of June.

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50 minutes ago, cvanwy02 said:

I guessed on around 19 but I estimate around 5  were blind guesses.  I had slightly more studying in than you but not much.  Did you do any mock tests?

Less than 8 right? Haha from what I've seen in the past for MI I should know by the 1st of June.

Yeah I'm exaggerating, should be more like 6.

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The morning went more smoothly than expected for me. I finished with 1 hour and 30 minutes left. I checked my answers and got out of there. In hindsight, I'm a little worried that I looked over some small details and missed some I should not have. Still thinking 35/40.

The afternoon was much more difficult for me. I was working non-stop up to the bell. I had to straight up guess on 3 that I had skipped. I feel like around 8 of the afternoon questions were longer and more tedious than I thought exam questions would be. With the afternoon problems taking so long, I was really running on empty for the last 90 minutes. I'm optimistically thinking 31/40. 

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Cruised through the morning session and finished with about an hour and a half left on the clock. Double checked a couple of things but in general only felt wishy washing on 2 or 3 of the questions. The afternoon was a bit longer and had a couple of questions that I had to stab at for a while before I came to something resembling and answer. Still finished with about 30 minutes left on the clock. 

Overall left the exam with the thought that I wouldn't have changed anything about my preparation other than being a little more disciplined and spending a little more time in the books. With that being said I think it went as well as it could have.

Best of luck to everyone on dealing with the anxiety of waiting the next 8+ weeks for results! 😂

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On 4/10/2019 at 12:32 PM, jander88 said:

Cruised through the morning session and finished with about an hour and a half left on the clock. Double checked a couple of things but in general only felt wishy washing on 2 or 3 of the questions. The afternoon was a bit longer and had a couple of questions that I had to stab at for a while before I came to something resembling and answer. Still finished with about 30 minutes left on the clock. 

Overall left the exam with the thought that I wouldn't have changed anything about my preparation other than being a little more disciplined and spending a little more time in the books. With that being said I think it went as well as it could have.

Best of luck to everyone on dealing with the anxiety of waiting the next 8+ weeks for results! 😂

I had the same feeling walking out of the exam.  I was on cloud nine until I got to the last 15 questions of the PM.

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On 4/8/2019 at 12:12 PM, cvanwy02 said:

Alright, where are all my TFS buddies?  I was comfortable with 31/40 on the A.M. and 30/40 on the P.M.  Overall I thought the exam was very fair and if it was anything like the 4 practice exams I took I got somewhere between a 75 and 80% overall.  My mind was for sure starting to slip towards the end of the P.M. portion. 

Best of luck @cvanwy02, you definitely had a solid study plan and you put in the work. Hoping for the best for you!

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3 hours ago, squaretaper PE said:

Best of luck @cvanwy02, you definitely had a solid study plan and you put in the work. Hoping for the best for you!

Thank you! Only time will tell.

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I thought the exam went smoothly.  I think there was only one or two problems in total that I had to guess on.  It was interesting seeing all the methods the infinite number of civils used to bring their references.  I saw one guy who essentially had a bookshelf on wheels - thought that was brilliant.  I brought the MERM, Shigley's, Cameron's, and my Heat Transfer and Thermo books from college (mainly so that I could have metric steam tables in kPa, not bars, as I ran into that problem during the practice exams).  I finished both sessions with about an hour and half to spare each.  I had a massive head ache during the PM session that made it a bear, but I just suffered through it.  No amount of water or caffeine would help.  Now just the long wait for the results.

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Update: I passed in first try (Apr 2019, CA)

 

I am a first taker (ME TFS) and had fun (?) to study first time since I took course works during phd degree program, which was over 10 years ago. I probably didn't study as hard as other test takers due to my full time job.

 

Fortunately, many exam questions were from what I had studied for my phd prelim exam, only PE exam questions were much easier. Still I had to refresh my memory because it was over 10 years ago. Also I did teaching assistant (TA) for undergrad thermodynamics and that helped A LOT. I had my own presentation that I made for undergrad kids and I used it for PE exam. It was very helpful for power cycles (brayton, otto, diesel, rankine, refrigeration), 1st and 2nd laws, psychrometrics problems.

 

What I brought to the exam site were NCEES ME reference handbook (printed and bound), MERM 13th Ed, NCEES sample exam book, PPI Practice Exam book, my own thermodynamics printout from my TA, among which I only used NCEES ME ref handbook and my own thermo printout for 99% of time. I occasionally used MERM but it was less than 5 times during entire exam. Basically, I believe ALL info needed to solve PE exam questions, including tables, are available in NCEES ref handbook. I personally thin MERM is not necessary for this exam. It has lots of good stuff but it is definitely overkill in that it deals with way more details than level of difficulty you will see in actual tests. So get yourself familiar with NCEES handbook if you are to prepare to take the exam.

 

Overall, I felt exam was easier than I expected most likely because I already spent good amount of time on exam subjects previously even though it was LONG time ago. I strongly believe that you will need only 1-2 equations to solve a problem correctly + finding right data from tables. If you have more than 5 lines for equations, it is very likely you are doing something wrong. I think degree of difficulty was on par with NCEES sample test questions and I cautiously expect to pass. However, I could have fallen into their tricks, which is possibility that I am afraid of.

 

I finished AM about ~45min earlier and had enough time to double check. I made good guess for 3-4 problems and blind guess for ~2 problems. I am expecting ~35/40 for AM

PM was more difficult due to fatigue. Last 2 hrs were pretty tough and I was able to feel my energy level getting lower quickly. I didn't have luxury of remaining time like AM but was able to finish them. I made good guess for ~5 problems, and blind guess for ~3 problems and expecting ~32-34/40.

 

But again, I could have made stupid mistakes here and there and who knows. I keep my fingers crossed and hope good luck to all of you guys.

 

 

Edited by MEPEPHD
typo and grammer
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I managed my time very poorly in the AM and got, optimistically, 24-28 I'd say, including educated guesses (as opposed to WAGs) as perhaps 50% chance of being correct. The last 8 questions left I answered pretty randomly in the AM, and many before that were rushed too. Oh yeah, also my Casio (which I hadn't used since taking the FE exam 10 years ago: for work I use an illegal TI-86 or, you know, MATLAB) somehow got stuck on fractions-only mode and I couldn't figure out on the fly how to get it to output decimals. I ended up multiplying all my answers by 1.000001 just to get a real number instead of 342/7 or whatever.

The afternoon felt much better, both because I had time to consult my manual about the calculator over lunch, and because I got off to a much quicker start for whatever reason: although I also ended up answering the last 8 or so questions randomly, I felt I also did better on the questions I was able to get to. Maybe 28-32 correct in the end on the PM. So, summing up, I'm anywhere from a definitely-failing 52 to a definitely-passing 60. A nailbiter.

Biggest area of weakness: anything to do with a thermodynamic cycle. I only used the steam tables for like 2 problems. It's a good thing all those power cycle problems were at the end of the PM section because I didn't really know how to do them and I ran out of time and ended up guessing on most.

(P.S. I didn't study at all--literally zero; I read the intro to the MERM the night before the test to figure out what was covered in the book--and only brought in the MERM as a reference. This was probably not the best course of preparation. If I fail and decide to retake in October, before the CBT switch, I'll actually do some studying.)

Edited by NASATimp

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On 5/3/2019 at 6:45 PM, NASATimp said:

I managed my time very poorly in the AM and got, optimistically, 24-28 I'd say, including educated guesses (as opposed to WAGs) as perhaps 50% chance of being correct. The last 8 questions left I answered pretty randomly in the AM, and many before that were rushed too. Oh yeah, also my Casio (which I hadn't used since taking the FE exam 10 years ago: for work I use an illegal TI-86 or, you know, MATLAB) somehow got stuck on fractions-only mode and I couldn't figure out on the fly how to get it to output decimals. I ended up multiplying all my answers by 1.000001 just to get a real number instead of 342/7 or whatever.

The afternoon felt much better, both because I had time to consult my manual about the calculator over lunch, and because I got off to a much quicker start for whatever reason: although I also ended up answering the last 8 or so questions randomly, I felt I also did better on the questions I was able to get to. Maybe 28-32 correct in the end on the PM. So, summing up, I'm anywhere from a definitely-failing 52 to a definitely-passing 60. A nailbiter.

Biggest area of weakness: anything to do with a thermodynamic cycle. I only used the steam tables for like 2 problems. It's a good thing all those power cycle problems were at the end of the PM section because I didn't really know how to do them and I ran out of time and ended up guessing on most.

(P.S. I didn't study at all--literally zero; I read the intro to the MERM the night before the test to figure out what was covered in the book--and only brought in the MERM as a reference. This was probably not the best course of preparation. If I fail and decide to retake in October, before the CBT switch, I'll actually do some studying.)

But all that said... I passed!!! Wooohooo! Amazingly.... 😅

 

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24 minutes ago, NASATimp said:

But all that said... I passed!!! Wooohooo! Amazingly.... 😅

 

Same! Great job!

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6 hours ago, cvanwy02 said:

Same! Great job!

Congrats! If you studied at all you deserve it much more than I do. Which location did you test at? Lansing here.

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6 hours ago, NASATimp said:

Congrats! If you studied at all you deserve it much more than I do. Which location did you test at? Lansing here.

Thank you sir! Lansing for me as well!

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You weren't the guy who forgot his calculator, I hope? 😉

Any idea how long it takes the Michigan board to process stuff? I paid my fees and emailed in my transcripts and reference yesterday. The auto-response said "4-6 weeks" which seems a little excessive.

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9 hours ago, NASATimp said:

You weren't the guy who forgot his calculator, I hope? 😉
 

That was a nightmare for me before the exam.  Brought two just in case.

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On 5/15/2019 at 12:26 AM, NASATimp said:

You weren't the guy who forgot his calculator, I hope? 😉

Any idea how long it takes the Michigan board to process stuff? I paid my fees and emailed in my transcripts and reference yesterday. The auto-response said "4-6 weeks" which seems a little excessive.

Just now seeing this... I was not the person who forgot my calculator haha... I was in that room though and remember someone letting him borrow theirs. 

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On 6/3/2019 at 7:22 AM, cvanwy02 said:

Just now seeing this... I was not the person who forgot my calculator haha... I was in that room though and remember someone letting him borrow theirs. 

I think the guy diagonally left in front of me had about 4 calculators. I only brought the one myself.

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