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How did you pass the April 2019 PE exam ?

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I am creating this so that everyone who have passed can write their experience that can help others preparing for the exam.

I started preparing for this exam back in December 2018 by reviewing Graffeo for the whole month, it really helped me refresh some of the concepts that I had studied in school. Overall very good book. I started putting more hours starting January 1st, roughly around 20-25 per week.  

I reviewed Wildi for important topics like Transformers, Machines etc as all of you know how great the book is in explaining those difficult concepts. Then I started learning NEC and others codes as I had never used NEC at my work before. I recommend spending some time doing Code drills from books like Complex Imaginary code drill book. It really helped me familiarize with the topics in the book. 

Next I completed the Complex Imaginary practice tests (all 4 ), even though the tests are simple, it helped me avoid those simple mistakes that many of us tend to do. It was around February end that I wasn't feeling confident about the exam and I decided to join the ElectricalPE review course www.electricalpereview.com by @Zach Stone, P.E.. I don't mind saying, I wouldn't have passed if I hadn't joined the course for a month. It was a good confidence booster as I was scoring 80-90% on all his quizzes. He did a great job putting his course together & really explains everything very clearly. His practice problems are great and his review manual was my Go-to book in the exam.I highly recommend taking his course. 

Lastly in the last few days I spent some time reviewing Power system Protection topics from various textbooks and did the NCEES practice test as well. 

During the exam I mostly used  Zach's notes & Graffeo. I wasn't very confident when I walked out of the exam thinking I got around 55-56 correct but glad to see the result today.

Edited by Messi
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I know that this may not work for everyone but, I went back to the way I studied in college. I found someone else who was taking the same test and we studied together. I'm the type of person who learns by working a ton of problems and talking through the process with others it's how I graduated too. 

I tried to treat every problem I worked like it was the test so If I didn't know it by the time six minutes was up I would make my best guess to practice making educated guesses. The resources I used were the Complex Imaginary practice tests, the Spin Up tests, and someone's old PPI practice tests. The CI tests were a little easier than the actual problems imo but fairly close to the level of difficulty on the test. The Spin Up problems were almost too easy to really be useful but they were setup more similarly to the PE problems, particularly, the relay one line problems were setup almost identically. The PPI problems were much more difficult than the actual test I took. I feel like if you could work those problems confidently the real test would probably seem easy.

My experience with the TN PE exam was pretty straight forward. On the AM section I answered 36 pretty confidently, flagged 4 to go back to and only guessed on the last one. The PM section answered 35 confidently and flagged 5 to go back to and at least made 50/50 guesses on those. I also never try to second guess myself because that has never worked for me before so I left pretty early on both sections.

Anyway tldr: Stick with what got you here. Study the way that works best for you.

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I passed my second try so I had a lot of studying from before. I did the NCEES practice test a bunch of times, did the http://pepowerexams.com/ tests a bunch of times and read through the graffeo book. I didn't actually get through the engineerproguides practice exam because I bought it like 2 days before the test but I bound it and brought it with me. I highly recommend having the NEC Handbook instead of the plain NEC because it may help you answer questions that aren't even code related!

Lastly, I took off the whole week before the exam and studied 8 hours as if I was at work then took a break the day before the test. I honestly think I studied way more for the first attempt than this one.

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I passed October 2017, and I wrote up my whole detailed approach in a website format (o.w. it'd be a multi-page wall of text in a forum format like this). Future test takers - PM me if you're interested in the link.

Congrats to all who passed April 2019!!!!!!!

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14 hours ago, Messi said:

I am creating this so that everyone who have passed can write their experience that can help others preparing for the exam.

I started preparing for this exam back in December 2018 by reviewing Graffeo for the whole month, it really helped me refresh some of the concepts that I had studied in school. Overall very good book. I started putting more hours starting January 1st, roughly around 20-25 per week.  

I reviewed Wildi for important topics like Transformers, Machines etc as all of you know how great the book is in explaining those difficult concepts. Then I started learning NEC and others codes as I had never used NEC at my work before. I recommend spending some time doing Code drills from books like Complex Imaginary code drill book. It really helped me familiarize with the topics in the book. 

Next I completed the Complex Imaginary practice tests (all 4 ), even though the tests are simple, it helped me avoid those simple mistakes that many of us tend to do. It was around February end that I wasn't feeling confident about the exam and I decided to join the ElectricalPE review course by @Zach Stone, P.E.. I don't mind saying, I wouldn't have passed if I hadn't joined the course for a month. It was a good confidence booster as I was scoring 80-90% on all his quizzes. He did a great job putting his course together & really explains everything very clearly. His practice problems are great and his review manual was my Go-to book in the exam.I highly recommend taking his course. 

Lastly in the last few days I spent some time reviewing Power system Protection topics from various textbooks and did the NCEES practice test as well. 

During the exam I mostly used  Zach's notes & Graffeo. I wasn't very confident when I walked out of the exam thinking I got around 55-56 correct but glad to see the result today.

Happy for you Messi. I passed too! I took Zach Stone's Electrical PE review class as well. I was pretty active on chat, what was your screen name on the chat?

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I did a lot of practice problems. Every practice problem I could get my hands on: Complex Imaginary, Graffeo, EngrProGuides, SpinUp, NCEES, PPI.

While a majority of the problems available are not on the difficulty level of the actual exam questions, they helped me get comfortable with my references and binder of self-made notes. Also, I focused my studies on Power System Analysis and Protection as those were my weak subject areas. 

Anyways, good luck to all that will be taking it in October 2019. I've taken this exam too many times, and felt absolutely deflated and my confidence was at an all time low last time I received my results showing the big red button. My advice is to not give up, take two to three weeks off to refresh your mental being, and start back at it again. After multiple fail attempts, I was luckily enough to pass this go around after better preparation. 

Edited by StrugglingEngineer
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28 minutes ago, StrugglingEngineer said:

Anyways, good luck to all that will be taking it in October 2019. I've taken this exam too many times, and felt absolutely deflated and my confidence was at an all time low last time I received my results showing the big red button. My advice is to not give up, take two to three weeks off to refresh your mental being, and start back at it again. After multiple fail attempts, I was luckily enough to pass this go around after better preparation. 

I thought to myself if I don't make it this time, no big deal, I will retest and hopefully I won't have to work much harder( just study for a month) like the first time as I would know a lot of concepts from testing it the first time. For e.g. When I took the test in April 2019 for the first time, I didn't even know how to use the code book, so I had to start there, the next time I thought at least I won't have to go through that process again. Because that's something you are not going to forget. 

But on a 2nd thought, it is not as easy as it sounds. The 2nd time, I don't know if I would have the same intensity with which I did the first time. So hats off to those who don't give up and eventually pass. On repeat testing, you know a lot of things which you didn't know the first time, now you know the kind of questions get asked, what to prepare etc, the biggest thing that work against you on repeat testing is the "MOJO" or motivation or fire or whatever you may want to call it. I was getting afraid of not having enough MOJO. 

 

Edited by roy167

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All I have to say is the ElectricalPE review course by @Zach Stone, P.E.

I know my answer is not the answer for most people.  I am a good test taker.  But that is all I did. Took his recommendations on what to bring (expensive) and then I did his online class 3/5 thru 4/5 and no joke I paid 299 for the month and in hindsight it was worth so so so so much more.

That course and online class was so spot on. Not the problems, but concepts were the exact exam.  I only did last 30 days before exam and maybe the urgency made me do it day and night, so maybe good to procrastinate.  But if I was to do again I would spread it out.  Do all his content before classes start and get a lot out of online class. 

The other helpful thing I did was there were some concept that I never felt good about in college or now.  I just punted them.  I did not study them.  Other than filling in a bubble I did not waste test time.

Anyone in SF Bay area that wants to buy my suitcase of what I took to exam send me a PM

 

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I just received the good news this morning.

Like others I started planning out my study routine. I actually started studying in December but didn’t get into a rigid study schedule until January. I signed up for Zach Stone’s Electrical PE Review class. I attended most of the live classes he offered and covered pretty much all his self study modules. 

I was so determined to pass it on my first try that I threw a bunch of money at this: I paid for Zach’s course, I bought Complex Imaginary tests, the NCEES practice exam, Wildi’s Electrical machines book, the NEC codebook and others. The others were my textbooks from college and miscellaneous binders other coworkers had made to pass the exam from previous years. 

My study routine was an hour or 2 on most weekdays and a whole 8 hours on Saturday and about 4 hours on Sunday. Weekends I reserved to make test runs for 8 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday. Most days I was left alone by my wife to study but there were a few where plans did get in the way of studying although I kept that to a minimum. I practiced, practiced, and I practiced some more. There was no way to get comfortable with solving problems other than practicing. This was also a way to gauge where your weaknesses lie and give you time to work on it. 

The last week before the test I took a break from studying and just took a few days to gather everything and make preparations for test day. The night before I stayed at a hotel nearby and although I couldn’t sleep that well due to anxiety I was wide awake during the test. During the test I felt I lacked time and although I gave myself enough time to work through every problem I felt too little confidence afterwards that I did well. Also, during the actual test I felt I resorted to much less books than I was carrying with me but I don’t regret taking a truck load of books. 

Judging on the fact I passed, I think time management was key and reading the problems thoroughly for any traps.

Thanks to God because I passed this on the first try and I encourage all to please not give up if you didn’t pass. For all that passed, congratulations! Don’t forget to thank all that supported you and helped you along the way in both big and little ways. 

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Passed.

 I hate to admit this on a public forum but I pretty much abonded my family for 2 months. To be clear, I am not recommending anyone to do this. I documented hours study, references used etc. I’ll post it soon.

Thanks EB community, I wouldn’t have done this without you.

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I did every practice problem I could find.  I read Wildi front to back (lots of wasted time there...) and I used Eng Pro Guides as my overall guiding document. 

I did not take a review course as I felt they were mostly a money grab and I wasn't willing to feed that beast.  I was concerned this was a fatal move but here I am.

I studied an AVERAGE of 1.5 hours a night starting approximately mid-December with 3 weekends of 4 hour Saturday and 4 hours Sunday sessions.

Biggest advise: 

  1. If you start losing your focus in a study session, mark you place and stop.  You'll gain nothing by forcing your way through.
  2. As you do practice problems, in a non-mock-test setting, take some time to know where in your references variations of that problem can be found and tab them.
  3. I did not take a full-length test in one sitting.  I did, however, ensure that in my test-like sessions all questions were answered in 6 minutes.  I think this is critical.
  4. Know how to navigate the code (NEC and NESC) and where major items are located (ampacity, calculations, tables, hazardous areas, motors, grounding, lighting levels etc).  
  5. Ensure you are comfortable with the questions in the NCEES practice test.

Best of luck to everyone taking it in October!  Don't take this the wrong way but I'm glad I'm not among you.

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40 minutes ago, ST_CA_EE said:

All I have to say is the ElectricalPE review course by @Zach Stone, P.E.

I know my answer is not the answer for most people.  I am a good test taker.  But that is all I did. Took his recommendations on what to bring (expensive) and then I did his online class 3/5 thru 4/5 and no joke I paid 299 for the month and in hindsight it was worth so so so so much more.

That course and online class was so spot on. Not the problems, but concepts were the exact exam.  I only did last 30 days before exam and maybe the urgency made me do it day and night, so maybe good to procrastinate.  But if I was to do again I would spread it out.  Do all his content before classes start and get a lot out of online class. 

The other helpful thing I did was there were some concept that I never felt good about in college or now.  I just punted them.  I did not study them.  Other than filling in a bubble I did not waste test time.

Anyone in SF Bay area that wants to buy my suitcase of what I took to exam send me a PM

 

Thanks again for the mention @ST_CA_EE, and happy to hear you passed the PE exam with the help of our online review course. Our website is located at www.electricalpereview.com. We have a large amount of free content, including a free trial of our online review course for anyone interested. 

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16 hours ago, Messi said:

I am creating this so that everyone who have passed can write their experience that can help others preparing for the exam.

I started preparing for this exam back in December 2018 by reviewing Graffeo for the whole month, it really helped me refresh some of the concepts that I had studied in school. Overall very good book. I started putting more hours starting January 1st, roughly around 20-25 per week.  

I reviewed Wildi for important topics like Transformers, Machines etc as all of you know how great the book is in explaining those difficult concepts. Then I started learning NEC and others codes as I had never used NEC at my work before. I recommend spending some time doing Code drills from books like Complex Imaginary code drill book. It really helped me familiarize with the topics in the book. 

Next I completed the Complex Imaginary practice tests (all 4 ), even though the tests are simple, it helped me avoid those simple mistakes that many of us tend to do. It was around February end that I wasn't feeling confident about the exam and I decided to join the ElectricalPE review course by @Zach Stone, P.E.. I don't mind saying, I wouldn't have passed if I hadn't joined the course for a month. It was a good confidence booster as I was scoring 80-90% on all his quizzes. He did a great job putting his course together & really explains everything very clearly. His practice problems are great and his review manual was my Go-to book in the exam.I highly recommend taking his course. 

Lastly in the last few days I spent some time reviewing Power system Protection topics from various textbooks and did the NCEES practice test as well. 

During the exam I mostly used  Zach's notes & Graffeo. I wasn't very confident when I walked out of the exam thinking I got around 55-56 correct but glad to see the result today.

Thanks for the mention @Messi! Glad to hear you passed the PE exam and enjoyed our online program. All the best!

Edited by Zach Stone, P.E.

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2 hours ago, Phenomenon083 said:

Happy for you Messi. I passed too! I took Zach Stone's Electrical PE review class as well. I was pretty active on chat, what was your screen name on the chat?

Congrats @Phenomenon083 and thanks for the mention!

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7 minutes ago, Zach Stone, P.E. said:

Congrats @Phenomenon083 and thanks for the mention!

@Zach Stone, P.E. hands down your electrical PE Review is best out there. I will write a thorough review of my exam preparation on this forum soon.

Edited by Phenomenon083
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Passed as a first time taker, I don't have an engineering degree (I do have a BA in applied mathematics with an emphasis on PDE, so phasor math and complex arithmetic was all pretty easy and I've worked in the solar industry for a long time).  CA is awesome for letting us get there substituting more experience for a degree.

I used PPI2Pass's online quiz generator and probably took 50 x 20 question practice quizzes.  I re-worked every problem that I ever got wrong until I understood where I got it wrong and why.  I know it doesn't work for everyone, but working ~1,000 problems or so over a few months gave me a fantastic feel for what kinds of questions to expect, what questions I could get right easily, what ones I'd struggle with, and most importantly, what questions I could do in 30 minutes, but wouldn't be worth the test-time.

Pretty neutral on PPI2Pass, they are perfectly acceptable in my book.  Any other test bank with thousands of questions and a nice user interface would have done fine as well.  I'd only pay for the test bank though, you can youtube how to do any kind of problem that you having trouble with for free.

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17 hours ago, Messi said:

I am creating this so that everyone who have passed can write their experience that can help others preparing for the exam.

I started preparing for this exam back in December 2018 by reviewing Graffeo for the whole month, it really helped me refresh some of the concepts that I had studied in school. Overall very good book. I started putting more hours starting January 1st, roughly around 20-25 per week.  

I reviewed Wildi for important topics like Transformers, Machines etc as all of you know how great the book is in explaining those difficult concepts. Then I started learning NEC and others codes as I had never used NEC at my work before. I recommend spending some time doing Code drills from books like Complex Imaginary code drill book. It really helped me familiarize with the topics in the book. 

Next I completed the Complex Imaginary practice tests (all 4 ), even though the tests are simple, it helped me avoid those simple mistakes that many of us tend to do. It was around February end that I wasn't feeling confident about the exam and I decided to join the ElectricalPE review course by @Zach Stone, P.E.. I don't mind saying, I wouldn't have passed if I hadn't joined the course for a month. It was a good confidence booster as I was scoring 80-90% on all his quizzes. He did a great job putting his course together & really explains everything very clearly. His practice problems are great and his review manual was my Go-to book in the exam.I highly recommend taking his course. 

Lastly in the last few days I spent some time reviewing Power system Protection topics from various textbooks and did the NCEES practice test as well. 

During the exam I mostly used  Zach's notes & Graffeo. I wasn't very confident when I walked out of the exam thinking I got around 55-56 correct but glad to see the result today.

This was my strategy when I passed the 2nd time in 2017. Zach's course was great. I assume the course has gotten more content since I took it, so for anyone looking to do a course, I recommend Zach Stone.

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Texas here, and I’m so happy to announce that I passed. This was my second attempt. The Texas state board has yet to update the grades, but last exam cycle I failed with a scaled score of 64 (42/80). 

 

I feel for the regular posters on this forum that have failed. Don’t give up. Doesn’t matter if this was your 2nd attempt or 7th attempt. Keep taking it.

 

I’m going to write up an enormous detailed post sometime in the next 2 weeks on how I managed to passed.  Hopefully it will help someone.

 

Before I log off,  I endorse and recommend Zach’s course. I would have failed without it.

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Just now, RadioBox said:

Texas here, and I’m so happy to announce that I passed. This was my second attempt. The Texas state board has yet to update the grades, but last exam cycle I failed with a scaled score of 64 (42/80). 

 

I feel for the regular posters on this forum that have failed. Don’t give up. Doesn’t matter if this was your 2nd attempt or 7th attempt. Keep taking it.

 

I’m going to write up an enormous detailed post sometime in the next 2 weeks on how I managed to passed.  Hopefully it will help someone.

 

Before I log off,  I endorse and recommend Zach’s course. I would have failed without it.

About time 

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Glad to see so many people have passed. I believe that pass % is probably gonna go up this time :)

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Study study and study, there is no way around this exam, it's  the toughest exam I ever took. If you can teach it you understand it. In the exam you either know or don't know. I opened my reference books for 7 questions,( beside code questions) had 45 minutes extra each session . Congratulations to whom they passed and good luck and never give up to whom did not.

Peace be with you and good luck.

Edited by P.U.18

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Didn't have time to study at all between while working 80 hour weeks.  Went in thinking let's see how this goes, at least it will be good practice in case I don't pass. Brought NEC and NESC codebooks lent by a peer, and  a formula sheet I found online.  It's a great feeling to pass first try, but I am certain that luck definitely played its part. 

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Passed second time taking it. First time got a 38/80. I have to say that Zack Stones class really helped a tremendous amount. I'm selling the study material that helped me pass, 

 

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It took me 4 times to pass the test.  I always felt good after taking the test (EXCEPT the 1st time) but could never figure out why I was failing.  Test 1 (31/80) I took an online Testmasters course, Test 2 (42/80) I added complex imaginary and Power PE Technical Study Guide, Test 3 (47/80) I added Graffeo... I finally realized I must be missing something fundamentally.  I caught my self working out problems because "this is how I've seen it done" versus "this is why it is done."  For me that was a big difference because we all know how they like to change up wording in the test and get us out of our comfort zone.  Zach Stone's Electrical PE Review was the difference maker for my 4 time.  His prerecorded and live classes helped me develop a better understanding and build a better foundation.  If any of you felt like me on the other tests I highly recommend Zach's class to help you prepare for the next time.  I took it for two months... I recommend doing all the free classes before signing up.  I also never participated in the live classes just because they run late... I actually preferred this because I could print out the completed notes then watch the class and add to the notes (time saver for me).  Hope this helps!

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19 hours ago, RadioBox said:

Texas here, and I’m so happy to announce that I passed. This was my second attempt. The Texas state board has yet to update the grades, but last exam cycle I failed with a scaled score of 64 (42/80). 

 

I feel for the regular posters on this forum that have failed. Don’t give up. Doesn’t matter if this was your 2nd attempt or 7th attempt. Keep taking it.

 

I’m going to write up an enormous detailed post sometime in the next 2 weeks on how I managed to passed.  Hopefully it will help someone.

 

Before I log off,  I endorse and recommend Zach’s course. I would have failed without it.

 

 
 
 
4 hours ago, Gsurface said:

Passed second time taking it. First time got a 38/80. I have to say that Zack Stones class really helped a tremendous amount. I'm selling the study material that helped me pass

 

 

Thanks for the mention everyone, glad you enjoyed our program!

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