Targeted Study Approach and Practice Problems? - Anything about the PE Exam - Engineer Boards
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pse19622

Targeted Study Approach and Practice Problems?

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Hey All, new to the forum, but have visited here and there in the past.

I'm currently studying for the October PE Mechanical Thermal Fluids exam, and am a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information in the MERM. I'm targeting Fluids, Thermo, Heat Transfer and HVAC sections, but there are subtopics that I don't think I even covered in school (e.g., compressible flow). I feel like I'm spending a ton of time going over stuff I won't need, and the NCEES exam breakdown isn't much help, as I find it a bit vague.

Also, I've been using the practice problems book associated with the MERM and have found many of the questions difficult. I ordered 6 minute solutions today and am hoping it's a bit more like the exam. I also have the NCEES practice exam, but I don't want to work the problems until I've covered everything.

Tldr: Trying to find a better targeted approach and better practice problems.

Thanks in advance!

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Hello! I just compiled a list of mechanical resources. You seem to have maybe not yet found the Engineering Pro Guides study guide and practice exam? His study guides have practice problems in them. I found his study guide & practice problems really useful on the Power PE. I also used his practice exam and found it very helpful. Generally speaking, his whole website is very useful. I would recommend getting the study guide and exams for your discipline!

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On 7/14/2019 at 6:42 PM, ItsStudyTime! said:

Hello! I just compiled a list of mechanical resources. You seem to have maybe not yet found the Engineering Pro Guides study guide and practice exam? His study guides have practice problems in them. I found his study guide & practice problems really useful on the Power PE. I also used his practice exam and found it very helpful. Generally speaking, his whole website is very useful. I would recommend getting the study guide and exams for your discipline!

I have those resources. I like how the study guide doesn't seem to cover unnecessary information and is much easier to digest than the MERM. My only concern is that his guide may not cover all of the material in enough detail for the exam - but maybe I'm just being paranoid :).

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You'll also want to get Slay the PE and make sure you buy the solutions. Slay the PE has a similar level of difficulty that you will encounter during exam day. That, combined with the NCEES practice exam(s), and you'll be well on your way to better practice problems. Engineering Pro Guide does topics very well but the difficulty of the questions isn't too high.

As I was doing practice tests, I would flag a topic that I had trouble with and re-do those questions in the MERM. 

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On 7/20/2019 at 8:38 AM, pse19622 said:

I have those resources. I like how the study guide doesn't seem to cover unnecessary information and is much easier to digest than the MERM. My only concern is that his guide may not cover all of the material in enough detail for the exam - but maybe I'm just being paranoid :).

I can't help too much with this as I haven't read the MERM (lucky me!). I didn't study from a book though (there's an electrical equivalent to the MERM, also massive and complex). I studied by doing practice problems and exams, then seeking info on areas I struggled with. I found the Eng Pro Guides study guide a little later in my studying when I was digging around for info on a specific section I was struggling with. I ended up reading it cover to cover and it helped fill a lot of holes for me. I didn't have it from the beginning though. Generally speaking my study method involved a lot more doing than reading. Like, as I read the Eng Pro Guides study guide, I did all the practice problems with my own detailed solutions.  I wrote up my method here. It worked really well for me, I felt prepared, and I passed! 

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On 7/20/2019 at 5:36 PM, Ttime said:

You'll also want to get Slay the PE and make sure you buy the solutions. Slay the PE has a similar level of difficulty that you will encounter during exam day. That, combined with the NCEES practice exam(s), and you'll be well on your way to better practice problems. Engineering Pro Guide does topics very well but the difficulty of the questions isn't too high.

As I was doing practice tests, I would flag a topic that I had trouble with and re-do those questions in the MERM. 

I have the Slay the PE practice exam. The questions seem a bit harder than the NCEES practice exam, and testimonials on the STPE site seem to confirm this. They do seem like high-quality questions. I think I'm at the point where I've reviewed all the exam topics and need to start cranking out tons of problems (have already done >100). The only thing is that trying to find problems of similar type/difficulty to the actual exam is tough. STPE and NCCES practice exams do provide a total of 160 problems, which is quite a bit. Add the Eng Pro practice exam and I have 240 exam-style problems to work with, which should be enough.

And yes, I did feel like the Eng Pro Guides problems sets in the study guide were too easy, but I assume these problems are meant only as a light review/knowledge check at the end of each chapter. His practice exam, after a cursory lookover, seems to be a bit closer to exam difficulty.

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On 7/21/2019 at 1:25 PM, ItsStudyTime! said:

I can't help too much with this as I haven't read the MERM (lucky me!). I didn't study from a book though (there's an electrical equivalent to the MERM, also massive and complex). I studied by doing practice problems and exams, then seeking info on areas I struggled with. I found the Eng Pro Guides study guide a little later in my studying when I was digging around for info on a specific section I was struggling with. I ended up reading it cover to cover and it helped fill a lot of holes for me. I didn't have it from the beginning though. Generally speaking my study method involved a lot more doing than reading. Like, as I read the Eng Pro Guides study guide, I did all the practice problems with my own detailed solutions.  I wrote up my method here. It worked really well for me, I felt prepared, and I passed! 

Excellent write-up! I laughed when I read Step 1 (Spend Money) - I have spent a small fortune so far on books, practice exams, and I just registered for a prep course. At the end of the day, I'd rather be out a few bucks than have to take this test more than once, so I'm taking the approach of dropping an atomic bomb on an anthill. Hopefully it works!

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