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civilrobot

Practice Exam Performance

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19 days left.

I'm completing 6MS problems in about 8-9 minutes. 

I'm scoring about 60% on the Indranil Goswami practice exams. 

I'm scoring about 80% on the NCEES Civil Construction practice exams. 

What can I do to improve? I know the Goswami exams are harder. Should I be concerned? Should I study the Goswami solutions? Should I spend my time reworking EET practice exams instead? Where is my time best spent? 

I need help focusing my effort. 

Edited by civilrobot

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I've been preparing using the geotechnical versions of each of those practice exams/sets. I obviously haven't passed the exam yet, so we might both go down in a blaze of glory on the 25th, but I can at least offer you insights from my preparations so far.

I haven't worried too much when the "Six-Minute Solutions" take longer than six minutes. I think these are great practice problems, for the most part, but are generally more involved than what I'm expecting on the exam.

My impression is that the Goswami problems are more representative of what you'll find on the PE Exam than Six Minute Solutions, but are still fairly time-consuming. Not every problem on the exam will be as time consuming as these, but some of them will be.

I've gathered that the NCEES practice exam is the most representative of the actual exam, but somewhat sanitized of the harder and more time consuming "trap" problems that NCEES likes to sprinkle in. I think this is the best indicator of where you are in your prep, but you'll probably do better here than on the actual exam.

With that in mind, I think I'd focus on the Goswami problems and solutions without worrying excessively about how long they take. Just make sure you know how to solve them. I'd also go over the NCEES practice questions that you missed and make sure you have a firm grasp of how to solve them, as well.

Based on what I've seen, on this and other posts, I think you're on the cusp of being ready to pass this exam cycle. It'll be a tough few weeks, but I think you'll be ready.

I'm wishing the best of luck to both of us. 😁🤞

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19 hours ago, civilrobot said:

19 days left.

I'm completing 6MS problems in about 8-9 minutes. 

I'm scoring about 60% on the Indranil Goswami practice exams. 

I'm scoring about 80% on the NCEES Civil Construction practice exams. 

What can I do to improve? I know the Goswami exams are harder. Should I be concerned? Should I study the Goswami solutions? Should I spend my time reworking EET practice exams instead? Where is my time best spent? 

I need help focusing my effort. 

I think it depends on the nature of the things you got wrong.  If you are getting small math errors from punching it in the calculator wrong or something like that, I would do a general review for the next few days.  You’ve been working really hard and I’m trying not to stress myself out this late in the game.

If it’s specific topics, then maybe brush up on those.  I’ve decided not to take any more timed tests right now and focus on getting in the right head space.  It sounds like you have covered a lot of material and will likely do well.  I’m trying to get really zen right now so that I freak out and blow it on test day 😂

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@Will.I.Am and @Wow! is it that obvious that I'm freaking out?  😂

I'm overanalyzing the work and my emotions. I want to chill out but I'm afraid of forgetting everything. I thought about it after writing this post and I realized the common-sense answer. I'll review the sections that I got wrong. 

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9 minutes ago, civilrobot said:

@Will.I.Am and @Wow! is it that obvious that I'm freaking out?  😂

I'm overanalyzing the work and my emotions. I want to chill out but I'm afraid of forgetting everything. I thought about it after writing this post and I realized the common-sense answer. I'll review the sections that I got wrong. 

I think you'll be surprised on how well you know the material once you start the exam. You've just got to get that first question out of the way.

 

You seem to have the depth construction topics under control, how well are you doing on the breadth practice exams? I'll say its a huge relief during the lunch break knowing you only need around a 50% in the afternoon to pass the exam. 

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6 minutes ago, eNgINeER93_PE said:

I think you'll be surprised on how well you know the material once you start the exam. You've just got to get that first question out of the way.

 

You seem to have the depth construction topics under control, how well are you doing on the breadth practice exams? I'll say its a huge relief during the lunch break knowing you only need around a 50% in the afternoon to pass the exam. 

Breadth

I am comfortable with: Project planning (scheduling and EVM. I could brush up on steel takeoffs though. They rattle me a bit), soil mechanics, hydraulics and hydrology, and site development.

I could use some work with: Structural, and continuous practice with geometrics (I sometimes have a hard time jumping right in. I take too long to figure out what I need to do or I jump right in and solve for a bunch of stuff that the problem didn't ask for - waste of time). I think I could use some more practice with soil classification. Once I get started, it's simple but again, I struggle with remembering where to start. I need to review it. 

Depth

Comfortable with: equipment productivity, scheduling, welding/bolting, cranes. 

I could use some work with: Benefit/Cost analysis. Once again, I take too long with strategizing on how to solve. I get flustered and move on. Then I get frustrated with the feeling of leaving an "easy" question on the table. I definitely need to watch the video on shoring/re-shoring again. I get the logic but I am having a hard time doing the math. I really want to ace those problems. I could use some practice with mass haul diagram/free haul problems. 

This is so helpful. I think "out loud" and I just needed a sounding board.

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I have no civil specific advice, but I do want to add this...

I took Dr. Tom's Mechanical (MDM) course and one suggestion he has for the last 2 to 3 weeks of review. Focus on your strengths and let go of your weaknesses.

That seemed really counter intuitive to me at first, but after some time, it made a lot of sense. You've spent months preparing, and in that time you've improved on every topic. But there are some topics you're better at. Make sure you knock those topics out of the park. That's your opportunity to get lots of "easy" points because you know that stuff.  For the topics that you're weaker in, your completed preparation will get you most of them right, and it's ok to miss the hard ones. You don't have to score 100%. With the same amount of effort, you can make more significant gains in your strong topics then you can in your weak topics.

I'm a big believer in there's no approach that works for everyone. Listen to advice and then decide what you want to do. But I just wanted to throw that out there. It worked for me.

Unrelated: I love your profile picture @civilrobot❤️

Edited by jean15paul_PE
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27 minutes ago, jean15paul_PE said:

So I have no civil specific advice, but I do want to add this...

I took Dr. Tom's Mechanical (MDM) course and one suggestion he has for the last 2 to 3 weeks of review. Focus on your strengths and let go of your weaknesses.

That seemed really counter intuitive to me at first, but after some time, it made a lot of sense. You've spent months preparing, and in that time you've improved on every topic. But there are some topics you're better at. Make sure you knock those topics out of the park. That's your opportunity to get lots of "easy" points because you know that stuff.  For the topics that you're weaker in, your completed preparation will get you most of them right, and it's ok to miss the hard ones. You don't have to score 100%. With the same amount of effort, you can make more significant gains in your strong topics then you can in your weak topics.

I'm a big believer in there's no approach that works for everyone. Listen to advice and then decide what you want to do. But I just wanted to throw that out there. It worked for me.

Unrelated: I love your profile picture @civilrobot❤️

This is solid advice. Thank you. I'll think through the best approach to take. 

 

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I agree with @jean15paul_PE

At this stage, just makes sure your strengths remain your strength heading into the exam. 

I know I probably scored maybe a 50% on water/wastewater problems, at best, for the PM section. But I felt damn confident on my strengths of hydraulics/hydrology. 

And the AM I felt I knocked it out of the park. 

You never will know how complex or theoretical NCEES may make the exam. You may get lucky and the areas you are weak in have problems you can solve easy enough or they could be that nightmare styled problem that has that one variable you never quite figured out during studying. 

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I took the EET Simulated 8-hr exam today. The morning was good. Afternoon was brutal. It exposed a couple of weaknesses that I need to work through. 

Did anyone else take it this weekend?

Edited by civilrobot

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@civilrobot I took the EET practice exam this weekend as well. I'm doing Civil water resources though, so only have the morning in common. I actually did much better on the afternoon portion. I am feeling pretty confident about my water resources afternoon portion, so I am going to work on my strengths in the breadth.

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I took the simulated exam this weekend as well and ended up scoring exactly the same as I did last cycle for both morning and afternoon. At least I didn't get worse? I definitely need to review the breadth material so I am planning on spending this week reviewing breadth and then taking the weekend and first few days of next week taking the afternoon session of the NCEES practice exam and reviewing that material. Fingers crossed I pass this time!

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My morning was better than I expected. I spoke with Samir and he recommended some key subjects to focus on for the afternoon. 

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On 10/12/2019 at 7:05 PM, civilrobot said:

I took the EET Simulated 8-hr exam today. The morning was good. Afternoon was brutal. It exposed a couple of weaknesses that I need to work through. 

Did anyone else take it this weekend?

I felt the same way! Morning was ok but Afternoon not so good, Planning to review some videos and work more problems. Dont want to get discouraged but I thought I was more prepared for the afternoon. I was expecting the results to be individual now I have to wait until I get home to review my answers and my grade!

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2 hours ago, aspiringWRE_PE said:

I took the simulated exam this weekend as well and ended up scoring exactly the same as I did last cycle for both morning and afternoon. At least I didn't get worse? I definitely need to review the breadth material so I am planning on spending this week reviewing breadth and then taking the weekend and first few days of next week taking the afternoon session of the NCEES practice exam and reviewing that material. Fingers crossed I pass this time!

Did you feel the material from EET helped you during your last exam? Im a second timer too and hoping this material helps. Good luck this time

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4 hours ago, vcuevas said:

Did you feel the material from EET helped you during your last exam? Im a second timer too and hoping this material helps. Good luck this time

I felt pretty good after taking it this spring and did not think that I missed so much.

I felt like the material was very helpful but there are some tricks that NCEES will throw in there that EET may not be able to prepare you for. This time around I tried to work more problems instead of watching the 8 hour videos. I am hoping that this strategy coupled with the fact I have been studying this material since last December will help.

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15 hours ago, aspiringWRE_PE said:

I felt pretty good after taking it this spring and did not think that I missed so much.

I felt like the material was very helpful but there are some tricks that NCEES will throw in there that EET may not be able to prepare you for. This time around I tried to work more problems instead of watching the 8 hour videos. I am hoping that this strategy coupled with the fact I have been studying this material since last December will help.

Thank you so much for your input!

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Hey guys, I just wanna say good luck to all. If you need any study material such as School of PE, EET or other resources for Civil PE Structural, please drop me a message and let me know. 

Good luck!!

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