October 2019 P.E. ELECTRICAL POWER - Page 3 - Power Exam Sub Forum - Engineer Boards
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October 2019 P.E. ELECTRICAL POWER

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Just now, Chattaneer said:

I disagree. Like I said in a different discussion, I surprisingly feel better now than I did before the exam and I still feel pretty confident in my answers. I finished my first pass of the morning and afternoon sessions in 1.5 hours, then second and third passes in about 45 minutes each. Then the last hour of just reading over questions making sure I didn't misread a question, or type something in my calculator wrong. I took the test with a friend of mine, so after some discussions we feel very good about our answers.

uh-oh, this has all the telltale signs that you failed. =/ you guys fell for baited answers 

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There are months of preparation for the exam, administered twice a year, therefore I have no way to believe it was a mistake especially from a licencing organization responsible for the health and safety of the public domain.  It just added another layer of weirdness to the exam, why would they allow this to happen?

Edited by bdhlphcdh

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5 minutes ago, RadioBox said:

uh-oh, this has all the telltale signs that you failed. =/ you guys fell for baited answers 

I don't believe so. We felt prepared enough to work problems multiple ways to see where they would try to trip us up. For example, working problems using phase vs line voltages, or using 115%, 140%, 156% or 125% multipliers 😉

I've been fortunate enough to have a very broad background. I spent 5 years working as the only EE at a firm where I had to teach myself the NEC (conduit filling sizing, derating, etc., all before starting my junior year), and then working for 5+ years in generation, transmission, and distribution.

Most of the "theory" questions I was able to use knowledge I've received from spending time in the field.

There's nothing to say I passed, but there's also no reason to believe that a prepared person couldn't feel confident in their answers.

 

I worked the following exams in preparation:

  • Complex Imaginary (1-4)
  • NCEES Practice (Current and previous versions)
  • Cram for the PE 1 & 2
  • Engineering Pro Guides (Final Exam)
  • Graffeo

I'm definitely glad I practiced the Cram #1 exam. Along with NCEES. I feel like the Complex Imaginary and Eng Pro exams weren't very helpful. The Cram for the PE Electrical book was very useful along with Power System Analysis and Design by Glover.

I also took:

  • Electric Machinery and Power System Fundamentals (Chapman) - Very useful for studying motors, didn't use on the exam
  • Power System Analysis (Saadat) - Used for studying, didn't use on the exam
  • Protective Relaying (Blackburn) - Didn't use for studying or during the exam
  • Electrical Engineer's Guide to Passing the Power PE (Graffeo) - Used for studying, didn't use on the exam
  • Power System Analysis (Grainger) - Didn't use for studying or on the exam
  • Power Electronics (Rashid) - Didn't use on the exam
  • NEC, NFPA 70E, NESC, NFPA 497, 499, & 30B - Used these
  • Personal Notes - Used this the most

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17 minutes ago, Chattaneer said:

I don't believe so. We felt prepared enough to work problems multiple ways to see where they would try to trip us up. For example, working problems using phase vs line voltages, or using 115%, 140%, 156% or 125% multipliers 😉

I've been fortunate enough to have a very broad background. I spent 5 years working as the only EE at a firm where I had to teach myself the NEC (conduit filling sizing, derating, etc., all before starting my junior year), and then working for 5+ years in generation, transmission, and distribution.

Most of the "theory" questions I was able to use knowledge I've received from spending time in the field.

There's nothing to say I passed, but there's also no reason to believe that a prepared person couldn't feel confident in their answers.

 

I worked the following exams in preparation:

  • Complex Imaginary (1-4)
  • NCEES Practice (Current and previous versions)
  • Cram for the PE 1 & 2
  • Engineering Pro Guides (Final Exam)
  • Graffeo

I'm definitely glad I practiced the Cram #1 exam. Along with NCEES. I feel like the Complex Imaginary and Eng Pro exams weren't very helpful. The Cram for the PE Electrical book was very useful along with Power System Analysis and Design by Glover.

I also took:

  • Electric Machinery and Power System Fundamentals (Chapman) - Very useful for studying motors, didn't use on the exam
  • Power System Analysis (Saadat) - Used for studying, didn't use on the exam
  • Protective Relaying (Blackburn) - Didn't use for studying or during the exam
  • Electrical Engineer's Guide to Passing the Power PE (Graffeo) - Used for studying, didn't use on the exam
  • Power System Analysis (Grainger) - Didn't use for studying or on the exam
  • Power Electronics (Rashid) - Didn't use on the exam
  • NEC, NFPA 70E, NESC, NFPA 497, 499, & 30B - Used these
  • Personal Notes - Used this the most

I also had the Power System Analysis and Design by Glover book and found it very helpful.

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5 minutes ago, Shamsdebout said:

I also had the Power System Analysis and Design by Glover book and found it very helpful.

I found this book and ordered it, got here the 23rd. I read some topics on my flights in (6.5 hours out from testing center). He had some awesome examples and worked everything step-by-step. I enjoyed reading his explanation on phasor diagrams.

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6 minutes ago, Chattaneer said:

I found this book and ordered it, got here the 23rd. I read some topics on my flights in (6.5 hours out from testing center). He had some awesome examples and worked everything step-by-step. I enjoyed reading his explanation on phasor diagrams.

Oh wow, that was close but glad it worked out well.  I used this book for some of the concept questions as well.  

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1 hour ago, a4u2fear said:

What makes sense to me about the double question is....they likely had 80 different questions, and for whatever reason, late in the game one was pulled.  Who knows, could be anything.  And instead of further delaying whatever process they have to review and submit a new question, they doubled up on one.

 

If you think it's easy for them to just put in a new question, read around on this board.  A lot of time and money goes into new questions.   Seems feasible to me 

I think that was a trick question to see if same person comes with  same choice after due diligence  in the morning and in afternoon session, otherwise you know that person was playing some video game.  

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On 10/26/2019 at 1:22 AM, shengna said:

Do you guys find the last problem is the exact same as the third to the last in the PM session? 

 

On 10/26/2019 at 5:48 AM, bufalita said:

You were not fooled. That is correct, and I know I got that one right so I hope they count it twice!!!!

 

On 10/26/2019 at 7:17 AM, Rashid said:

And funny things was same question came twice.

 

On 10/26/2019 at 3:36 PM, mjcii said:

The duplicate question is really shocking to be quite honest. Because I feel like that was either by error or done with intent to purposely fool people. 

 

4 hours ago, bdhlphcdh said:

For an organization responsible for licensing, I am still completely baffled at how or why they would allow a question to appear twice, talking Power Afternoon session.  As controlled as the exams are, I find it very difficult to believe it slipped through their proofing process. 

All, please report the duplicate question to NCEES. In the past there was an option on their website or on your dashboard to report things like this. These sorts of mistakes happen and they can take actions so it won't adversely effect the final result.

 

3 hours ago, a4u2fear said:

What makes sense to me about the double question is....they likely had 80 different questions, and for whatever reason, late in the game one was pulled.  Who knows, could be anything.  And instead of further delaying whatever process they have to review and submit a new question, they doubled up on one.

 

If you think it's easy for them to just put in a new question, read around on this board.  A lot of time and money goes into new questions.   Seems feasible to me 

It was probably just a simple mistake. It happens more often that you'd think.

3 hours ago, Vette388 said:

That is weird, I re read it about 6 times to make sure it was a double

 

1 hour ago, roy167 said:

I think that was a trick question to see if same person comes with  same choice after due diligence  in the morning and in afternoon session, otherwise you know that person was playing some video game.  

No, nothing like that. I would expect it to be an accident.

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I just reported it to NCEES.  I’m sure they are well aware of it by now but just Incase they weren’t they should be now.

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On 10/26/2019 at 7:19 AM, Rashid said:

Hi guys, is there any way to check my score before result publish?

Nope.

On 10/26/2019 at 7:58 AM, MoselyHutHut said:

Wonder what the cut cut off will be.  I will certainly be close. 

Don't bother trying to figure out the cut score. It's pretty meaningless in the scheme or things, and it really really doesn't matter at this stage.

One should study as if the cut score is 80/80.

21 hours ago, Novanian said:

We won't know. If people guessed correct on a lot of the conceptual questions it will probably be 55-59.

If everyone as a whole did poorly, probably 50-54.

Just my thoughts.

The cut score will vary between sessions and disciplines. It's based on the difficulty of the individual exam and what the average minimally competent PE would be expected to get on that test. The cut score is NOT based on how the other examinees perform.

Not that at it matters, but for a major exam, like EE/Power, we'd typically see something like (~51,57]. And it's probably closer to the high end of that range.

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27 minutes ago, RBHeadge PE said:

 

 

 

 

All, please report the duplicate question to NCEES. In the past there was an option on their website or on your dashboard to report things like this. These sorts of mistakes happen and they can take actions so it won't adversely effect the final result.

 

It was probably just a simple mistake. It happens more often that you'd think.

 

No, nothing like that. I would expect it to be an accident.

For the duplicate question, to me it looked like one was in a final format and one was in a preliminary format. In one question, a couple words were bold, there was an additional clarifying phrase added, and the question was in a separate paragraph below the paragraph with the problem information. I would not be surprised if they had loaded the problem into the test and ended up also selecting the same problem that was previously loaded with modified formatting.

Talking with a coworker who is involved with some organizations that do accrediting tests like NCEES, it sounds like it one of the two questions will get thrown out. Disappointing for me as I am quite sure I got them both right and spent about 10 minutes flipping back and forth between the two problems to make sure they were indeed the same exact question. I could have instead used that time to solve/check work on other problems.

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2 hours ago, RBHeadge PE said:

Not that at it matters, but for a major exam, like EE/Power, we'd typically see something like (~51,57]. And it's probably closer to the high end of that range.

Do you have a source for this, or is this just speculation? 

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Just now, mjcii said:

Do you have a source for this, or is this just speculation? 

It's from 7+ years of active observation on this board. But If you don't believe me, feel free to go back through the last decades worth of results forums, and read through all of the many different "post fail score here" threads to check for yourself. Don't forget to eliminate the n=1 data sets where the highest score is like a 41.

We never get enough data points from the minor exams to form a defendable conclusion. 

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Was not trying to come of as confrontational. I was just wondering if that range was derived from those "post your failing scores" threads, or if these scores have previously been released.

I will absolutely take your word for it. As you stated previously, there's no use making guesses at it.

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yeah sorry about that reaction; it was a knee jerk reaction from so many years of people pushing back on this subject.

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4 hours ago, DilutedAr18 said:

For the duplicate question, to me it looked like one was in a final format and one was in a preliminary format. In one question, a couple words were bold, there was an additional clarifying phrase added, and the question was in a separate paragraph below the paragraph with the problem information.

Those were my exact thoughts when I saw it. IIRC, the few bolded words could be changed to make any one of the four answers correct. And as was previously mentioned, I spent more time than necessary flipping back and forth to check to find the difference between the two questions. It legit took me ~4 more minutes to answer the same question the second time as it did the first.  There's absolutely no chance that it was intentional, as there was only one question separating the two. If one was in the morning session and one was in the evening, then there would at least be a (weak) argument that it was intentional. 

 

As for the exam in general, count me in among the relatively few that found the AM portion to be tougher than the afternoon. The PM was heavy on code and I use the NEC for work, so that was the only portion of the exam that I was fresh for when I started studying. I had 70E with me, which was good as there were ~3 questions on that. Work didn't have a copy of the NESC to steal, which cost me 1 or 2 questions and potentially $350 + hours more of studying. 

I thought that Wildi's book would be a sufficient emergency reference for anything that came up, but if I failed (I'm 50/50), then I will definitely bring more in depth motor and especially power systems. Wildi did help me answer at least one question correctly, maybe 2 or 3. My go to reference was printouts of all of Zach Stone's lessons (I know that he reads all of this, so I'll finish this post answering his feedback email as I think that it will be useful for future test takers, whether or not they purchase your product):

-Caught off guard/unprepared for questions:  I assumed that the NESC and 70E would make up, at most, 2 questions, with the NEC taking up the other ~10 code questions. They took up 4 or 5. I don't want to flirt with giving too much information, but transformer loss questions did not use terminology that I was familiar with. Maybe I missed it in Zach's material, but I didn't find it in Wildi's book either. That's another thing that additional reference books would have helped with. 

-Subjects that I was overprepared for: I don't recall any quantitative equivalent circuit type questions for motors or xfmers.  There were  a handful qualitative questions., so it was much more important to understand what was happening moreso than solving problems. I was a bit under-prepared for that. Not that I was ignorant or lazy in understanding motors/xfmrs, but they had a few pretty deep questions. I don't recall any lighting questions. Not as much economics stuff as I expected, only 1 or 2 questions I believe. 

-Major surprises: already covered. Definitely bring a copy of 70E and NESC. I will say that the questions asked that required these references were easy. I work in the MEP field, focusing on 277/480V and 120/208V systems, only dealing with 13.8kV+ on a few campuses and high rises, and bossman kind of handled those aspects. Despite my ignorance, I am confident on the 70E questions. I guessed on the 1 or 2 NESC questions. Simply bring these references and you'll do well.

 -What would I do differently: As mentioned, bring NESC and more focused motor/power distribution references. I also procrastinated studying, put in a few hours here or there but didn't REALLY start until a month before the PE. Biggest regret was not taking the PE as soon as I could have after graduating. After 4 years working in the field, I was much more prepared the NEC stuff, but rusty on literally everything else. I can't emphasize this enough: if your state allows you to take the PE anytime after passing the FE, then take a shot ASAP. I know that it sucks to potentially lose out on $350 early in your career when you're probably not making a ton of money and have student loan debt, but I really think it's worth it. If it doesn't go well, then so be it, take it again when you're closer to your 4 years experience. 

-How to improve Zach's product: Include a section and video about bus schemes. It's not something people have to be an expert on, but they need to be familiar and have a reference. There were two questions referring to the same scheme (one of the schemes mentioned in the following link) that I guessed on because I was only VERY vaguely familiar with from having briefly covered it in a power class ~7 years ago.  https://testguy.net/content/256-electrical-substation-bus-schemes-explained

Good luck everyone. Not to keep pushing Zach's material, but it's definitely worth paying for 1 month of his service even if just to print out his lessons. Those were my go-to references and his "Key formulas" at the end of each section are enough to solve almost all quantitative questions on the exam.  

Edited by THRILLHO
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13 hours ago, RBHeadge PE said:

Nope.

Don't bother trying to figure out the cut score. It's pretty meaningless in the scheme or things, and it really really doesn't matter at this stage.

One should study as if the cut score is 80/80.

The cut score will vary between sessions and disciplines. It's based on the difficulty of the individual exam and what the average minimally competent PE would be expected to get on that test. The cut score is NOT based on how the other examinees perform.

Not that at it matters, but for a major exam, like EE/Power, we'd typically see something like (~51,57]. And it's probably closer to the high end of that range.

“Major” as opposed to Civil or structural? 😂

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The major (pencil and paper) exams would be the twice-per-year exams: Civil (all tests), Mechanical (all tests), Electrical (power).

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11 hours ago, THRILLHO said:

As for the exam in general, count me in among the relatively few that found the AM portion to be tougher than the afternoon.

I found the AM to be more difficult as well. Maybe because my brain hadn't woken up yet, maybe because it was more difficult, idk.

The NCEES exam specifications for Power is completely useless. I kept track of the number of questions on different topics in my head, and their "approximate number of questions" is way off. Well, I guess if 12 is approximately 20, and 8 is approximately 4, then yeah they're pretty close. 😆

I feel like the exam was less of an engineering exam and more of a substation electrician exam. 

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Unfortunately all of the test prep also follows the NCEES specification and did not really prepare you fully for the actual exam in my opinion. A lot of the test prep available really focuses on high level concepts and formulaic / calculator problem. Most standardized tests follow the prep material and specifications fairly closely, from what I have learned over the last few days, the Power PE doesn’t?  Not sure how you frankly are supposed to prepare and be successful at this exam besides luck and MANY many years of engineering experience in the exact right topics.   I am basing this opinion on test prep using Graffeo, complex imaginary test problems, Engineering Power Pro PE study guide and problems, test masters study / review classes, NCEES practice exam, reading relevant topics in the Wildi book, and some supplemental material from PPI which I thought would give me well rounded study material, but I felt it was all very similar.  This was multiple practice tests and 400-500 practice problems. 

Edited by Hammy4589
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17 minutes ago, Hammy4589 said:

Not sure how you frankly are supposed to prepare and be successful at this exam besides luck and MANY many years of engineering experience in the exact right topics.

That was kind of my understanding. The FE tests more book knowledge and the PE tests more real world knowledge (gained during the 4 years experience).

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This test deviated more from the guidelines than usual. In the 7 times ive taken it, ive had 2 instances where it didnt follow. The year they switched the test, April 2018 and this one. April 2018 was worst honestly. This one had the items listed in the guidelines for the most part but with a different distribution than expected. 

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42 minutes ago, Chattaneer said:

That was kind of my understanding. The FE tests more book knowledge and the PE tests more real world knowledge (gained during the 4 years experience).

Power engineers vary significantly in speciality and design area. I am not sure how you can possibly design an exam to cover everything from building design to utilities to motor design that everyone seeking a PE can realistically pass without following a estimated specification like other standardized tests.  

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13 hours ago, THRILLHO said:

Good luck everyone. Not to keep pushing Zach's material, but it's definitely worth paying for 1 month of his service even if just to print out his lessons. Those were my go-to references and his "Key formulas" at the end of each section are enough to solve almost all quantitative questions on the exam.  

Thanks for the feedback! Glad you enjoyed our material. 

Edited by Zach Stone, P.E.

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7 minutes ago, Hammy4589 said:

Power engineers vary significantly in speciality and design area. I am not sure how you can possibly design an exam to cover everything from building design to utilities to motor design that everyone seeking a PE can realistically pass without following a estimated specification like other standardized tests.  

You think they should make electrical into breath and depth? Have more grounding, NEC, overcurrent, motors, etc. on the building design side. Then NESC, transmission lines, generators, relaying, power system stuff, etc. on the Utilities side. 

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