October 2019 PE Civil - Transportation Results - OCT 2019 - Engineer Boards
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cdunn2016

October 2019 PE Civil - Transportation Results

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Hi everyone! Akin to what @hardhatsandpinkshoes did for Civil - Structural, I wanted to start this thread specific to this discipline for people to report their scores. A huge congratulations to those of you who passed! For those of you who were not as fortunate, please post your state, scores (AM/PM), what attempt number this was, and how you prepared. Best of luck to you next time, and we all believe in you!

Edited by cdunn2016
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Second attempt. 24/20.

I studied way more for the PM this time around. I was more focused studying in general, worked through a ton of problems. I know a big issue was I did not brush up on the AM stuff like I should have (my previous score was 25/16), and I'm sure if I did, I'd have done better.  Other than that, I don't know what else I could have done. I did school of PE on demand, had access to ASCE coursework too. I only got 3 pts better than last time, but I still felt this test was harder than the april! 

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4 minutes ago, Lcengingeer said:

Second attempt. 24/20.

I studied way more for the PM this time around. I was more focused studying in general, worked through a ton of problems. I know a big issue was I did not brush up on the AM stuff like I should have (my previous score was 25/16), and I'm sure if I did, I'd have done better.  Other than that, I don't know what else I could have done. I did school of PE on demand, had access to ASCE coursework too. I only got 3 pts better than last time, but I still felt this test was harder than the april! 

You'll be all the better prepared for it next time because of your experiences this time and your previous go-around! Being comfortable with the exam and taking the exam is insanely valuable to your productivity the day of the test. Don't discount your prior experience! You've got it next time.

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Hey all,   I ended up passing this go around which was my third attempt.   first time I got 22/40 AM  18/40 PM, second time I got 20/40 AM and 26/40 PM.  I took School of PE before my second attempt and did the free retake before this exam.  For all those that failed it keep grinding. I used the strategy School of PE suggests of reading the entire exam, ranking problems then doing three passes.   I think that helped big time.  I also made sure to tab my references like crazy and make sure to have all the references listed.   To me the morning seemed pretty hard this go around but the afternoon seemed fairly easy. 

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On 12/13/2019 at 9:37 AM, Surfri72 said:

Hey all,   I ended up passing this go around which was my third attempt.   first time I got 22/40 AM  18/40 PM, second time I got 20/40 AM and 26/40 PM.  I took School of PE before my second attempt and did the free retake before this exam.  For all those that failed it keep grinding. I used the strategy School of PE suggests of reading the entire exam, ranking problems then doing three passes.   I think that helped big time.  I also made sure to tab my references like crazy and make sure to have all the references listed.   To me the morning seemed pretty hard this go around but the afternoon seemed fairly easy. 

Could you explain what you mean by listing your references? I’m studying for the April 2020 exam and I want to prepare as best as I can. Thanks!

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19 minutes ago, CUniverse said:

Could you explain what you mean by listing your references? I’m studying for the April 2020 exam and I want to prepare as best as I can. Thanks!

I think they are referring to bringing all references listed in the NCEES exam specifications. I think that’s overkill, but here are the things I took, and I died every single one of them but didn’t feel like I was missing anything:

CERM

HCM

AASHTO Green Book (note new version for April exam)

PROWAG Guidelines (free download, just print and bind. 

HSM

MUTCD

AASHTO Roadside Design Guide
 

I also had worked out problems and some practice problem books which were helpful for a few things  the rest of the listed references are less common and I don’t think necessary, but your mileage may vary  

 

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Circling back to this. I passed this time, my third time taking it, first time in transportation (first two times were in structural, yikes).

For the breadth portion, I did self-study each of the three times with some help from the CERM examples in the book, the accompanying Practice Problems and Solutions book you can buy, Civil Engineering Academy Practice Exams (https://civilengineeringacademy.com/breadth), and the official NCEES Practice Exam. In the morning, I exclusively used the CERM as my only reference. I had the 15th edition for all of my attempts, which was still plenty new enough to get the answers and have current information, as not much of the stuff in the CERM will change very often. Some of the problems in the CERM and the accompanying Practice Problems book can be a little too lengthy and contrived, but if you adhere to the list of topics covered in the breadth portion given by NCEES (https://ncees.org/wp-content/uploads/Civ-Str-April-2015_combined-with-codes-1.pdf), it will help you weed out some unnecessary chapters and examples. Even if the problems are too long, don't discount their relevance if they are within a topic mentioned on the spec sheet. Tab your CERM extremely well, by topic, not by chapter (e.g. Open-Channel Flow instead of just "Chapter 26 (or whatever it is)"). Depending on how many practice exams you have access to, I would save at least one for the week or 2 weeks leading up to the exam as a final review and a fresh look at new problems, which will become increasingly harder to come by.

I took the EET Transportation Depth On-Demand course (http://www.eetusa.com/classes/civil-pe/depth/transportation). YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY TAKE THIS COURSE!!!!! Samir, the main instructor, is an incredibly effective instructor and is great about answering any questions whether you're in the live online class chat or emailing him after watching an on-demand video. The classes take place on Saturdays (typically from 8am-5pm), and there are also 3-4 problem solving sessions (homework problem sets) throughout the course that have a mid-week solving session video. I felt the on-demand worked better for my schedule and actually allowed me to get ahead of where the current class was since I started studying earlier and had access to all of last cycle's videos right away. I committed 2-3 hours per night during the week and ~4 hours on Saturday watching videos either to stay caught up or to get ahead. The videos don't change by any huge measure, aside from any reference code changes (which looks like will just be the Green Book for this coming Spring 2020). As soon as you sign up and pay, you'll be sent a binder for the upcoming class. That binder is incredibly useful, extremely thorough, and should be tabbed thoroughly (more than what it already is) for easy access during the PM test. It has several practice problems at the end of each chapter as well as examples throughout the chapters. This course also comes with a simulation depth practice exam that's released about 3-4 weeks before the actual exam that will be uploaded to the course's website for download/printing. For other practice exams, I just used the NCEES Practice Exam and waited to take it until the week before the actual exam.

(As a side note, I have a friend who took the EET Breadth On-Demand course and had just as high praise of it as I have of the depth course. It also comes with a simulation breadth practice exam and has more instructors than the depth, but you get another separate binder entirely for the AM portion as well as tons of practice problems throughout the course. The same rule applies concerning receiving the binder as soon as you sign up and pay in addition to having access to the previous cycle's videos.)

As for references, get as many as you possibly can and make sure they are the correct edition, especially as it concerns the Green Book, HCM, and Roadside Design Guide, as those seemed to be 3 of the most utilized historically. With some strategic Googling/free trials of services, I was able to get almost all of the references in PDF format and print them off and bind them. Well worth the hassle, even if you don't use them all. Peace of mind is incredibly valuable, as you'll come to find out.

If you'd like clarification or further elaboration on anything, let me know! Best of luck to you all!

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Failed 3rd attempt. 46/80 split evenly between am/pm

SOPE 1st time (1.5 months of studying)

SOPE 2nd time (3 months studying)

SOPE & Testmasters 3rd time (5 months studying)

Don't really know where to go from here. I have done better with each attempt but got 2 more problems correct between try 2/3 to show for extra 2 months of prep. Friend recommended EET but not sure if even worth it. 

Ready to give up. 

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2 minutes ago, Leo037 said:

Failed 3rd attempt. 46/80 split evenly between am/pm

SOPE 1st time (1.5 months of studying)

SOPE 2nd time (3 months studying)

SOPE & Testmasters 3rd time (5 months studying)

Don't really know where to go from here. I have done better with each attempt but got 2 more problems correct between try 2/3 to show for extra 2 months of prep. Friend recommended EET but not sure if even worth it. 

Ready to give up. 

Don't give up! I promise EET will make all the difference in the world, from a depth standpoint. Plus, they have a free re-take guarantee if you fail your first attempt after using their review course! Nothing to lose. You've got this!

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I passed this time around on my second attempt. My first time in the Spring was 24/19 so I wasn't really even close.

This time I started around Labor Day. I did School of PE and I really focused on the things that I did bad on but also I focused on the things that I did good on as well from the first exam. Basically I studied everything.

Since I identified what I was good at from the diagnostic I did those first and I had 20 questions in the morning solved an hour into the exam. That was a huge boost to my confidence and because I had so much time left I was able to work through the other problems that I probably wouldn't have been able to solve if I only had 6 minutes.

Anyway did the same thing for the afternoon and walked out of the exam knowing that I passed.

Probably 250 hours of studying but since it was my second attempt, a lot of my tabbing had been done. Anyway best of luck to people studying more.

I think the best advice I would give and I really took this to heart (take this as constructive criticism). There is a reason that you failed the first time. When I took it the first time I knew I failed the second I left the room. Basically I said what do I need to do to get to a point where I can pass this. I completely revamped my studying techniques and it made a huge difference on test day. If you study the exact same way over and over and over again you will get the same result. The only difference might be if you guessed a little better one time as opposed to another.

Anyway best of luck to everyone taking it in the future. Let me know if you have any questions about studying. I did School of PE so I definitely recommend them.

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5 hours ago, The Running Man said:

I passed this time around on my second attempt. My first time in the Spring was 24/19 so I wasn't really even close.

This time I started around Labor Day. I did School of PE and I really focused on the things that I did bad on but also I focused on the things that I did good on as well from the first exam. Basically I studied everything.

Since I identified what I was good at from the diagnostic I did those first and I had 20 questions in the morning solved an hour into the exam. That was a huge boost to my confidence and because I had so much time left I was able to work through the other problems that I probably wouldn't have been able to solve if I only had 6 minutes.

Anyway did the same thing for the afternoon and walked out of the exam knowing that I passed.

Probably 250 hours of studying but since it was my second attempt, a lot of my tabbing had been done. Anyway best of luck to people studying more.

I think the best advice I would give and I really took this to heart (take this as constructive criticism). There is a reason that you failed the first time. When I took it the first time I knew I failed the second I left the room. Basically I said what do I need to do to get to a point where I can pass this. I completely revamped my studying techniques and it made a huge difference on test day. If you study the exact same way over and over and over again you will get the same result. The only difference might be if you guessed a little better one time as opposed to another.

Anyway best of luck to everyone taking it in the future. Let me know if you have any questions about studying. I did School of PE so I definitely recommend them.

How did you recognize what study habits needed to be changed? My approach the last 3 times was to study the review material and complete as many exercises as possible, however I would still find myself struggling with similar problems during a final "review" at the end, almost as if I had no recall. 

At this point I do not think it's the study material itself I am using because other people are having success with same review courses. I am not shy about studying 2 hours weekdays and 4+ hours weekends however it's not paying off. 

I am very hesitant with commitment to April 2020 cycle if I can't identify what root issue (with myself) is. 

 

Sorry, rant/bleeding heart over. 

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11 hours ago, Leo037 said:

How did you recognize what study habits needed to be changed? My approach the last 3 times was to study the review material and complete as many exercises as possible, however I would still find myself struggling with similar problems during a final "review" at the end, almost as if I had no recall. 

At this point I do not think it's the study material itself I am using because other people are having success with same review courses. I am not shy about studying 2 hours weekdays and 4+ hours weekends however it's not paying off. 

I am very hesitant with commitment to April 2020 cycle if I can't identify what root issue (with myself) is. 

 

Sorry, rant/bleeding heart over. 

I've taken it four times (Civil PE Exam). My advice is to change things up. I even changed my job to reflect the new sub-discipline I was going to take (WRE). The last and final time I took it, I gave myself a year to unwind and untangle the cycle of repeat studying that did not work. There is a point of diminishing returns where if you keep studying it won't help out. I would read the CERM one day and do problems another day.

image.thumb.png.a7ce217497d8b81065d3ebfbfc76ebc2.pngI would make a table of contents that would span multiple references, so I can find a certain problem or type of problem anywhere. Look at my water treatment TOC for reference. I would try to reference a problem and make sure I can solve every missing variable in it without the other. Everything in parenthesis in my TOC would be the provided variables and the text in front would be the variable I'm looking for. The way I built the TOC, if I don't recall a question that i've study. I can still find it. What you wanna do is tap into your memory. You don't need to know everything step by step in memory as long as you wrote out the steps properly you should be fine. Good Luck! 

Edited by Fisherman504
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On 12/17/2019 at 7:54 PM, Leo037 said:

How did you recognize what study habits needed to be changed? My approach the last 3 times was to study the review material and complete as many exercises as possible, however I would still find myself struggling with similar problems during a final "review" at the end, almost as if I had no recall. 

At this point I do not think it's the study material itself I am using because other people are having success with same review courses. I am not shy about studying 2 hours weekdays and 4+ hours weekends however it's not paying off. 

I am very hesitant with commitment to April 2020 cycle if I can't identify what root issue (with myself) is. 

 

Sorry, rant/bleeding heart over. 

No you're totally fine.

I bought a few practice exam books online. The one that really helped for the morning was Civil PE Practice Exams Bible. After I did the School of PE I went through those problems and really tried to understand how to do all of them. This helped tremendously. I also improved my tabbing for both morning and afternoon. I probably did close to 1500 practice problems and since I had to flip through my notes each time I basically had my notes memorized exactly where to go. Also the HCM and other books at that point I knew exactly where to go.

The weekend before the exam I took the NCEES practice exam they sell on their website and treated it exactly like an exam. I started the time at 8:00 AM took the morning exam and worked through the problems. Then I stopped at noon and took an hour lunch break and then at 1:00 PM started the afternoon. It got me used to the time limits and the timing on the problem.

This gave me lots of confidence as I got 60/80 on the practice test and the ones I missed I made silly mistakes. I actually learned a lot from the NCEES practice exam because the afternoon although there were problems that you could solve in seconds by looking something up in a table, I made a lot of mistakes by looking up the wrong table or information so I made that a note to really make sure on those "easy" lookup ones to make sure you are in the right place.

Honestly I'd say the practice problems. Variations of practice problems too. Not every problem is the same even though they might look like it and if you really understand how to do each one and whatever curve ball they throw at you on the exam. The only way to simulate that is to just do more and more and more practice problems to the point where it's just clicking.

Anyway I hope this helps.

Edited by The Running Man
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On 12/17/2019 at 2:19 PM, Leo037 said:

Failed 3rd attempt. 46/80 split evenly between am/pm

SOPE 1st time (1.5 months of studying)

SOPE 2nd time (3 months studying)

SOPE & Testmasters 3rd time (5 months studying)

Don't really know where to go from here. I have done better with each attempt but got 2 more problems correct between try 2/3 to show for extra 2 months of prep. Friend recommended EET but not sure if even worth it. 

Ready to give up. 

Do it...EET was a game changer for me on breadth and depth so I HIGHLY recommend them. SoPE was ok.... But me being over 15 years out of school and going back...EET broke the material down better and grouped it similar to the actual exam much better than SoPE. I.E.....SoPE had Project planning, Means and methods and Materials all grouped under construction whereas.... these are three separate sessions with EET.. and they are also separate in the actual exam inasmuch as what and where you are tested in...it made it easier for me to zone in on problem areas instead of a general topic playing guess and choose trying to figure out my weaknesses....

Edited by January Jones

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Guest biffnater

I will throw out my thoughts passed first go on structural:  Should try to strive to get 30+ in the AM portion really around 35.  I think most of the AM you really should have common knowledge to answer the questions and dont need much reference material.  An inclusive reference manual should suffice that is bookmarked.  I dont own the CERM I used All in One, and remember using my AISC Steel manual more in the AM just to double check some beam moment equations.    The Ultimate civil PE by civil engineering acadamy really helped clear up the foggy sections I didnt know much about --- gave example problems for sections such as  "Project planning " and "Site Development".  I tried several practice tests most were older and were more difficult.  The one from NCEES is really good to go through and most like the actual test.   One thing i did for both sessions was to go thru and start each problem... if I spent too much time on one and couldn't bang out the answer off the bat ....I would skip and come back to later.   I went through the problems 3 times before submitting and went thru for a final double check the last 20-30 minutes.  One final tip is there was a problem on the AM where I sat and wasted a few minutes looking for information in a book  and later discover that a table was given on the next page of the test.... be sure and look for that.   I attempted to obtain most the reference material sited for the PM which proved valuable .  I could tell I had far more educated guesses in the second portion.  

Edited by biffnater

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On 12/12/2019 at 12:10 PM, Lcengingeer said:

Second attempt. 24/20.

I studied way more for the PM this time around. I was more focused studying in general, worked through a ton of problems. I know a big issue was I did not brush up on the AM stuff like I should have (my previous score was 25/16), and I'm sure if I did, I'd have done better.  Other than that, I don't know what else I could have done. I did school of PE on demand, had access to ASCE coursework too. I only got 3 pts better than last time, but I still felt this test was harder than the april! 

Sorry to hear that you didnt pass. I took transportation PM and  passed this time. This was my 2nd attempt. My first time score was 47/80. I took passpe.com course offered by Dr Mansour. It is the most elaborate and comprehensive Transportation course I know. It was worth the $700. After taking  his course, I was very confident in the afternoon session. His books have all the important tables from AASSHTO, Road design guide, MUTCD etc. I didn't need any other references besides his reference books. Do not loose faith. Good luck

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