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First Time Pass - What I did - Other Passers Please Contribute!!

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I felt like this was a very difficult exam, and looking at the pass rates that feeling is justified. This was my first time taking, and I passed, but I thought since I've been lurking through the forums for the past couple of days, I should share what I did to try to help some people that didn't make it this time. I encourage others that passed to include what they did here too.

FYI, this is 100% my opinion and what I did to pass. It is not the only way to pass the exam.

Graffeo - This book is literally an amazing resource without all of the technical "fluff". I think its ~$100 for the bound copy. Definitely worth it. https://www.amazon.com/Electrical-Engineers-Guide-Passing-Power/dp/0988187612

Testmasters Review Course (In person) - Not sure how much this helped me. I took the course in Houston Texas, so others could have had a completely different experience, but I felt like I was just in an advanced reading class. Not much explanation, just the instructor reading verbatim from the book. The best thing about the class was the NEC Code Review. I work with it every day, and there were things I learned that changed my life. All in all,  aside from the code lesson, not sure I would recommend it based on the cost (company paid for it). The book they give you is so full of information you are bound to find one or two questions worth of information.

Zach Stone's Electrical PE Review Course - I watched some videos on youtube and utilized the free trial on his site. In all honesty, if I had to do it again, I would have paid for this over Testmasters. Luckily, the topic that was free was exactly what Testmasters lacked (MVA Method). 

I worked the NCEES Practice exam, the Graffeo practice exam, the testmasters practice questions, and some of Zach's free quizzes. I started studying the second week of September up until 2 days before the exam. Personally, I did not look at any material the day before the exam. Sounds blasphemous, but I was to the point where I wasn't going to learn anything beneficial in a day. 

Hopefully this helps someone, and congratulations to everyone that got to see the green bubble. To those that didn't get it this time, remember, this test does not define you. You got this!

image.png.ba39f5d97d00d2a0f89c158eb6f9c6f2.png

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This is what I did:

 

I studied for six months, about 500 hours.

I used the following:

graffeo

engineer pro guides practice test

electrical pe review practice test

2 complex imaginary practice tests

complex imaginary code drills

some of the problems in the motor chapters of wildi

The official practice test they offer when you sign up for the test from ncees.  I did this one 3 Times.

youtube 

 

hopefully  this helps some one

Edited by Wow!
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im still relatively fresh (3 years) out of college and my job entails a lot of power calculations, so I had most of the material fairly well understood

I went over the designated practice exam

and i used this book as a reference and did the practice exam inside it: Electrical Engineer's Guide to Passing the Power PE Exam - Spiral Bound Version (Spiral-bound) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0988187612/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

after that all i had was an ugly's and the NEC handbook

 

Edited by bdpower

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I passed first time taking the exam in October 2019. To add to the above, I think its important to sit down and just read through some of the common refrence material and pick out information that seems relevant. This does a few things, you of course learn the material but you also learn how to navagate the refrence material and even if you dont know exactly something is you will have a good idea on where to look.

Practice exams are great and doing full sessions helps prepare you for the marathon of an exam, but learning theory and reading is the other side of the coin that needs to be done. There are a lot off the wall questions on the exam that reading through material will help prepare you for. I studied for probably 400 hours and it was split between practice tests and reading material.

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I passed first time taking the test in OCT 2019. I started preparing for the exams from the month of June. Sooner, I realized that doing self study without an online course isn't going to be enough (as I did in FE Exam). I joined the PPI's August online classes. The classes were on weekdays & I focused on self studies during the weekends. In my opinion, self study or group study is very important for cracking this exam. I went through/self studied all the topics discussed in the class. I did the practice exams twice (with 10 days gap) to ensure that I will follow the habit of searching for topic in the exam rather than guessing it. I still had to guess about 15% of the questions. Its impossible to know everything, we are humans. I was very familiarized with books i took in the exam. Don't take the books which you haven't reviewed or glanced, that will be waste of time trying to search for a topic. I prepared my own indexes to search for the topics in the exam. 

I took following books in the exam:-

1. PPI Reference Manual

2. PPI- Sample Exam

3. NCEES Sample Exam

4. NFPA-70E

5. NEC

6. NFPA 497 & 499 

7. A 3 ring binder of my personal notes. I used this more than any other book during the exam.

8. Wildi Book

9. FE Reference Manual

10. Units conversion handbook from PPI

11. NESC

 

I hope this will help. Wishing good luck to everyone. 

Edited by Warrior
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8 hours ago, eatsleep said:

I passed first time taking the exam in October 2019. To add to the above, I think its important to sit down and just read through some of the common refrence material and pick out information that seems relevant. This does a few things, you of course learn the material but you also learn how to navagate the refrence material and even if you dont know exactly something is you will have a good idea on where to look.

Practice exams are great and doing full sessions helps prepare you for the marathon of an exam, but learning theory and reading is the other side of the coin that needs to be done. There are a lot off the wall questions on the exam that reading through material will help prepare you for. I studied for probably 400 hours and it was split between practice tests and reading material.

Practice exams are definitely geared more towards solving problems than the theory questions. I was lucky to pass having done so many practice problems but not a whole lot of theory study. Theory is really hard to prepare for too, reading the reference materials helps some but I was stumbling through some of the theory questions on the exam.

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First time passer:

Went through EngProGuides study guide first back in June. Did all the practice problems from that course. 

Did 2 months of Zach Stone's course. Printed out all course material. Did half of the live classes (IMO basically repeats of the videos, but somewhat helpful.)

Did all the quiz problems from Zach stone's course.

Went through Graffeo's book.

Did 5 practice tests (Graffeo, NCEES, 2x EngPro, ZachStones)

Did some School of PE questions.

Made big binders of all the problems from the aforementioned sources, catalogued them, and repeatedly went through them noting which ones I got wrong, came back, did the problems I got wrong.

Did CI Code review practice problems for NEC.

Brought to test:

Personal binders of questions with index, grouped by problem type. 

All code books listed in exam guide. 

Zach Stone's material, tabbed. 

EngProGuides material, tabbed. 

Wildi (used for a couple)

Camara (didn't really use)

Glover -  Power Systems Analysis and Design (very helpful)

FE Reference Manual (didn't use)

Assortment of notes on Econ questions. Didn't help. Wish I had a better guide for these freebie questions.

Tom Henry's NEC lookup (very handy.)

 

All in all I did about 900 problems (some multiple times) and put in a solid 2 months hardcore 16-20 hours per week, and 2-3 months 12 hours a week or less. 

I wish I had brought some other Power System textbooks to cover big theory type questions (grainger?)

I also wish I had brought the NEC handbook. Some of those code questions are hard to parse, and there are a lot of them on the NEC.

 

Hope that helps someone. I'd recommend Zach Stone. I wouldn't have gotten a decent handle on Rotating Machines without it, having never taken that class in school. I think his approach to Rotating Machines is particularly easy to grasp. I liked EngProGuides for fault theory. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I graduated 14 years ago, so I was pretty rusty on many topics. I took the Georgia Tech PE course and it was really good for someone like me because it reviewed a lot of material I had not used in a long time. I took the binder to the exam and used it a good bit. I worked the practice exam over and over. That is the only practice exam I used.

Materials:

NEC

GT Binder

Electrical Engineer’s Handbook 

Condensed formula binder

Ugly’s Reference 

FE Handbook 

Camera (do not buy - wasn’t helpful)

 

Material I wish I had bought:

NESC

Glover

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27 minutes ago, Gtg936g said:

I graduated 14 years ago, so I was pretty rusty on many topics. I took the Georgia Tech PE course and it was really good for someone like me because it reviewed a lot of material I had not used in a long time. I took the binder to the exam and used it a good bit. I worked the practice exam over and over. That is the only practice exam I used.

Materials:

NEC

GT Binder

Electrical Engineer’s Handbook 

Condensed formula binder

Ugly’s Reference 

FE Handbook 

Camera (do not buy - wasn’t helpful)

 

Material I wish I had bought:

NESC

Glover

Were you just forced to guess on all code problems that weren't just NEC problems?

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10 minutes ago, SparkyBill said:

Were you just forced to guess on all code problems that weren't just NEC problems?

No, the GT binder covered the NESC pretty well. NFPA 70E is something I was pretty familiar with from work. I would definitely recommend buying the NESC to have at the ready though. 

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On 12/13/2019 at 4:29 PM, PE_Power_TX said:

I felt like this was a very difficult exam, and looking at the pass rates that feeling is justified. This was my first time taking, and I passed, but I thought since I've been lurking through the forums for the past couple of days, I should share what I did to try to help some people that didn't make it this time. I encourage others that passed to include what they did here too.

FYI, this is 100% my opinion and what I did to pass. It is not the only way to pass the exam.

Graffeo - This book is literally an amazing resource without all of the technical "fluff". I think its ~$100 for the bound copy. Definitely worth it. https://www.amazon.com/Electrical-Engineers-Guide-Passing-Power/dp/0988187612

Testmasters Review Course (In person) - Not sure how much this helped me. I took the course in Houston Texas, so others could have had a completely different experience, but I felt like I was just in an advanced reading class. Not much explanation, just the instructor reading verbatim from the book. The best thing about the class was the NEC Code Review. I work with it every day, and there were things I learned that changed my life. All in all,  aside from the code lesson, not sure I would recommend it based on the cost (company paid for it). The book they give you is so full of information you are bound to find one or two questions worth of information.

Zach Stone's Electrical PE Review Course - I watched some videos on youtube and utilized the free trial on his site. In all honesty, if I had to do it again, I would have paid for this over Testmasters. Luckily, the topic that was free was exactly what Testmasters lacked (MVA Method). 

I worked the NCEES Practice exam, the Graffeo practice exam, the testmasters practice questions, and some of Zach's free quizzes. I started studying the second week of September up until 2 days before the exam. Personally, I did not look at any material the day before the exam. Sounds blasphemous, but I was to the point where I wasn't going to learn anything beneficial in a day. 

Hopefully this helps someone, and congratulations to everyone that got to see the green bubble. To those that didn't get it this time, remember, this test does not define you. You got this!

image.png.ba39f5d97d00d2a0f89c158eb6f9c6f2.png

 

Happy to hear that our free videos on our YouTube channel helped you pass on your first try!

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So I've talked with some colleagues about the Testmasters course and they feel that it was not as helpful apparently some of the others Testmasters courses are for the other exams (like Mechanical for instance). Out of curiosity, does anyone else feel that it wasn't very helpful? Or have a suggestion as to what test prep videos/classes to pay for to help prepare outside of just books?

I saw the initial post and their opinion (which was very helpful thanks!), just wanted to hear from others as well.

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11 hours ago, Breanna said:

So I've talked with some colleagues about the Testmasters course and they feel that it was not as helpful apparently some of the others Testmasters courses are for the other exams (like Mechanical for instance). Out of curiosity, does anyone else feel that it wasn't very helpful? Or have a suggestion as to what test prep videos/classes to pay for to help prepare outside of just books?

I saw the initial post and their opinion (which was very helpful thanks!), just wanted to hear from others as well.

I am taking the exam first time April 2020. I can't express how amazing Zach Stone's Electricalpereview course is. I have worked through all the class work and printed all the materials and I am honestly excited to go through it all again to get a stronger grasp on concepts. 

I used PPI during my FE preparation and it was the most outdated material. It is sad the money they take from people when it comes to that website that thing seems DECADES old. Zach ( www.electricalPEreview.com ) is constantly improving his product and adding more materials. 

Edited by SparkyBill
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1 hour ago, SparkyBill said:

I am taking the exam first time April 2020. I can't express how amazing Zach Stone's Electricalpereview course is. I have worked through all the class work and printed all the materials and I am honestly excited to go through it all again to get a stronger grasp on concepts. 

I used PPI during my FE preparation and it was the most outdated material. It is sad the money they take from people when it comes to that website that thing seems DECADES old. Zach ( www.electricalPEreview.com ) is constantly improving his product and adding more materials. 

Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. I actually graduated with an Architectural Engineering degree so I didn't really ever learn anything past absolute basic circuits so I am definitely looking for something to help me learn the theory and help me answer the questions. From what I've heard about testmasters you have to know the concepts before going to the classes or you'll be lost.

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5 minutes ago, Breanna said:

Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. I actually graduated with an Architectural Engineering degree so I didn't really ever learn anything past absolute basic circuits so I am definitely looking for something to help me learn the theory and help me answer the questions. From what I've heard about testmasters you have to know the concepts before going to the classes or you'll be lost.

With Zach Stone's class, before you even "start" the modules for the PE exam he has added a "circuits boot camp" and a "power boot camp" it literally starts at the most basic level and builds up. I think it's a great foundation starter for anyone taking the exam. 

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