April 2020 Power PE Exam Prep - Page 7 - Power Exam Sub Forum - Engineer Boards
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April 2020 Power PE Exam Prep

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15 hours ago, MEtoEE said:

I've literally had dreams where one of the following happens:

And except for #4 all of those dreams suck! That's not stress you need!

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Just now, daydreambeliever said:

I think I posted this in a thread the last time I took the exam. I was in a fairly small room (maybe 50-75 people) and a guy realized he left his calculator at his apartment. He talked quietly to a proctor about it and left. He didn't make it back in time. All of his references sat there the whole day. Nobody knew that's why he left. Someone would have let him borrow a calculator.

That's awful and I can't imagine having to go through that.  

This happened to someone during the last actual exam I took.  Another test taker had a spare similar calculator and he/she was able to borrow it.

Another person locked their keys in their car and their cell phone was inside.  Fortunately he had already taken all his exam stuff inside before the test started.  I let him borrow my phone so he could call for help.  I'm glad it didn't affect him taking the test.

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53 minutes ago, daydreambeliever said:

I think I posted this in a thread the last time I took the exam. I was in a fairly small room (maybe 50-75 people) and a guy realized he left his calculator at his apartment. He talked quietly to a proctor about it and left. He didn't make it back in time. All of his references sat there the whole day. Nobody knew that's why he left. Someone would have let him borrow a calculator.

I like that small is 50-75 people for you lol

VT had 15 in October 2019 LOL

 

54 minutes ago, daydreambeliever said:

I know EngPro Guide has a section on ladder logic and VFDs. It's been a while since I've gone through those sections so I'm not sure how deep into the topic he goes. It's a really good reference so if you don't have it already you should definitely get it.

I found the ladder logic section from Zach to be easier to understand than Justin's. It's probably because of the video. And also Boyfriend is a SCADA/Controls technician so hewalked me thru it.

 

@lost4ever_again I might have something stored in my Google drive, i'll look later and get back to you. Send me a PM if you want. 

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2 minutes ago, LyceeFruit PE said:

I like that small is 50-75 people for you lol

VT had 15 in October 2019 LOL

Haha! The main room has around 300-400 people and then there are probably 7 -10 rooms with 50-75 people. There's also an alternate location for overflow that's at a hotel. I took the exam there once and it was amazing!!! Requested a late checkout so I just woke up, went downstairs for breakfast then went back to my room for my references and headed to the conference room I was assigned to. 

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3 minutes ago, daydreambeliever said:

Haha! The main room has around 300-400 people and then there are probably 7 -10 rooms with 50-75 people. There's also an alternate location for overflow that's at a hotel. I took the exam there once and it was amazing!!! Requested a late checkout so I just woke up, went downstairs for breakfast then went back to my room for my references and headed to the conference room I was assigned to. 

Yeah no thanks to that! 

Where are you testing!? 

 

I dorve the 4 hours to VT to have the small testing group and home court advantage (I took the FE in VT) 

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9 minutes ago, daydreambeliever said:

NC State University

I redesigned and took part in the fire alarm system renovations at Winston, Tompkins and Caldwell Halls, the DH Hill Library and worked on many other electrical power/lighting/fire alarm renovations there (Price Music Center, Stewart Theater, Carmichael Gym, etc.)  They were a good client for us.  We moved to TN in 2016 so I'm sure the campus looks a bit different now.

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28 minutes ago, daydreambeliever said:

NC State University

Oh nice - I attempted an online masters from them.

Online learning isn't my strong suit lol 

 

Oh  I found some TCC stuff in my Drive account. Do you need/want it? Or are you good & just need a ruler to follow all the tiny tiny lines? 

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1 hour ago, MEtoEE said:

We moved to TN in 2016 so I'm sure the campus looks a bit different now.

The exams are always in McKimmon Center. I haven't spent any time walking around on campus. I always drive up on Thursday and at that point I'm just relieved to be there so I go out for dinner and go back to my room. I don't need any extra excitement the day before the exam :) When the test is over I can't get away fast enough! 

 

1 hour ago, LyceeFruit PE said:

Online learning isn't my strong suit lol 

 

Oh  I found some TCC stuff in my Drive account. Do you need/want it? Or are you good & just need a ruler to follow all the tiny tiny lines? 

Yeah the amount of self discipline needed for online classes is sorely lacking in me. I just can't do it!

I would love some TCC stuff. In the example that I messed up it was just my eyes skipping over to the next line when I was half way up to the curve but I'm sure there are much tougher TCC problems that I could come across. 

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On 1/15/2020 at 5:29 AM, MEtoEE said:

Awful.  I took two full-timed practice exams (School of PE and Complex Imaginary) and got 80% and 79%.  Not great and those are easier problems compared to others I have.  Then last weekend I took the Eng Pro Guides full exam and scored 58%.  

I went back to look at some drill problems I worked on a week ago and I honestly couldn't remember doing some of them.  

I think I just need to keep working through more problems and just keep going but honestly I don't feel good about the whole thing at the moment.

I took the Eng Pro Guides exam as my very last practice exam VERY close to the real exam and I got a failing score....then I still passed the PE. Don't let that one discourage you! It's tough! And worded slightly differently that all the others. It was definitely a curve ball. BUT, then I did my 'parsing' method' and put all those problems in the binder, and then filled a bunch of holes in my binder and was really helpful in the end as a a resource. 😃

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25 minutes ago, ItsStudyTime! said:

I took the Eng Pro Guides exam as my very last practice exam VERY close to the real exam and I got a failing score....then I still passed the PE. Don't let that one discourage you! It's tough! And worded slightly differently that all the others. It was definitely a curve ball. BUT, then I did my 'parsing' method' and put all those problems in the binder, and then filled a bunch of holes in my binder and was really helpful in the end as a a resource. 😃

I know I failed, but your binder/organizing method really helped me find stuff quickly, even during studying.  

For the Eng Pro Guides, did you take his "Full" exam or "Final", or both?  I have both and I bombed the "Full" one, but you may not have taken his "Final" one since it just came out last summer.

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59 minutes ago, daydreambeliever said:

The exams are always in McKimmon Center. I haven't spent any time walking around on campus. I always drive up on Thursday and at that point I'm just relieved to be there so I go out for dinner and go back to my room. I don't need any extra excitement the day before the exam :) When the test is over I can't get away fast enough! 

 

Yeah the amount of self discipline needed for online classes is sorely lacking in me. I just can't do it!

I would love some TCC stuff. In the example that I messed up it was just my eyes skipping over to the next line when I was half way up to the curve but I'm sure there are much tougher TCC problems that I could come across. 

I don't have more TCC problems, just info about TCC graphs and such 

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1 hour ago, LyceeFruit PE said:

I don't have more TCC problems, just info about TCC graphs and such 

Yeah I'll take it please. I just meant that on the actual exam I bet the problems will be a lot more difficult than simply calculating the multiple of pickup and finding the time dial setting. This was another one of those that I just punched some numbers in the calculator and wrote my answer down. Didn't show any work.

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Here's a good book for power electronics.

Covers everything with thyristors, AC-AC, DC-DC, motor drives, rectification, etc.

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I am looking at creating a binder of all the practice problems that I do. I was thinking about copying the problem and solution together on a page and then organizing them by problem type. Has anyone done this? It seems like it would take a lot of time to do but would be very helpful. 

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41 minutes ago, Swift Fox said:

I am looking at creating a binder of all the practice problems that I do. I was thinking about copying the problem and solution together on a page and then organizing them by problem type. Has anyone done this? It seems like it would take a lot of time to do but would be very helpful. 

 

On 12/26/2019 at 11:48 AM, squaretaper LIT AF PE said:

Starting to put my binders together (same strategy as previous exams) of worked problems and handwritten notes (if I don't write it, I don't learn it). My twist is that I scan and reprint every (and I mean EVERY) sample problem (from various sources, ugh...takes forever) onto its own sheet. Once that problem is worked with neatly printed notes and equations cross-referenced to the MERM/CERM/whatever (I think this is called "threading"), I categorize it into the appropriate tabbed section in a YUUGE (3.5"? 4"? I forget...) D-ring binder so I can find it via the index later. Really, this is the "Dr. Tom's" method but mine is all handmade. It ends up being about 2-400 pages depending on exam type, but I know it like the back of my hand.

 

On 1/2/2020 at 12:19 PM, squaretaper LIT AF PE said:

Haha, you wouldn't have found anything on the internet about it directly. It's an idea I lifted from the Bullet Journal dude. So basically, I tried to "idiot-proof" my reference material on test day (because I R a nervous test taker) so I'm not burning time flipping pages unnecessarily.

So, in a nutshell: say I'm working on a problem that uses an equation from page XXX of my mechanical engineering reference manual (the "MERM"), in the margin of my sample problem (where I've reprinted all my practice problems on their own page) I write in red ink "MERM page XXX" (or any other instance of this equation in any other reference). That way I can easily find any other forms of the same equation or maybe some related equations/concepts that are more appropriate for the new problem at hand. Or, say I kind of prefer a form of an equation in my ASHRAE handbook, I'll put a little flag in the MERM (as well as a note in the practice problem margin) that points to the exact page in the ASHRAE handbook to remind me to use that one instead. The "threading" comes from the fact that, let's say you're already in the MERM looking up an equation, I've also noted in the margins of the MERM the exact worked problems that use those equations/ideas that are all sorted by topic area. That way, if you're very lucky, if the exam has a problem that verrrry closely resembles a problem you have already seen, your solution will be neatly annotated and worked out. Plug and play.

Honestly, on test day I didn't "use" this model explicitly, like at all. The point is that all the front-end work and prep in studying was the real benefit. Sort of like making your own flashcards or cheat sheet. In making the cheat sheet, you're already studying so...win-win. Plus if you have a total brain fart, all your study material is referenced appropriately.

 

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41 minutes ago, Swift Fox said:

I am looking at creating a binder of all the practice problems that I do. I was thinking about copying the problem and solution together on a page and then organizing them by problem type. Has anyone done this? It seems like it would take a lot of time to do but would be very helpful. 

This is exactly what I do.  I have two binders (started as one, but got too big) and they're organized by sections (circuit analysis, rotating machines, measurement and instrumentation, protection, codes, etc.)  I put my pertinent formulas in the front of every section along with any cheat sheets or key notes I want to add.  The rest of the section is example or sample test problems.  For example, I have 4 different type of autotransformer problems in a particular section.  If I come across the same problem twice, I might replace that problem/sheet with the newer one if I found a better way to solve it, or if it was clearer, or maybe I made better notes or drew in a single line diagram, etc.  I'm always updating/adding to it.  

Yes this all takes time, but it's a nice way to keep everything organized and know where to go back and find stuff.

Another tip:  When solving problems, especially qualitative ones, I like to write (in red ink) why some of the incorrect answer choices are wrong.  Even with math problems, I try to write explanations and come up with ways the problem could be asked in a qualitative manner.  I will also put the reference book and page number if that's where I got the answer from, so if I come across a similar problem and forgot where to look I can easily find it.  

I got some of these ideas from @ItsStudyTime!, and I highly recommend at least looking at her study method.

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5 minutes ago, N-ABC said:

Can anyone share their study schedule and material with me. 

There's probably more if you look through the Power PE sub forum.

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They're both good.  The full exam is designed for Justin's students to take after studying each section.  The final exam is supposed to simulate a real timed practice exam so it's meant as an evaluation to see how you might do on the real test.  

So both are good exams, just designed for different purposes.

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On 1/21/2020 at 10:43 AM, MEtoEE said:

I know I failed, but your binder/organizing method really helped me find stuff quickly, even during studying.  

For the Eng Pro Guides, did you take his "Full" exam or "Final", or both?  I have both and I bombed the "Full" one, but you may not have taken his "Final" one since it just came out last summer.

I'm glad to hear it's working for you! I believe at the time I took the exam, there was only one Electrical 'exam' available from Justin, and it was a 'PE practice' exam in that it covered all topics, 80 questions, 8 hours, etc. I'm glad that he's making/offering more products - I liked his stuff! He did not have an electrical review course when I was doing the PE, so he would not have had any of the related products available then. The only other 'problems' available at that time from him were the practice ones that are in his technical study guide, which I also did. 

But yeah - I definitely bombed it at the time. It was GREAT though because it just helped me close those gaps in my binder. It did take a few deep breaths to get over the shock that close to the real exam though.....I think I just quit for the night and went to bed to wallow in misery, then got up the next day to 'get at it' with the required follow up and final prep. 

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On 1/24/2020 at 7:48 AM, Swift Fox said:

I am looking at creating a binder of all the practice problems that I do. I was thinking about copying the problem and solution together on a page and then organizing them by problem type. Has anyone done this? It seems like it would take a lot of time to do but would be very helpful. 

Haha! Yes. The great debate. 'is it worth the time'? I obviously think 'yes'...since this is basically ALL I did, and I passed using that binder I made. It does come down to 'learning style' - I tune out of lectures unless I'm writing something down, so the 'binder' method worked well for me because all of my studying also involved writing things down (mostly working out solutions).

My 'method' is laid out here. I wrote it as a 'step by step' (week by week), but in the end your summary in your question essentially covers the gist of it. I was rigorous about the 'weeks' at the time because I only had 9 of them left to study when I signed up.

Unsolicited advice;

If you are taking the time to write out solutions, make sure to actually take the time. i.e. write out the solution in full (all steps, all formulas used in their native form before inserting numbers). If the problem you are trying to solve is only similar, but not identical, to your reference solution, having all the steps/formulas written out helps you 'adapt' the process as needed for the slightly different problem type. As a counter-example - the 'solutions' in the NCEES practice exam book are about as useless as a chocolate teapot - so many steps are skipped and you really have to already know most of the solution in order to follow their 'worked' solutions.

Also, if you got the problem wrong originally, note in the 'correct solution' page somewhere what you did wrong (especially if it was an easy mix-up or mistake to make again). 'Present you' understands what you did wrong, 'future you' may just repeat the mistake unless there's a kick-in-the butt to remind you not to mess it up again. Like, I literally highlighted the 'square root' symbol in one formula and pointed at it with an arrow and wrote 'hey dummy, don't forget to take the square root at the end'.

Also, if the problem is qualitative, write out WHY each of the WRONG answers was wrong. They are usually 'close' or 'half true' or some other tricksie thing, so writing 'option A is wrong because ___, option B is wrong because ___, etc' can really make that 'solution' more broadly useful in the future if a similar topic comes up. Also, some jot notes about why the RIGHT answer is right, and titles/page numbers to your favorite resource-book sections on the topic. TLDR: if you are going to take the time to write out page-by-page problem/solution sets, make each one as useful as possible to 'future you'.

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Also, on the real exam, pay close attention if two of the answer choices for a qualitative question are opposites.  There's a good chance one of the 2 is the correct answer, thereby eliminating the other 2 and giving yourself a 50% chance of getting it right, in case you're not sure of the answer.

Also if 2 answers appear to be correct, they might be.  Just one is more correct than the other.

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