Pencil/Paper vs CBT - Anything about the PE Exam - Engineer Boards
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daydreambeliever

Pencil/Paper vs CBT

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I'm a multiple time test taker. I've been trying to pass the Electrical Power PE for a while now. The Power PE is going to CBT Jan 2021. I really wanted to pass this test by using all the references I have accumulated over the years. This Oct. is the last time that pencil and paper will be offered. I registered for the Oct. exam but I'm really nervous about spending the next several months studying only for it to be cancelled. I was supposed to take it in April and it was cancelled. I understand that this is definitely trivial problem to a lot of people. I know many who have lost their jobs to COVID-19 and are still out of work. I just don't want to put my husband and kid through this again if I'm only going to start studying all over again at the beginning of next year.

Is there anyone out there who has taken the pencil/paper exam failed then also taken the CBT? Just looking for some advise on how it went. Were the differences a slap in the face or was it nice to have all your reference material in a searchable document? Were the qualitative questions a lot harder without your references? 

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I am in the same boat and hoping I pass the Power exam in October. But I have taken the CBT FE exam and I can say that it was actually not that bad. I don't know if the reference guide has been reeased for the PE, but for the FE it was really easy to use the reference guide, which is a searchable PDF. So if a question came up asking about finding motor slip, for instance, you could just type in "slip" and you would get a few results but would eventually get to the right formula. It is similar to using the index in a reference book, but you don't need to worry about going through several references.

I would also say that the questions I got on the CBT FE were easier than most of my practice exam questions. I would imagine that the questions are going to be adjusted so that there isn't a question that could be answered without some prior study and the reference guide given. So they may not have questions asking for the ampacity of a 2 AWG XHHW-2 aluminum conductor in 115 degrees C unless the appropriate tables are given on the reference guide.

Of course this is all my speculation, which is what can only be said at this point for the electrical portions without the specifications or reference guide being published. If anyone from the other PE trades who have already transitioned to CBT could chime in, that would be helpful.

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@daydreambeliever check out this thread from our ME colleagues who transitioned to CBT testing just this year.

 

 

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