Advice for NCEES power exam for first time timer

Help Support Engineer Boards:

nishan

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Messages
20
Reaction score
4
Hi All, I will be taking my first time NCEES exam on 6 days later. I am Zach student and I just finished Eng Pro practice and I only got about 50%. I still not enough confidence for the exam.

Tomorrow I will try
1) Zach practice test and then
2) NCEES.
3) Then brand new Zach practice 40 questions, and
4) I will refresh last live class 20 questions. Still have time I will go over especially his home work, and quiz.
I studied all Zach pre-requisit notes, live class notes, home work and quiz.

But today, I took eng pro practice test, and looks like I don’t have enough confidence. how is the similarity with CBT exam?

I have cram, eng pro, Zach practice, spin up, and others test but only left 6 days, I think I can’t finish all. Like today, after I finish eng pro, go back and study to all my mistake and learn from there for key concepts. Quite useful.

Any recommend for all practice test. Only left 6 days to go. Please let me know any of your advice. Thank you in advance.
 

Dothracki PE

Where is my mind?
EB Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
955
Location
New Jersey
Hi All, I will be taking my first time NCEES exam on 6 days later. I am Zach student and I just finished Eng Pro practice and I only got about 50%. I still not enough confidence for the exam.

Tomorrow I will try
1) Zach practice test and then
2) NCEES.
3) Then brand new Zach practice 40 questions, and
4) I will refresh last live class 20 questions. Still have time I will go over especially his home work, and quiz.
I studied all Zach pre-requisit notes, live class notes, home work and quiz.

But today, I took eng pro practice test, and looks like I don’t have enough confidence. how is the similarity with CBT exam?

I have cram, eng pro, Zach practice, spin up, and others test but only left 6 days, I think I can’t finish all. Like today, after I finish eng pro, go back and study to all my mistake and learn from there for key concepts. Quite useful.

Any recommend for all practice test. Only left 6 days to go. Please let me know any of your advice. Thank you in advance.
Good luck! As I've suggested in the past with CBT, your focus should be less on completing timed practice tests and more on concetrated study using practice exams as a guide for study. Most test takers don't need the full 9 hours your are given (counting the 50 minute break). I had just under 3 hours left on my clock when I finished. Although keep in mind that everyone requires different amounts of time (but I haven't seen that to be an issue on any feedback from this site) so make sure to keep an eye on the time. Since you have access to Zach's program, he makes it relatively easy to do it. I like your approach, but maybe for step 4 have a more focused review of material based on the areas you performed weakest on your practice exams. I.e. protection, transmission, etc. I believe Zach's final exam does have a score sheet in the back of the exam that categorizes each question by topic so that you can identify this. Same with engineer pro guides if I remember correctly.

I used Electrical PE Review for 90% of my study and then read through Graffeo, Wildi, and a few other books for the other 10%. The practice exams I took were NCEES (2017), Graffeo, Electrical PE Review Practice Exam, NCEES (2018), Engineer Pro Guides (Practice Exam), Engineer Pro Guides (Codes Exam) in that order where I took the first two a few months before and the other four within a few weeks of my exam.

You might have seen this elsewhere, but I would recommenced you take the exam in a 4-step iterative approach:
  1. Go through the problems and answering the questions you know you could answer easily. If you can answer it in a fair amount of time do so on the first approach. If you start taking too much time or get stuck, flag it and come back to it. If you come across a code question (NEC, NESC, etc.) flag it and move on to the next question.
  2. Go through those code questions you skipped and solve those. Try not to spend too much time here to save time if needed for the next steps.
  3. Go back to the harder questions you skipped. If it still stumps you, move on and come back to it.
  4. Go back to any questions you skipped in 3, you might get a similar question in 3 on that gives you an AHA moment or at worst case you should have time to really dig into the reference PDF and come up with an educated guess.
On the actual exam you will only be given approximately 40 questions at a time so you will need to do this sequence twice

Sorry this is a big post.
 
Last edited:

nishan

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Messages
20
Reaction score
4
Good luck! As I've suggested in the past with CBT, your focus should be less on completing timed practice tests and more on concetrated study using practice exams as a guide for study. Most test takers don't need the full 9 hours your are given (counting the 50 minute break). I had just under 3 hours left on my clock when I finished. Although keep in mind that everyone requires different amounts of time (but I haven't seen that to be an issue on any feedback from this site) so make sure to keep an eye on the time. Since you have access to Zach's program, he makes it relatively easy to do it. I like your approach, but maybe for step 4 have a more focused review of material based on the areas you performed weakest on your practice exams. I.e. protection, transmission, etc. I believe Zach's final exam does have a score sheet in the back of the exam that categorizes each question by topic so that you can identify this. Same with engineer pro guides if I remember correctly.

I used Electrical PE Review for 90% of my study and then read through Graffeo, Wildi, and a few other books for the other 10%. The practice exams I took were NCEES (2017), Graffeo, Electrical PE Review Practice Exam, NCEES (2018), Engineer Pro Guides (Practice Exam), Engineer Pro Guides (Codes Exam) in that order where I took the first two a few months before and the other four within a few weeks of my exam.

You might have seen this elsewhere, but I would recommenced you take the exam in a 4-step iterative approach:
  1. Go through the problems and answering the questions you know you could answer easily. If you can answer it in a fair amount of time do so on the first approach. If you start taking too much time or get stuck, flag it and come back to it. If you come across a code question (NEC, NESC, etc.) flag it and move on to the next question.
  2. Go through those code questions you skipped and solve those. Try not to spend too much time here to save time if needed for the next steps.
  3. Go back to the harder questions you skipped. If it still stumps you, move on and come back to it.
  4. Go back to any questions you skipped in 3, you might get a similar question in 3 on that gives you an AHA moment or at worst case you should have time to really dig into the reference PDF and come up with an educated guess.
On the actual exam you will only be given approximately 40 questions at a time so you will need to do this sequence twice

Sorry this is a big post.
Hi very well explanation and detail information. For sure, I will go with your 4 steps. As only left 3 more days, I will review my mistake on ZACH and NCEES practice questions.
I tried 3 practice questions (Eng Pro, Zach and NCEES), and only got 50-60%. Within a few days, I will try to digest the mistake area during practice test.
During the actual exam, the time is just nice for PM exam as it is more difficult than AM exam?
how about code questions as I am going to do on my second pass. As it is the second biggest area, I really need to focus that area as well. Any final advice for me? Thanks
 

nishan

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Messages
20
Reaction score
4
Any specific topics that you are struggling on?
I am struggling on symmetrical components, code and qualitative questions.

After 3 practice test (Zach, eng pro and NCEES), I only got 50-60%. Within 2 days, I will review where I go wrong during the practice test and last day before exam for reviewing all key concepts.

As I am a first time exam taker, and away from study about 10 years, busy work and family schedule, I will try my very best with the exam. I hope I can make it.
Any final advice for me? Thanks in advance.
 

akyip

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
410
Reaction score
173
Good luck!

As Dothracki mentioned above:

1. Focus on the easy questions. Skip the code questions and hard questions on your first pass.
2. Do the code questions. Skip any questions that are hard.
3. Try to figure out the harder questions as best as you can.

Take the time to double-check your work, and make sure you read the questions carefully.
 

Dothracki PE

Where is my mind?
EB Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
955
Location
New Jersey
Hi very well explanation and detail information. For sure, I will go with your 4 steps. As only left 3 more days, I will review my mistake on ZACH and NCEES practice questions.
I tried 3 practice questions (Eng Pro, Zach and NCEES), and only got 50-60%. Within a few days, I will try to digest the mistake area during practice test.
During the actual exam, the time is just nice for PM exam as it is more difficult than AM exam?
how about code questions as I am going to do on my second pass. As it is the second biggest area, I really need to focus that area as well. Any final advice for me? Thanks
I would see as less of an AM and PM exam setup as it was previously. It's really now a cohesive 80 question exam broken up into two sections with a variety of conceptual, mathematical, and code questions randomly scattered throughout. You have 9 hours from when you start the exam to finish including 10 minutes for the introductory session and a 50 minute break. So if you finish the first part earlier than 4 hours, you have have extra time on the second part. But you cannot return to the first part once you finish. Not saying to speed through the exam but something to keep in mind. It takes much less time to use the PDF reference handbook or the codebook PDFs than it would be to scavenge a suitcase of books to try and come up with a solution.

I use the NEC constantly in my work so it was already something I know very well. The best way I can say to learn it is by using it. I know Zach has many code practice problems in his weekly class homework and the Engineer Pro Guides has a practice exam dedicated to codes. Both of those were very helpful in my studies of the NEC topics I don't use often.
 

Dothracki PE

Where is my mind?
EB Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
955
Location
New Jersey
I am struggling on symmetrical components, code and qualitative questions.

After 3 practice test (Zach, eng pro and NCEES), I only got 50-60%. Within 2 days, I will review where I go wrong during the practice test and last day before exam for reviewing all key concepts.

As I am a first time exam taker, and away from study about 10 years, busy work and family schedule, I will try my very best with the exam. I hope I can make it.
Any final advice for me? Thanks in advance.
I can tell you that I didn't do that much better, if not worse, on some of my practice exams. Zach and Justin design the questions to be on the more difficult side to get you better prepared for the exam. Just keep working at it, breathe, and take each question one at a time.
 

Nate2020

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
I suggest reading through as many practice tests as possible and make sure you understand the answers to all conceptual questions.
 

nishan

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Messages
20
Reaction score
4
I would see as less of an AM and PM exam setup as it was previously. It's really now a cohesive 80 question exam broken up into two sections with a variety of conceptual, mathematical, and code questions randomly scattered throughout. You have 9 hours from when you start the exam to finish including 10 minutes for the introductory session and a 50 minute break. So if you finish the first part earlier than 4 hours, you have have extra time on the second part. But you cannot return to the first part once you finish. Not saying to speed through the exam but something to keep in mind. It takes much less time to use the PDF reference handbook or the codebook PDFs than it would be to scavenge a suitcase of books to try and come up with a solution.

I use the NEC constantly in my work so it was already something I know very well. The best way I can say to learn it is by using it. I know Zach has many code practice problems in his weekly class homework and the Engineer Pro Guides has a practice exam dedicated to codes. Both of those were very helpful in my studies of the NEC topics I don't use often.
Thank you very much for the information. One more question about the time.
As we can have total 9 hours, start from the beginning, and 50 mins for lunch time. If my lunch only take 30 mins, can I have extra 20 mins for PM questions? Thank you in advance.
 

Dothracki PE

Where is my mind?
EB Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
955
Location
New Jersey
Thank you very much for the information. One more question about the time.
As we can have total 9 hours, start from the beginning, and 50 mins for lunch time. If my lunch only take 30 mins, can I have extra 20 mins for PM questions? Thank you in advance.
I can't really recall. I remember I didn't use the full 50 minutes though. I got a quick early lunch and sat outside just watching the Hudson River and NYC for 10-15 minutes to decompress a little bit before the second part.
 

Zach Stone P.E.

Learn how to Pass the Power PE Exam at electricalp
EB Sponsor
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
400
Reaction score
186
Location
USA
If it's your first time taking the PE exam and you're looking for advice from other engineers that passed the new CBT format, here are 8 different interviews with our former students, each one talks about what they did to pass the exam: "How to Pass the CBT PE Exam"
 

Latest posts

Top