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NCHomebrewer

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Been chugging through PPI practice problems/review.  Just started the two Schneider practice tests this week.  My plan is to work through these and the NCEES practice test until my exam at the end of September.  My exam date hasn't changed but I wouldn't be surprised if it does with all the Covid-craziness going on.

 

suryan

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Thanks!  Did you take the PPI class as well?  Good luck! And I hope your exam date doesn't change. 

 

WW Nerd

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Been real quiet here - has anyone taken the CBT during the pandemic? Are testing centers open? How is everyone studying and preparing for the PE during the pandemic? 
I took my test earlier this summer. Testing centers are open but they are limiting the number of people that can be in the room and you have to wear a mask the whole time. 

I did the PPI hub and followed their study plan for the most part. I read the EERM chapters (thoroughly for all the topics I wasn’t very comfortable with, skimmed through the others), worked out all the practice problems on the Schneider book and did a ton of quizzes. I also did the Schneider and the NCEES practice exams. I highly recommend the PPI hub, the quizzes and extra practice exams make it worth every penny and the study guide keeps you accountable. The only thing I did not follow was the order they suggested for taking the diagnostic quizzes and practice exams. I took the diagnostic quizzes after I finished a topic and took the practice exams after I had gone through all the chapters and the practice problems. 
As you have probably read, the hardest thing to study for is the qualitative questions. I did spend some time reading through my water/wastewater and air pollution textbooks and I even read through EPA codes and regulations. However, I still struggled with the qualitative questions. Some are just way too specific for you to remember and you have no choice but to guess, but there are quite a few that are “freebies” if you work in the field. 

I started studying 2 months before my test and studied about 16-24 hours a week. Everyone is different, but I felt this was sufficient for me. Best of luck studying!!

 
A

AC2020

Hello everyone, 

I am getting ready to start studying again for the PE exam. I tried the paper exam and the CBT and did not pass. I kind of gave up but I am ready to try again. The qualitative question on the CBT were a killer for me. Any advice on how to get ready for those? The problem solving felt very easy with the practice exams. Any help/advice is appreciated! Good luck to everyone taking the PE! Thank you!

 

NCHomebrewer

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Good morning,

I sat for the Environmental PE exam yesterday and wanted to provide a little feedback/insight to those who haven't yet taken this exam.  

Pros:

  • I actually preferred taking the exam at the Pearson center.  I've taken the Civil PE twice in 2018 and 2019 (both fails) in Raleigh.  Each time there were hundreds of other examinees with their books/materials and the nervous energy level was so high.  During the Civil Exam there were easily over a hundred people in one room and there was constant noise from people shifting in their chairs or going through their materials.  I thought the Pearson center was clean and very COVID-conscious. I had a cubicle with noise cancelling earmuffs which I did choose to wear.  I didn't like the sharpie / dry erase pad but I got over that.  
  • I liked that there are no outside materials permitted.  We only have the PE Reference Manual to use during the exam.  I think it puts everyone on a level playing field.  I wasn't worried that I didn't spend the extra $100 - $200 on a random code book that might have a solution to one question on the exam. 
Cons:

  • Those qualitative questions are tough.  You either know them or you don't.  If the question is in a field where you have a lot of experience then it's a true softball question.  During my exam, I noticed that at least one of the answers was obviously incorrect and could eliminate it.  I was generally able to eliminate 1 - 2 answers to give myself a 50/50 shot if I wasn't sure on it.  The PE Reference Manual was very little help on these.  
  • I am not a fan of the CBT style questions (point & click, multiple selections, etc.).  I feel like they are asking you for multiple options that are not reflected on the other multiple choice questions.  There are more opportunities to get these types of questions wrong.
Overall:  

  • As tough as the qualitative questions were, I thought the computational questions were substantially easier.  Many of the questions were simple multiplications / unit conversations that didn't require using the Reference Manual.
  • My exam was split 40 / 40 AM to PM.  
  • I was surprised at what wasn't on the exam - there were several topics that PPI and the PE Practice Test covered and overlapped that didn't show up.  
  • In regards to the PE Practice Test:  I thought the qualitative questions on the actual exam were more difficult while the computational questions were easier.  Does that make sense?  
  • I only had to guess on 3 - 4 questions on the exam total which is a big change from the my previous exams where I think I had to guess on 10 - 15 at least.  I was able to get answers for almost every question - which is also scary because I know NCEES likes to throw curve balls.  
  • I feel like I may have passed.  If I did fail it wasn't by a lot.  I don't feel like I bombed the test.  I feel like my preparation was on point for this exam.  I'm pleased that I was able to push myself to study and prepare adequately for this test during COVID while handling all of my other responsibilities (work & family).  I hope that is over but if not, I know that I can always take this exam again and this has been a good overall learning experience.   
 
P

PE Envo

Hello,

I am planning to take PE Environmental CBT. Please suggest me what to study  ? Thanks.

 
P

PE Envo CBT

I have taken the PE Civil October 20 exam and feel like I won’t pass. If I don’t pass I am feeling to give PE environment CBT as the paper exam is so much pain taking all books and also COVID. Please suggest me how can I prepare for PE Environmental? 

 

NCHomebrewer

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I have taken the PE Civil October 20 exam and feel like I won’t pass. If I don’t pass I am feeling to give PE environment CBT as the paper exam is so much pain taking all books and also COVID. Please suggest me how can I prepare for PE Environmental? 
I think it really depends on your background and what you've been working in.  A lot of what I liked about the CBT exam also makes it challenging.  There are no references to bring in (you only get the reference manual) and the qualitative questions (you either know or you don't) are relatively straightforward.  I found that the reference manual was enough for the quantitative questions but the questions really required that I know exactly where to look and how to use them.  It wasn't like the FE CBT.  The FE CBT was really about using the PDF search function to find the formulas and plug and chugging them.   The qualitative questions are challenging because they're not going to be in the reference material and they can really come from anywhere.  You do need some background experience to be confident on those.

I had SOPE On Demand in early February but once COVID happened, I stopped studying.  When I was back at it preparing this summer, I went through the Lindeburg Env. Review book, companion problems book, the Schneider practice exams, and the NCEES practice exam.  I personally learn better working through problems rather than sitting through lectures.  Everyone has a different approach.  

What I like about the CBT is that it puts everyone on an even playing field.  There's no question as to who has the best binders, which references will you really need, etc.  You go in the testing center with your calculator and that's that.  It's definitely a challenging exam in a challenging environment but I found it a much better experience than my two previous fail attempts at the Civil Construction exam.    

 
P

PE Envo CBT

I think it really depends on your background and what you've been working in.  A lot of what I liked about the CBT exam also makes it challenging.  There are no references to bring in (you only get the reference manual) and the qualitative questions (you either know or you don't) are relatively straightforward.  I found that the reference manual was enough for the quantitative questions but the questions really required that I know exactly where to look and how to use them.  It wasn't like the FE CBT.  The FE CBT was really about using the PDF search function to find the formulas and plug and chugging them.   The qualitative questions are challenging because they're not going to be in the reference material and they can really come from anywhere.  You do need some background experience to be confident on those.

I had SOPE On Demand in early February but once COVID happened, I stopped studying.  When I was back at it preparing this summer, I went through the Lindeburg Env. Review book, companion problems book, the Schneider practice exams, and the NCEES practice exam.  I personally learn better working through problems rather than sitting through lectures.  Everyone has a different approach.  

What I like about the CBT is that it puts everyone on an even playing field.  There's no question as to who has the best binders, which references will you really need, etc.  You go in the testing center with your calculator and that's that.  It's definitely a challenging exam in a challenging environment but I found it a much better experience than my two previous fail attempts at the Civil Construction exam.    
Thanks for sharing your experience. Much Appreciated. Can you please tell me if SOPE on demand notes were helpful to you? Or only the PE reference manual and other practice exams help you to pass the exam? Also did you use the Lindberg PE Environmental reference  manual 2nd edition or the most recent one for the CBT? Thanks.

 

Aspiring_Engineer

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I passed.  I can't believe it....I'm in shock.  Thank you to everyone in this thread for your support.  This is a big milestone that has been a long time coming for me.  
Congratulations NCHomebrewer! I feel like we have almost been on the journey together. Glad to see that your hard work has paid off. 

When you say "Companion problem book" do you mean the "PE Environmental Practice" book of problems? 

The last time that I took the exam I felt like qualitative questions were my downfall also. Would you mind expounding on how you prepared for them better this go round? 

Personally, I have read through the Lindeberg book and now I am going back through my notes to keep the qualitative material fresh. 

 

NCHomebrewer

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It's been a while since I last checked in here, but my license number was issued a couple weeks ago!  Good luck to those who are preparing for or about to take this exam.  Stay strong and keep up the hard work!!  It does eventually pay off.

 

txjennah PE

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It's been a while since I last checked in here, but my license number was issued a couple weeks ago!  Good luck to those who are preparing for or about to take this exam.  Stay strong and keep up the hard work!!  It does eventually pay off.
Oh man I haven't checked this thread in so long - congratulations! Well deserved!

 

Alex567

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I appreciate being able to read everyone's experiences. I'm currently doing the practice problems in 'PE Environmental Practice' book isbn 978-1-59126-576-4 and a good number of problems I have come across are using equations that aren't in the reference manual. For anyone that's used the book, did you notice that? Surely I won't have to memorize or use these formulas if they aren't on the reference manual right? Thanks
 

txjennah PE

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I appreciate being able to read everyone's experiences. I'm currently doing the practice problems in 'PE Environmental Practice' book isbn 978-1-59126-576-4 and a good number of problems I have come across are using equations that aren't in the reference manual. For anyone that's used the book, did you notice that? Surely I won't have to memorize or use these formulas if they aren't on the reference manual right? Thanks
How old is the book? The CBT exam is fairly new (2019). You shouldn't have to memorize formulas that aren't in the reference manual.
 

NCHomebrewer

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I used the Schneiter boon to study too and I remember being concerned about equations needed to solve his problems that weren’t I. The reference manual. All of the equations that I needed for my exam were in the reference manual - the challenge is knowing where to find them quickly. I wouldn’t waste time memorizing formulas. Good luck!
 

Dleg

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Congrats! I haven't checked in in a long time, either. I appreciated your review of the CBT format. I passed the old paper based test going on 15 years ago now (when I first joined this site!). I found the Schneiter book to be a lot harder than the actual exam, at the time, but I did appreciate how it made me dig in to a variety of references, including some that were more along the lines of environmental health (which has served me very well in my career).

I suppose I don't have any problem with the new mode of testing. But I personally found the exercise of building and organizing my professional library to be very helpful, sort of a nice mid-level career boost activity. My expanded and organized library has gone on to be a very useful part of my professional practice.
 

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