Electrical PE Exam - Oct. 2017

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Jedi MASTER & Friend of Capt. Solo
Dec 30, 2009
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Brew City!
For those taking the PE Exam, GOOD LUCK!  Also, as a friendly reminder, please be aware that you will sign an agreement with NCEES not to discuss any specific content on the exam. NCEES monitors this forum regularly and especially around exam time. Note the previous post below where one test-taker was close to revealing too much information. Don't let that happen to you. When in doubt, keep it to yourself. :thumbs:

As a reminder, when you took the NCEES examination you signed an agreement that included the statement that you agreed you will not reveal in whole or part any exam questions, answers, problems, or solutions to anyone during or after the exam, whether orally, in writing, or any internet chat rooms, or otherwise. This agreement also stated that failure to comply with this could invalidate your exam results.

I was just reviewing a borderline post from this website with my Manager of Compliance and Security when it was edited by the poster. Please do not share exam content - we do not wish to invalidate your results.
That said, in order to take your mind off the results waiting game, feel free to join us in the games sub-forum of the "shoot the breeze" section for a memorial 10k (or however long it needs to go). Or get involved and tell us about your family or discuss your favorite movies or TV shows. We'd love to get to know you now that the studying is either over or delayed until next time.

And finally, the test is over, you either passed or failed. You can't deduce the cut score and you can't make the results come any faster, so not that me saying that is going to make you feel any less anxious, but it still MUST be said.

It was a fair exam with a few tough problems. Most of the problems were straightforward, but a few were not. I'm confident that I cleared over 70% of both sessions, but you know what they say about counting chickens.

I'm paranoid about revealing enough to be stalked out and have my exam invalidated, so that's all I'll say.

I've cycled through the stages of grief a few times already. Here's to a few hundred more!

Any comparison with earlier exams. I too feel i could do about 70% right but fingers crossed, because your never know what blunders you made there.  

My preparation was purely  based on the information available on the forum and to that effect I was more than 100% prepared. Now I am searching for someone to blame for my failure (if it is) and I find forum is the best choice. Lol. More important was I enjoyed the exam, some of the questions were really good and thought provoking. Anyways let us see other feedbacks.

I generally try to post this each exam cycle since it's probably one of my favorite exam recaps. Enjoy and good luck waiting on your results! :thumbs:

EE - Power. "You sunk my battleship."

Preparation Time/Materials: 250 total hours. 5 textbooks, prep coursework notebook, 2 notebooks of graduate class material, calculators, snacks, rolling suitcase.

Money: ~$1,550.

General Observations: Arrived at my site 30 minutes prior to report time. Noticed that many others had literally libraries and libraries of books. Someone had a giant wagon with bungie cords holding all of the books together. Others just had a single piece of paper. Wild. I randomly started thinking of a national geographic special with narration by Morgan Freeman on PE test taking habits. I needed that laugh to clear my head.

AM Session: Felt the AM session was great. Only ended up with 6-7 that I didn't have a single solid answer or couldn't find it in my reference. I finished slightly early and checked only some of my work.

PM Session: Total unadulterated bloodbath. Couldn't seem to concentrate enough to find the equations I needed. Calculator was spitting out answers that were out of this world. Saw stuff that I barely covered in droves. About 2-3 hours into the afternoon, my brain felt like it had been through a dishwasher and I started hopping around from question to question. Not good. I will be lucky if I got a quarter to half right. I might as well have taken another discipline in the afternoon or gone to work. A monkey may have been able to do better.

Final Thoughts: As I left the exam area, I felt numb, dumb, and a little crushed. I felt like I blew the morning session out of the water. Then the PE got off a torpedo as I was heading to collect my stamp, promotion, and better life. I'm not very good at guessing and doing the math in my head all weekend I kept envisioning a percentage score in the upper 60s with an afternoon diagnostic that simply says "monkey". 6 months of neglecting my wife and family might be for nothing in the end except doing it all over again. I know the pass rate for repeaters is low, but what is the divorce rate?

Oh well. If I recall from a coworker, last years results were released in around 45-50 days following the exam. I think he got his in late May. We shall see. I guess the ultimate decision is now do I crack open another book....or another beer?

Strange, I am in CA and i thought the exam was way different then the stuff i studied for. After studying I tried the practice exam and was pretty confident going in, but I came out feeling like i have no idea how to prepare next time. There were so many concept questions and so so few calculation questions. Or was it just me?

There were definitely a lot of conceptual questions. PM seemed more challenging than the AM. My exam book for both sessions had pages with print problems and it was difficult to read the problems. Finally asked the proctor for help because I wasn't too sure of the numbers and decimals (if any). Let's just say she grabbed my exam book and walked outside of the room with it to talk to another proctor. (It played out in slow motion as I silently yelled "Nooo!"). I slowly died inside watching helplessly as others charged on with the exam. Alas, she returned with my book and confirmed the info in the problem. Mental Note: (saying to myself while sobbing) Stay positive! :)


okay at least I know i'm not totally nuts. I know what you mean. This is like the first time i took an exam with studying and came out feeling wtf just happened? 

I feel all sections were not covered in the proportions as specified in specifications. Some appeared more than specified at the cost of others. I was an excellent student during my college and have a very broad band of experience. I have been a good Engineer by all standards since beginning but still I feel there were a few bouncers, the ones which were unheard by me, may be those terms are not popular in the world I lived till now.  Some questions were  of course to test of English than of Engg. However there were many questions which were more simple than required for such a reputed exam. If the result is not favorable I too do not know how to improve from here as felt by @SumpPump . However I have already thought over it- Go on appearing till you pass- there will certainly be a set of questions someday which will be subset of what I know. 

PE Power Exam Recap - October 2017

Fist, thank you to the forums for helping me prepare for this exam.  

Preparation Time/Materials: I utilized a Mead 5 Subject 200 Sheet Notebook for all my notes and computation of practice problems.  My first entry was made on 03/30/17. I began going through Graffeo's Guide to Passing the Power PE.  Study dates were documented few and far between between April, May, and June.  Following my entry made on 07/15/17, which consisted of balanced three phase power systems, my study regime flat lined. The stresses leading up to my wedding on 09/02/17 ended up taking precedence and my studying did not recommence until after we got back from the Maui Honeymoon, (09/12/17). Entries follow in frequently starting on 09/18/17, at this time I began reviewing the two morning and afternoon practice tests by Camara (PPI). By 09/28/17 entries begin daily along with a countdown written at the header of every day.  On 10/10/17 I started doing the Kaplan Practice Exam, but on 10/17/17 my daily entry ends with the words "Kaplan Sucks" as I find the errors in their solutions confusing and their errata no longer available at the Kaplan website. From 10/18/17 through 10/20/17 I go back and for between reworking Camara Practice Problems and sourcing parts to repair my 2006 Toyota 4Runner, which was stolen and wrecked on my wedding night. The body shop my insurance recommended had refused to do the work and my insurance company ended up writing me a check for "repairs" and I agreed to take upon the burden of repairing/replacing the entire front end and all passenger side suspension components myself. On 09/21/17, the Saturday before doomsday, I admister myself the NCEES Power Practice Exam. Through the 9 hour experience I realize that I should have taken this practice test one week earlier and that there are several subjects I need to get a grasp of.  I drank heavily that evening.  09/22/17 is a day of rest.  09/23/17 begins a three day binge.  Studying now precedes work and play and the grind to the test begins. I play arts and crafts tabbing and rearranging my notes. I'm proud of my color coding skills. My personally crafted reference manual is fitted with a fine cover sheet, of course I labeled it with all methods of contact just in case we were to be separated.  Total hours: ~175

Money: Work Provided: 2014 NEC, 2017 NESC, 2015 NFPA 70E, Power Reference Manual, Illustrated Guide to the NEC, 2014 Ugly's Reference, binders, tabs and application fee.
              Borrowed: NCEES Practice Exam, Kaplan Practice Exam, Camara Practice Exam.

Observations: I left early from work in West TN to head to Nashville on Thursday 09/26/17 at 2:00 pm. The 3 hour drive consisted of silence, reflection, and singing along to my current favorite album "Wolf" by Wolf.  As I zip along I-40 and near the Metro Nashville Area I redirected my GPS to the testing facility.  I figured it would be beneficial to know the layout of the area, where to park and have a predetermined escape route in the event that I no longer could handle the stresses life has set on me. I arrive at the testing campus at 5:15 pm.  I grab my homemade reference manual and my Google Map aerial printout and begin to survey the area. By, 5:30 pm I have found the testing room, the restrooms, the vending area, water fountain, and all three exits. At 5:45 pm I sit at a round table in the lobby of the testing center and begin to review my reference manual. Within a few minutes I realize that on the page titled "Impedance Definitions" my equation for R reads R=Zsin(theta). And, knowing that I will most likely be nothing more than a mindless shell functioning only to compute only the equations that have been presented before me during the test I decided to make my way back to the truck to get my white out and sharpie fine point marker and mitigate the risk this typo presents.  At the moment that I get up to proceed outside a sign catches my eye. "Complimentary Coffee is available from 7AM to 11AM for all our OVERNIGHT LODGING GUESTS ONLY".  This intrigued me, because at that time I was aligned to stay in an Extended Stay America 12 miles away that also included a 30 minute battle of morning traffic into the Nashville Area.  Thinking that moment was to good to be true I walk over to the guest services table and ask the young lady behind the desk if they did, in fact, board weary travelers during times of great hardships.  I was astonished to find out that not only could I stay on the campus overnight, but the rates were extremely affordable. I ask the girl how much time do I have to make a reservation.  She tells me I have 10 minutes before guest services closes for the evening, and in a split decision I decide to go for it, not knowing anything about the accommodations. Check-in was simple and I was provided with brass keys for both the entrance to the dormitory building and also for my room. As I head out to the truck in the parking lot I can't help but grin at the luck of my new accommodations and proceeded to call and cancel my original hotel reservation for the evening.  Loose ends buttoned up I began to offload all my belongings into the dorm turned hotel room.  The room was fitted with a made up twin sized bed, desk, and adjacent shared bathroom. Upon entering the dorm building I hit with an immense heat that was a stark contrast to the autumn breeze that I just came from.  Apparently the young lady at the front desk had forgot to mention that by choosing to stay here that I would experience temperatures in excess of 300K.  But, being able to clearly see the exam building from my room seemed like a reasonable trade for the scorching and dehydration that I would experience for the next 12 hours.  By 8:00pm I could no longer take the heat. I was in tank top and shorts with beads of perspiration forming on my brow.  It was hard to tell if this physical reaction was a result of test anxiety or the atmospheric anomaly occurring within the building.  At 8:30 I had put back on my jeans, boots, and jacket in preparation for the the chilly autumn air, and as I exited my room and down the corridor to the exit sign that illuminated at the end I could only hope and pray that I would not black out from heat exhaustion and be found the next morning hours late for my exam.  I made it to the end of the corridor and with a mighty heave of the air lock that was the exit door I burst out from behind the solid wooden door, accompanied by billows of steam, into the cool autumn night.  Immediately relieved and reaffirming my location was in fact somewhere in Nashville and that I had not actually been locked in the confines of a sun base I googled the closest convenience stores. The Dollar General X was a 7 minute walk from my location.  Not wanting to lose my fine parking spot and still feeling perspiration upon my skin, I figured the walk would do me good.  I got to the Dollar General X shortly after 8:30 pm and begun looking for a fan.  Any type of fan would do. I gladly settle for a box fan, standing up fan, desk fan, hand held fan, or maybe even ceiling fan that I would have been glad to install and leave for the next poor traveler that ends up staying in that hot box.  Sadly my realizations were confirmed by the sales representative at the Dollar General X, and all fans, a summer seasonal item, have now been replaced by heaters.  Under the recommendation of the Dollar General X sales representative I exit their building and begin a new trek to the CVS Pharmacy.  We are nearing 9:00 pm and I am one street crossing away from the CVS and being well on my way back to my dormitorium. As I crossed the street I almost got ran over by a semi-truck driver.  It was very close. Worse, I enter the CVS only to find the same fate I had at the Dollar General X.  A pit forms in my stomach as I walk back to the dorm. The thought of the test, nearly 10 hours away, and not having any sort of relief from the super heated vapor bath that was my hotel accommodations did not sit well with me.  I got back to my truck before 9:15 and knew what would be required in order to alleviate my discomfort for the night.  A trip no man wants to make, and one that usually results in much heartache and sorrow. Walmart. So I went to walmart bought a fan. Got back to the dorm. Put it in the window and by 10:30 pm the temperature finally began to dip below 90F.  The rest of the night went well and that next morning I woke up to the coffee pot, which I brought from home, brewing away.  The room by this point was finally at a livable temperature and I was off to start my day. I went for a brief jog to get my blood flowing and came back to my dorm. I made coffee, had oatmeal and fruit, showered and packed up.  Alive and well I proceeded to the test center at 7:14 am ready to fight my exam tooth and nail.  

AM Session: The morning session to me really wasn't that bad.  Of the forty questions I had only marked eight as ones that I had to SWAG. I felt like a had a good chance to create a buffer for the evening session.

PM Session: The afternoon session followed a night lunch and a moment of reflection.  I was excited and unsure about what to expect, but using my practice tests as experience I anticipated a much harder evening.  The test did not fail me.  Within the first three problems I was already yelling at myself to try harder, solve better, think clearer.  I ended the evening section frantic trying. At the one minute mark I was still contemplating some of the answer I had just put down.

Final Thoughts: Overall the road to the Power PE Exam was a great experience. I appreciate how much it pushed me to learn, relearn, and refresh.  I am anxious for my results and I at the end of the day I think there was about twenty seven problems total that gave me difficulty. That number is both encouraging and worrisome as it teeters right on my imaginary made up line of pass/fail.  I truly hope to have passed and I do not look forward to a "Fail". But, if it happens I'll saddle up and ride it out all over again.  Fan included.








@bripgilb is pretty spot on with how I felt as well about he exam. Some questions were also worded in a way that was confusing but I was able to extrapolate the pertinent info.... I hope!

So is DGX a Dollar General on steroids?  Don't have any of those around here.  (I know.  Totally unrelated question.)
HAHA! I was unfamiliar to DGX as well.  Out here in the boones we get the Dollar General Store like most. :p   BUT! Yes... it's like the re-branded hip fancy cool carpeted dollar general. 

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Strange, I am in CA and i thought the exam was way different then the stuff i studied for. After studying I tried the practice exam and was pretty confident going in, but I came out feeling like i have no idea how to prepare next time. There were so many concept questions and so so few calculation questions. Or was it just me?
Interesting i felt that way last exam and this time i feel like i solved way more problems than conceptualized ones. This exam was fair to be honest and i was under so much pressure from failing last time that i spent extra time on each problem making sure i didn't make a stupid mistake. I used up all the time on the exam this time so i will take that as a plus. Now we wait and have faith!