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DanHalen

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Do you have any exam day horror stories, things that happened prior to the exam that knocked you off your game, etc.?

Round 1 on the PE exam:

My mind is racing all night before the exam and I couldn't sleep. Finally got to sleep at 3:30 AM and get up at 5:30 AM. Went to the exam room, exam starts, and forgot my ear plugs. Every noise in the room was distracting and was seriously pissing me off. Needless to say I was running on adrenaline all day and didn't pass. Horrible experience. My employer was dangling a carrot in front of me saying "you'll get this promotion if you pass." I had that running through my head during the exam and it drove me nuts. Needless to say I didn't get the promotions but even if I would have passed I wouldn't have gotten the promotion anyway. As my dad says, "it's not what you know it's who you know."

Round 2 on the PE exam:

My mom died about a month before the exam. Took about two weeks to start easing back into studying. This time I got a good nights sleep and all went well. Finished the AM session about 45 minutes early and walked outside to relax. My wife pulls up with lunch and is shaking her head so I asked what was wrong. She said she almost didn't make it because the hotel we were staying at was repaving the parking lot and had all the guests blocked in. She raised hell and cussed the manager out and told him nothing is going to stop her from leaving to bring me lunch because she was sick and tired of not seeing me. She told the manager, "you can either go out and ask them to let me out or I'll do it for you." She made it clear to him that I was depending on her and there was nothing going to get in the way of me passing this test including himself and the paving crew. I think she was about ready to get all redneck on him. He finally let her go and she was able to leave. That was a close call. Had she not shown up I don't know what I would have done because I didn't have my cell with me and no way to call her. Pay phones are a thing of the past and none were around.

 
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solomonb

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Well after she brought you lunch, did you pass or did you get to try again in 6 months? If had to try again, what happened that time?

 

DanHalen

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I passed. On the day I found out I passed my mother-in-law was in a bad accident that nearly killed her so I haven't been able to celebrate yet but I'm definitely glad it's over and certainly happy I passed. When I walked out of the exam room at the end of the day I had a big smile on my face and my wife knew I did well. I didn't want to say much until the exam results came out because you never know what might happen. A guy I work with got off on one answer on his bubble sheet and carried those incorrect answers out for most of his AM exam. He didn't catch it until after the exam was over so he knew right away he would have to take it over. I was pretty sure I didn't make that mistake but nevertheless those are the mistakes that will kill you on the exam. That's why I didn't say much about how I did until the results came out.

 

Lomarandil

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Was flying into California for my test. Planned to arrive in the late afternoon, get settled into the hotel, get a nice dinner, and relax before the test on the next day.

Well, the airplane I was supposed to take broke on the previous leg (bird flew into the engine? I don't remember). After progressively putting the flight on longer and longer delays, the flight was finally canceled. Airline was offering to put everyone on the same flight the next day -- which obviously isn't going to work.

There weren't many options getting from Omaha to San Diego, especially on short notice. So I ended up in a footrace against a number of other passengers to a competing airline's ticket counter in order to piece together a multi-leg option -- and got the last ticket that would take me to California that night. (I hope I didn't cut off any other prospective PEs).

Arrived at the airport about midnight, got to the hotel a little after 1AM, woke up at 5:30 for the test.

And 4 weeks later -- passed.

 
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Mike in Gastonia

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Was flying into California for my test. Planned to arrive in the late afternoon, get settled into the hotel, get a nice dinner, and relax before the test on the next day.

Well, the airplane I was supposed to take broke on the previous leg (bird flew into the engine? I don't remember). After progressively putting the flight on longer and longer delays, the flight was finally canceled. Airline was offering to put everyone on the same flight the next day -- which obviously isn't going to work.

There weren't many options getting from Omaha to San Diego, especially on short notice. So I ended up in a footrace against a number of other passengers to a competing airline's ticket counter in order to piece together a multi-leg option -- and got the last ticket that would take me to California that night. (I hope I didn't cut off any other prospective PEs).

Arrived at the airport about midnight, got to the hotel a little after 1AM, woke up at 5:30 for the test.

And 4 weeks later -- passed.


wow - that could have been disastrous! I'm always curious when people say they're flying to another state to take the exam. Would Nebraska not approve you to take the exam? Or were you taking it earlier in CA because that's allowed or I am a Gigantic DoucheBag

 

Lomarandil

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I primarily applied for the test in California because you can take it earlier. Figured having things as fresh as possible in my mind from school would be helpful. (Survey says.... it was)

At the time I applied, I was also working for a company with some work in CA -- I don't think I would have been stamping anything right after the test, but they still liked the idea.

As a funny (?) side story, due to my wife's job we ended up leaving Company 1 to move to Nebraska between when I applied for the test and when I took it. Company 2 didn't like me taking the test in CA (presumably because they didn't want to pay me PE rates with only 2 years experience). They made it a big hassle to get the time off, but since the application was already approved, I went and took it.

Shortly after taking the test though, the wife's job (also with Company 2) moved us back to Colorado. I ended up leaving Company 2 and joining Company 3 -- which has lots of work in CA, so having my PE there was a definite advantage. Not stamping things (yet), but it helps us meet our RFQ and inspection requirements.

So long story short, taking the test in California turned out to be a much smarter decision than I knew at the time.

Now back to your regularly scheduled scary stories

 
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iwire

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I passed. On the day I found out I passed my mother-in-law was in a bad accident that nearly killed her so I haven't been able to celebrate yet but I'm definitely glad it's over and certainly happy I passed. When I walked out of the exam room at the end of the day I had a big smile on my face and my wife knew I did well. I didn't want to say much until the exam results came out because you never know what might happen. A guy I work with got off on one answer on his bubble sheet and carried those incorrect answers out for most of his AM exam. He didn't catch it until after the exam was over so he knew right away he would have to take it over. I was pretty sure I didn't make that mistake but nevertheless those are the mistakes that will kill you on the exam. That's why I didn't say much about how I did until the results came out.
I tell you..nothing good coming of this PE thing! LOL

 

Jonhnny123

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The power went out for about a minute or two during the exam I took. It was amusing to see the various degrees of people freaking out. Some people thought it was kinda funny, others were borderline panicing.

There's a great story I read somewhere on here where there was a gospel choir (or something similar) on the other side of the wall at the test center.

 
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