October 2020 Post Exam Wait Period - Welcome to the Suck

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harshaPEAZ

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Hey I have a question - so I failed do I have to get the Verfication done again before I register for April exam? I forgot what all you get done except get transcripts emailed to NCEES. The NCEES customer support says yes you will need to get board approval each time you take the exam. Do I have to do it again?

 

jean15paul_PE

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Hey I have a question - so I failed do I have to get the Verfication done again before I register for April exam? I forgot what all you get done except get transcripts emailed to NCEES. The NCEES customer support says yes you will need to get board approval each time you take the exam. Do I have to do it again?
You should check with your state board. Often the board approval isn't just for one test. For example, in Louisiana under the old process, I think the approval used to be good for 3 years. But I could be wrong. The new process doesn't require asking the board for permission to take the PE at all

Anyway, you should ask your state board.

Edited: for correctness. LA no longer requires any permission from the board to take the exam. 

 
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RBHeadge PE

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Hey I have a question - so I failed do I have to get the Verfication done again before I register for April exam? I forgot what all you get done except get transcripts emailed to NCEES. The NCEES customer support says yes you will need to get board approval each time you take the exam. Do I have to do it again?
You should check with your state board. Often the board approval isn't just for one test. For example, in Louisiana, I think the approval is good for 3 years. But I could be wrong. 

Anyway, you should ask your state board.
I'll add to @jean15paul_PE's post. Often times your initial approval from the State board will lay out the terms and duration you are cleared to take the exam. It's usually something like X attempts over a Y period of time.

If you are still in that window, then the re-authorization automatically happens "behind the scenes".

But it looks like Arizona has a newer and different process

https://btr.az.gov/engineer-applicants

ENGINEER FUNDAMENTALS EXAM AUTHORIZATION PACKET


To complete the Application, please:

  • Complete all questions, sign¬†and date.
  • Include a¬†signed check or money order in the amount of $100.00 for the application fee.
  • Include completed, signed and dated ‚ÄúArizona Statement of Citizenship‚ÄĚ form
  • Include a copy of a government issued photographic identification
  • Request Official college transcripts be sent to the Board, if applicable
  • Include Three (3) Experience Record and Supervisor/Reference forms
  • Any applicable disciplinary or criminal documents ‚Äď see instructions in packet


All applicants must obtain pre-authorization approval to sit for an examination from either: ‚ÄĘ The Arizona Board of Technical Registration: You should submit an application to sit for the examination to the Board if you do not have a ABET accredited degree or do not have any formal education at all. The Board‚Äôs approval process may take eight to twelve weeks depending on the applicant‚Äôs qualifications and timely submission of required documents. If the Board has not received an application from you and approved you to sit for a national examination, you will not be authorized to take an NCEES examination.

OR 

NCEES by Auto-approval: This option is only available to applicants with an ABET accredited bachelor’s degree or an ABET accredited master’s degree. Not all engineer degrees are ABET accredited. Refer to www.abet.org/accreditation/(link is external) to determine if your degree is ABET accredited. If it is, you may register directly with NCEES to take the national exams. Be sure to provide a copy of your ABET transcript to NCEES prior to registration.
So.... idk which applies here.¬†ūü§∑‚Äć‚ôāÔłŹ

 

C2020

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Hi I just need some help. 

I keep failing the PE exam even after taking the review classes.  Could anyone please tell me what to do to pass this damn exam. I have spent hours and hours and months of preparation for this. Yet I always see questions that are not in the review notes specially alot of conceptual ones. 

Any help or guidance is highly appreciated 

 

Ky_Su

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Hey I have a question - so I failed do I have to get the Verfication done again before I register for April exam? I forgot what all you get done except get transcripts emailed to NCEES. The NCEES customer support says yes you will need to get board approval each time you take the exam. Do I have to do it again?


In AZ, you could request authorization to take the exam but you don't have to.  You can just sign up with NCEES directly, take and pass the exam, then apply for a PE license.  NCEES will display a waiting for board approval message (or something like that) after signing up but it will go away in a day or two.  One advantage of getting an authorization to take the exam is that you'd already done the application process in advance so you'll get a PE # a lot more quickly after you passed.  YMMV of course as things may have changed now but I don't believe so.

 

gtk

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Hi I just need some help. 

I keep failing the PE exam even after taking the review classes.  Could anyone please tell me what to do to pass this damn exam. I have spent hours and hours and months of preparation for this. Yet I always see questions that are not in the review notes specially alot of conceptual ones. 

Any help or guidance is highly appreciated 
The biggest thing that helped me was doing tons of practice problems and tabbing with labels that made sense to me. I didn't tab chapters or topics, I tabbed equations, and then named them something I would remember. I did chemical engineering in college, so my fluids section just had all the actual names for the equations. In the structural/materials area I labeled them "Concrete Mix" or used the greek letter that type of problem asks for. It was all about speed for me. I also used the plastic tabs that dont wrinkle, because messy tabs would have drove me nuts. Across all my references I used less than 1 package (either 60 or 80 tabs total). Much more and it would have got confusing in my opinion.

The conceptual problems are tough, my approach was to look at them like they were asking me to solve for something. What variables would exist in that equation? What characteristic of the problem effects each of those variables? Which variable makes the most impact? Thinking about it like this helped me at least 4 or 5 times on the exam to (maybe?) get the right answer.

 

harshaPEAZ

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In AZ, you could request authorization to take the exam but you don't have to.  You can just sign up with NCEES directly, take and pass the exam, then apply for a PE license.  NCEES will display a waiting for board approval message (or something like that) after signing up but it will go away in a day or two.  One advantage of getting an authorization to take the exam is that you'd already done the application process in advance so you'll get a PE # a lot more quickly after you passed.  YMMV of course as things may have changed now but I don't believe so.
I think you are right. I remember just sending my transcripts in and then everything was verified and I was good to go with registering the PE. I think I might look into the whole authorization to take exam deal since I would like to get a PE as soon as I pass in future. Thanks 

 

NJHHEngineer

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Hi I just need some help. 

I keep failing the PE exam even after taking the review classes.  Could anyone please tell me what to do to pass this damn exam. I have spent hours and hours and months of preparation for this. Yet I always see questions that are not in the review notes specially alot of conceptual ones. 

Any help or guidance is highly appreciated 
The biggest thing that helped me was doing tons of practice problems and tabbing with labels that made sense to me. I didn't tab chapters or topics, I tabbed equations, and then named them something I would remember. I did chemical engineering in college, so my fluids section just had all the actual names for the equations. In the structural/materials area I labeled them "Concrete Mix" or used the greek letter that type of problem asks for. It was all about speed for me. I also used the plastic tabs that dont wrinkle, because messy tabs would have drove me nuts. Across all my references I used less than 1 package (either 60 or 80 tabs total). Much more and it would have got confusing in my opinion.

The conceptual problems are tough, my approach was to look at them like they were asking me to solve for something. What variables would exist in that equation? What characteristic of the problem effects each of those variables? Which variable makes the most impact? Thinking about it like this helped me at least 4 or 5 times on the exam to (maybe?) get the right answer.
To piggy back this, I would recommend tabbing your resources in a way that makes sense to you.  I personally tabbed every one of my references on the topics that were discussed in the EET (or insert your review course) materials.  Did I overtab? Probably, but the tabbing process helped me learn where to find each topic/relevant information and familiarized myself with the references.  I'm not sure on your past exam experiences, @C2020, but I felt there was plenty of time in both the AM & PM to complete the exam and check answers.  But, I think knowing where/what reference to look in is a HUGE factor in that.  I would recommend really taking the time to learn your references.

I didn't do a whole heck of a lot of practice problems outside of the NCEES Practice exam and EET course (binder sample problems & simulated exams).  But, I'd say I did every problem at least once.  In areas/questions I struggled with, I probably 3-4 times each.  I was a machine by the time the exam hit.  And, wouldn't you know, not a single question on the exam.  Dumb luck. I would look at the NCEES question breakdown for each session and focus on the areas with the larger amount of potential questions.  Also, know yourself.  Know what topics you excel in and make sure you get (or try to) all of those questions correct. In theory, you probably won't need as much time devoted in your strong subjects.  Devote that balance time to your weaker areas.

And just my 2 cents - the exam isn't all crunching numbers or plug and chug with equations.  While you're studying, put the time in to UNDERSTAND what/why you're doing what you're doing.  I think that's the key to the conceptual problems.  Or, you could flip the script and even say, how do you know what variables/equations to solve if you don't understand the root concept? 

 

jean15paul_PE

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To piggy back this, I would recommend tabbing your resources in a way that makes sense to you.  I personally tabbed every one of my references on the topics that were discussed in the EET (or insert your review course) materials.  Did I overtab? Probably, but the tabbing process helped me learn where to find each topic/relevant information and familiarized myself with the references.  I'm not sure on your past exam experiences, @C2020, but I felt there was plenty of time in both the AM & PM to complete the exam and check answers.  But, I think knowing where/what reference to look in is a HUGE factor in that.  I would recommend really taking the time to learn your references.

I didn't do a whole heck of a lot of practice problems outside of the NCEES Practice exam and EET course (binder sample problems & simulated exams).  But, I'd say I did every problem at least once.  In areas/questions I struggled with, I probably 3-4 times each.  I was a machine by the time the exam hit.  And, wouldn't you know, not a single question on the exam.  Dumb luck. I would look at the NCEES question breakdown for each session and focus on the areas with the larger amount of potential questions.  Also, know yourself.  Know what topics you excel in and make sure you get (or try to) all of those questions correct. In theory, you probably won't need as much time devoted in your strong subjects.  Devote that balance time to your weaker areas.

And just my 2 cents - the exam isn't all crunching numbers or plug and chug with equations.  While you're studying, put the time in to UNDERSTAND what/why you're doing what you're doing.  I think that's the key to the conceptual problems.  Or, you could flip the script and even say, how do you know what variables/equations to solve if you don't understand the root concept? 
@C2020

Adding on to what other have said, I wrote up my test PE exam strategy for someone elsewhere on the boards, but I thought I'd add it here. I'm Mechanical, not Civil, but the strategy should be easily adapted. Everyone is different but this is the strategy that worked for me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You should study everything while preparing for the exam. But once you get about a week or so out from the exam, you will know what your strengths and weakness are. At that point (right before the exam) it's more important to maximize your strengths than to try to eliminate your weaknesses. You should not have the expectation that you will get every question correct. It's very important to be able to let go of difficult question, so you don't get stuck. This was my strategy; please adapt it to fit you:

Strengths: Statics, Mechanics of Materials, Stress Analysis
These are the topics that I'm strongest in. These are high yield, so I want to try and get 100% of these correct. I should be able to quickly answer the easy ones, and I'm willing to spend a little extra time on the hard one because I'm confident that I'll arrive at the correct answer.

Average: Dynamics, Machine Design
I'm ok at these topics. I should get 100% of the easy one, and expect that I can figure out most of the hard ones. But if something is taking more than 4 or 5 minutes, I'll come back to it later. I want to focus on all the stuff that is easy for me first.

Weaknesses: Material Science, Scheduling/Plant Engineering, Statistics/Statistical Process Control
These are the topics I'm weakest in. I'll try to quickly figure out the easy ones if possible, but anything difficult will get put off until the end. Difficult questions in these areas are going to be low yield for me, so I won't feel bad about guessing. 

Your strategy may look similar to this or it may look different. But things that I think are important to keep in mind. DONT GET STUCK! You have to be ok with skipping questions, and coming back to them later. Having a plan for what to skip and for what to prioritize makes this a lot easier. You want to make sure you get all the points you can on the questions that are easiest for you. Remember you do not need 100% to pass. I was conservative and was shooting for 60 - 64 points (out of 80). If you feel like you HAVE TO get that hard question in one of your weak topics, you're probably going to stress yourself out, get stuck, and run out of time.

 

gtk

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@C2020

Adding on to what other have said, I wrote up my test PE exam strategy for someone elsewhere on the boards, but I thought I'd add it here. I'm Mechanical, not Civil, but the strategy should be easily adapted. Everyone is different but this is the strategy that worked for me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You should study everything while preparing for the exam. But once you get about a week or so out from the exam, you will know what your strengths and weakness are. At that point (right before the exam) it's more important to maximize your strengths than to try to eliminate your weaknesses. You should not have the expectation that you will get every question correct. It's very important to be able to let go of difficult question, so you don't get stuck. This was my strategy; please adapt it to fit you:

Strengths: Statics, Mechanics of Materials, Stress Analysis
These are the topics that I'm strongest in. These are high yield, so I want to try and get 100% of these correct. I should be able to quickly answer the easy ones, and I'm willing to spend a little extra time on the hard one because I'm confident that I'll arrive at the correct answer.

Average: Dynamics, Machine Design
I'm ok at these topics. I should get 100% of the easy one, and expect that I can figure out most of the hard ones. But if something is taking more than 4 or 5 minutes, I'll come back to it later. I want to focus on all the stuff that is easy for me first.

Weaknesses: Material Science, Scheduling/Plant Engineering, Statistics/Statistical Process Control
These are the topics I'm weakest in. I'll try to quickly figure out the easy ones if possible, but anything difficult will get put off until the end. Difficult questions in these areas are going to be low yield for me, so I won't feel bad about guessing. 

Your strategy may look similar to this or it may look different. But things that I think are important to keep in mind. DONT GET STUCK! You have to be ok with skipping questions, and coming back to them later. Having a plan for what to skip and for what to prioritize makes this a lot easier. You want to make sure you get all the points you can on the questions that are easiest for you. Remember you do not need 100% to pass. I was conservative and was shooting for 60 - 64 points (out of 80). If you feel like you HAVE TO get that hard question in one of your weak topics, you're probably going to stress yourself out, get stuck, and run out of time.
In addition to Strength/Average/Weaknesses I also had the fourth "wtf is this" category. As other have said, not panicking and trying to find all the low hanging fruit before coming back to this category is helpful. Chances are if something doesn't look familiar after months of studying it's tripping everyone up. 

 

BlueBlueprint_PE

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In addition to Strength/Average/Weaknesses I also had the fourth "wtf is this" category. As other have said, not panicking and trying to find all the low hanging fruit before coming back to this category is helpful. Chances are if something doesn't look familiar after months of studying it's tripping everyone up. 


To piggy back this, I would recommend tabbing your resources in a way that makes sense to you.  I personally tabbed every one of my references on the topics that were discussed in the EET (or insert your review course) materials.  Did I overtab? Probably, but the tabbing process helped me learn where to find each topic/relevant information and familiarized myself with the references.  I'm not sure on your past exam experiences, @C2020, but I felt there was plenty of time in both the AM & PM to complete the exam and check answers.  But, I think knowing where/what reference to look in is a HUGE factor in that.  I would recommend really taking the time to learn your references.

I didn't do a whole heck of a lot of practice problems outside of the NCEES Practice exam and EET course (binder sample problems & simulated exams).  But, I'd say I did every problem at least once.  In areas/questions I struggled with, I probably 3-4 times each.  I was a machine by the time the exam hit.  And, wouldn't you know, not a single question on the exam.  Dumb luck. I would look at the NCEES question breakdown for each session and focus on the areas with the larger amount of potential questions.  Also, know yourself.  Know what topics you excel in and make sure you get (or try to) all of those questions correct. In theory, you probably won't need as much time devoted in your strong subjects.  Devote that balance time to your weaker areas.

And just my 2 cents - the exam isn't all crunching numbers or plug and chug with equations.  While you're studying, put the time in to UNDERSTAND what/why you're doing what you're doing.  I think that's the key to the conceptual problems.  Or, you could flip the script and even say, how do you know what variables/equations to solve if you don't understand the root concept? 


The biggest thing that helped me was doing tons of practice problems and tabbing with labels that made sense to me. I didn't tab chapters or topics, I tabbed equations, and then named them something I would remember. I did chemical engineering in college, so my fluids section just had all the actual names for the equations. In the structural/materials area I labeled them "Concrete Mix" or used the greek letter that type of problem asks for. It was all about speed for me. I also used the plastic tabs that dont wrinkle, because messy tabs would have drove me nuts. Across all my references I used less than 1 package (either 60 or 80 tabs total). Much more and it would have got confusing in my opinion.

The conceptual problems are tough, my approach was to look at them like they were asking me to solve for something. What variables would exist in that equation? What characteristic of the problem effects each of those variables? Which variable makes the most impact? Thinking about it like this helped me at least 4 or 5 times on the exam to (maybe?) get the right answer.


@C2020

Adding on to what other have said, I wrote up my test PE exam strategy for someone elsewhere on the boards, but I thought I'd add it here. I'm Mechanical, not Civil, but the strategy should be easily adapted. Everyone is different but this is the strategy that worked for me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You should study everything while preparing for the exam. But once you get about a week or so out from the exam, you will know what your strengths and weakness are. At that point (right before the exam) it's more important to maximize your strengths than to try to eliminate your weaknesses. You should not have the expectation that you will get every question correct. It's very important to be able to let go of difficult question, so you don't get stuck. This was my strategy; please adapt it to fit you:

Strengths: Statics, Mechanics of Materials, Stress Analysis
These are the topics that I'm strongest in. These are high yield, so I want to try and get 100% of these correct. I should be able to quickly answer the easy ones, and I'm willing to spend a little extra time on the hard one because I'm confident that I'll arrive at the correct answer.

Average: Dynamics, Machine Design
I'm ok at these topics. I should get 100% of the easy one, and expect that I can figure out most of the hard ones. But if something is taking more than 4 or 5 minutes, I'll come back to it later. I want to focus on all the stuff that is easy for me first.

Weaknesses: Material Science, Scheduling/Plant Engineering, Statistics/Statistical Process Control
These are the topics I'm weakest in. I'll try to quickly figure out the easy ones if possible, but anything difficult will get put off until the end. Difficult questions in these areas are going to be low yield for me, so I won't feel bad about guessing. 

Your strategy may look similar to this or it may look different. But things that I think are important to keep in mind. DONT GET STUCK! You have to be ok with skipping questions, and coming back to them later. Having a plan for what to skip and for what to prioritize makes this a lot easier. You want to make sure you get all the points you can on the questions that are easiest for you. Remember you do not need 100% to pass. I was conservative and was shooting for 60 - 64 points (out of 80). If you feel like you HAVE TO get that hard question in one of your weak topics, you're probably going to stress yourself out, get stuck, and run out of time.


In addition to Strength/Average/Weaknesses I also had the fourth "wtf is this" category. As other have said, not panicking and trying to find all the low hanging fruit before coming back to this category is helpful. Chances are if something doesn't look familiar after months of studying it's tripping everyone up. 
 YES, YES, YES, and YES. All of this.  

1. Don't overthink it. 

2. On the conceptual questions, if there is an answer that is the exact opposite of another answer, chances are it's one of those. You now have a 50/50 shot instead of 25%. 

3. Do the questions you know, skip the ones you don't and come back to them later - this is harder to do than one might think. Often times as I go through other questions, the answer (or where to find it) will come to me. 

4. There were far more conceptual questions than I expected. Know the topics/materials, not just how to use the equations. But even still, there were definitely some questions that I would never have studied for and had (still have) no idea about. Focus on what you know. 

5. Create an index of key words in your reference materials. This helps to go quickly to a specific topic/term. I took the EET courses and the instructor created one for the binders and I added to them. 

6. Remember - you don't have to ACE it... you only have to pass. 

 
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:( Sorry to hear that. I suppose waiting this long and getting the red is the double whammy. Was this your first attempt?
Yup, first attempt. I was registered for April and felt much more on track for that date before it got canceled. I had a couple family deaths during the time I had to study for the October date and that really took a toll. But I thought I still had a decent chance so I went ahead and took it anyways instead of forfeiting the cost.

I really want to take it again in April since this whole process has been dragged out so long with Covid, but I'm having a hard time not getting frustrated by my results every time I try to get into studying again.
 

LyceeFruit PE

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Yup, first attempt. I was registered for April and felt much more on track for that date before it got canceled. I had a couple family deaths during the time I had to study for the October date and that really took a toll. But I thought I still had a decent chance so I went ahead and took it anyways instead of forfeiting the cost.

I really want to take it again in April since this whole process has been dragged out so long with Covid, but I'm having a hard time not getting frustrated by my results every time I try to get into studying again.
Honestly it sounds to me like you should take off this exam cycle.
I felt the same way after my 1st fail and ultimately didn't study so I failed again.

Take some time off, regroup, and come back stronger!
 

NJHHEngineer

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Yup, first attempt. I was registered for April and felt much more on track for that date before it got canceled. I had a couple family deaths during the time I had to study for the October date and that really took a toll. But I thought I still had a decent chance so I went ahead and took it anyways instead of forfeiting the cost.

I really want to take it again in April since this whole process has been dragged out so long with Covid, but I'm having a hard time not getting frustrated by my results every time I try to get into studying again.

I agree with @LyceeFruit PE. I would take at least this one off and shoot for October. I know it's a long process and that really sucks but I think it's unfair to try and force yourself into it if you truly aren't "in it".

FWIW I was the opposite. I too was registered for April 2020 as a first timer. Looking back, I don't think I would have been ready for it had it proceeded as planned. The cancellation was a blessing and a curse. I took a couple months off and then got back to it and I really felt prepared going into the October. I think staying relaxed and not freaking out about it is the first step to passing. If you go in feeling a ton of pressure, the exam already has the advantage. Don't add to the stress by forcing yourself to cram all kinds of information into your brain.
 

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@YouBetchaImAnEngineer I second @LyceeFruit PE 's advice. She gave some sobering feedback from her attempts when I was waiting/getting my results in October 2019 and one of the things she said was that she wished she knew it was okay to just sit one out. I took my results pretty hard back in 2019. I had a really hard time getting back into studying but pushed myself to halfway commit myself. My head and my heart weren't into it.

Thankfully April 2020 got cancelled and the relief I felt told me that I wasn't ready. I took the summer to heal and get myself together. I got in shape, read some non-engineering books, took naps, relaxed. Enjoyed life. Got myself together physically, mentally, and emotionally. Now I'm back and studying and I feel better than I did the first time I attempted it. I know better now, so I'm doing what I need to do. I'm reminding myself that it's okay to fail as long as you fail forward - that means that you take the lessons with you so you can improve on it and come back stronger. I'm really sorry about your losses and I'm sorry that the exam results didn't go your way. That can't be easy. Remember that this exam isn't going anywhere. Take your time getting yourself together.

Take care of you first.
 

LyceeFruit PE

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@YouBetchaImAnEngineer I second @LyceeFruit PE 's advice. She gave some sobering feedback from her attempts when I was waiting/getting my results in October 2019 and one of the things she said was that she wished she knew it was okay to just sit one out. I took my results pretty hard back in 2019. I had a really hard time getting back into studying but pushed myself to halfway commit myself. My head and my heart weren't into it.

Thankfully April 2020 got cancelled and the relief I felt told me that I wasn't ready. I took the summer to heal and get myself together. I got in shape, read some non-engineering books, took naps, relaxed. Enjoyed life. Got myself together physically, mentally, and emotionally. Now I'm back and studying and I feel better than I did the first time I attempted it. I know better now, so I'm doing what I need to do. I'm reminding myself that it's okay to fail as long as you fail forward - that means that you take the lessons with you so you can improve on it and come back stronger. I'm really sorry about your losses and I'm sorry that the exam results didn't go your way. That can't be easy. Remember that this exam isn't going anywhere. Take your time getting yourself together.

Take care of you first.
sometimes i'm v wise, sometimes i'm v woodchipped.
 

S_Griffing

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Posting the lonely Control Systems result. My colleague who took it in Kansas also passed. Absolutely no work was done between him receiving his result and my refreshing of the NCEES page. And the worst part is, my behavior was reinforced because it showed up on the NCEES portal before my email...

View attachment 20057
Yay! There aren't many of us CSE guys
 

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