PASSED FE MECH ON FIRST ATTEMPT - 5 YEARS OUT OF COLLEGE!!

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yeahitsnikki

Hey everyone!

If you're reading this, you are either about to write your FE exam, already written it and anxious about results like I was an hour ago, or contemplating writing it.

PS: This is a long post. I tried to tell you as much as I can so you can understand my circumstance and experience. I hope this helps someone out there. Feel free to skip sections.

About me - 29-year-old female engineer (graduated in 2015, 2.9 GPA; yeah, I loved to socialize, and no regrets. I made friends from all over the world. I'm an artist by nature, I'm great with people, and a high I, D personality low on SC (DISC reference) who did engineering to please my parents at first, then realized I was stuck and had to make the best out of my life); You get it, I'm not a serious studious type of person, the ends justify the means for me. If my visa did not require it I would have worked in Finance and If I was rich enough to pursue my passions, I would be an oil painter or short story writer.

Anyway -My First job was in IT, 2nd and 3rd job in construction as an estimator, 4th in engineering sales and finally I started working for an HVAC engineering firm downtown. Bosses (both PEs) wanted me to become a PE too). I put it off for 2 years.

My FE journey:

February 2020 - reluctantly registered for the exam. My boss came to my desk and said you need to give this exam, you have waited for enough. Fair enough. Booked 8 am session on September 24th; This gave me plenty of time to process this impending debacle.

He had recently given me a pay raise as H1b visa required equal wages to be paid. He needed me to prove myself worthy. The same day he said I was not working long enough hours. 9 hours was not enough, he was paying me to work longer. He said when he was my age, he worked 11-12 hours a day. Great, I said, "Yes Sir. I will". It's what he wanted to hear so he would get off my back.

March 2020- Borrowed Linderberg FE review manual from a friend. It gave a pass guarantee, so why not. I put the book on my nightstand. I stared at the book this entire month. I wallowed in self-doubt and hesitated to start. I'm not great at studying but I also do not like failing anything in life. At this time, It was personal to me.

April, May, June - I started reading the book. It said you need 3 months of 8-hour study to get through it. I work 11 hours now and I love working out at the gym. I refuse to give that up, So I studied from 8-10 pm on most days. I studied 4-5 hours on weekends, to be honest, I sat for 7-8 hours but I approximate 2-3 hours spent browsing Instagram and calling my mom or friends. I estimate 10 hours spent a week, some weeks I drank 2 bottles of wine out of stress and anxiety and lay in bed regretting the previous night. I could have studied. I had covered 20% of this book by then. It's a huge book. It is very intimidating. I had to concentrate, or I could feel my eyes glazing over paragraphs, unable to retain anything. I solved the problems in the book.

July - It hit me. I had 3 months. This is when I actually started studying. I was panicking. I had finished maybe 70% of the book just casually reading and solving problems (2-5 pages a day). I work in HVAC but I had forgotten to read psychometric charts, I knew Bernoulli's equation but the problems on force on submerged objects scared me. I knew I was going to fail, but I'd go out fighting to the end.

I was weak in statics so I watched u/EnGenieneer videos - all of them - She is great! I also watched "Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Review" -on Coursera by Dr. Philip Roberts. I mostly watched statics & MOM materials here. I came to this forum and read everyone's experience. I bought the Lindberg Mech practice book. I found it very helpful. Problems were 80% harder here than on the actual exam.

I bought PPE HQ (attached picture, lol I did not do well as you can see. Also, I did not finish. The picture you see is from today, meaning I still did not solve half of that); Problems were normal to tough here, it helped open my mind up a bit to the variety of questions.

Aug, September - Crunch time. I was confident with math, statics, ethics, economics, electricity & magnetism, heat transfer, fluids, and thermo(kind of); what I knew I needed to learn - measurements, instrumentation, MOM, and probability. I accepted that I suck at mechanical design. I wouldn't lie to myself. That was a lost cause.

2 weeks before my exam - It was my birthday weekend, covid had made it easy to hunker and study but I like to live my life. I booked my flight (4 days - Bwi airport to Malibu, California). I relaxed on the beach, drank mimosas, and meditated, I did not think of my exam. However, I'm not a fan of escapism- Got back from vacation, ready to face reality.

1 week before the exam - I bought the practice exam and just read the problems, tried to solve them, then looked at the answers. I went over it twice. To tell you the truth this was the most helpful after the Lindberg book. A lot of my questions were similar to the ones on this NCEES practice exam. The same level of difficulty.

1 day before the exam - I decided I would not take it personally, I advise you all to think this way. Do not take it personally. it is just an exam, and I told myself - if I fail tomorrow, I'll write it again, and again -Till I pass because I am not a quitter. This does not reflect my intellectual prowess and does not change anything in the universe. I'm a stoic, I will persevere. The obstacle is the way. If you are still reading this - Listen, YOU GOT THIS!

After another 10 hour workday ( I could not leave early day before the exam as I had a deadline at work). I got home and went over the practice exam again. I went to bed at 11:30 pm. I had packed 2 energy bars, some crackers and an energy drink to down at 7am the next day. Let's do this.

EXAM: I started with the easiest math problem. The limits were shown on the graph on the screen, I just had to use a calculator to integrate. (Learn to do all vector, matrix, and integration problems on calculator!! I used my old ass casio fx-115 es that I use daily at work); I remember 50% of problems took 30-45 seconds to solve! You look at the problem, find the keywords, type, look for a formula, calculate - BAM! (I remember a projectile question, similitude questions, easy Bernoulli, easy heat transfer questions)

Be careful with units ( I solved a problem in celsius first, found the answer -selected the answer then went - shit, and re-solved in kelvin, and that was the correct answer; it's not tricky but you need to be careful with units)" - thoroughly know the FE user manual!! - thoroughly know the practice exam- practice and be confident. - also carry water (I was parched during the 2nd half)

I used 3 hours in the first half and I found all questions so easy, some took longer to solve. I had 7 questions in 2nd half with 15 min timer going off. I guessed all MOM problems, all mech design as well ( I guessed after I couldn't find the formula for them, not without trying - also guessed using common sense, not random Bs or Cs.)

I walked out feeling like the exam was easy. but I remembered the questions I guessed, and though - huh, no shit, I might fail.

Anyway, I had anxiety throughout the following week. I read they publish results at 10:02 am on the following Wednesday. I'm at work, my heart racing at 9 am, 9:07 am.. all the way till 10 am and BAM! I passed!

All I want to say is If I passed, you can too. Believe in yourself, I'm sure 95% of you have way more passion for this than I do. 80% of you probably had a higher GPA than I did. You have to put in 3 months of work, and practice as much as you can. Focus. You will pass! If you don't, then try again. Enjoy your life. There is more to life than an exam, this does not define you. All the best!

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Mech.Eng

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Hey everyone!

If you're reading this, you are either about to write your FE exam, already written it and anxious about results like I was an hour ago, or contemplating writing it.

PS: This is a long post. I tried to tell you as much as I can so you can understand my circumstance and experience. I hope this helps someone out there. Feel free to skip sections.

About me - 29-year-old female engineer (graduated in 2015, 2.9 GPA; yeah, I loved to socialize, and no regrets. I made friends from all over the world. I'm an artist by nature, I'm great with people, and a high I, D personality low on SC (DISC reference) who did engineering to please my parents at first, then realized I was stuck and had to make the best out of my life); You get it, I'm not a serious studious type of person, the ends justify the means for me. If my visa did not require it I would have worked in Finance and If I was rich enough to pursue my passions, I would be an oil painter or short story writer.

Anyway -My First job was in IT, 2nd and 3rd job in construction as an estimator, 4th in engineering sales and finally I started working for an HVAC engineering firm downtown. Bosses (both PEs) wanted me to become a PE too). I put it off for 2 years.

My FE journey:

February 2020 - reluctantly registered for the exam. My boss came to my desk and said you need to give this exam, you have waited for enough. Fair enough. Booked 8 am session on September 24th; This gave me plenty of time to process this impending debacle.

He had recently given me a pay raise as H1b visa required equal wages to be paid. He needed me to prove myself worthy. The same day he said I was not working long enough hours. 9 hours was not enough, he was paying me to work longer. He said when he was my age, he worked 11-12 hours a day. Great, I said, "Yes Sir. I will". It's what he wanted to hear so he would get off my back.

March 2020- Borrowed Linderberg FE review manual from a friend. It gave a pass guarantee, so why not. I put the book on my nightstand. I stared at the book this entire month. I wallowed in self-doubt and hesitated to start. I'm not great at studying but I also do not like failing anything in life. At this time, It was personal to me.

April, May, June - I started reading the book. It said you need 3 months of 8-hour study to get through it. I work 11 hours now and I love working out at the gym. I refuse to give that up, So I studied from 8-10 pm on most days. I studied 4-5 hours on weekends, to be honest, I sat for 7-8 hours but I approximate 2-3 hours spent browsing Instagram and calling my mom or friends. I estimate 10 hours spent a week, some weeks I drank 2 bottles of wine out of stress and anxiety and lay in bed regretting the previous night. I could have studied. I had covered 20% of this book by then. It's a huge book. It is very intimidating. I had to concentrate, or I could feel my eyes glazing over paragraphs, unable to retain anything. I solved the problems in the book.

July - It hit me. I had 3 months. This is when I actually started studying. I was panicking. I had finished maybe 70% of the book just casually reading and solving problems (2-5 pages a day). I work in HVAC but I had forgotten to read psychometric charts, I knew Bernoulli's equation but the problems on force on submerged objects scared me. I knew I was going to fail, but I'd go out fighting to the end.

I was weak in statics so I watched u/EnGenieneer videos - all of them - She is great! I also watched "Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Review" -on Coursera by Dr. Philip Roberts. I mostly watched statics & MOM materials here. I came to this forum and read everyone's experience. I bought the Lindberg Mech practice book. I found it very helpful. Problems were 80% harder here than on the actual exam.

I bought PPE HQ (attached picture, lol I did not do well as you can see. Also, I did not finish. The picture you see is from today, meaning I still did not solve half of that); Problems were normal to tough here, it helped open my mind up a bit to the variety of questions.

Aug, September - Crunch time. I was confident with math, statics, ethics, economics, electricity & magnetism, heat transfer, fluids, and thermo(kind of); what I knew I needed to learn - measurements, instrumentation, MOM, and probability. I accepted that I suck at mechanical design. I wouldn't lie to myself. That was a lost cause.

2 weeks before my exam - It was my birthday weekend, covid had made it easy to hunker and study but I like to live my life. I booked my flight (4 days - Bwi airport to Malibu, California). I relaxed on the beach, drank mimosas, and meditated, I did not think of my exam. However, I'm not a fan of escapism- Got back from vacation, ready to face reality.

1 week before the exam - I bought the practice exam and just read the problems, tried to solve them, then looked at the answers. I went over it twice. To tell you the truth this was the most helpful after the Lindberg book. A lot of my questions were similar to the ones on this NCEES practice exam. The same level of difficulty.

1 day before the exam - I decided I would not take it personally, I advise you all to think this way. Do not take it personally. it is just an exam, and I told myself - if I fail tomorrow, I'll write it again, and again -Till I pass because I am not a quitter. This does not reflect my intellectual prowess and does not change anything in the universe. I'm a stoic, I will persevere. The obstacle is the way. If you are still reading this - Listen, YOU GOT THIS!

After another 10 hour workday ( I could not leave early day before the exam as I had a deadline at work). I got home and went over the practice exam again. I went to bed at 11:30 pm. I had packed 2 energy bars, some crackers and an energy drink to down at 7am the next day. Let's do this.

EXAM: I started with the easiest math problem. The limits were shown on the graph on the screen, I just had to use a calculator to integrate. (Learn to do all vector, matrix, and integration problems on calculator!! I used my old ass casio fx-115 es that I use daily at work); I remember 50% of problems took 30-45 seconds to solve! You look at the problem, find the keywords, type, look for a formula, calculate - BAM! (I remember a projectile question, similitude questions, easy Bernoulli, easy heat transfer questions)

Be careful with units ( I solved a problem in celsius first, found the answer -selected the answer then went - shit, and re-solved in kelvin, and that was the correct answer; it's not tricky but you need to be careful with units)" - thoroughly know the FE user manual!! - thoroughly know the practice exam- practice and be confident. - also carry water (I was parched during the 2nd half)

I used 3 hours in the first half and I found all questions so easy, some took longer to solve. I had 7 questions in 2nd half with 15 min timer going off. I guessed all MOM problems, all mech design as well ( I guessed after I couldn't find the formula for them, not without trying - also guessed using common sense, not random Bs or Cs.)

I walked out feeling like the exam was easy. but I remembered the questions I guessed, and though - huh, no shit, I might fail.

Anyway, I had anxiety throughout the following week. I read they publish results at 10:02 am on the following Wednesday. I'm at work, my heart racing at 9 am, 9:07 am.. all the way till 10 am and BAM! I passed!

All I want to say is If I passed, you can too. Believe in yourself, I'm sure 95% of you have way more passion for this than I do. 80% of you probably had a higher GPA than I did. You have to put in 3 months of work, and practice as much as you can. Focus. You will pass! If you don't, then try again. Enjoy your life. There is more to life than an exam, this does not define you. All the best!

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Girlllllll i was screaming reading your post. I absolutely love love your energy in the post. I wish i had seen it way sooner. I just took the exam today and i found it very hard. Mine was about 45% non calculation problems (like theory problems and definition) and majority of which wasn’t in the reference books (so aggravating). I had major anxiety because i had spent most of my time learning how to do the calculations i found the problem much harder than the study guide and i also found the first half to be much much harder. The second half was way easier. I studied for about 20 days and thought that would be enough but i should have spent about 3 months studying ugh
 
S

SecondChance

Thanks for your energetic essay. It was nice to read through. Unfortunately, my last BAM was a fail. So here I'm studying again. But this time I can feel some confidence. I took the PPI2PASS course and they have the pass guarantee review for free. 

 

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