Repeat Takers Strategies - Civil PE CBT

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Pra4surf1

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Starting this new thread for anyone who is interested in teaming up. After my second failed attempt I feel like I need a drastic change in strategy. My first attempt was 34/80. My recent second attempt was 44/80. First go around I took ITRE class and was convinced this was the way to go. I spent most of my time on my references and a couple of practice tests. That exam day was brutal and I knew I planned incorrectly. Second attempt I spent my entire focus on working problems and worked over 1200 +. That exam the recent Oct exam went way better in my mind and while I did improve I thought I did better than my diagnostics showed. So now it is a CBT and new approach all together. It would be great to team up with anyone interested and share ideas on strategies. One thing that comes to mind is how to better understand the diagnostics and those poor areas. I definitely have some weak areas I tried to work around and thought my strengths would make up for my weakness’s. Well that didn’t work. So for anyone interested let’s use every resource we have to get this done! That being said this forum is a great resource and perhaps something we can utilize better to our advantage. Who’s with me let’s get this done!!!
 

keviv

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I am in, I want to get it done coming spring for sure. Please keep me posted. Thanks.
I am PE Civil Structural.
 

Pra4surf1

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Ok these are my thoughts. We start with overall strategy in a structured format.

1. How many attempts we each made and what was our correct number answered.

2. Study strategy for each prior exam that didn’t work and what to avoid including practice exams that are poor from internet.

3. Diagnostic list in order with worse area being # 1 and discuss how we can help each other on our weak areas.

4. For anyone who passed after multiple times what did you do that finally worked in your study strategy

5. Ncees CBT reference manual strategy

6. Suggested classes

7. Possible zoom meeting and teaming up.

8. Common mistakes such as waste factors , units, etc.

These are my initial thoughts and of course we have to be careful not to violate the Ncees guidelines. Any thoughts or ideas?
 

KOKOMO777

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I still haven’t gotten over the hump of passing after this 4th attempt. I thought I’ve done well enough to pass.
 

steelnole15

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I failed it in April 2021 (38/80) and October 2021 (47/80).
I used ASCE's live review course for the first attempt, did not find it helpful for the depth at all, so this time around I took the AEI on-demand class and their binder they sent was SOOOOO helpful! Unfortunately I won't be able to bring it with me this coming time!

Diagnostic:
1638472944497.png

My weakest areas, in order of weakest to strongest:
1) Forces and Load Effects
1) Materials and Material Properties
2) Component Design and Detailing
3) Soil Mechanics
4) Hydraulics and Hydrology
5) Site Development

I'm hesitant to say Codes and Construction because in my mind, I combine those last two together and that has an 83.33% performance. Not worried about that one. But, if I can improve 1 to 2 questions in each of the above weakest areas, I'd end up with a 53-59, which should be enough to pass.
 

Pra4surf1

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Day 2 of failing results sucks as bad or worse than day one and waking up this morning just feeling destroyed by this is creating so much doubt about whether I can do this again and put my family through this torture. Here is what I’ve done and thoughts about the exam if I decide to keep going.

1. How many attempts we each made and what was our correct number answered.

1st attempt was 34/80
2nd attempt was 44/80

2. Study strategy for each prior exam that didn’t work and what to avoid including practice exams that are poor from internet.

1st attempt took itre class and created an index based off of their notes. Did several practice exams but spent too much time on references and failed badly.

2nd attempt I spent most of my time working problems and updating index. I logged in 250 hrs and worked over 1200 problems. Last few weeks I could score 100 on most practice exams including the ncees

3. Diagnostic list in order with worse area being # 1 and discuss how we can help each other on our weak areas.

1-temporary structures
2-means and methods
3-structural
4-hydro
5-earthwork construction and layout

other areas weren’t too bad but these 5 were less than half answered correctly.

5. Ncees CBT reference manual strategy.

From what I’ve read the reference supplied is a searchable pdf and few people have commented it’s way faster than searching through books. I looked at the preview practice exam by ncees and several problems are not in the reference which is concerning. Maybe the preview is different than the actual but I will be in real trouble if any exam problems rely on school knowledge as it’s been 21 years since I graduated.

6. Suggested classes.
Are there any classes now that are conforming to the CBT if so who

7. Possible zoom meeting and teaming up.

I’m available anytime someone is interested in a discussion by phone or zoom. Sometimes it’s faster and more valuable to talk.


8. Common mistakes such as waste factors , units, etc.

During many practice exams earlier on I missed many questions because of simple steps like not including a waste, or productivity factor. I actually caught myself 3 times during the exam making this mistake.

If I do continue forward which I most likely will my thought now is how long to wait before taking the CBT. I actually started a new job this week so all the daytime hrs I had previously for studying are no longer an option which makes my decision even tougher. Lots of doubt and frustration at this point. Many first time passers I’ve spoken with seem to be relatively fresh out of school which even creates further doubt for me
 

steelnole15

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Giving up just because you didn't succeed the first 1 or 2 times is disrespectful to yourself, your career, and all the people that know you can pass it.

So you didn't pass it right away, who cares? It's a hard exam. If it was easy, everybody would pass it on the first try.

So take some time to sulk, cry, whatever you need to do, then get back up and attack it. Because like I said, you only fail if you quit.
 

Pra4surf1

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Giving up just because you didn't succeed the first 1 or 2 times is disrespectful to yourself, your career, and all the people that know you can pass it.

So you didn't pass it right away, who cares? It's a hard exam. If it was easy, everybody would pass it on the first try.

So take some time to sulk, cry, whatever you need to do, then get back up and attack it. Because like I said, you only fail if you quit.
Thanks for the push! Just started new job this week so the stress level went up even more than usual when I got my results. Calling me out is something like my friends would do so thank you for the reality check!
 

Liz06

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Starting this new thread for anyone who is interested in teaming up. After my second failed attempt I feel like I need a drastic change in strategy. My first attempt was 34/80. My recent second attempt was 44/80. First go around I took ITRE class and was convinced this was the way to go. I spent most of my time on my references and a couple of practice tests. That exam day was brutal and I knew I planned incorrectly. Second attempt I spent my entire focus on working problems and worked over 1200 +. That exam the recent Oct exam went way better in my mind and while I did improve I thought I did better than my diagnostics showed. So now it is a CBT and new approach all together. It would be great to team up with anyone interested and share ideas on strategies. One thing that comes to mind is how to better understand the diagnostics and those poor areas. I definitely have some weak areas I tried to work around and thought my strengths would make up for my weakness’s. Well that didn’t work. So for anyone interested let’s use every resource we have to get this done! That being said this forum is a great resource and perhaps something we can utilize better to our advantage. Who’s with me let’s get this done!!!
I am in!
 

keviv

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Ok these are my thoughts. We start with overall strategy in a structured format.

1. How many attempts we each made and what was our correct number answered.

2. Study strategy for each prior exam that didn’t work and what to avoid including practice exams that are poor from internet.

3. Diagnostic list in order with worse area being # 1 and discuss how we can help each other on our weak areas.

4. For anyone who passed after multiple times what did you do that finally worked in your study strategy

5. Ncees CBT reference manual strategy

6. Suggested classes

7. Possible zoom meeting and teaming up.

8. Common mistakes such as waste factors , units, etc.

These are my initial thoughts and of course we have to be careful not to violate the Ncees guidelines. Any thoughts or ideas?
Great strategy.
1. 1st attempt - 45/80, 2nd - 36/80 (sucked big time), 3rd - 49/80
2. Started taking AEI course for third attempt. It was great for both Breadth & Depth.
3. I feel Diagnostic report is BS, coz each time different sections are tougher. My 1st diagnostic report is complete opposite of my 3rd one.
4. N/A
5. I am yet to go through CBT Manual.
6. AEI is the only one I have taken. It was great for both Breadth & Structural Depth.
7. I am good for Zoom meetings.
8. I am not sure if I made mistakes on such factors.

I am in for preparing well for this 4th time and want to pass as hard as anyone could. I am thinking to book my exam for Mar 18. Is this too quick ?
I have seen slots starting from Feb.

I don't notifications from this thread ? How to easily reach to this thread like bookmarking or something, thanks guys :)
 

bensign

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Guys I am in as well for a review group-First attempt was 44/80 civil transportation. Switching to CBT for the next round should be interesting.
 

AngelaK

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Please count me in. Geotech 44/80. I am
Still in denial after the results. I devoted 2 hrs everyday after work and my weekends. Probably 6 hr each. However I felt not working as a geotech engineer has got me a lot of wrong answers on conceptual questions. Also, I scheduled my time for studying but might not have give 100% because of family issues.
I would spend more on practice exams than reviewing the material this time. This time I am planning to spend 5 months prep then take exam.
One thing to add to the list for prep is that, what all things should we memorize- unit conversions, easy formulae, or daily revision items that might save time. Also calculator short cuts. These are easy to over look but might save valuable time during the exam.
 
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bensign

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Also, I for got to add, I should have absolutely spent more time working problems. I utilized EET and the review and binders were great, however by the time I watched the review videos, I did not have much left in the tank for doing problems. That is the biggest change I will be making this time around. WORK MORE PROBLEMS! I plan to re-take in early march or late February! Let's get this!
 

Pra4surf1

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Also, I for got to add, I should have absolutely spent more time working problems. I utilized EET and the review and binders were great, however by the time I watched the review videos, I did not have much left in the tank for doing problems. That is the biggest change I will be making this time around. WORK MORE PROBLEMS! I plan to re-take in early march or late February! Let's get this!
Great feedback and maybe this is what we need. I hit an all time low last week and it is a lonely feeling. I did receive some encouragement from structurenole that helped put things in perspective. That being said I signed up for EET on Saturday and they have already had the first session. I spent all my time on a class first go around and last attempt self study and all problems. I’m thinking skipping some of the EET classes I feel good about like scheduling and spending more time on weaker areas. Practice tests I have bought include ncees, pe prepared, goswami, and civil eng pe. My preference for practice exams in order are:

1.ncees
2. Pe prepared
3. Goswami but long problems and more difficult than real exam imo
4. Civil eng pe was horrible with several mistakes that would be wrong on real exam

I’m thinking of starting with ncees practice exam and using the ncees reference online just like we would for the real exam. To Angelas point the EET instructor mentioned that the reference manual will not have everything on it we will need such as some conversions (kn is an example) and concept questions. I also printed out a copy and am going to just flip through the whole thing to become as familiar as possible with it. Thanks for sharing ideas all this is definitely helpful!
 

AngelaK

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One thing I wanted ask y’all is that did you get the same percent questions right as the ncees result when you did practice exam?
 

Pra4surf1

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I think I got 55/80 first time I took practice exam. Just before the exam I was 80/80. So I have always done better on the practice exam but I think I really got to know those problems well. I do think it is easier than real exam.
 

KOKOMO777

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Day 2 of failing results sucks as bad or worse than day one and waking up this morning just feeling destroyed by this is creating so much doubt about whether I can do this again and put my family through this torture. Here is what I’ve done and thoughts about the exam if I decide to keep going.

1. How many attempts we each made and what was our correct number answered.

1st attempt was 34/80
2nd attempt was 44/80

2. Study strategy for each prior exam that didn’t work and what to avoid including practice exams that are poor from internet.

1st attempt took itre class and created an index based off of their notes. Did several practice exams but spent too much time on references and failed badly.

2nd attempt I spent most of my time working problems and updating index. I logged in 250 hrs and worked over 1200 problems. Last few weeks I could score 100 on most practice exams including the ncees

3. Diagnostic list in order with worse area being # 1 and discuss how we can help each other on our weak areas.

1-temporary structures
2-means and methods
3-structural
4-hydro
5-earthwork construction and layout

other areas weren’t too bad but these 5 were less than half answered correctly.

5. Ncees CBT reference manual strategy.

From what I’ve read the reference supplied is a searchable pdf and few people have commented it’s way faster than searching through books. I looked at the preview practice exam by ncees and several problems are not in the reference which is concerning. Maybe the preview is different than the actual but I will be in real trouble if any exam problems rely on school knowledge as it’s been 21 years since I graduated.

6. Suggested classes.
Are there any classes now that are conforming to the CBT if so who

7. Possible zoom meeting and teaming up.

I’m available anytime someone is interested in a discussion by phone or zoom. Sometimes it’s faster and more valuable to talk.


8. Common mistakes such as waste factors , units, etc.

During many practice exams earlier on I missed many questions because of simple steps like not including a waste, or productivity factor. I actually caught myself 3 times during the exam making this mistake.

If I do continue forward which I most likely will my thought now is how long to wait before taking the CBT. I actually started a new job this week so all the daytime hrs I had previously for studying are no longer an option which makes my decision even tougher. Lots of doubt and frustration at this point. Many first time passers I’ve spoken with seem to be relatively fresh out of school which even creates further doubt for me
I am on the same boat as you. I’ve been out of school for quite some time since the Atlanta summer Olympic. I’ve gone over the reference book they have provided. I hope the CBT questions are based on the reference.
 

rodr

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This sounds like a great idea. I would love to join if it's alright. I am taking the construction depth and just failed for the 3rd time. I am feeling very defeated. I prepared totally different this time and felt like the test was very easy. But my results show zero improvement...I'd love to work together to get through this.

I'm am on the west coast and am interested in a zoom call to kick things off.
 

AngelaK

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Let’s come up with a plan once the grieving period is over. Also please let’s discuss when everyone’s planning to give the next exam. Working together largely depend on that, I think. Let’s focus and get started. I have some points below for discussion or planning if you agree / disagree or add more to it.

-exam date
-materials/classes
-strategies
-how to work together online/offline
-exchange materials/information
 

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