Study Advice for PE Power exam

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Nov 11, 2015
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Hello Everyone,

I recently failed my PE in 3rd times:((1st pencil and two times CBT) and hopefully everyone can give me some advice on how do I study for next time.

In my previous study strategy:
1. I have taken Zach's stone live course and done his practice exam(twice) and quiz problem after each topic material
2. Did twice on Eng Pro Guide Full, Final, and Reference Exam.
3. NCESS Practice exam twice as well

I feel I may still weak on conceptual parts for some of the topics but not sure how do I get improved from here. Also, is there any other study material recommended it?

Please feel free to provide your opinions and appreciate your help !!
@pigking8190 if you want to send me your diagnostic via PM I'd be happy to take a look at it and recommend some material for additional study. In addition to what you posted above, I found the following very helpful:

1. Complex Imaginary Practice Exams, Volumes 1 thru IV. These aren't as difficult as Zach or Justin's exams, but are shorter, more "drill-type" problems which are closer to the speed at which you will be solving the actual exam problems. I say this with the caveat that I took the exam in June 2021, so Zach and Justin may have modified their courses since.
2. Cram for Exam practice exams, 1 thru IV (I think I only had the first three volumes, though).

The conceptual parts you mention will come through more study and more practice problems. Just keep doing them. Don't hesitate to go back and re-work previous practice exams. I must have gone through the NCEES practice exam a dozen times over my 2-1/2 years worth of studying. As you keep learning, the concepts will come in time.

I took the PE exam 5 times (twice paper/pencil and three times CBT) before finally passing in June of 2021. My degree is in mechanical so some of the concepts were very new and challenging for me. I know what you're going through. Never give up!
I would post your diagnostic here, if you don't feel comfortable, send me PM.

My honest opinion the key to passing this test is 3 major things:

1) Being EXPOSED to everything. You don't want to get to the test and be like "Wait a minute, I never even HEARD of peak-voltage...". The best way in my opinion to expose yourself is what you have done. Zach and Justin's material. I went through every piece of literature and every video on Zach's website TWICE (at least). And done every quiz twice. To me, this is more helpful than the live class. Because I can "set my own pace" some days I did 5 modules, some days I done 1. (I still did the live class, don't get me wrong it's amazing, but his website is the best resource IN THE WORLD for passing this exam. People really love his live class and I don't see as much love for that website as they should have).

2) Having the FOUNDATION to answer every single power problem. One thing Zach and I agree on more than anything is how important you should know circuits/power like the back of your hand. I know you probably think you do (we all do) but I did Zach's power/circuit boot camp multiple times. One resource I don't see a lot of people talk about is Wasim Asghar's books for PE. You're going to open this book and be like "really...this is super easy. I need challenged more". You don't. I also owned the Complex Imaginary problems DLD said above and i LOVE them. People really focus too much on 15 minute super complex problems. When I passed my PE, Zach didn't have the "random problem generator" that I believe he has now. Sadly, I don't have access to the website or I would love to give more feedback about it. Knowing how much Zach cares about quality, I'm sure that would be another wonderful resource to sit down and just hammer out circuit/power problems.

3) Zach's PROBLEM INDEX. Is probably the #1 idea I will say that got me to pass that exam the first time, with confidence. Every single book/practice test I used I would write down what problems I got wrong. I would work all my books problems, THEN START AGAIN with my problem index. Try to solve it, if I can't, leave it on the list and keep going down the list. Once I got the bottom of list, start back at the top.

Please don't take any of this advice as me meaning it hateful. I have nothing but love for each and everyone of us going through this journey. <3
Even for me I took Zach Course and watched his every video countless time till my mind got the concepts and believe me every time I watched them I learned something new. One thing I make sure that I don't follow the other people's guidance about the time span. Its your journey so take your time.
I did Justin Kauwale Exams, Cram (I-IV), NCEES exam and Zach every single problem and repeat them untill I get them almost 95% correct.