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Sharing Computer Based Exam (CBT) experience - PE Mechanical Engineering


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As the Computer Based Testing (CBT) is implemented for all Engineering PE exams starting from April 2020, I would like to initiate a thread to share the experience on Mechanical engineering HVAC & R  and Thermal Fluid Systems (TFS) - PE exam as soon as candidates take the exam and share their experience. Below are some areas of concern,

Note: Do not post and disclose any question or part of question here. This is just to share overall experience by not disclosing any details of the exam.

1. Overall difficulty level?

2. Question outside the NCEES reference manual? If yes difficulty level.

3. Best practice problem book to be used for CBT based on the difficulty level? For eg. PPI Mechanical engineering practice problem, 14th edition, NCEES practice exam etc.

4. When did you get the test results?

Please, continue to share the overall experience as you take the exam that would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance and GOOD LUCK to all test takers.

 

Edited by FA_Mechanical engineer
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Tell me about it!   I took the TFS exam last Friday and received my results today, and I'm thrilled to have passed. Having been out of school for several years, I did not think until la

Hello folks, I took the MD&M CBT Exam last week. Here is my experience about the exam and its preparation. I gave my FE Mechanical Exam on December 2019. I received the results as “Passe

As the Computer Based Testing (CBT) is implemented for all Engineering PE exams starting from April 2020, I would like to initiate a thread to share the experience on Mechanical engineering HVAC &

I support this post. And definitely encourage sharing.

But also, this from the forum guidelines...
NCEES does monitor these boards, and other users can report violations. I don't want to see anyone get their score invalidated.

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As a reminder, when you took the NCEES examination you signed an agreement that included the statement that you agreed you will not reveal in whole or part any exam questions, answers, problems, or solutions to anyone during or after the exam, whether orally, in writing, or any internet chat rooms , or otherwise. This agreement also stated that failure to comply with this could invalidate your exam results.

Also with COVID-19 issues, I don't think any Mechanical CBT exams are being administered yet. But sooner or later they will be.

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I agree. The purpose of this post is to share the overall CBT experience without revealing details of the test. I would encourage not to do that either. The real purpose of this post is to provide the high level guidelines to help prepare for the CBT test more effectively.

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  • 1 month later...

Has anyone taken the CBT based PE - Mechanical exam yet? I do not know anyone in my company I work for currently taking the PE exam because it is not required to have a PE license, however I know there are just a few who acquired a PE license long back and they have no clue about the CBT exam. So, I personally have no guidance.

I am really relying on this engineer board to help update the members as soon as anyone take the exam and share their experience. Feedback on the overall experience would be very helpful especially who took the Paper based last time in Oct 2019 and retaking CBT now in 2020.

I appreciate for your feedback on this. Like I said I am very much relying on this engineer board and take things seriously when an honest feedback is posted.  

Thank you!!!  

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First time posting on this board, but I just took the HVAC PE CBT a couple weeks ago and found out I passed last week. But here are my responses, appears not many people have posted their experience with the CBT format, but give it time. 

 

1. Overall difficulty level? Medium

2. Question outside the NCEES reference manual? If yes difficulty level. Some conceptual questions that you either know or dont know.

3. Best practice problem book to be used for CBT based on the difficulty level? For eg. PPI Mechanical engineering practice problem, 14th edition, NCEES practice exam etc. The NCEES practice exam and 6min problems and did those over and over again. I dont see the point of spending hundreds of dollars on a class unless you see it beneficial. I just kept a decent study schedule and made sure I knew the ins and out of the reference guide (really important to always have this up when you are studying).

4. When did you get the test results? A week later. 

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Congrats!!! I am glad you passed the exam and good to know the overall difficulty level was medium and I believe solving PPI problems will help to tackle medium problems better. One question if you can answer that would be a great help. Was the morning session very different than the afternoon session? If yes, what was the difference just to get an idea.

Thanks again for posting your thoughts!!! 

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@mechengineer1213 I asked this question before with no response so maybe you can shed light. The PE handbook was riddled with errors when first came out and appears to still contain some issues. Did you have any questions that required the use of formulas or information from these incorrect sections and if so did you err on the side of the book being correct or or what you knew to be correct?

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On 5/18/2020 at 8:17 PM, FA_Mechanical engineer said:

Congrats!!! I am glad you passed the exam and good to know the overall difficulty level was medium and I believe solving PPI problems will help to tackle medium problems better. One question if you can answer that would be a great help. Was the morning session very different than the afternoon session? If yes, what was the difference just to get an idea.

Thanks again for posting your thoughts!!! 

AM and PM were similar. I thought the AM was easier which i think is the case for all the disciplines.

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I took the Machine Design and Materials exam last weekend and I would definitely say it is harder than the NCEES practice exam but not as hard as PPI's practice exams. I wasn't able to pass the test but with the report that they gave I found out what areas I did not do as good in and can improve. I'm going to re-take the test in the next few months and use PPI's Self study course that is around $300 for three months. I feel like the difficulty of that will help prepare me for the exam. The morning session for me was also easier than the afternoon session. Best of luck to all you guys when you take the exam.

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2 hours ago, gregp said:

I took the Machine Design and Materials exam last weekend and I would definitely say it is harder than the NCEES practice exam but not as hard as PPI's practice exams. I wasn't able to pass the test but with the report that they gave I found out what areas I did not do as good in and can improve. I'm going to re-take the test in the next few months and use PPI's Self study course that is around $300 for three months. I feel like the difficulty of that will help prepare me for the exam. The morning session for me was also easier than the afternoon session. Best of luck to all you guys when you take the exam.

Thanks for sharing your experience on the difficulty level, did you self study for the test?

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19 hours ago, gregp said:

I took the Machine Design and Materials exam last weekend ...

 

On 5/18/2020 at 7:05 PM, mechengineer1213 said:

... I just took the HVAC PE CBT a couple weeks ago ...

 

Did you have to wear a mask while taking the test?

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I prepared for the exam doing Dr. Toms Classroom 20 week lesson plan. That is very helpful to get a good base but I would also try to do additional problems and find other practice exams to work on with that. Getting used to the NCEES Reference handbook while studying is very important to. I only used that as my reference while preparing for the exam. 

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If anyone who took the CBT exam already can answer these questions that would help.

1. What has been provided to the test taker to solve the problems? Is it in the form of blank sheet of paper and pencil or erasable white board with marker?

2. Problems require to use Psychrometric charts, P-H diagrams etc how easy is to trace them to find what you need. The quality in NCEES reference manual is very bad and it is difficult to find an exact answer using these charts.

3. What version of the manual they have been offering during the exam? Is it exactly version 1.1 or there are some difference between the one online and the one in the exam? 

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4 hours ago, FA_Mechanical engineer said:

If anyone who took the CBT exam already can answer these questions that would help.

1. What has been provided to the test taker to solve the problems? Is it in the form of blank sheet of paper and pencil or erasable white board with marker?

2. Problems require to use Psychrometric charts, P-H diagrams etc how easy is to trace them to find what you need. The quality in NCEES reference manual is very bad and it is difficult to find an exact answer using these charts.

3. What version of the manual they have been offering during the exam? Is it exactly version 1.1 or there are some difference between the one online and the one in the exam? 

I haven't taken the CBT, but regarding number 1, NCEES put out this video.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to share PE exam experience with all of you. I took the exam last week and just heard back from NCEES that I have passed.

1. Overall difficulty level? Medium

2. Question outside the NCEES reference manual? If yes difficulty level. - Yes, a lot of questions from ASHRAE books which will require common sense and little understanding of how HVAC & Refrigeration system work.

3. Best practice problem book to be used for CBT based on the difficulty level? For eg. PPI Mechanical engineering practice problem, 14th edition, NCEES practice exam etc. - I have prioritize the practice books for CBT, please see below:

a. NCEES practice problems (MUST!!!! Can not emphasize it enough) Exams problems are based on same concepts as published in the NCEES Book

b. Practice problems by Engg Pro Guides

c. Final Exam by Engg Pro Guides

d. MERM is definitely required to go through all the fundamentals. I did not use it a lot as I took FE Exam last October, so fundamentals were all fresh in my mind.

4. When did you get the test results? 6 days.

 

@FA_Mechanical engineerGood Luck!!

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@Mecha

Thank you for the information. Do you have any tips or suggestions on time saving techniques when taking the CBT Exam. Obviously, the more you formulas that you don’t need to look up in the Reference Manual the more time you will save. 

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