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“Down the Stretch” Tips

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7 minutes ago, BuffaloWings said:

My exam is officially under 2 weeks away. 

Any tips or suggestions for down the stretch?


Yep...  Take a deep breadth and relax at the exam.  Work the problem methodically.  The exam is not that bad...

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Now is a good time to focus on your test taking strategy. You should have a pretty good idea what your strengths and weakness are. I completely understand that everyone is different, but this is what I did and it worked well for me.


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. I want to 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 the hard ones. But if something is taking more than 4 or 5 minutes, I'll come back to it later. I want to get 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.

Edited by jean15paul_PE
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