Harry here – Before last Springs exam, I posted a pep talk for those taking the exam. I just wanted to share some reactions to that post
I sat in the middle, third row back. I saw the guys that sat behind me and they printed out your pep talk and we passed it around as we were waiting to be seated. I think reading that and not talking about the test helped with nerves we had. Thanks for the advice you gave us, I hope that it worked for me! PASSED
That’s great! I was reviewing your notes last night and thought about your prep speech…. thanks again for the instruction and now the motivation. PASSED
In case you are wondering why I have been so quite with my posts lately, that’s because I have been diligently working on my second book aimed at the 8 WR/ENV questions everyone will see in the morning portion of the Civil PE exam. It is taking longer than I hoped, but it is also better than I imagined. It will be worth the wait, I promise!
Harry here – I am proud to announce that Professional Publications, Inc. (PPI) now offers A Dictionary of Civil, Water Resources & Environmental Engineering.
We are extremely pleased that our dictionary met PPI’s product standards! See below for discount code.
Know what’s even cooler, I received a phone call directly from Michael Lindeburg himself. He does exist (no, he’s not a myth) and he’s very kind and humble. You know you must be doing something right when Mr. Lindeburg calls to compliment another companies exam preparation material. Now, if I can only finish writing my PE Civil (AM) book …
PPI is currently offering the following promotion: Save 15% on PPI-published products using Promo Code FCPCE.
Harry here – First and foremost, Thank You to all the men and women that serve and protect our great country. Happy Independence Day (otherwise know as 4th of July.) to all!
I wanted to share so kind emails I received after the Spring 2014 PE exam regarding A Dictionary of Civil, Water Resources & Environmental Engineering:
“Yes, I used your dictionary about 5 times. There were questions about bacteria in water and environmental terms I had never heard of.”
“My afternoon discipline was geotechnical. I did use a dictionary- your dictionary in fact. I can’t remember what I looked up, but I do remember getting two or three answers from the book.”
“I brought a dictionary. My feeling about the dictionary is simple, if there’s a 1% chance I can use it to get 1 question right I am taking it with me. I will not get an easy question wrong because I was too lazy to bring it. If I didn’t have one I would have certainly bought one. Passing the PE will help me get a raise, which would have covered the cost of a dictionary anyway.”
“Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know I passed the PE..Hoorayy!! Anyways just wanted to thank you and feel your class was the force that was needed to get those extra points and pass the test. Your book was used on a few questions and I’m sure those few questions helped me get to a passing grades.”
Here are some notes from others that didn’t bring A Dictionary of Civil, Water Resources & Environmental Engineering into the exam but wished they had:
“I did not use a dictionary, but I think it would have helped based on the increasing amount of qualitative problems.”
“Your dictionary could have saved me some time. I took an Oxford dictionary. The most unfamiliar terms asked were those for the drinking water regulations.”
Harry here – I just wanted to send a quick note of congratulations to everyone that passed the PE exam. I know some States have yet to release their results and the wait can be agonizing … Hang in there!
If you didn’t pass. I am sorry but Do Not Give Up! Just dig in and give it another try. I know you can do it.
To all my former students, thank you for remembering to send me an email.
If you passed and haven’t sent me a note yet – what are you waiting for?
Harry here – As some of you already know, I try to visit the PE exam message boards and help out when I can (albeit not as frequent as I would hope due to other commitments.) A while back I was reading a post from a former School of PE student and forgot to post their comments here. Anyway, I thought you might find what they had to say very interesting
“I took SoPE online. I don’t think you were the instructor though. I’ll confess, I was told by a collegue who took the class in person the that a SoPE prof advised to take the PPI exam a couple weeks out and expect to fail but then take the NCEES exam later to regain confidence as it was more indicative of the actual difficulty (which made waay too much sense). If that was your tip – thanks it worked. As an “older” examinee, I did get lots of encouragement and tips from folks almost half my age who raved about SoPE. That’s also where I learned of your dictionary. I believe I used it for about 4 answers, so another thanks to you. …”
I am very pleased the dictionary helped them on their exam – that’s a complete stranger writing on a message board. If interested in a dictionary for the PE exam, check out: A Dictionary of Civil, Water Resources & Environmental Engineering
You can read the entire post conversation here: http://engineerboards.com/index.php?showtopic=22891&hl=%2Bslap+%2Byour+%2Bfour+%2Bfingers#entry7099817
I am unsure if you need to be logged in or not. By the way, I recommend joining Engineer Boards, it’s both FREE and full of good information regarding the exam.
Harry here – sometimes I get asked by my class what is the best way to carry books into the PE exam?
Frankly, my answer is simple and probably won’t cost you anything: simply use your airplane carry-on bag. It has wheels (so you won’t break a sweat with heavy lifting,) is compact (so you can put it under your desk or behind your chair,) has a zipper (so nothing will fall out,) and can be left open (keeping book spines upright.) Odds are you already own one of these … so why spend money unnecessarily on some hokey contraption?
Anyway, a friend sent me this photo of a custom made wooden rolling cart for the PE exam. I joking told them they should have been studying instead of blowing off steam building this (sorry I am a teacher.)
Check out one of the books (circled in red) in the cart: A Dictionary of Civil, Water Resources & Environmental Engineering. Back to the cart, they estimated their books weighing 48 lbs. and the cart another 10 lbs. The cart even had a little rope handle to pull it. Oh, what I would have given to see them walking up to the PE exam pulling this little book cart (like a Chihuahua on a leash!)
That would have taken the edge right off and calmed my nerves for sure!
Harry here – this is a special note to all my Spring 2014 students.
Several of you asked me to prepare a prep talk for tomorrows exam. However, I don’t think you need it an here’s why:
- You have sacrificed 5 spring weekends dedicated to School of PE instruction. You have trained your minds (and rear ends – HA!) to stay focused for 8 out of 9 hours. Think of the leg up you have over those that did not take a review course and trained themselves to stay focused.
- You have taken a dedicated review course that focuses on +90% of the material that will show up on your exam. Odds are very high that the question is covered in the notes. If not, consider that you may be confusing yourself or over-complicating the question. If too hard, simply step away and come back to it later.
- You have already learned & practiced the technique of reading the exam first and ranking the problems. Remember to solving the E (easy) ones first, then the M (medium) and finally the H (hard.)
- During your studying, you have already trained yourself to pay attention to what the question is asking you – especially the units!
- You are prepared. This is not a Ph.D. qualification exam. It is an exam to test the basics of engineering. Yes, there will be challenging problems but there will also be some easy ones to balance the exam.
- You have the tools necessary to pass this exam. Bring your CERM, School of PE notes, reference texts, dictionary (A Dictionary of Civil, Water Resources & Environmental Engineering) and your calculator.
Remember to stay relaxed during the exam. You studied very hard, now approach tomorrows exam as a challenge. Remove all negative thoughts from your mind now! Remain positive until the final “pencils down” call Friday afternoon.
You should be very excited for tomorrow and not in any way timid. Be confident in yourself, you deserve to be. I believe in you, so should you! I’d wish you good luck but your so prepared you don’t even need it. Are your ready? Now go kick its A$$!
Please send me a note at harry at goldenratiopublishing.com after the exam and especially when you find out that you passed!
Harry here – As an PE review course instructor I often get asked about the exam room. Questions vary from:
“How big is the exam table?” “How much room will I have for my books?” “How many people to a table?”
Well, if you are taking the exam in Delaware, you are in luck! Delaware recently posted a photo in their Winter 2014 newsletter of a previous FE exam in progress.
This is the same room for the PE exam, so this will give you a good idea of what to expect (at least in Delaware.) I assume similar States have similar exam rooms. Of course, every State and location will be slightly different.
Hopefully this photo will help reduce any anxiety regarding the PE exam conditions, chairs, table width, etc. – especially if this is your first time taking the exam.
Question: If you were seated in the back of the room, could you read the clock?
Answer: More on that in another post …
Harry here – PE review courses are starting up. It is still not too late to sign-up. Take a PE review course online, in-person, study together with friends – just start studying!
Don’t forget, when you are practicing problems (#1 way to pass the exam) to be sure to practice using all your reference material. So if you haven’t bought them, get them now. Be sure to check out A Dictionary of Civil, Water Resources & Environmental Engineering. Other material can be found here.
If you haven’t started your review of your depth subject, get started now!
I will be teaching along the Atlantic seaboard this Spring and looking forward to it!
Over the past few weeks I have been contacted numerous times by people planning on retaking the PE exam. Their questions are excellent and I thought I’d share some of my communications with everyone. Again, this advice is for people planning to retake the exam.
Here is my opinion on how I would approach the exam if I were you. I would definitely take a concentrated (5-week) review course. You are not too late. Many do not start until early Feb. so you have time to think and sign up. They offer on weekends, weekday or online so you are sure to find one that will fit your style. Concentrated review course notes tend to be excellent! Review courses cost $$$ so it a personal decision.
Studying the CERM alone is a very difficult path to passing. It is simply filled with too much info, +90% will never be on the exam. Concentrated courses will focus you on the high % topics & problems. This is what you need to study & practice in order to pass exam! I should know, I hear it from students that previously tried on their own and after failing a few times have decided to take a review course. It can be done on your own, just a much more difficult path.
After the review course: practice problems, practice problems & practice more problems. The more comfortable you are determining what they are asking, what info in a distraction, and what are the step you need to solve this problem, the better off you will be. In my experience, these are the keys to passing the exam.
Good luck to everyone! Send me an email and let me know how it all turns out after you pass the exam this spring.