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RE: good engineering dictionary and p.e. advice

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Jen,
 
Kudos on stepping up and taking the exam.  Best of luck to you.
 
For study assistance, visit the web site www.ppi2pass.com.  They have plenty of study guides to get you prepared for the exam.  I took the Civil exam with the Structural afternoon session.  The "Civil Engineering Reference Manual" from the above web site will get you all sorts of prepared for the morning session.  In the afternoon session, I found I used the above manual way less, with the exception of a question or two.  For the structural afternoon, I found that the manuals and text books that I use for structural design came in very handy, namely the AISC LRFD manual, ACI 318, ASCE 7, and an assortment of text books that I have been known to crack open here at the office.
 
When I studied, I was taking the October/November exam and I started studying at the beginning of August.  I wish I could say I studied the recommended 300 hours, but I doubt that was the case.  I took a look at the way the test was going to be broken down and studied accordingly.  I didn't focus on anything way intense, because I took the approach of "what's a 6 minute solvable problem" on issues that weren't structure related, and even then I got caught a little surprised on the afternoon session of the exam, but nothing that I couldn't find quickly, just by being familiar with my materials at hand.  My studying consisted of skimming the materials and following that up with solving problems.  In this way, I got myself very familiar with where the material was located, should I need it.  Plus, I think with our profession, learning by problem solving is a very effective way of studying.
 
The last week before the exam, I took the purchased Practice Exam from the above web site.  Because of work, I took 4 hours and did the first half one day, and another 4 hours the next day for the second half.  The next day, I graded the exam, reviewed the solutions for all and did some minor tweaking on things there that caught me by surprise.  They day before the exam, I made sure I had all of the stuff that I was taking into the exam set aside, which included all of the texts, 2 calculators that I was familiar with, an eraser stick with extra refill, all of of my correspondance that I had with the people at the local board of registration (to have proof that I was in fact registered to take the test, and all of my bills were paid up).
 
There is also a registration deadline.  Even if all of your stuff had been turned in, I contact them again and make sure that everything was there.  When I did my call, I found that none of my reference letters made it through.  Some last minute hustling made that a thing of the past, but I almost didn't make it in time.  Turns out, the board won't call you if you are missing things.  That is completely up to you.  So, you will want to make sure that is done and completed before the review meeting is held to approve or reject test applicants.
 
If you have any more questions or concerns about taking the test, feel free to e-mail me privately.  I took the test some 2 years ago and it is still fresh in my mind.  dm__7(--nospam--at)vcn.com  Otherwise, good luck, and if you study enough, you'll be prepared.  Stay relaxed going into the exam and whatever happens, happens.  Oh, and make sure you know how to solve a pretensioned concrete beam.  There's an example in the Eng. Ref. Manual.
 
Dave Maynard, PE  <- And on the first try too.
Gillette, Wyoming
-----Original Message-----
From: Jen Wadsworth [mailto:JWadsworth(--nospam--at)TricoEngineering.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 9:07 AM
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
Subject: good engineering dictionary and p.e. advice

 

 

I?m looking for a good engineering or scientific dictionary ? any recommendations? This would be for everyday use, but also for the P.E. exam in April.

Also, does anyone have advice for a first-timer taking the exam?

 

Thanks, Jen