Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Can Prayer Help Pass the PE Exam?

Prayer helped me in passing the PE exam. I will tell you how:

How Prayer Aided my EIT test success: 

I read, prior to taking the EIT (FE) exam that two things can increase exam scores by 5 to 10 percent. First, do five minutes of exercise. The increased blood circulation improves mental performance. Second, drinking a cup of coffee also increases blood flow. The morning of the exam, as I left a friend's home en route to Sacramento, I prayed, "Lord, please give me an opportunity to have a cup of coffee and also to get a little exercise before the test begins."

On the way, I suddenly had to relieve my bladder. I pulled off highway 99 to a gas station. As I pulled into the lot, I saw a large four foot square banner: 16 oz Coffee 99 cents       

So, I bought a coffee, which I had already forgotten I wanted to do. I slowly sipped it as I drove the last 20 miles to the exam site at Cal Expo. I drank only about half. It is wise to prevent multiple trips to the restroom during the exam.

When I arrived, I parked across the street to save the five dollar parking fee. I walked to the exam and sat down at a table. I looked and noticed a fellow next to me had two calculators on the table. I thought, "He should only have one calculator on the table." Then, I looked for where I had placed mine. I remembered it was on the floor of my car.

I had to negotiate with the elderly lady at the door. She told me to speak with the person in charge. This man had no problem with it, but told me to hurry. "If the doors close before you get back, no one enters after the doors close." So, I ran to my parking space. Finding my calculator there, I again ran back, wishing I had worn something other than my Birkenstock sandals.

When I returned, the door was yet open, and I entered with no problem. I made sure the man in charge saw me, and sat at my seat. I recalled the prayer. I realized I just received the second part of my prayer: a 5 minute jogging exercise.

How I Prayed for the PE Exam:

I prayed for success, of course. I also prayed that God would cause me to have work which would incorporate problems that were going to be on the PE exam.

On the actual exam day, many of the problems were similar to those I had worked in the few months prior to the exam. In fact, the day before the exam, I broke conventional wisdom and took a practice exam using my PPI account to generate the practice exam. Several of them I was almost able to solve, but answered incorrectly. I worked each one correctly, then copied them into Word documents, printed them out, and put them into a three-ring binder. Three of them used the exact same solution process as actual questions on the exam.

I did not study for the surveying exam or the seismic exam very well. On the surveying exam, most of the problems were problems that I had worked as the survey crew leader in Athens-Clarke County. On the seismic portion, I mismanaged my time. I worked as if I had 4 hours. Really, there are just 2 and a half hours for 50 questions. This is 3 minutes per seismic problem, not 6, as I worked. So, the California Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors sent me an automatic entry for the October 30, 2010 exam.

The new procedure requires all PE examinees to also register with NCEES. I did and received a confirmation, which I printed out and filed. So, I was surprised on September 27th when I received this email:

Subject: NCEES Exam Registration October 2010 - Cancelled

Your state board or testing service has not approved you to sit for the October 
2010 exam. Therefore, your NCEES exam registration has been cancelled. Please do 
not call NCEES about your registration status.  You should direct all your 
inquiries to your board or testing service.
Please note that if you wish to take a future exam, your NCEES ID number will 
remain the same. You simply need to access your NCEES account to register for 
any exams in the future. Registration for the April 2011 exam will open in late 



I was so surprised, I did not even notice the double misspelling of the word "canceled". Returning to the confirmation print-out, I noticed that my own name was not on it. My wife's name was there. Google AutoFill must have done this. When I completed the NCEES boxes, I clicked to advance to the next page of the process, but was returned to the same page to correct something. That must have been when the substitution occurred. AutoFill swapped out my name and inserted my spouse's name instead.

I called NCEES. I spoke with Tamara and explained the situation. She saw that I had in fact registered, and that my wife's name was in my place. She assured me that NCEES never makes any exceptions. Once the deadline has passed, she told me, they have never, not ever, allowed anyone to sit for the exam. NCEES had already ordered the exams to be printed on the 21st, she said. It was impossible because there would be no exam printed for me.

However, she promised to ask the responsible people. I hung up and spoke with my wife. I told her, "We need to pray." We prayed for less than 5 minutes. I said that God promised to grant any prayer in the name of Jesus if two or more people touched in agreement. We prayed for favor and that God would do something to open a door for me to sit for the seismic exam. Then we did a fist bump, and I returned to my desk.

As she promised, Tamara phoned before the end of the business day. I said hello. She said, "You must be the luckiest man on the planet. They agreed to change your status." Then she explained she had actually asked three different people. The third man gave the approval.

So, God blessed me. I believed in God's word, and asked and believed.

Yes, prayer will help you to not only pass the exam, but also to get into the exam in the first place!

Side note: When someone like Tamara goes the extra mile for another person, God will ensure she receives the same if she ever has a need like I had. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

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