Thursday, April 11, 2013

Most Important Thing for the PE Exam

Before you set out to take your PE exam, do not forget the most important thing in life: your relationship with God. Spend some time praising God. And, say a prayer asking the Father to watch over you, get you to the site on time, remove any delays or distractions, and to bless you with a passing score.

Peace, MfM

PS- A bit of help: Day-before PE Exam Day Checklist 
                           What Food to Eat before an Exam?
                           PE Exam Results- How to Get Them Early 
                           Six-Week PE Exam Study Plan  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to Study for the PE Exam

Want to know how to study for the PE exam?

The proper way to study for any event, and especially for rigorous professional exams like the FE, PE, bar exam, and the CPA exam is to prepare for the actual event by mimicking the examination in your study and preparation.

This means taking practice exams. Practice by doing the actual thing in which you intend to excel- that is how to study for the PE exam.

PE exam study, PE exam, civil engineering exam, PE review books, best PE review book
PE Exam Book Pages
Take practice PE exam tests mimicking as closely as possible actual exam details. Start setting up your exam practice space at 7:30. This is when doors typically open at NCEES exam sites. Open your practice exam at 8 a.m. Keep the clock running if you need to dash off to the toilet. Take a one hour lunch. Then, begin the afternoon depth practice exam at one.

You should purchase your reference books and two NCEES approved engineering calculators as soon as possible. On exam day, be able to use your manuals and calculators automatically, without any hesitation or halting.Visit the Best PE Exam Materials store to familiarize yourself with the available materials.

How long should you study for the PE Exam? 

Most PE exam prep sites recommend 300 hours. Many of those sites offer full refunds, free second enrollment, or other guarantees. 300 hours increases the percentage of people who pass using their programs. But, this really is how to study for the PE exam if you want to walk into the examination room with a very high probability of passing.

It is possible to pass with fewer than 300 hours. One man in a forum claimed he passed on the first try without any study at all. None. This is not worth considering. There are always heavy outliers in statistical data. And, a small chance exists that this man may have prevaricated his claim. The reality is likely something more like a Bell curve with the median a little less than 300 hours.

I also recommend 300 hours. But, I myself studied less than this. I scheduled 5 full practice exams, and took all of them on schedule. I studied 3 months, one hour per night Monday to Friday, and 4 hours even Saturdays, full exams odd Saturdays. Total, I studied about 250 hours.

Some people start late, and they are good at responding under pressure. For these people, I wrote a Six Week NCEES PE Exam Study Plan.

Another worthwhile article, valid for taking any test, is Test Taking Tips. It shares several secrets that can improve your score. I doubt you have seen these tips before. I highly recommend you read Test Taking Tips.

NCEES sells sample problem books on Amazon.
To use the study method I'm recommending, you need several full practice PE exams. You should purchase three or four books to provide these. One of them should be the NCEES sample problems book for the afternoon topic you registered for.

And, never forget to pray and ask God to bless you in your preparation, exam, and career.


Friday, April 5, 2013

What Lunch to Eat During PE Exam?

As mentioned in several other posts on this blog, increasing blood flow to the brain improves test results. The average increase is 5 percent!

So, when planning a lunch, don't go for the full meal deal. Look for something light. You will need energy and "brain food". But, overdo it, and your system will divert blood to the stomach to digest what you have eaten.

Packing a lunch has an important advantage: More of your one hour lunch will be committed to relaxing.

If you decide to eat fast food, do a search of the area where your PE test site is situated. Find something you like. I located a Chik-fil-A near my testing site in Sacramento. I had MapQuest directions printed out, and drove straight there, got my lunch, and drove back to the testing site parking lot.

Don't Risk Lunch Hour Traffic
Return to the exam site immediately to avoid the end-of-lunch-hour traffic. Be sure you are on site and make it for the beginning of the afternoon depth exam. If you pack your own lunch, you can eat and then take a power nap. Set an alarm on a watch or phone. As an added bit of insurance, park near the lane other returning examinees will use walking back to the exam area. The noise of the other examinees will serve as a back-up to your alarm.

The chicken sandwich, fruit cup, bottled water, and (another) half cup of coffee had me feeling refreshed and ready for the second 4-hour exam. However, I realized recently that there are surely more beneficial foods to eat before an exam. As already mentioned, packing your own lunch provides some advantages.So, which foods are good to eat during PE exam day?

First, here is a to-avoid list of items that digest very slowly, and will hog your blood supply:
  • French fries
  • dairy products
  • red meat
  • ice cream
  • high fat content foods
  • deep-fried foods 
Here are foods that are easy to digest:
  • chicken (roasted, baked, or boiled)
  • fish
  • sprouted grains
  • apples 
  • grains: rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat
These foods are good for the brain:
  • blueberries
  • grape juice
  • fish
  • walnuts
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • avocado
  • chocolate
  • broccoli
  • Salad with chicken breast- a good option for exam day lunch

  • olive oil 
  • pumpkin seeds
So, using the above lists, here is an example lunch:

Roasted chicken breast salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Include avocado and broccoli in the salad.
A glass of 100% grape juice, without added sugar or anything artificial.
A portion of blueberries
A portion of mixed nuts
A half cup of coffee

 Increase or modify this suggestion according to your own size and metabolism. If you are a big person, or exercise regularly, you will probably need more. However, don't overdo it.

Suggested Reading:

Day Before PE Exam Checklist  A list of things you should prepare and double check the day before your NCEES PE exam.
PE Exam Tips Tips on how to prepare for the PE exam.
11 Intelligence Killing Foods to Avoid Some of these surprised me, and I used to own a health food store!