Tips on Taking the Electrical PE Exam Jun 29, 2022 7:39:29 GMT -5 squaretaper LIT AF PE and ME2EE PE like this
Post by Dothracki PE on Jun 29, 2022 7:39:29 GMT -5
There will probably be more from me and others to come, but wanted to get this started. There will also be other threads coming out about starting out and how to study for the exam. Stay tuned!
As a Power PE Exam test taker, and among the first CBT exam takers, I can assure you this is no easy feat. While there are many who take the exam and pass on the first try, there are many others who take several tries and it. AND THAT IS OKAY! You are the only one that you need to beat. While the exam format has changed and there are a lot less resources for you to use on the exam, the exam is likely going to only give you problems that are solvable using cardinal power engineering knowledge and the resources given to you on the exam.
On the exam, you will be given a PDF reader program that is split screen with the exam. In the program you will have tabs for the reference guide, NFPA 70, NESC, and NFPA 70E. The PDF reader has the ability to search for keywords or sections and zoom if you need it, but I was able to see the text at the standard zoom. Time shouldn't really be an issue on the exam. I was probably faster than the average time at about 5.5 hours but you should be able to complete the CBT exam within 6-7 hours. The time it takes to answer a question has gone down a lot when you aren't searching through textbooks, binders, etc. You are given 9 hours to take the exam that is broken up into two parts with an optional 50 minute break in between to grab lunch, a snack, etc. You don't have to take the break or you can take only a portion of it. Once you return fro the break, you will take the second part and will not be able to return to the first part of the exam. So really make sure all questions are answered before you take the break and before you finish the second part.
Remember that the only items you can bring into the exam room are:
- Your photo ID (required for entry and exit)
- One (1) calaculator. This must comply with the NCEES calculator policy (you can find this in your dashboard). Typically TI-36X Pro is more common and what I used on the exam. However the Casio FX-991ES Plus is another good calculator for the exam that I used with practice for the pen & paper exam when two calculators were allowed.
- Test Center Locker Key
- Laminated graph paper and markers provided by the exam center. This is what you use for writing anything you want. They give you about 5 legal sized papers that you can use front and back. If you need more, you can always ask.
- Eyeglasses (if needed for reading)
- Light sweater or jacket. It's a good idea to bring even if you don't use it. Some exam centers keep the temperature on the lower end of the allowed temperature of the room.
- Any item in the Pearson VUE comfort aid list (medications you may require, mobility assist devices, hearing aids, face mask, etc.)
If you haven't already, you should print out the NCEES reference sheet that they will give you on the exam. That is essential to know that document forwards and backwards. On the NCEES dashboard, you should be able to download it under "Useful References".
I would recommenced you take the exam in a 4-step iterative approach:
- Go through the problems and answering the questions you know you could answer easily. If you can answer it in a fair amount of time do so on the first approach. If you start taking too much time or get stuck, flag it and come back to it. If you come across a code question (NEC, NESC, etc.) flag it and move on to the next question.
- Go through those code questions you skipped and solve those. Try not to spend too much time here to save time if needed for the next steps.
- Go back to the harder questions you skipped. If it still stumps you, move on and come back to it.
- Go back to any questions you skipped in 3, you might get a similar question in 3 on that gives you an eureka moment or at worst case you should have time to really dig into the reference PDF and try come up with an educated guess.
On the actual exam you will only be given approximately 40 questions at a time so you will need to do this sequence twice.
In the final weeks of preparation, your focus should be less timed practice exams and more focused practice on topics you are least comfortable with. You can time your practice exams and follow a similar format to the exam, but if you go beyond the 9 hours on the exam, don't panic. Also keep in mind that many practice exams are designed to be tougher than the actual exam. So do not panic as well if you are only getting 40-50% of the questions correct. We learn best from our mistakes. I am not saying that the exam will be definitely easier than practice, but just want to let you know you are not failing. I was in the same boat. Just pick yourself up and use the missed questions as a learning opportunity.