Why Take 20 Weeks for Your PE Exam Review?


When I first began instructing a mechanical engineering PE examination overview course, someday within the early 1990’s, the course was taught in a classroom with PowerPoint slides and an overhead projector. I do know, old style certainly. But I discovered lots about what labored and did not work instructing variations of this course through the years. In the top, I found that 20 weeks of overview time was optimum for a PE Exam overview. And that is why all my on-line PE examination overview programs are primarily based on a 20-week time-frame. I do supply shortened or prolonged variations of those programs, however they’re all primarily based on this 20-week very best. So what’s it about 20 weeks that works so effectively? Let’s have a look again at a few of the experiences that led to this realization.

Back within the 90’s, as now, the examination was provided twice a 12 months in early to mid-April and late October or early November. With the primary lessons I taught, by the Industrial Extension Service of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, the schedule was dictated by the college semester calendar. As a consequence, the programs began 10 weeks earlier than the examination. Teaching with a associate, we held one 3-hour class per week. I keep in mind taking the primary a part of my first evening to offer an summary of the examination, an examination technique, and different details about what to carry, or to not carry, to the examination. Then it was it was just about a firehose of knowledge switch.

At some level we have been requested by a former pupil to conduct an ME PE overview at their firm. We determined to increase the course and gradual issues down. We went from 10 weeks to 15, which labored a lot better. We have been requested to do the overview the next 12 months and we slowed it down much more to 30 weeks, assembly for under 2 hours an evening as an alternative of three, with time without work for summer time holidays. That timeframe turned out to be method too lengthy. Somewhere round 20 weeks seemed to be optimum, and we additionally realized that we wanted extra than simply us presenting materials. Devoting extra time to working issues was crucial to success.

Twenty weeks turned my commonplace for PE Exam opinions, and it has been my overview course mannequin ever since. Over the years, as I’ve refined my opinions, I’ve turn out to be extra satisfied than ever that it’s the optimum time-frame for a profitable overview. To perceive why, it helps to consider what you’re actually making an attempt to do. You are attempting to go a really particular examination that’s testing you on the engineering ideas you discovered in faculty. That’s it. To try this, you have to relearn stuff you knew at one time and be capable of apply that data shortly in an examination setting. That breaks down into two key elements: (1) understanding and (2) capability to use that understanding. PE exams cowl numerous floor, with quite a few subjects and subtopics. To really soak up the knowledge wanted to know these subjects and to apply making use of that data takes time. This shouldn’t be an examination you the place you possibly can simply wing it.

Fortunately, you are not studying all of it from scratch. You are relearning; 20 weeks wouldn’t be sufficient in any other case. As you overview, try to be shaking off the cobwebs of ideas and equations that you just as soon as knew effectively. So a specific amount of your overview time must be dedicated to that re-familiarization course of, however solely an element. A wholesome portion of that 20 weeks must be spent fixing exam-type issues. In different phrases: apply, apply, apply. And lastly, you have to spend a while organizing your references and assets to be able to entry all this info shortly in the course of the examination. That group course of will take up a few of your valuable overview time, however shouldn’t be neglected or its effectiveness undervalued. When you sit all the way down to take the examination, you can be beneath an unlimited quantity of stress. Without confidence in your data, problem-solving abilities and skill to search out the knowledge you want, it is easy to get slowed down or go into an outright panic. Building confidence takes time.

Which brings me again to 20 weeks. That time-frame takes into consideration that most individuals might be reviewing whereas additionally having jobs, households, and lives that require most of their time. So they’re going to be squeezing their overview into an already packed schedule. For my 20-week opinions right this moment, I like to recommend 15 to 20 hours per week for overview. At Three to four hours per day, 5 days per week, most individuals could make that work. It’s all about rebuilding your data, your ability and your confidence. Start too early and your familiarity with the fabric and the options could fade earlier than you attain the examination. Start too late, and the knowledge will not sink in and you will not have time to get sufficient apply or get organized. So 20 weeks it’s.

Before I shut, I wish to supply some hope for individuals who have learn this and are pondering, “I can not commit 15 to 20 hours per week to my overview, what am I presupposed to do?” or “It’s solely 12 weeks to the examination, is it hopeless for me?” While I firmly imagine that 20 weeks is the optimum time-frame, that does not imply {that a} shorter or longer overview will not work. In truth, I supply a compressed and prolonged model of my 20-week overview, and I’ve many contributors who do effectively on the examination in each these programs. The key to creating these shorter and longer opinions work is to comprehend that you’re pushing the bounds a bit and work to make up for it. If your overview is shorter, you’re going to have to commit extra time per week to make it efficient. If your overview is longer, you have to ensure that to provide your self time to revisit the fabric you discovered earlier in your overview as you get near the examination. In truth, even in my 20-week opinions, we suggest that contributors go away Three weeks earlier than the examination for overview of earlier materials and last preparation for the examination.

Finally, I’d like to depart you with some phrases of encouragement. You can go this examination. Beyond the re-learning and apply and organizing, it’s all about having a transparent thoughts and a relaxed spirit in the course of the examination. If you’re taking the right time to study what must be discovered, excellent the talents you have to grasp, and have all of your assets at your fingertips, you should have that clear thoughts and calm spirit and you’ll go. Experience has proven me that, 12 months after 12 months.

Dr. Tom


Source by Dr Tom Brown, PE

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