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PE-Exam question

PE-Exam question

Ok this one is for fun:
I am studying for the new combined 16 hour structural exam.  While reading the introductory chapter to one of my review books, I found the following under the heading "Prepare for the Worst":
"Imagine the distraction of someone crying..."  
At first I burst out laughing, then thought, "Wait, what the heck am I getting into here?". "What kind of test is this?"

This was part of the paragraph describing distractions that may occur during the test.  When I took the FE several years ago we had a guy get tossed because his cell phone went off. It was set on vibrate.  However, the room was so quiet the phone may as well have been set to "monastery gong".  Anyone else have any adventures to share?

RE: PE-Exam question

I had a mumbler in front of me at the PE.  He had a milk crate full of books, and every question he would start with the "I know I have that.  I know it's here somewhere" and start banging around in his crate I thought I was going to cry after 8 hours of that).  I talked to him at lunch and he said it was his 5th time taking the test, and he was sure that he was doing good this time.  He also said that he had had to guess on the last 50 questions because he ran out of time.  I'm thinking that he ended up taking the test again after that.


RE: PE-Exam question

Took SE test in a large hotel in downtown Chicago (SE was only 12 hours in those days).  On the second day, I got stuck in a massive traffic jam. So instead of being a half hour early, I was 5 minutes late. Of course, I was extremely panicked. So I pulled up to the valet parking, had a valet park my car and had a porter help me with my books. I must of looked like Van Wilder having a servant helping me into the test.  I tipped the porter and started the test. The whole operation turned a few heads.
But I passed.

RE: PE-Exam question

I had a pencil-tapper right behind me. Fortunately, the proctor stepped in after about 30 continuous minutes of tap-tap-tap.  I think someone behind the tapping offender waved for help.

Good on y'all,

Goober Dave

RE: PE-Exam question

I took an FAA exam with a guy who used a mini mechanical calculator. It went clickety-clickety for two hours. I would have complained, but maybe it was a plant. The FAA is known for providing tests under challenging conditions.

I took my PE with a red wagon full of books. It made the local newspapers. Better than carrying all that. The current style of using a wheeled luggage carrier would help.

RE: PE-Exam question

my earplugs saved me! I don't need to hear anything or anyone's noises - when I'm that focused (and stressed!), even loud breathing can make me mad.  the first time I took the test, I was 8.75 months pregnant and had to pee literally 9 times during the test.  luckily, I was in the back on the end, so I only gave the proctor a workout.

just think about those things that make you cranky when you're stressed, and come up with a plan for how to deal with them if they happen in the test.  you'll be fine.

RE: PE-Exam question

In Denver, the exam is usually given where the stock show, and Colorado's largest dog show is held. Imagine taking the the exam with a smell only a rancher could appreciate.

RE: PE-Exam question

Thats funny. I grew up on a cattle ranch in rural Colorado. When I took the FE I had bruised ribs (golden gloves). Sitting for 8 hours was extremely painful.

RE: PE-Exam question

Nevermind my ribs. I can't compare to the 8.75 months pregnant ;)

RE: PE-Exam question

I can't say I noticed anything during the FE or the PE.  I have a bit of an uncanny knack for being able to get lost in what I'm doing and block out even very loud noises to where I don't ignore them, but I don't even know they're there.  

My "wife" used to hate this about me.

RE: PE-Exam question

Soon to be no longer my wife.

RE: PE-Exam question

Take it from me; Your first divorce is your most special.

RE: PE-Exam question

Jed - I guess we'll see.  This is my second!!  I really suck at some stuff!

RE: PE-Exam question

Better quit while your ahead :).

RE: PE-Exam question

My mother was married and divorced 5 times.  After number 5, I told her "You're just ruining lives now."

My wife and I have been married for 17 years, together for 19.

RE: PE-Exam question

Yeah, I don't think I'll be going down that road again.

RE: PE-Exam question


"Prepare for the Worst":
"Imagine the distraction of someone crying..."  
At first I burst out laughing, then thought, "Wait, what the heck am I getting into here?". "What kind of test is this?"

My PE Exam horror story is worse than anyone else's here.  We should start a thread, I'm pretty sure I'll win.  

So the Georgia PE is down in Macon, on a Friday, because it would make way too much sense to have it in Atlanta.  GT played VT the previous night on ESPN Primetime and I sat up to watch the whole damn thing in my Macon hotel, even though I had 3rd row tickets, including watching GT throw the game at the last minute.  (curse you Reggie Ball)  I got enough sleep, but not a huge amount.

Test is in the Macon Colosseum and Convention Center, where they've got these big auditorium rooms off in a side building.  PEs are in one big room, LSs are in another big room.  First four hours goes off without any major hitches, and I grab lunch at a Waffle House.  On my way back in, I see a huge line of older black ladies in Sunday finery and inordinately large (and well decorated) hats, lined up around the block to get into the Convention Center.

Ruh row shaggy.

Now most of you here probably have no idea, but those from the Old South just rolled their eyes and started to giggle, because they know what happens next.  


Next auditorium over.  Complete with a full gospel band, electric guitars, bass guitars, full drum kit, the works.  For all I know it was the funeral of James Brown's drummer.  (James Brown from .. Macon GA)  Also, a black evangelical reverend who obviously had the 10 Disc Best of Jessie Jackson DVD Set, because man, that guy could preach.  Couldn't understand a word he said through the entirely un-soundproof but certainly sound reverberating CMU walls, but I could tell it was really spiritual stuff, whatever the heck it was.  And it lasted at least three hours, maybe four, which was basically the entire second half of the test.  Mind numbingly loud.  The whole wall reverberated as the band came on, did two numbers, then the preacher came on, then the band again.  

And I didn't bring earplugs, because I read the "prepare for the worst" thing and didn't remotely conceive THIS.

I passed on my first try, with flying colors, but it wasn't easy.  My advice is prepare for THE WORST.  


Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East -

RE: PE-Exam question

beej67, that is funny. But the question presented to Jake Blues was "Do you see the light?"  

RE: PE-Exam question

So i guess i am confused, have you (OP) not taken any other exams?  just the EIT?  do other states go straight to the 16hr now?  Maybe we need a thread on that... or maybe there has been one...

No troubles in the EIT (now FE), or the SE, but for the PE in CA there are State specific exams beyond the 8hr NCEES test for Surveying and Seismic. During this portion I happened to be sitting next to a guy who practiced Environmetal by trade.  At the lunch break between seismic and surveying portions he says on the way out "that was hard, I don't know anything about buildings or seismic, but i saw you had lots of C's and so did I so that made me feel better about guessing C so much, because you looked like you were working it all out", I stopped in my tracks and turned to him so he could see my eyes "I will personally kill you if you do that again, because we will both be kicked out you (choice word here) moron"  he asked a proctor to be moved when we came back... and it wasn't like I was free with my answer sheet, he had to work to get that info... skills he obviously had honed in previous experience.  

I guess I lied, at the end, approximately 10mins to go, of the CA SE-III the lights went out for about a minute in the convention center.  Time was not extended...

My friend had a fiction novel to read with him at lunch/during breaks for his Civil PE.  The proctor saw it in his suitcase and made him put it up front in the cell phone box where he could get it later, because it was "non-engineering related." As if the latest John Grisham release was going to help him on the exam... forrest for the trees...        

RE: PE-Exam question

Bring two calculators... more at the end.

During the test, my table-mate's spread grew progressively larger until he had claimed about 80% of the table and had crowded me to the very edge.  This I could deal with... but I had the fear of death in me about the proctors and the rules.  He was coming ever closer to me and I was afraid that it might appear that his or my own eyes were wandering.  Instead of trying to talk to him, I raised my hand, addressed my concerns to the proctor, and had them deal with it.   No big deal, but the whole thing caused a minor discomfort.

With about an hour to go on the test, one of the buttons on my calc started sticking.  I had a backup, but again, due to my fear of the proctors, I stuck it out with the bum calc.  I didn't want anything to look questionable with regards to me rummaging through my bag and opening the package, etc.  Though it worked out for me, I had always scoffed at the idea that a calculator would fall ill during a test.

Passed on the first try.

Oh... final tale... regarding the FE test.  It was administered in a less than refined town.  Being about an hour away, I wanted to stay the night so as to be fresh the morning of.  Knowing I had the choice of 3 shady hotels, I called the police to ask their input as to which was safest, quietest, etc.  Having their recommendation, I called and made a reservation for my girlfriend and I.

When I checked in, the woman behind the counter explained to me that they were serving sloppy joes and hotdogs at the bar... and that starting at 9 PM, and I quote... "They had them a gentlemens's club over there... with the topless dancing." I asked that my room be as far from that as possible and wound up having a quiet uneventful evening... and nailed that test as well.


RE: PE-Exam question

The PE test site I attended was at the county fairgrounds.  I thought for sure is was a joke when I arrived and saw the line of fellow test takers under a big sign "Small Animal Building".  Cement floor and a hose bib every thirty feet added the perfect touch of comfort.  The laugh helped me relax and pass on the first try.   

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