When I was prepping for the P.E. Exam, I did what most of us do - ask anyone and everyone within about five cubicles who had recently taken the exam and what they did to pass. After taking the exam, I crafted a few ideas of my own and later even surveyed our users about their tips.
While there's a variety in the responses, this is the best of what we found:
As the last post alluded, there's now over 6,000 pages of reference material ranging a handful of different topics spread out over seven references in ten volumes. That is a ton of information.
Do I actually need to read everything?
No, definitely not. Not only is it difficult to digest every page, but study time can be much more effective elsewhere.
What is important is to organize the information for yourself so that you understand where to find critical information quickly. This has been done by creating a flow diagram which organizes references by topic, by using a formula sheet as your organizing tool, or it can be as simple as studying the table of contents from each reference.
The end goal with organization is that you feel comfortable knowing where material is located so that you can quickly get to it on the exam.
Congratulations, you have bragging rights over those pesky mechanicals.
NCEES recently published the latest P.E. Exam pass rates across each exam discipline, and fire protection tied for 3rd out of 24 disciplines for the lowest pass rate for first-time exam takers and 6th lowest overall. The passing rate of 61% for first-time fire protection trailed only software (56%) and nuclear (58%) engineering disciplines.
Overall passing rates rank fire protection 6th most difficult, trailing nuclear (42%), software (47%), environmental (49%), civil - geotechnical (49%), and civil - construction (49%). These numbers include repeat takers.
In preparing for the Fire Protection P.E. Exam, I felt a overwhelmed. There were over 6,000 pages of material to review and an array of calculations I needed to understand on topics which I didn't have experience. I struggled initially even to find what review material existed, much less to find quality review materials to prepare for the exam.
All I really wanted was to know what helpful material existed and what was critical for the exam. For three months I delayed even doing practice problems and instead scoured all of the required references to create a comprehensive cheatsheet that I could use as a table of contents/quick reference/formula sheet to save time on the exam itself (this later became the beginnings of the PE Prep Guide).
After taking the exam, I quickly realized that our fire protection niche has left many others with that same feeling of having to blaze their own trail to study for the exam. MeyerFire.com was built to combat that struggle by (1) identifying what helpful material exists, (2) building a community for collaboration, and (3) to save you very precious time in preparing and taking the exam. This site exits specifically to help you.
Looking to post questions or collaborate with others studying for the Fire Protection P.E. Exam? Get tips on errors within review materials, questions on problems, or peer-to-peer questions? Join our new private Facebook group available exclusively, for free, to those studying for this exam. Go to this link and 'Request to Join': https://www.facebook.com/groups/fireprotectionpeexam/
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Joseph Meyer, PE, is a Fire Protection Engineer in St. Louis, Missouri. See bio on About page.