It happened again this year. In talking with a colleague about studying for the PE Exam this October this week, he expressed regret about just now getting materials in line to begin to tackle exam prep. I can completely sympathize as beginning the slow climb of the PE mountain can seem daunting, and I felt exactly the same way when I started preparing for the exam.
Perhaps the beginning of the SFPE Online Review Course this past week signals the official start of PE Prep season, or maybe it is because here we jumped the gun a little early this year and have a handful of practice problems already published.
But late start? Come on, it's the middle of July!
Over half of our surveyed examinees from last year didn't even begin to study until July & August.
Does it hurt to get started studying earlier in the year? No, of course not. But in no way does beginning exam prep in July and August doom someone to fail the exam.
One of the most common questions that we hear is simply "how much time or effort does it really take to pass the exam?"
And the answer is 182 hours.
No, no, just kidding. As we detail in the 2017 Prep Guide of course there's not a precise answer as it varies between each person's experience level, test taking ability, and the effort and quality of practice. While the amount of time studying is important, the quality of preparation and intentional practice can be far more important.
What we set to create this year was a way to check how your prep effort is comparing, in real time, to others who are taking the test this fall. Passing the exam is not a simple "the top 62% will pass" each year, but in retrospect if someone happens to land somewhere in that top range, it is probably a safe bet he or she will pass the exam.
The Weekly Exam Series helps to answer the need for additional practice, simulates the pace of the exam, and finally offers some indication of "am I preparing well enough?". If you are a new user and considering joining, do know that July is a perfect time to get started. We're offering a free, no-strings-attached 2 week trial for new users if you sign up this July. Just select the 2-Week Trial on our Weekly Exams page here.
Please do know that it is certainly not too late to get started preparing for the PE Exam. We are thrilled you're here.
Subscribe and learn something new each day:
Thank You to Our Top
October '20 Contributors!
Sprinkler Designer or Engineer?
Get all of our tools, including the Sprinkler Database, Friction Loss Calculator, Fire Pump Analyzer and more:
Daily discussions are open-ended fire protection, fire alarm, and life safety questions submitted anonymously for the benefit of sharing expertise and learning from other perspectives. Anyone can submit a question here:
2020 PE Prep Guide
PE Prep Series
2020 PE Prep Series
(Click to enlarge)
Visit July-October for daily Fire Protection PE Exam sample questions.
Solutions are posted the day after posting.
Comment with your solutions, questions or clarifications.
Please note that questions posted are unofficial and in accordance with NCEES rules are intended to be similar to actual exam questions, not actual exam questions themselves.