If you wish to see yourself being called a professional engineer someday, you must make the most of your PE exam prep. Being a civil engineer with a PE license is the ultimate goal for many budding engineers in the United States.
However, as delightful as the results are, the journey is equally challenging. Therefore, as an aspirant looking to take on this challenge and be on the winning side, you must identify the factors that will be crucial for the exam.
Speaking of essential elements for your PE exam prep, how often have you heard the phrase, practice makes a man perfect? Regardless of the job or task, it is through practice that one gets better.
Similarly, for your PE exam, along with completing your PE exam prep study course, focusing on practice tests is essential. For an exam as significant as this one, the quality of your preparation matters the most.
Here we are going to discuss some of the top reasons why practice tests are essential. Go through them here:
- Honest Progress Tracking
The number one reason why practice tests are so crucial for your civil PE exam is progress tracking. With the help of these tests, you can get a precise idea of how prepared you are for the exam. And what you still might need to work on. When going through your study guides or reference manuals, you don’t realize what topics are well within your grasp and what aren’t.
It is when you sit and try to solve these practice tests that your knowledge is truly tested. When there is so much material to cover, knowledge gaps are natural. But, with your PE exam, the margin of error is almost none as there are many more talented engineers taking on the test. Therefore, you should practice more and limit these gaps.
- Master Time Management
The preparation for your civil PE exam isn’t just about the courses. Many candidates fail to clear this exam just because they couldn’t manage their time effectively. Time management, when the pressure and stress for the exam are high, can seem like the most challenging task of all. And once again, it is a problem that practice exams can help eliminate.
If you don’t want to lose track of time during the exam or waste too much time on a single question, we know what you can do. Get a timer and take practice tests within 8 hours, which is the NCEES-based time restraint for the exam. You will improve your speed and figure out what’s consuming more of your time with each test. Make sure you know how much time to spend on each question so that you can complete it on time and have time for a recheck.
If 8 hours is too much, feel free to break it up into two 4 hour exams similar to the actual exam. You could take a break in the middle or even take the two 4 hour exams on different days. Either way, you’re setting up an environment for success.
- Builds Confidence and Reduces Stress
Walking into the exam hall to take your first PE exam will leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Sometimes, the nervous energy can end up affecting your thinking abilities and even damage your confidence. Do you know what it means? Not being able to handle pressure during the exam will ruin the preparation you’ve been doing for months.
It is highly recommended to get at least one breadth and one depth practice exam done in an actual testing environment. More if you can do it. The satisfaction of being able to complete these tests will boost your confidence and reduce stress. By the time you enter the exam hall, you will have faith in your preparation and even have a couple of tricks up your sleeve to successfully take on the test.
- Recognize your Strengths and Weaknesses
You might be a very bright student during your engineering days and have decent industry experience. But preparing for the civil PE exam is a different animal. Here, it would help if you prepared starting from zero to give yourself a chance to beat this exam. After you have enrolled yourself in a PE exam prep study course and have studied from different study materials, leave enough time for practice tests.
It is vital for one simple reason – that only with practicing will you recognize your strengths and weaknesses. To clear this exam, you don’t necessarily have to be perfect; no one is. But how you use your strengths and prevent your weaknesses from causing any issue is up to you. Once you know your strong zones, get done with those questions first during the test and then try to solve the ones you are relatively less confident about later.
Other Important Civil PE Exam Prep Tips
- Join a Quality PE Review Course
Once you register for the exam, find a reliable PE review course provider online and join it. When you prepare with industry experts as your guide, the chances of you clearing the exam get higher. The reason being these people know the possible challenges and practical strategies to pass the PE exam.
- Create a Well-Balanced Study Plan
Without a proper plan of action, your prep isn’t complete. Therefore, create a study plan with study and break time defined. This is important for you to help maintain a balance between study and your me-time, which is also essential to stay stress-free and enjoy studying instead of burdening yourself with it.
- Ensure a Healthy Sleep and Diet
A day before the exam, give yourself enough rest to use your full potential for 8 hours in the exam hall. Make sure you do not stay up studying or doing anything till late hours before the exam. Sleep on time and let your brain feel relaxed and light during the test. Also, do not eat anything too heavy or unhealthy. Eat brain-boosting healthy foods for dinner and breakfast before the test.
Are you now convinced that practice exams are utterly crucial? Go through the points we have mentioned above now if you still have some doubts. As far as getting these practice tests are concerned, you can find plenty of NCEES-based practice tests at Civil Engineering Academy at affordable rates. Each exam will help prepare you in the areas you are preparing for, and if you need more help, they even have a course.