Sunday, December 11, 2022

What Percentage of Correct Answers to Get during Practice ? (Am I ready to take the FE Exam?)


I recently received this question from one of my FE Exam prep students and I'd like to share my advice with you.  


What would you say the score that I should be getting during my practice sessions when studying for the FE Exam? 

I don't want to be overdoing it because I'm just studying to pass, not to get a 100. I am getting in the 50s and 60s while I'm reviewing the math topic practice problems (I just started studying).  Thank you. 


I would say around 65-68%....

But , more importantly, I think you should be focusing more on understanding the reasoning behind the problems you got wrong. What was the underlying engineering concept? Why did you not see it? Was it an equation you didn't know? Do you understand it now ? Do you know it's location in the FE Handbook if you see that problem again? Focusing on % complete can be bad too and it's irrelevant during practice - what if you got the luck of the draw with several easy questions in a row and you think great I'm getting around 87% correct and I can stop preparing now. I'm good... That would be a flawed way of looking at this...

To pass an exam, just focus on compiling a good set of practice practices for each topic areas in your specific exam- I can recommend the best study resources  EBook.  and  Amazon.- and work thru those problems and keep a cheat sheet of anything you learn along the way... specific tables you needed to look up variable, concepts you forgot about but now learned, etc..

I wouldn't get caught up on the actual % of getting problems correct, because it's not all the same... and doesn't represent real life. That's no indication of true knowledge. Has nothing to do with being a "good" engineer or great design engineer. I'm license in both CE and ME - practicing for many years- but when I teach some of my FE prep classes I still get tripped up fro time to time - especially using Lindburgs books !!! those are hard! Remember, your'e studying for a theoretical exam here...... where they use a computer to pull from a question bank, it may pull very hard problems like 6 in a row at you... Don't let that mess with your inner game - that inner voice we all have, because will make you feel defeated.. The exam is curved anyway at the very end and depends on how many other people miss that type of question... it really is... they dont say that obviously but it is..

Just focus on working practice problems and taking notes along the way in your study prep phase. Ignore your EGO - the part that of you that calculates the % you are getting correct - It will only make you feel that "the more you study, the less you really know." I'd stay away from that way of thinking... It's doesn't help or benefit you. And you are 100% right, you shouldn't be focusing on getting 100% correct on the exam, just enough to pass. whatever the % is.. it doesnt matter. Skip the hard ones on the exam, answer all the low hanging fruit type questions, flag the hard ones, find the doable problems scattered thru out the exam - the beginning tutorial before the exam begins explains how to flag problems and come back to them later. So dont skip the little tutorial!

You can do this! But dont focus on % correct in practice, instead, focus on pattern recognition and practicing solving many different types of problems. I show you HERE. Show up on exam day feeling pride that you put in the time and practiced a complete set of practice problems and are ready to "engineer" your way through this exam ! it may be hard, it may be easy, it might be ugly, be in the end you will manage your way to a passing grade! 

Let the chips fall where they may.

Best of luck.

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