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: Tips and advice  ( 12580 )
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« : September 28, 2009, 10:06:08 AM »

I took and passed the EI exam a couple of years ago and I felt it would be wrong if I did not provide my fellow engineers with tips that I learned along the way.
First of all, the test is not hard especially if you are freshly out of engineering school. From my own experience, the key to passing the test is making sure that you,

  • fully understand the basic sciences, calculus and other classes you took in the first two years of college. Realize the test is basically to prove that you have an engineering degree and you are able to solve basic engineering questions. Also, the test is a precursor to the more detailed PE exam so it isn't too complicated,  
  • know before-hand if you will be taking the subject-specific of the general test for the afternoon portion of the test and prepare accordingly,
  • read the formula book and understand where all the formulas are located. THIS IS THE KEY TO PASSING THE TEST.

The EI test easily passable as long as you study and obey the rules above.

Click here for more on the EI exam.
« : October 28, 2009, 03:08:03 PM 1smartengineer »
: 23

« #1 : January 26, 2010, 02:42:09 PM »

I came across this guide from WikiEngineer and I think it would be helpful for anyone taking the test.

My studying process:
  • I took a review course to reteach me what I had forgotten (and i wasn't very far out of school; how much could I have forgotten you may ask, well a lot). Some teachers weren't so awesome, some I really enjoyed. All in all i didn't do any geotech or transportation problems b/c they taught the subject so well I figured I'd have a good shot for those sections.
  • I read most of the CERM and highlighted important stuff (well at least what I thought would be important). And also tabbed the main sections that I felt would be useful. That is mainly how I studied for the morning portion of the exam. I didn't go through and do all the problems for every section. But don't think that this will be a weekend activity. That book is huge.
  • I bought two problem book sets (Lindeburg's 600 problems, and the structural 6 min. solutions). I only did the problems for my emphasis (structural). I heard that the first half of the test was much easier than the second so I studied mainly on my emphasis.
  • I spent most of my days after work driving straight to the library and doing problems for 2 hours or so, and also spending 6 hours or so every weekend that I had free.
  • Total time wise I spent about 10 weeks studying for the national test (i'd say close to 200 hours) then about 24 hours studying for each of the other tests (surveying and seismic). I used the Hiner book for seismic, and Cuomo for surveying (nothing aside from those two books). Oh, actually I read Hiner next to the AISC and IBC so I could cross reference which helped.

My recommendations:
  • Study the general portion enough to be able to flip through the book and find things quickly (which is a great help with CERM's index). But a majority of studying should be done on your emphasis. The afternoon section in my mind was much more difficult than the general morning section.
  • Regarding your emphasis, problems problems problems, do as many as you can get your hands on. I guarantee there will be quite a few that leave you scratching your head. And from this you learn how to work the equations.
  • Don't be afraid to not study a section that would not be worth the cost in time it would take you to learn. For the afternoon structural section I decided against buying the AASHTO manual for bridge design. My reasons were: I had never used it, and the cost in time it would have taken me to look over it.
  • Check you state board rules, but if you can, bring in food and water. 8 hours of testing is exhausting and you'll need a pick-me-up
  • Bring a sweater to the test (you won't want to be shivering if they have the a/c blasting.
  • I brought a little hand-held dictionary. There were two times where they used a word that I had to look up.

Hopefully this can help the others!
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