Prepineer Digest 018
FE Exam success, difficult AIT problems, finding the Partial Derivative and your routine
Hands down the greatest obstacle to getting started on any journey is just knowing where to start.
The majority of students I work with come in overwhelmed by the shear magnitude of the FE Exam. It doesn’t matter if they are just graduating or have been out of college for years, when we haven’t seen the subjects we are being tested on since our Freshman year, some heavy emotions surface.
Couple this with the reality that we are now entrenched in to a life full of ever growing commitments, the FE Exam tends to take a back seat until we find a “better time” to get after it.
Truth is…there will be no “better time”.
I have seen seeking a “better time” balloon in to a year, 5 years, even a decade down the road before one decides it’s time to take action – if they do at all.
Maybe this is where you are today, but know…
This doesn’t need to be your story – simplify.
Instead of looking at the entire specification as a whole, take a single subject – Mathematics – and commit to hitting it little by little over the next few weeks to a month.
A lot will come of this simple first step.
To get anywhere, you have to get moving first. Successfully preparing for this exam is done one step at a time.
If you never get moving, you are guaranteed one thing…
You will never get there.
Take “a” step today, you won’t regret doing it.
Justin Dickmeyer, PE
What’s featured in this weeks digest
In this Prepineer digest, we are diving deep in to some of the more important components of exam prep, inching you forward, one brick at a time, towards success on the FE Exam – here is the rundown:
- Let’s discuss one of the most overlooked aspects of exam prep, but very well may be that which makes or breaks your result: Routine and Cadence
- Need some reps in practice, we’ve got you covered, walking you through a practice problem in Mathematics: How do you find the Partial Derivative?
- What about those new Alternative Item Type problems – most have questions, we have answers: Are the new AIT FE Exam problems going to be more difficult?
- After 5 failed attempts, he didn’t even know if he had a future as an engineer. Today, he sits as a licensed professional engineer in multiple states: The inspirational story of Zach Shepard, PE
Click where you’d like to start, or check out each resource individually, whichever way you go, enjoy!
Routine and Cadence
Routine and cadence should be the backbone of any student seeking success on the FE Exam.
Without routine, there is endless distraction and obstacles.
Without cadence, there is no progress.
Dialing in the details that lead to effective study sessions is much more manageable and useful when “showing up to put in the work” becomes habitual – period.
Being routine driven when it comes to personal goals creates a bubble of sorts that is a major contributor in whether or not you succeed. It lays out a smoother path to achievement reinforced with an ability to develop a cadence that is predictable in it’s production.
While many students desire and strive for this level of focus, we must always turn the coin over to examine the sacrifice that accompanies the reward.
One term I love to use when talking to my students about focus – as it relates to sacrifice – is punting.
Outside the bubble there is no shortage of things we would rather be doing than studying for an exam. I get it, everybody gets it, but in the grand scheme of things, the efforts needed today are nominal when set in the context of your career.
With that, we need to be vigilant in identifying these distractions and punting them temporarily to allow us to better our overall position as an engineer – as an individual.
As is the case for any football team, punting away the ball is never the ideal outcome of a possession, but the reality is, by doing so they are playing the odds that they will be bettering their position when they eventually do get that ball back.
This has to be our default mindset.
Rather than looking at our pursuit towards becoming licensed engineers on the micro (things we “have” to punt), we must consider them on the macro (things we “need” to punt).
With any major goal in life, it can be extremely challenging to navigate within the storm of distractions itself. Identifying those things we need to punt today will allow us to establish our focus (our bubble) and performing at a highly sustainable level becomes much more realistic.
Look, the thought of preparing for the FE Exam is enough for many to fold up while navigating in a world of “better things to do”. It’s far from a sexy pursuit and we are likely one of the few we know going after it.
But if we can just for a moment step outside our circumstances and recognize how romancing with these distractions are holding us back from making tangible progress for ourselves, we are more likely to accept the notion that punting things temporarily will allow us to enter a new bubble of routine that will manifest a cadence that will get us to the end of the road once and for all.
You got this.
As always, with love, Prepineer
How do find the Partial Derivative of a function?
We start all our students in Prepineer with a heavy emphasis on the foundational concepts of Mathematics.
While most start strong, a wall is hit around the point of DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS.
But it doesn’t need to be this way, in this video, we dive in to an FE Exam Practice Problem in the subject of MATHEMATICS, specifically revolving around PARTIAL DERIVATIVES.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the AIT FE Exam problems going to be more difficult?
Some know, many don’t, but no more are the days of an FE Exam filled with multiple choice questions.
In fact, nowadays, you may see up to 6 different problems types, 5 of which are referred to as Alternative Item Type (AIT) problems.
The question is, are these AIT problems more difficult?
Let’s get in to it…
Zach Shepard, PE
We close this Prepineer Digest out with a student success spotlight on Zach Shepard.
Zach’s story is powerful, in fact, he dropped out of the industry completely because he was so discouraged having failed the FE Exam multiple times – but he picked himself up one last time to get after it.
We love success stories, and this one will show you just how much is possible if you can just believe that it’s possible from the start.
Until we meet again my friend, may God bless you and your family! 🙂