How to Study for the PE Exam as a Busy Professional and/or Parent

October 7, 2020
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Balancing studying for the PE exam while working a full-time job is a daunting task. Add on family responsibilities, and you may begin to doubt if your goal is viable. You already know the benefits of earning your PE license, but how can you ensure you are prepared for the PE exam? PPI has curated a list of five tips for you to effectively balance your commitments while preparing to pass the PE exam.

1. Begin studying right away.

As a working professional who may have a family, you are not going to be able to study full-time. To effectively prepare for the PE exam, you should start studying right away. You may not be ready to start the exam preparation process but becoming familiar with the exam, acquiring the review materials needed, and signing up for a prep course will motivate you to optimize your studying.

2. Gather family and work support for your long-term goals,

The stress of studying for the PE exam when you have family responsibilities can be alleviated with commitment from your family and support from your employer. Emphasize to your family the importance of earning your PE license, including its importance in commanding respect from peers and contributing to a higher paycheck at work, as well as the fact that it has been a long-term goal of yours. Communicate to your family the importance of your study schedule, time dedication, and goals. Gaining the support of your family can hold you accountable for achieving your goals, as they can encourage you during periods of burnout or high stress.

Your employer can be another source of support and guidance as you start your journey towards licensure. Ask your employer if you can set time aside at work to study for the PE exam, or go into work early or stay late to study in a productive environment.  Coordinate with your employer for time off of work right before the exam in order to relax and enter into the right frame of mind for passing the PE.

3. Develop a plan.

After gathering family and employer support, the next step towards earning your PE is developing a study plan. Take out a calendar, mark the date of the PE exam, and plan out your time leading up to that date. Be sure to include family trips, birthdays, and any other events that may impact your study schedule. Then try to find blocks of time where you can study each week for at least 2 hours. Write out the topics you will study for each session, and be sure to include time for practice exams as well. If you are unsure how to start this process, PPI has many resources, such as study schedules, online instructor-led prep courses, as well as e-Learning review materials that will help you formulate a plan.

Preparing for the PE exam? Test your skills with a free sample quiz. Choose your discipline: PE Civil, PE Electrical, or PE Mechanical.

4. Commit to your study plan.

Consistently dedicating time to your study plan will invariably becoming overwhelming. However, there are ways that you can manage your time throughout the day to achieve your ultimate goal. One way to begin is by deleting distracting apps or social media accounts. By eliminating the items in your life that aren’t conducive to achieving your goal, you will be more likely to stay on track. If deleting these apps is a little too extreme for you, you can install programs onto your phone that limit your time on distracting apps. Additionally, you can leave any distracting items outside of your designated study room.

Enrolling in a test prep course is an effective way to commit to your study plan. PPI’s prep courses keep your studies on track and ensure your time is focused on the topics needed to pass the exam.

5. Take care of yourself,

Passing the PE exam requires more than just engineering knowledgeyou will need to be resilient and possess strong communication skills and the ability to think outside the box. Studying for the PE exam may lead to burnout, and the best way to prevent that is by setting time aside for breaks. Take the time to socialize with family and friends to alleviate the stress. Keep in mind that building up resilience to pass the PE exam demands more than just studying. Ensure you are taking care of your body by eating healthfully, exercising regularly, and sleeping for 8 hours each night. Most importantly, relax. If you have intentionally followed the tips in this article, you will be in a great position on exam day.

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