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Thursday, December 13, 2012


I did it!!!

 Yatta!!! I did it!!!

I had a deadline for the end of this week, so I've been working long hours all last week and all this week. On Monday half the office was out sick with the flu. I've been progressively feeling worse each day.

This morning I checked my email (and blog stats) while drinking coffee before heading to work (like I normally do). My heart dropped and I started panicking when I saw the email.

My results had been posted to the site. I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was to the effect of, "oh, shit!"

What if it's bad news? I knew that if it was, that would be the end of my strength and I would call in sick and make someone else finish my project.

Well, it was good news!!! I passed my Principals of Engineering Exam!!! I started crying because that was the only emotional response that I had the energy for.

I went to work and immediately gave my co-worker, Craig, a look. He had taken the test at the same time, so he would have also received his results.

"Sooooo, did you get an email this morning?" He asked me.

"Yeah... did you?" My response.

He just gave me a smile and a thumbs up. I grinned and gave him a thumbs up back. This made him jump up and exclaim, "YES!" loud enough to make some of our coworkers chuckle (they had already been clued in that he had passed and was curious if I had).

My boss came in about 10 minutes later. As he was rounding the corner, Craig was like, "watch this."

"Guess what?" Craig said to my boss, surprising him.

"What???" My boss, thinking it was project related.

As my boss looked over at us, Craig had his arms in the air, like he had just made a goal. I was giving him the double thumbs up. Both of us grinning.

"OMG!!! You guys passed your exam!!!!"

It was so great having everyone so excited for us. I'm really happy it all went down good. That is one thing I will never have to do again.

How the test went

I had meant to post how the test went after taking it, but I just never got around to it. I think I didn't really want to think about it. When December approached, I figured I would just add this onto my pass or fail post. I am bound by the rules of the exam to not give specifics, but here are some generalities of how I felt about the exam.

How I felt about the Morning Session:
  • The morning session was reasonable.
  • I had plenty of time to go back and check my work at least one time.
  • I finished reviewing my work with just over 15 minutes to spare. I was getting ready to get up and leave when they called 15 minutes. At the beginning of the exam they informed us we would not be allowed to leave after 15 minutes was called. They requested us to stay in our seats so as not to disturb our neighbors.
  • The problems were simple and as expected from studying. Some of the problems were very similar to the morning published sample exam by NCEES.
Tabbed CERM
My tabbed out Civil Engineering Reference Manual
(CERM). I tabbed my other reference manuals as well.
How I felt about the Transportation Afternoon Session:
  • Afternoon session was not what I was expecting.
  • I didn't have time to finish and ended up guessing on a few problems in the last 10 minutes.
  • It was less calculations and more word problems than I expected.
  • Problems encountered were new and unexpected, so no matter how much you study, there is going to be something new on the test. They know the published materials out there, so they aren't going to repeat it over and over.
  • For transportation, it was lots of looking stuff up in a reference manual. This meant lots of time wasted looking for something even though I tabbed the heck out of it!
  • While studying, I had focused on the HCM second to the CERM. I found the Green Book to be more heavily used during the test.
  • I had found the afternoon NCEES sample exam to be relatively easy when I was practicing. The actual exam had lots of stuff new to me, so it was much more challenging than the sample exam.

Overall, I didn't feel that great about the exam. I knew the statistics of the exam last year was around 70% passing, so I assumed that Craig and I HAD to be in that 70%. It would have definitely been a blow to my esteem. But leaving the exam, both of us wasn't so sure. (Update 06/03/2013: Just read that only 60% of examinees passed the Civil Principals of Engineering Exam for 2012.)

It is a HUGE relief to have this over and done with. Thank you to everyone who supported me, ESPECIALLY my fiancé.

If you are studying for the exam now, check out how I Prepped for the PE Exam. Feel free to ask me questions. I can't give super specific information about the actual exam, but I can answer some questions or give you some tips. Feel free to post in the comments or fill out the email contact form for a private discussion.


  1. Yeah!!! High-Five!!!! Congratulations!!!! Score!!!!!!!!!!! Goal!!!!!!!!!!
    Well now you can really relax and enjoy your holidays!!

  2. Yay!!! High-five back!!! Thank you!!! :D It's such a relief!!! Wahoo!!!

  3. Congratulations! Loved this post. Brought back some memories. My son just applied to university, so we'll be seeing him go through all of this. Ah, the joys of getting to where you want to go ;)

  4. Thank you so much!!! It's such a wonderful feeling to have this behind me. Good luck to your son! I'm sure he'll be going through several of these moments. :)

  5. Hi! I know I've been M.I.A. but just wanted to say "Congratulations!" I'm so happy to hear that your test went well. (Although, after hearing about your study schedule, I didn't have any doubts!)

  6. Thank you!!! You have been M.I.A.! I hope it was for a good reason. Hugs!!!

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