Prepineer Digest 012
There is no recipe (for passing the FE Exam)
We’ve all been up to catch a few of those midnight infomercials pitching those glorious shortcuts to life we are always looking for. The recipes are so enticing…until they aren’t, let’s address that as it relates to the FE Exam.
“They told me that most everyone who takes their course passes the FE exam.
I couldn’t even get close to counting the number of times a student who had recently failed the FE Exam came to Prepineer frustrated that they bought in to the midnight infomercial hype spouting FE Exam success.
The stories come in all forms and fashions, but the general gist goes down something like this:
They showed me the recipe.
They had all the material.
They had it all outlined.
It didn’t look much different than the book I had before, but I wanted to trust in the recipe they were laying out.
I was desperate to get past this exam – I needed to get past this exam.
The time I was putting in to it…my job…my family…much was being impacted by that fact that I was still trying to get past it.
So I committed myself…
I took that same course over and over…
Took me failing the exam 5 times before I found you guys.
Failure after failure, I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, I had the recipe right there in front of me.
So they thought.
I talk to a lot of new students coming in to our program with this same exact story.
Unique in it’s own way, but exactly the same in context.
The flow goes like this:
Student has a desire to become a Licensed Professional Engineer.
Student purchases review manual.
Student goes through review manual.
Student fails exam.
Student is frustrated, needs a new path forward.
Student finds a new “structured” course.
Student reads the marketing hype.
Student buys in to “recipe”.
Student is at a loss.
Many give up at this point…if they even get to this point.
The Hard Thing About Preparing For the FE Exam
I read a lot of advice that is slang around the internet for students preparing for the FE Exam.
There is definitely some solid points presented, but in each case, they fail to actually hit on the real life experiences that go in to preparing for the FE Exam.
The hard thing isn’t finding what material needs to be studied.
The hard thing is getting through the content in an efficient manner while remembering everything you just put in to your brain piece.
The hard thing isn’t getting the right calculator.
The hard thing is learning how to actually use that calculator appropriately under timed conditions.
The hard thing isn’t setting up a detailed study plan.
The hard thing is getting home after a 12 hour day at work and following through on your commitment to sit down and study.
The hard thing isn’t reading over a set of practice problems.
The hard thing is waking up 2 hours before you want to just to get some uninterrupted time before the kids wake up to read over those practice problems.
The hard thing isn’t sitting down in a coffee shop to study.
The hard thing is punting social invites with your friends every weekend because you know you’ve got that exam date coming up.
The hard thing isn’t imagining the possibilities that can come from becoming a Licensed Professional Engineer.
The hard thing is keeping your head up, moving forward, despite the uncertainty of the day to day life of a student, employee, parent.
The problem with most the advice out there is that they attempt to provide a cookie cutter recipe for the challenges that will be encountered when preparing for the FE Exam.
The problem is, there are no recipes.
Every single person preparing for this exam is their own unique dish.
In life, there is no recipe for really hard, constantly evolving situations.
Where we are in life when preparing for the FE Exam is different for every single one of us…but the one constant is this…
The responsibilities of life continue to grow.
So don’t look for or expect to find the “recipe” for passing the FE Exam.
It doesn’t exist.
There is no recipe for focusing when you feel like your eyelids have 100 pound weights on them.
There is no recipe for sitting down to study and within minutes hear a yell from your kids downstairs telling you they are hungry.
There is no recipe for balancing the dynamics of being a parent, an employee, a student.
There is no recipe.
And there is no recipe for motivating yourself when your time and energy have gone to crap.
That’s just being real with you.
Hard things are hard…there is no formula in dealing with them.
But there are ingredients.
Over the years, we’ve learned that there are consistent, powerful, bits and experiences that can help with the hard things we deal with in life…
…including preparing for the FE Exam.
We at Prepineer don’t pretend to have “the” formula for each and every student, however, we believe we have the ingredients of what it takes to get this exam done once and for all.
We don’t pretend to present a cookie cutter recipe for every single person’s individual circumstance.
That’s just not reality.
Instead, we develop a program from inside the trenches with our students.
Working side by side with them each and every day, learning from their experience, strategizing on the fly in the moment.
A little dash of this here.
A dash there.
We don’t serve the soup…we become part of the soup.
Pursuing the FE Exam will inevitably have its rough patches..no one is excluded from this.
I have personally been there done that.
Circumstances will differ, but the deeper patterns and lessons of what has lead many to be successful in their pursuit have remained true through the test of time.
The recipe will be unique, but the ingredients will be very similar.
Here are 6 ingredients for finding success in any are of life (including the FE Exam):
- Determine what you want
- Set an enabling belief
- Commit focus and attention to your goal
- Take the most obvious actions to achieve your goal
- Monitor your progress and adjust your actions to realign with your goal
- Show up
And that’s it.
It’s no recipe, but its a list of ingredients that we see in all of our students who are successful on this exam.
It’s really that simple.
But it’s the hardest thing you will ever do…because the substance that combines with all these ingredients is uncertainty, and because of that…
Most people will just avoid it.
Though others will lean in to the challenge.
They will show up ready to go everyday.
They will be open to the uncertainty of life and stay committed to the process.
They will stop focusing on the struggle of the day and start focusing on the process.
They will be persistence
They will grind.
And they will make it to the end.
And that’s a recipe you can count on.
I live this out every single day as I continue to build a program to be the best that is out there.
But it hasn’t been a journey without extreme struggle.
I’ve been at the bottom of the barrel more that I would have liked.
I’ve been to the point of breaking.
It’s been dark.
But it wasn’t about that one moment…it’s always been about the legacy being built…the impact being made.
So I challenge you today if you have made it this far in this rant, are you ready to show up?
Stop looking for a recipe and start simmering in the essence of the process.
“The minute you start seeing the bricks, and not the prefabbed building…you win.” – Gary V.
You got this.
As always, with love, Prepineer