• Book Name: FE Mechanical Review Manual for Mechanical Fundamentals of Engineering Exam
  • Pages: 210
  • Size: 11 MB
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FE Mechanical Review Manual Pdf Etextbook

The purpose of this book is to prepare you for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) fundamentals of engineering (FE) exam. In 2014, the NCEES adopted revised specifications for the exam. The council also transitioned from a paper based version of the exam to a computer-based testing ( CBT) version. The FE exam now requires you to sit in front of a monitor, respond to questions served up by the CBT system, access an electronic reference document, and perform your scratch calculations on a reusable notepad. You may also use an on-screen calculator with which you will likely be unfamiliar. The experience of taking the FE exam will probably be unlike anything you have ever, or will ever again, experience in your career. Similarly, preparing for the exam will be unlike preparing for any other exam. The CBT FE exam presented three new challenges to me when I began preparing instructional material for it.

(1) The subjects in the testable body of knowledge are oddly limited and do not represent a complete cross section of the traditional engineering fundamentals subjects.

(2) The NCEES FE Reference Handbook (NCEES Handbook) is poorly organized, awkwardly formatted, inconsistent in presentation, and idiomatic in convention.

(3) Traditional studying, doing homework while working towards a degree, and working at your own desk as a career engineer are poor preparations for the CBT exam experience.

No existing exam review book overcomes all of these challenges. But, I wanted you to have something that does. So, in order to prepare you for the CBT FE exam, this book was designed and written from the ground up. In many ways, this book is as unconventional as the exam.

This book covers all of the knowledge areas listed in the NCEES Mechanical FE exam specifications. And, with the exceptions listed in “How to Use This Book,” for better or worse, this book duplicates the terms and variables of the NCEES Handbook equations.

NCEES has selected, what it believes to be, all of the engineering fundamentals important to an early-career, minimally-qualified engineer, and has distilled them into its single reference, the NCEES Handbook. Personally, I cannot accept the premise that engineers learn and use so little engineering while getting their degrees and during their first few career years. However, regardless of whether you accept the NCEES subset of engineering fundamentals, one thing is certain: In serving as your sole source of formulas, theory, methods, and data during the exam, the NCEES Handbook severely limits the types of questions that can be included in the FE exam.

The obsolete paper-based exam required very little knowledge outside of what was presented in the previous editions of the NCEES Handbook. That NCEES Handbook supported a plug-and-chug examinee performance within a constrained body of knowledge. Based on the current FE exam specifications and the NCEES Handbook, the CBT FE exam is even more limited than the old paper-based exam. The number (breadth) of knowledge areas, the coverage ( depth) of knowledge areas, the number of questions, and the duration of the exam are all significantly reduced. If you are only concerned about passing and/or “getting it over with” before graduation, these reductions are all in your favor. Your only deterrents will be the cost of the exam and the inconvenience of finding a time and place to take it.

Accepting that “it is what it is,” I designed this book to guide you through the exam’s body of knowledge. I have several admissions to make:

(1) This book contains nothing magical or illicit.

(2) This book, by itself, is only one part of a complete preparation.

(3) This book stops well short of being perfect. What do I mean by those admissions?

First, this book does not contain anything magical. It’s called a “practice problems” book, and though it will save you time in assembling hundreds of practice problems for your review, it won’t learn the material for you. Merely owning it is not enough. You will have to put in the “practice” time to use it.

Similarly, there is nothing clandestine or unethical about this book. It does not contain any actual exam questions. It was written in a vacuum, based entirely on the N CEES Mechanical FE exam specifications. This book is not based on feedback from actual examinees.

FE Mechanical Review Manual Etextbook Pdf

Truthfully, I expect that many exam questions will be similar to the questions I have used because NCEES and I developed content with the same set of constraints. (If anything, NCEES is even more constrained when it comes to fringe, outlier, eccentric, original topics.) There is a finite number of ways that questions about Ohm’s law ( V= IR) and Newton’s second law of motion (F= ma) can be structured. Any similarity between questions in this book and questions in the exam is easily attributed to the limited number of engineering formulas and concepts, the shallowness of coverage, and the need to keep the entire solution process (reading, researching, calculating, and responding) to less than three minutes for each question.

Let me give an example to put some flesh on the bones. As any competent engineer can attest, in order to calculate the pressure drop in a pipe network, you would normally have to

( 1) determine fluid density and viscosity based on the temperature,

(2) convert the mass flow rate to a volumetric flow rate,

(3) determine the pipe diameter from the pipe size designation (e.g., pipe schedule),

(4) calculate the internal pipe area,

(5) calculate the flow velocity,

(6) determine the specific roughness from the conduit material,

(7) calculate the relative roughness,

(8) calculate the Reynolds number,

(9) calculate or determine the friction factor graphically,

(10) determine the equivalent length of fittings and other minor losses,

(11) calculate the head loss, and finally,

(12) convert the head loss to pressure drop. Length, flow quantity, and fluid property conversions typically add even more complexity. (SSU viscosity? Diameter in inches? Flow rate in SCFM?) As reasonable and conventional as that solution process is, a question of such complexity is beyond the upper time limit for an FE question.

To make it possible to be solved in the time allowed, any exam question you see is likely to be more limited. In fact, most or all of the information you need to answer a question will be given to you in its question statement. If only the real world were so kind!

Second, by itself, this book is inadequate. It was never intended to define the entirety of your preparation activity. While it introduces problems covering essentially all of the exam knowledge areas and content in the NCEES Handbook, an introduction is only an introduction. To be a thorough review, this book needs augmentation.

By design, this book has four significant inadequacies.

1. This book is “only” 231 pages long, so it cannot contain enough of everything for everyone. The number of practice problems that can fit in it are limited. The number of questions needed by you, personally, to come up to speed in a particular subject may be inadequate. For example, how many questions will you have to review in order to feel comfortable about divergence, curl, differential equations, and linear algebra? (Answer: Probably more than are in all of the books you will ever own!) So, additional exposure is inevitable if you want to be adequately prepared in every subject.

2. This book does not contain the NCEES Handbook. This book is limited in helping you become familiar with the idiosyncratic sequencing, formatting, variables, omissions, and presentation of topics in the NCEES Handbook. The only way to remedy this is to obtain your own copy of the NCEES Handbook ( available in printed format from PPI and as a free download from the NCEES website) and use it in conjunction with your review.

3. This book is not a practice examination ( mock exam, sample exam, etc.). With the advent of the CBT format, any sample exam in printed format is little more than another collection of practice questions. The actual FE exam is taken sitting in front of a computer using an online reference book, so the only way to practice is to sit in front of a computer while you answer questions. Using an online reference is very different from the work environment experienced by most engineers, and it will take some getting used to.

4. This book does not contain explanatory background information, including figures and tables of data. Though all problems have associated step-by-step solutions, these solutions will not teach you the underlying engineering principles you need to solve the problems. Trying to extrapolate engineering principles from the solutions is like reading the ending of a book and then trying to guess at the “whos, whats, wheres, whens, and hows.” In other words, reviewing solutions is only going to get you so far if you don’t understand a topic. To truly understand how to solve practice problems in topics you ‘re unfamiliar with, you’ll need an actual review manual like the one PPI publishes, the FE Mechanical Review Manual. In it, you ‘ll find all the “whos and whats” you were previously missing and these problems’ “endings” will make much more sense.

Third, and finally, I reluctantly admit that I have never figured out how to write or publish a completely flawless first (or, even subsequent) edition. The PPI staff comes pretty close to perfection in the areas of design, editing, typography, and illustrating. Subject matter experts help immensely with calculation checking. And, beta testing before you see a book helps smooth out wrinkles. However, I still manage to muck up the content. So, I hope you will “let me have it” when you find my mistakes. PPI has established an easy way for you to report an error, as well as to review changes that resulted from errors that others have submitted. Just go to ppi2pass.com/errata. When you submit something, I’ll receive it via email. When I answer it, you’ll receive a response. We’ll both benefit. Best wishes in your examination experience. Stay in touch!

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