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Thread: Failed PSI Journeyman first try Need some advice

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Ocala, Florida, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by skukybros View Post
    Hello, I failed my first try by 4 questions. The summary was fire/communication and calculations were weak. I frankly never do fire or communication, as that is always subbed to contractors who only do those items. So I don't know alot about it. I did study it prior to exam but still am not great at all. Any tips on what to read to tightened that up? I can read the code book all day, but understanding it is another story.

    Second was calculations. I probably got half of them correct but struggled with the other half. Any tips on how to tightened up my speed on those?

    I have multiple of Mike Holts books and watched every video available. I also studied hard for 40 days straight. When doing the practice tests I am very successful, but still slow on calculations. My code book is tabbed highlighted and underlined which help tremendously. My master gave some advice that worked for him and that's what I am looking for, what little things helped you.
    Thanks in advance.
    When I took my EC license test, I used Mike Holt's resources. For the test they imparted some wisdom that I swear by:

    • First, it doesn't matter WHICH questions you get right, they all count the same, so don't do a single calculation question until you have answered EVERY question that can be found in your reference books.
    • Be very careful of the way things are worded, so find the code questions, don't just rely on your memory, unless you are 100% sure, and that should only be about 3 questions.
    • Don't memorize answers, memorize where the answers can be found.
    • Use the front index of the code book.
    • Now specifics and you have to practice this way, and believe in it, otherwise you will panic during the test and revert. This goes against your instinct.
      • First thing. Take your scrap paper and write down every code chapter of the NEC CH1, CH2 also definitions and annex etc. Then write down any other books you have to reference. (In Florida it is only the NEC for journeyman but about 10 books for my license)
      • Then read each question. If you are 100% sure I mean really sure of the answer then go ahead and circle the answer in your book. Don't do any bubbling until the last 15 minutes if this is a paper test.
      • You can make a mark on the answer you "believe" is right at this time
      • For every question including those above, write the question number on your sheet in the chapter you think the answer is to be found.
      • Only after you are done with reading every single question, look at you sheet. You will find that The largest number of question will be chapter 1,2,3. Start there.
      • Find the section that deals with each question starting with those questions in the most covered chapter. You will find that as you look, you will see an answer to a question you aren't looking for. Go ahead and find the question and answer it. It is also likely that at some point one question on the test will answer another question on the test.
      • Don't forget to review the examples in the annex before you spend a bunch of time on calculations. It is common practice for test to take those example verbatim and put them on a test.
      • After all that, start with the easiest calculation and save the hardest to the last.


    I know what I don't know, and I know where to go to find it!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Austin, TX, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    I can do it online but I somehow the convenience of that makes it harder to get accomplished for me, plus what I hate is being forced to pay for something I can prove I don't need.
    Lemons and lemonade. I'd just as soon not deal with CE at all, but since I have to I look for stuff that I am at least interested in so it won't be a total waste of time and money. Last year I took a course on electron tube theory (I am a musician enamored of old tube amplifiers), which was very cool, counted as CE, but did not relate to my job.

    Every year I wait until the last minute and have to cram CE hours at the eleventh hour, and every year I tell myself that the NEXT year I 'll deal with it way ahead of time, and this year I am on track to wait until there's almost no time left again. When will I ever learn?

  3. #13
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    Dec 2007
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    NE Nebraska
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggunn View Post
    Lemons and lemonade. I'd just as soon not deal with CE at all, but since I have to I look for stuff that I am at least interested in so it won't be a total waste of time and money. Last year I took a course on electron tube theory (I am a musician enamored of old tube amplifiers), which was very cool, counted as CE, but did not relate to my job.

    Every year I wait until the last minute and have to cram CE hours at the eleventh hour, and every year I tell myself that the NEXT year I 'll deal with it way ahead of time, and this year I am on track to wait until there's almost no time left again. When will I ever learn?
    For electrical licenses here - the courses need to be approved CEU's by the licensing agency. So your electron tube theory course can qualify, but the course provider must get it on the state list of approved courses or it won't count for licensing renewal. I think most surrounding states are similar, as participants that are also licensed in neighboring states are usually inquiring whether the course is good for other states.

    Six of our required 12 hours (every two years) must be on code related content. The other hours can be on any topic that gets approval by the state licensing agency.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    SE Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by skukybros View Post
    Hello, I failed my first try by 4 questions. The summary was fire/communication and calculations were weak. I frankly never do fire or communication, as that is always subbed to contractors who only do those items. So I don't know alot about it. I did study it prior to exam but still am not great at all. Any tips on what to read to tightened that up? I can read the code book all day, but understanding it is another story.
    This is good advise.

    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    You may have other reasons to struggle with the calculations, but probably still some similarities involved - knowing how and why things work the way they do seems to help a lot more then just memorizing a process IMO.
    Is there any community college classes in your area? Study from a hand book instead of just the code. There are other application books besides the NFPA ones. Can you get more varied field experience in other areas? Having a knowledgeable teacher in the right class can be a real benefit, being able to stop and ask questions of WHY can bring a much better understanding. If you understand why the code was written as it is, then it makes it easier to remember and apply, without to much hunting and pecking. Testing here requires no aids, other than a NEC and a calculator. For me focusing on the why, helps you remember the rules.

    MTW

  5. #15
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    Oct 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTW View Post
    Is there any community college classes in your area? Study from a hand book instead of just the code. There are other application books besides the NFPA ones. Can you get more varied field experience in other areas? Having a knowledgeable teacher in the right class can be a real benefit, being able to stop and ask questions of WHY can bring a much better understanding. If you understand why the code was written as it is, then it makes it easier to remember and apply, without to much hunting and pecking. Testing here requires no aids, other than a NEC and a calculator. For me focusing on the why, helps you remember the rules.
    I agree. As much as we love to complain about how the code is written and interpreted, for the most part it makes sense if one understands the fundamental principles behind it.

  6. #16
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    Jul 2015
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    Soldotna, AK, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by skukybros View Post
    I worked on doing exactly that today after work. I also took a look to make sure I highlighted all the percentages so I do not get confused on them during calculations as the previous poster mentioned.

    I think I got several percentages of various calculations mixed up. I am fairly good at math so I don't think the process is the problem, I think keeping it all straight could be my issue. These are very good tips.

    I am bound and determined to pass the next time as in Iowa you only get two chances then have to sit out for 6 months before retesting if you fail twice. I am bringing all my books to work and at any break and lunch I am working through them.
    Something that will help better IMO is to read the section of code your working on before you work on it, say your going to be running EMT all day tomorrow, read EMT in the code book the night before, its only a couple pages. Keep doing this and you'll hopefully have been able to read 80% of the book in small sections over a long period of time and applied it to your materials used. I like to use the index and front to find keywords from the questions.

    Don't cram the studying needed for this test studying till your eyes bleed up to the test will where you down, make sure you take a couple day break before your test. At least it was what I needed.

    Another thing is test time go through and nail the ones you can find quick and easy with 100% you know the answer, skip the ones that take any lengthy math or your not sure about, mark the ones you think are right and come back to them after you go through and knock out the ones you know. PSI testing has the options in the upper right hand corner if i remember right. They also have online practice training, worth the money.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by skukybros View Post
    Hello, I failed my first try by 4 questions. The summary was fire/communication and calculations were weak. I frankly never do fire or communication, as that is always subbed to contractors who only do those items. So I don't know alot about it. I did study it prior to exam but still am not great at all. Any tips on what to read to tightened that up? I can read the code book all day, but understanding it is another story.

    Second was calculations. I probably got half of them correct but struggled with the other half. Any tips on how to tightened up my speed on those?

    I have multiple of Mike Holts books and watched every video available. I also studied hard for 40 days straight. When doing the practice tests I am very successful, but still slow on calculations. My code book is tabbed highlighted and underlined which help tremendously. My master gave some advice that worked for him and that's what I am looking for, what little things helped you.
    Thanks in advance.
    So what calculation types gave you the most problem? Motors, Ranges, Welders.....?

    Anyway......if you need help PM me and let me know where you feel help is needed. Now can you answer all the questions in this graphic?...i have a three phase one as well if you would like it..and many others to study with.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #18
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    Mar 2018
    Location
    Des Moines Iowa
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    I wanted to express sincere thanks for all of the advice. I used nearly all of the advice and passed the test this morning. I studied like a maniac for one more week and got it done. Time management ended up being the deciding factor today. By using all the above advice I got the clock under control and got through it.

    This is a pretty big deal to me as I have been an electrician for 15 plus years and finally decided to take it to the next level. It's bitter sweet as my first master has since passed away but his friend is my master now.

    Again thank you.

  9. #19
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    Dec 2011
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    Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by skukybros View Post
    I wanted to express sincere thanks for all of the advice. I used nearly all of the advice and passed the test this morning. I studied like a maniac for one more week and got it done. Time management ended up being the deciding factor today. By using all the above advice I got the clock under control and got through it.

    This is a pretty big deal to me as I have been an electrician for 15 plus years and finally decided to take it to the next level. It's bitter sweet as my first master has since passed away but his friend is my master now.

    Again thank you.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX, USA
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    9,592
    Quote Originally Posted by skukybros View Post
    I wanted to express sincere thanks for all of the advice. I used nearly all of the advice and passed the test this morning. I studied like a maniac for one more week and got it done. Time management ended up being the deciding factor today. By using all the above advice I got the clock under control and got through it.

    This is a pretty big deal to me as I have been an electrician for 15 plus years and finally decided to take it to the next level. It's bitter sweet as my first master has since passed away but his friend is my master now.

    Again thank you.
    CONGRATULATIONS!

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