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Thread: Failed PSI Journeyman first try Need some advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Des Moines Iowa
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    Failed PSI Journeyman first try Need some advice

    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.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2003
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    NE (9.1 miles @5.07 Degrees from Winged Horses)
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    I took sample tests from EC&M magazine for a year. Open booked and researched each question. Failed most of them. NE test was a breeze in comparison.

    NIEC gives CEU classes in Iowa & Nebraska. I’ll PM one that may help.
    Tom
    TBLO

  3. #3
    Join Date
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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.
    I don't know why they throw in those fire alarm questions myself, but there usually isn't very many. Don't know how it works there, but here there are classes given by the SED that are for the tests they administer. If you attend those they will cover content you may see on your particular test.

    Calculations - you need to figure out what it is you have trouble with. could be you are not great with math in general - which would make all calculation related problems more difficult for you, or maybe there is a specific area you have trouble understanding how the calculations work. If you miss one step early on in a calculating process you will be wrong at end even if you did everything else correctly.

    Knowing things like when you need to add an extra 25% before proceeding is critical, and they may have a multiple choice answer that matches your answer, but they put it there intentionally for those that maybe forgot to add that 25% early in the process.

    Learning why you need to add that 25% makes it easier to remember to use it when needed.

    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.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  4. #4
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    Soldotna, AK, 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.
    I was able to write in my book for my test. I made notes throughout it that reference things easily forgotten. I also took and used my ugly's to write helpful formulas in key spots in my book. Highlight everything pertinent, all the while took every practice test I could find.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Des Moines Iowa
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKElectrician View Post
    I was able to write in my book for my test. I made notes throughout it that reference things easily forgotten. I also took and used my ugly's to write helpful formulas in key spots in my book. Highlight everything pertinent, all the while took every practice test I could find.

    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.

  6. #6
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    Hang out on this site more often, even if you don't post anything there is a lot to learn just reading what is posted.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Hang out on this site more often, even if you don't post anything there is a lot to learn just reading what is posted.
    Worked that way for me. Colorado used to make you take a test and if you scored high enough you did not need to take any continuing ed. Three code cycles, three tests, passed every one. I was especially proud the first year when all three of my inspectors didn't make the cut and I did. I give one hundred percent of the credit for my success to my participation on this forum.

    Now they changed the rules so you have to take twenty four hours every three years. I think that stinks. I gotta pay for the privilege of sitting in a room with a batch of gum chewing mouth breathers who don't know am ohm from a mantra just to hear somebody tell me a bunch of stuff I already know.
    If you go and decide to dance with a gorilla the dance ain't over till the gorilla decides it's over.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2018
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    Des Moines Iowa
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Hang out on this site more often, even if you don't post anything there is a lot to learn just reading what is posted.
    I have followed the forum for years, I just work so much I haven't had much time ever to post. I have read through some similair situations as mine and have found some VERY good info here. So far highlighting and outlining different percentages in different scenarios has made a huge difference. Going over Mikes exam prep book with the calculations has also improved my ability to recall where and how to properly calculate.

    I have been an electrican for so long so much of what I do everyday is just matter of fact in my head, it's interesting to see how the math actually works out. It is hard to get my head around Minimums in the code book. Everything we do in my company is about future use and expansion.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    Worked that way for me. Colorado used to make you take a test and if you scored high enough you did not need to take any continuing ed. Three code cycles, three tests, passed every one. I was especially proud the first year when all three of my inspectors didn't make the cut and I did. I give one hundred percent of the credit for my success to my participation on this forum.

    Now they changed the rules so you have to take twenty four hours every three years. I think that stinks. I gotta pay for the privilege of sitting in a room with a batch of gum chewing mouth breathers who don't know am ohm from a mantra just to hear somebody tell me a bunch of stuff I already know.
    Do they make you take specific courses in person? I have to get CE hours every year for my PE license but I can do it on line and I have quite a bit of leeway as to what courses count. I can always find courses that give me useful information or at least pertain to something I am interested in.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggunn View Post
    Do they make you take specific courses in person? I have to get CE hours every year for my PE license but I can do it on line and I have quite a bit of leeway as to what courses count. I can always find courses that give me useful information or at least pertain to something I am interested in.
    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. I passed my first continuing competency exam (the same one all my inspectors flunked) with a hangover.

    The point is this site is one of the best resources in the electrical world.
    Last edited by ActionDave; 03-07-18 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Added info
    If you go and decide to dance with a gorilla the dance ain't over till the gorilla decides it's over.

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