It’s not uncommon to absolutely have zero interest in some of the topics covered on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. These topics may be ones that we had previously enjoyed participating in while in college, but for some reason or another, we find ourselves far from interested in picking up a book and diving in. Unfortunately, we don’t have a choice whether or not they will be on the exam, so with that, we need to find a way to peak our interest so we can best prepare ourselves for success.
Whether your disinterest is in one topic or several, it’s a must to force ourselves in to putting adequate time in to becoming at least semi proficient with the main fundamentals of each subject or else we risk failure on the exam.
It’s obvious that as human beings, we spend our time doing things we enjoy, why would we want to do otherwise? This is the first barrier we need to confront and overcome before we can make any progress in studying these subjects. When you sit down to make your study calendar, put the subjects you dislike in the first few weeks. I suggest this for a couple of reasons:
- You will likely have the most energy at the beginning of your study journey, giving yourself more of a chance to weather the storm of the discomfort of doing something you don’t enjoy.
- When you do something you enjoy, you tend to put off the things you don’t, which in this case, may mean not adequately preparing yourself in an entire subject. Do what you don’t like up front and get it out of the way.
- Getting in to subjects that you enjoy at the middle and end of your study journey will give you momentum and confidence going in to the exam, they won’t beat you to the ground like the others you don’t enjoy.
We all have to do things we don’t like to do, that’s life. Understanding that we aren’t alone in this endeavor, we can work on altering our approach and thinking so we can have the best chance of succeeding; this is a stepping stone to becoming a successful Engineer. The Fundamentals of Engineering Exam isn’t only a content exam, there are relevant life lessons that come from preparing for and taking it as well.
The next thing I would focus on is breaking the subject down into micro study sessions rather than tackling the subject as a whole. This will give you clear, achievable goals and will keep the overwhelm and disinterest from creeping up. There’s no silver bullet to it, but approaching these subjects with a steady hill approach, rather than a steep mountain, will be much more manageable while working through the discomfort.
Another approach I stress in all areas of studying for the exam, is to make it personal. Think about where you will be if you don’t accumulate the drive to study for these subjects. You will likely put yourself in a position to have to retake the test. Sometimes when you introduce these “If, then” thoughts in to your thinking, your mind will adjust to take the path of least resistance. When your mind feels like it is in danger, it will do some miraculous things…so make it personal every time you sit down to study.
Lastly, consider approaching your studies of these subjects in a different way. Maybe opening up a book and cranking out hours on end of reading text doesn’t work. Change that up, watch tutorials on the internet, make flash cards, work though practice exams. Maybe the traditional approach just isn’t going to cut it for these subjects, so make it fresh, and switch it up.
There’s no rule that says we have to love everything there is about engineering, but there is a rule of life that guarantees we will encounter things that bring discomfort. Adjusting our approach physically and mentally is the best weapon of choice when we encounter these times, and there is no better time than now to begin employing it.