The only thing certain in taking the FE engineering exam is the uncertainty that arises as you prepare for it. Since becoming a licensed engineer is a unique opportunity granted to only a select group of our population, uncertainty is an indelible truth. Despite the most well thought out study plan, there will without a doubt come a time when you must deviate and adjust those plans accordingly.
The key to successfully navigating these uncertain times is accepting that they will occur and not letting them hamper our progress. When we accept this truth, we can then embrace the fact and be ahead in knowing how to manage them when they do arise.
At EngineerInTrainingExam.com I aim to do more then just having a site that is the go to study resource for the FE exam; I strive to guide you in achieving your goals in the face of uncertainty. Uncertain times can be unsettling, however, to our benefit, we can study how others outside our realm handle these times and incorporate what we learn in to our daily preparatory approach. With that said, let’s analyze how an athlete deals with uncertainty on a week to week basis.
Athletes Acknowledge Uncertainty
When an athlete begins to prepare for a competition, they begin with the mindset that uncertainty is just a fact in their preparation. There’s uncertainty about their opponent, there’s uncertainty about the weather conditions, there’s uncertainty about how the opposing athletes will respond to each play…and the list goes on. An athlete knows that despite the best thought out plan, these unknown elements are going to play in to their preparation as the week goes by.
A good athlete knows, and accepts, that changes to the original plan will occur based on these uncertain events, either during the game or between periods.
As we prepare for the FE engineering exam, we need to embrace this mentality as well. It is absolutely imperative that we establish a well though out plan of attack right up front, but we also must not fall victim to becoming rigid in our ability to adjust; be organized, disciplined, and flexible in your preparation.
Athletes Do Plenty of Research
Just because uncertainty is given, that doesn’t mean athletes just loosely go about their preparation, just “wingin it”; actually, the opposite occurs. Athletes do extensive research prior to their competitions. They study film from their previous events, aiming to recognize what went right and more importantly, what went wrong and how they need to adjust to fix that. They use all this information to determine what to practice, which items to focus on, and how they should go about approaching their next opponent.
We also must analyze lessons learned from past exams, in order to replicate what
worked and aim to avoid what didn’t. By reflecting on times past, we can critically analyze where our weaknesses have been in preparing for exams. We may be surprised to find that a lot of the time these weaknesses have nothing to do with the materials that we are studying, but rather, the way we approached that material in our studies.
Athletes Prepare a Game Plan and Milestones
With the proper reflection and research complete, athletes then use the information to form a strategy for preparing for the next competition and set milestones for achieving this strategy.
Setting milestones and strategies is important for our preparation as well. Not only should we consider content milestones for our studies, but we should also think about performance milestones and strategies as well. Our experience tells us when we are most sharp in our thinking, when we are most efficient in preparing for big exams. Don’t plan your study times when you know you can’t be on top of your game. Tweak these personal nuances in to your plan to make it that much more effective.
Athletes Understand the Importance of Execution
Strategy and planning are only a couple dimensions of a successful athlete. Athletes know the importance of executing the strategy and plan that was outlined. If execution wasn’t important, then the athlete who had the most detailed plan and well thought out strategy would come out on top every time. We know this isn’t how it works. So what sets two equally equipped athletes apart…execution.
In preparing for the FE engineering exam, we tend to focus many times on the planning and strategy, only to find ourselves in a position of failure come exam day. We may look back and realize that our plan of attack was stout, yet, it was the failure to execute the plan that we had on paper that leaves us ill-equipped and unprepared come test day. It will be our execution and ability to adjust on the fly and reengage that will lead us through the finish line.
As we can see, and again why I feel the EIT exam is so much more than just an exam, there will be real life challenges that we will encounter as we prepare to take the FE engineering exam. The challenges are not unique to our specific test, but rather, are relevant to our every day life and career to be. Take time to reflect how others encounter and deal with uncertainty, and I bet you won’t only feel better about the difficult times, but you will feel more equipped when these times occur.