CSE pass!

CSE pass!

Postby stephanier2 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:03 pm

Cried tears of joy when I read those words "Congratulations, you have successfully completed..." *phew* Because, no one wants to hear you have to study for six more months...

Here's my thoughts, hopefully these help those of you who are still in the process! :)

Testing format: Easy to schedule with PSI, although the testing center was not as nice as Prometric. Still, nicer than the low bar I set after hearing from others how janky some sites were. Software was similar to ARE 5.0, but obviously all multiple choice instead of hot spots, etc. Questions were very intuitive, especially if you have a few years of work experience under your belt. Not mindless memorization, but application style questions that were project or situation specific and had context.

My study plan: I studied rigorously for 4 weeks. Meaning: 3-4 nights a week, for 2-3 hours each night. Weekends studied pretty much the whole time, with a few breaks to keep sanity. At the end of my study time, I felt very prepared and confident going into the exam. I was so ready to be done with it! Having just finished my last ARE in April was good, because jumping back into studying wasn't that difficult. Get 'em done. My coworker told me this as a fresh college grad, and I was so tempted to keep putting exams off. SO GLAD I DIDN'T. Life gets busy, just keep these a priority. You won't regret it!

I studied: All free materials at first, using the CSE reference materials list. Everything you need is on there, granted an over-abundance of information. I read the entirety of the APA and Public Contract Code (which was totally overkill, imo, but good to know). I went through the knowledge statements one by one and made sure I understood what they were, going back through to research the ones I wasn't familiar with. Don't get hung up with the minutia, there is SO MUCH that it is tempting, but remember that there are 57 knowledge statements and they won't expect us to memorize a million details.

At the end (last week) of studying, I supplemented with OMCES and some Doucette audio reviews, which was great because I had heard all the content prior as I was reading through the reference materials. Otherwise, I would've been totally overwhelmed. Because I had studied the knowledge statements prior, I was able to skip around the audio files to go over ones that I still needed more clarity. The Doucette content was very similar detail level to the exam as well. Very helpful! Definitely would recommend. OMCES questions were very particular but this is great practice, as I felt the test had the same level of detail in the questions.

Didn't really know how to study for the project scenario, but kind of went in blind, having some project management experience under my belt. It suited me well, so if you know how to read an unfamiliar drawing set and pay attention to detail you'll be fine here.

Overall, I was pleased with the format, style of exam and content. Catered to real life scenarios, instead of mindless memorization of random technical items. Hang in there! Just be attentive, ask questions at work, and study hard. You've got this!
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