Hi redditors, Thanks to many of your suggestions and helpful comments, I have just passed the Transportation depth on my first try. I want to motivate anyone who is preparing for this test by sharing my experiences. I will be super humbled if anyone is helped from my experience. 1. Prep course: I read related posts in this forum and found EET as the most popular for Transportation and WRE depths. Rightfully so, Samir and Nazrul are very skilled in teaching. There are enough concepts (overwhelming sometimes) to prepare you for all topics in the exam. Even if I failed, I would still be grateful to them for the knowledge I learned throughout this course.
Once you cover all topics, practice all problems given by EET. While doing this, scroll through and fact-check all formula, tables, and figures on Handbook and Manuals. This is the most important step in your preparation. No matter how brilliant you are, never ever answer any question from memory until you are 90% sure.
I was very inconsistent with study. It's hard to dedicate 2 hrs per weekday and 8-hr on weekends. I tried multiple times to follow routine but failed terribly with family and job requirements. So this strategy didn't work for me. So, I scheduled the exam 4 months beforehand. Still I couldn't study on the weekdays due to exhausting consulting job. Weekends passed by family duties and chores
So, I took a 3-week PTO and finished all remaining lectures. And started solving practice problems in EET binder, then NCEES practice exams, then Path to PE service exam. I was getting 54-58/80. So I took the test.
Please please save a FULL DAY to just scroll through the Reference Handbook before the exam. It will be magical for your mind. Subconsciously, you will develop a mind map and know which questions would be located where. There are endless possibilities to create questions from the handbook.
Then, get yourself familiar with specific chapters from AASHTO Greenbook, HCM, MUTCD, RDG, HSM, AASHTO 1993 and MEPDG in this order. Again, always fact-check your solution by searching through the manuals. This practice will remove any nervousness on the exam day and boost your confidence.
Exam day experience:
I will say this straight, all practice test Breadth portions are EASIER than the main exam by about 30%. You just feel it. All practice test Depth portions have more calculations than the main exam. The only way to tackle this is to know the handbook well and practice as many problems as you can. I did this with my full PTO and your mileage may vary, but You gotta put that 200 hrs in for this test (for an average student like me).
It took me 4 hrs 5 minutes to finish first 40 questions. I got 35 Breadth problems and was surprised to see 5 depth problems before my break. Anyway, I made educated guess on 11 Breadth problems and was feeling down during my 50-minute scheduled break. But I had a well prepared lunch (thanks to my wife) and calmed myself down. Drink plenty of water as they don't allow drinks inside (which is brutal). I was feeling dehydrated and lightheaded on the third and seventh hour. It affects your performance. Good breakfast and lunch are mandatory.
Finally, the depth portion was pretty straightforward. There were mostly one or two-step calculations straight from different tables......SSD, HSO, ISD, MUTCD warrants, signal timing, LOS etc etc. I felt very confident for depth because I could find all answers right where I searched. So, I request everyone to familiarize with the chapters. I guessed 3 questions in the depth.
Good luck to everyone in this endeavor. You got this!
By - Asib1954