Student Comments from Previous Classes
I just wanted to drop you a line and say thanks. I took your class over the Mother's Day weekend, and took the test July 23. I passed!! Lowest score was a 90 on the Backflow, and I know exactly what I missed.....and my highest score was a 100 on installation. Hydraulics and design were both in the mid 90's. I wanted to say that everything you covered was on test, and also wanted to share a little bit with your future classes. The handouts that you gave with other students examples was key. I studied these the most and it made the biggest difference. If the students take these questions and do the digging to find out how to answer them they will have no problem. The test does in so many ways try and trip you up, but if they know the background of the questions, they will not have any real issues. Take the time and learn the formulas!! Write them down as soon as you get the scratch paper!! I had them all memorized enough that I didn't even hardly look at the paper, but the security of having them there was nice.
One more piece of advice....There are several different test that are given, they are in different order. I had it in my mind that if I took my time on the hydraulics and design that I wouldn't stress with the time constraints, so I did those 2 sections 1st. It made all the difference! I was tired for the other 2 sections, but they were also much easier and I knew that I had plenty of time. I finished the test about 1:30. (we got started about 8:30).
Thank you again for your class. Everything I needed to know was in the class. They do try to ask trick questions on the test you just have to pay attention to the wording they are using. They change it up to see if you are really paying attention. Only took me 3 hours. Thank you again for everything!
Thanks for the class, I learned a lot from you. Passed the LI on the first go:
I focused a lot on the hydraulics and backflow issues, my advice to future
students is study everything indiscriminately!
Thanks a lot,
Wanted to followup with you on my results and and thank you for the exam preparation class I took with you the end of January. Everything you present in the class is more than sufficient for someone to prepare for and ace the exam. I received my results last week for the exam I took on Feb 28th. I got a 100% on the Design and Backflow portions, a 98% on the Hydraulics and a 96% on the Installation.
Went through each chapter in the book and put together note cards on key points, keeping them sorted into each of the four above disciplines. I would spend time going back through the questions and calculations we went over in class and completing the others we did not do in class. Spent at leaast an hour each weeknight and 3-4 each weekend going back through each of these. The last week I would take a blank page and rewrite each of the dozen or so calculations from memory. As a previous classmate had noted when I first go into the exam I rewrote all of these on one of the pieces of scratch paper before I ever looked at the exam.
Overall the exam questions were pretty straighforward. You need to read and answer the question and not read further into it than they ask. Again everything matched the classwork samples and points you noted being on the exam. The hydraulics portion takes the longest and builds off itself as you move from zones at the front toward the back. I would recommend taking the time to start the loss calculations from the meter again each time and not try to use calcs from the zones up front.
i took the exam and passed all sections with a 90 average on my first attempt. I really wanted to let the future students know that all handouts and materials provided at the class is more than sufficient to pass the exam. what i noticed about the student feedback handouts is that there is hardly any advice on how to prep for the exam which is, in my opinion, the most important. being an owner of a landscape and lawn care business myself, i completely understand the problems concerning time constraints, lack of study skills, and how its just really huge pain in the a$$ to try to study and manage a business with 100+ accounts, being in the field all day, employee/equipment problems etc etc the list goes on and on.
im just going to explain the lifestyle changes and study techniques i used to study and hopefully others may be able to use my advice to their advantage. first off, i made a point to dedicate at least 1 hour a day to studying. i started this about 1 month before the exam date. this consisted of just simply reading the irrigation basics book and the wets irrigation basics book, to making flash cards and doing hydraulics calcs etc . over the course of about a month, i read both at least 4-5 times from cover to cover excluding the pages of diagrams and work sheets. on days (usually weekends) that i spent longer than 1 hour studying, i took significant breaks in between my studying sessions, at least 2-3 hours worth, to do my daily routines. this allows one to absorb and process the info and retain it for later. DO NOT try to cram for your exam! after about 2 hours of studying foreign material, YOURE NOT RETAINING IT. also i need to mention that learning new information is simply a process of repetition and integration with your daily life. i made flash cards of the vocab and backflow devices and made my wife carry them around with us everywhere we went and randomly quiz me in middle of everything we did. again, integrating the info into our daily lives was key to retaining the info for the exam. i also completed all of the example exam questions at the end of each chapter EVERY TIME i read the chapter and completed all the hydraulic work sheets and formulas EVERY TIME i read the chapter. i know this sounds redundant, painstaking and tedious but IT WORKS. i photocopied these sections to keep from having to write in my book over and over. check and double check your answers in the appendix! its all right there! The student feedback handout was extremely useful! I treated them as sample exam questions. i.e. one feedback said "SDR wall thickness vs size" so i found answers in the books and even researched info online AND looked up pictures. online research is is great because it can help you visualize real life situations. i looked up images and info for any of the vocab i wasnt totally confident about.
there wasnt much to taking the test. the longest part was the hydrualics section which i think took about 3-4 hours. it was all pretty much straight forward. ill have to say though, there were about 1-2 questions in each section that i swear couldnt be answered by studying the material alone and that they must require some real world in the field knowledge. also, with multiple choice tests, dont kill yourself over a question you dont know. just make a note, skip the question and keep going. sometimes, a question later in the section will answer or jog your memory enough to make an educated guess.