I’ve been a bit preoccupied this past week and weekend—and consequently was not enjoying all the Prefrosh Weekend events at Caltech…
…This was because I have been busy studying, preparing and taking the EIT exam on April 17. The EIT—or Engineering in Training Exam, is the Fundamentals of Engineering exam taken by an engineer who is seeking professional licensure that allows them to be certified in that state. As soon as I told my dad I was interested in engineering, he explained to me how important it was to take this exam so I could become a PE (Professional Engineer) and how beneficial it would be for my career. It is so crazy that the time has come for me to take this infamous exam I have been told so much about.
The exam is really comprehensive—I had to review EVERYTHING I have learned in engineering– Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, Chemistry, Engineering Ethics and Economics…the list goes on. I bought review books to help me study…
The morning of the exam, Brian (another senior from Fleming House, and an Electrical Engineer also taking the exam) and I woke up super early to drive out to Pomona to take the 8 hour exam O_O. We had to be there at 7am, so we left Tech about 6am..
We had no idea there was going to be so much traffic due to so many people taking the exam—the street on the way to the test was completely jam-packed! I couldn’t believe that all these people were testing to get their professional engineering license…
Cameras and cell phones weren’t allowed anywhere near the testing facility…so I kept it in the car…but I REALLY wish I could have taken pictures to better paint you a picture of this experience.
We were in this HUGE auditorium that looked like a giant airplane
hanger sitting side by side at these long tables that just went on and on and on.They were super strict—we couldn’t even use our own pencils or erasers–all the materials were provided. There were proctors for every 20 testers or so….I would estimate that there were about 2000 people or so sitting for this exam (no joke).
There were people from all different age groups…I definitely did feel, however, that there were more men than women—which definitely presented itself as correct when we had a break to use the restroom between the 4 hour blocks….and the line for the men’s restroom was about 100 men long, and there was a non-existent line for the women’s restroom!!!!!!!!–HILARIOUS! Since it is almost ALWAYS the opposite scenario….but I guess since this is an engineering exam, it makes sense…. LOL…(I definitely felt like one of the few women engineers).
ANYWAY—the exam was long and my brain felt like jello afterward…we left the test center at around 6pm on Saturday. Looking back, though it was difficult, I really enjoyed taking the exam…it really made me remember the main reason why I love what I do as an engineer—you are really just breaking down complicated problems and using resources and everything you know to solve it…I felt very accomplished afterward, and I know now for sure that my preparation at Caltech has really taught me a lot and made me knowledgeable for this exam.
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like:
It’s crazy to think that it has been four years now since I was applying to college. I remember it vividly. This week we’re spending some time reflecting on our personal admissions processes, and how we ended up at Caltech. There’s one question though that I wanted to spin out into a separate post: “what advice would you give to the admitted class of 2025?” And I think the best way to do this is to tell a more detailed story than I did in my other post.
These past six months have been a whirlwind- from having to move out of Caltech housing in March within a week’s notice due to COVID-19, to starting the first term of my junior year, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change. When I went home in March, it was to a completely new state-my family moved from Chino, CA to New Jersey in January (great timing, huh?). While I missed seeing my friends from home, it was fun to have the chance to explore a completely new place. The pandemic obviously limited what I could see and do, but I got to experience walks through nature and along rivers normally foreign to a SoCal native and had some time to focus on bioinformatics research for the lab I work with on campus.