Here are some more testimonials from recent students that successfully passed the INCOSE Systems Engineering Certification Exam .
I took the exam last week and passed. ... I highly recommend the course, which I took offline at my own pace. The process interaction drawing that Paul provides is worth the cost of the course itself. The first time I saw this process interaction I was pretty overwhelmed by the amount of information and didn't see how it would be useful. However, Paul presents the handbook in a custom sequence of chapters and builds the process diagram up piece by piece. I had great visual recall of the processes and information during the exam because of this drawing. I really think that the order that Paul presents the chapters should be added as a recommendation into the INCOSE handbook itself.
Paul quickly responded to questions that I had as I worked through the coursework.
I worked through the lectures over a 2 month period and took the test immediately. The questions are similar in format to the ones presented in this class, but many of the questions were not as easy as those presented in this class. The key to answering the questions successfully is to "understand", not memorize the handbook, and to read each and every paragraph in the handbook so you can recall the small details that Incose will test you on. And print out Paul's process diagram on an 11x17 and follow the block by block build up of the diagram with Paul.
~~ Patricia (Dec 12017)
I did pass the CSEP exam on my first try. Your system is brilliant and I strongly believe contributed to my understanding of the flow and sequencing in my slowing brain. I blew up the diagram 3 ft by 4 ft and looked at it during my study and video program. There is no words I can say better than the job well done: Thank you for putting one of those banners behind a fixed wing airplane in the sky.
~~ Rowen (Jun 2017)
Thanks for the well structured course, it provides a good foundation for further studying. Not knowing what is expected from the exam, and not knowing what they rate as a pass was the most difficult for me. But the tests and questions you provided gave a good basis for what to expect at the exam, even-though in the exam the questions are worded differently. So I took the exam, and passed first time, which is a major relief. Advice for people taking the test, is to ensure they repeatedly do your tests and exams until all answers become second nature, this will help them for sure in the SEP exam.
~~ Jens (Jun 2017)
Thanks for the instruction. I had been reading the material for a few months and had the opportunity to focus on your method of instruction over the past two weeks. I passed the exam on the first attempt. From the online class, the diagram really helped me conceptualize the inputs, process, and outputs. Additionally, I was glad I had taken time to read the book because some of the questions related to some of the major topics including past research and the significance of a diagram. The exam did contain some questions that really made me think, but all of the material was covered in the handbook.
~~ Jan (Apr 2017)
Yeah, I passed the exam! Thanks to the big chart I was able to picture it all in my mind. I did take your advise and scribble a high level of the chart prior to starting the test. This helped me throughout the test. As the questions were not explicit statements you had to interpret the questions to come up with the answers. Thanks for offering this video class. It was a positive factor in my passing and provided me with a better understanding of the whole system engineering process.
~~ Shelly (Apr 2017)
I took the exam today and am happy to report that I passed. It was just as hard as I expected it would be. I actually didn't think I was going to pass it as I was taking it. The wording is not identical to what is in the book so you have to really have an understanding of the processes in your own words. I must have read the entire book 4 or 5 times before it started to sink in. I am new to SE so it took me awhile to grasp some of the concepts. Your study guide was a great help as was your course.
~~ Lori (Dec 2016)
I passed the exam! Took me a while to put all the pieces together, but after really studying, I began to see the logic behind the diagram showing all the inputs and outputs. I thought a combination of the study materials and then re-reading the text was helpful, as some questions centered around examples, diagrams etc.
~~ Leanne (Aug 2016)
I passed the exam! Thinking about the inputs and outputs in relation to the other processes is the best way to learn them (memorize the process flow diagram). In addition I feel like this structure makes answering the questions on the exam easier. I think knowing the exact language from the handbook was helpful on a few questions, but knowing the concepts and general ideas will be beneficial on the exam as I feel that the test occasionally words questions in a different manner than how it was stated in the text. The practice test and quizzes were extremely helpful in preparing for the content and structure of the exam questions! Oh, and the SE-Process_Study-Guide was also an excellent resource to use while studying!
~~ Chris (Aug 2016)
I took and passed the exam today! Thank you for all of your help and your wonderful material!
~~ Chris B (Aug 2016)
3 Days of Boot Camp Class
40 Hours of Studying
7 Practice Tests
3 Hours of Travel Time
One 2 Hours Test with a Cavity Search Before I could enter the Testing Center
To Pass the Certified Systems Engineering Professional Exam
Thanks for all your help the Study Guide and Practice Test really helped to focus on the areas I needed to concentrate on.
~~ Patti (Aug 2016)
I just wanted to thank you again for your excellent instruction. Needless to say, achieving this certification is a huge accomplishment from me, especially considering the educational background of my family. You’ve been an instrumental part of this accomplishment. I look forward to seeing you around, and hearing from you soon. Until then, please take care of yourself.
~~ Carl (Jun 2016)
Just wanted to let you know that I took the CSEP test last Thursday (7/23) and passed it on the first try. Taking your course --- was definitely key in my success in passing the test. I spent the week or so before the test reviewing all the course notes, and took all the tests several times, including the complete sample tests. I felt that the practice tests were more difficult than the actual test – if one can get through those with no major problems, then the actual test will be a breeze. Several questions were more subjective than looking for specific words straight from the Handbook, but if you understand the concept of whatever process was discussed in the question, then all was good. Thanks again for your help.
~~ Paul E (July 2015)
The exam was not what I expected, I thought there would be more input/output questions. However, using your studying guide really helped guide me and gave me an excellent outline to study from. I also used the practice test to help me study and gauge my strengths and weaknesses. It was necessary to understand the material on a conceptual level as well as memorizing processes. Although there were not as many input/output questions as expected, studying inputs/outputs really helped me have a solid foundation to understand all the processes and how they interact. I’m glad I passed on the first try…
~~ Xenia (Aug 2015)
I just wanted to let you know that you have another success story under your belt. After setting a goal to get my CSEP this last year, I started the application and distributed the paperwork for references. The application took longer than I had anticipated. Particularly, since this was not just a re-formatting of my resume. Instead, I had to spend the time to re-evaluate my experience in light of the table to document the amount of time against the various categories, and then I had to restate it in the terms that the review board was looking for.
A colleague recommended your class ... and I was glad to get into the Fall session. By the beginning of the class, all of my references were in with INCOSE, and everything hinged on the exam. I started to read the handbook beforehand, but I became overwhelmed with the amount of material. I stopped reading to focus on the course itself. I found that your level of organization was excellent, and you had restructured how best to read the handbook in a manner that made so much more sense. After the course, I then revisited the handbook and used your outline to read through the text. The material was now much clearer and there was no new material that I had to cover – your course did it. Three weeks later, 12/9, I took the exam. I worked through the test step by step and flagging those questions which I wanted to revisit. After several passes of the exam and biting my nails throughout the full 2 hours (less 45 seconds), I was greeted with the “You have Passed” screen on the computer. The next day, I received notification from INCOSE that they had received the test results and would begin the review of my application. Fast forward to after New Year’s … INCOSE sent me the email saying that I had been recognized and was now able to carry the CSEP letters.
I have been an SE practitioner for close to 20 years. Even with that experience, the exam was not easy, however I can easily say that your class provided the framework and terminology for the certification exam that I needed. Even more importantly, it has given me a formal reference as I look to improve the organization. I thank you for your time, I would strongly recommend your course to anyone contemplating the certification.
~~ Norman (Jan 2015)
I passed the CSEP exam today. The CSEP exam was as described by previous posters. I purchased your video course, because I could not find a face-2-face or online CSEP preparation course that met my timeline for obtaining the CSEP certification. I found the videos and course support material to very helpful. The way that you structured the course made the information easier to digest. The SE Process Flow Block Diagram was very helpful and well constructed. The practice questions prepared me well for the exam; since your questions were constructed from the INCOSE SE Handbook like the CSEP Exam. Used my 15 minutes of preparation time to reconstruct your SE Process Flow Block Diagram.
~~ Tony G (Sept 2014)
I just wanted to inform you that I took my exam today & passed - woot woot! I was ridiculously nervous because there was so much information to "memorize", but in the end I found the exam was more about the concepts.
As I began the test, I afraid I was going to flunk because hardly any of the questions being asked were phrased with the terminology of the handbook, as I've gotten used to; so I thought to myself, I don't recall seeing this in the handbook - oh no I don't know the answer! However, about 20 questions in, I took a deep breath, reminded myself I know this stuff, and began thinking of the concept the question was presenting and what was the most logical answer verses what do I remember the handbook saying about this topic. Equipped with this new perception, I began to realize the questions were actually quite simple. Knowledge did play a big role in knowing the inputs & outputs of the processes, what each process is suppose to achieve, etc. Thank you for the training videos and being available if I had any questions. Your explanations of certain things helped shape my understanding of Systems Engineering and enabled me to pass the exam.
~~ Jess B (Jun 21, 2014)
This course helped to tie all of the different processes together and put them all in context with the systems engineering life cycle. That was something that was very difficult to understand from the book itself. The processes otherwise seemed to overlap quite a bit. I think his high level flow diagram really brought that tie in full circle. I took the exam the first week in May and I passed the first time. For me, it was critical that I read the book once on my own prior to taking the course. It served as a refresher for me when Paul requested that we re-read certain sections of the book each week prior to the CSEP classes. I took all of his quizzes pre- and post-class. I think they were awesome because I wasn't exactly sure what types of questions would be asked. The practice exam on the SE Scholar site was a lot more difficult than the actual exam, but it probably took that for me to take studying for the exam a little more seriously. It definitely prepared me for reading through the question a couple of times just to make sure I got the intent of what the question was asking. In the book, there are a ton of examples of what to do, and what not to do. I think those examples are great for context, but I figured the exam would be primarily focused on the context diagrams, common approaches and tips, and elaborations. Those were what I focused on. Also, the ordering of the processes didn't really seem to matter in terms of what input came from what previous process. That was a relief for me. Definitions and understanding of Chapter 2 were important as well as the Specialty Engineering areas and Lifecycle Approaches. I would definitely recommend the SE Scholar course to anyone who is seeking an SE certification.
~~ Michelle (May 2014)
I can happily say that I too am an SE Scholar CSEP success story as I have passed the exam; (May 27, 2014). Paul is an excellent instructor who effectively shares his experience and knowledge of SE and uses it to explain the handbook concepts. Understanding the entire certification process, proper preparation of your application, and the documentation & categorization of your relevant SE work experience are critical, and Paul does an excellent job at communicating this to the class. It is not a cursory task, and the time required for completing the application really can take several days to do it right.
Paul has put forth tremendous effort into clearly organizing the course and its supporting materials, including the Process Flow Block Diagram which graphically puts all of the processes, inputs and outputs in relation with each other. There may seem to be a lot of information flow arrows, but knowing this diagram in its detail puts great perspective on the how all of the processes and activities work together, and will prepare you for many kinds of questions the test might throw at you.
The sample quizzes and practice test are very effective, and from my perspective, were more rigorous than the actual exam. It will definitely help you assess your mastery of each section of material. In many instances on the exam, the test questions and answers do not use the SE handbook language verbatim, and are worded vague or unclear (leading to some confusion). I also found that the questions were very brief and did not provide much context to understand what the objective was, and I had to re-read the answer choices to deduce what they were trying to ask. It is important not only to know the processes, activities, sub-activities, inputs and outputs, but also the names of tools, techniques, kinds of trade studies, specialty engineering activities (Chapter 9), etc.
The best of luck on your endeavor along the CSEP certification path!
~~ Greg (May 2014)
Just a quick note to thank you for your guidance and support in teaching the CSEP Prep course. I have been successful in passing the SEP exam...upon my first attempt. I sincerely thank you for your help and I truly believe that I would not have passed without taking your course. You certainly were able to make the class interesting and a positive learning experience.
The exam was challenging but I was prepared due to your "Process Flow Block Diagram" etched into my memory, along with the study guides, and practice exams. At first I thought it would be difficult to pass based on my initial scores but I kept taking it and reading the INCOSE Handbook. You really do need to read the handbook but it was the practice tests that enabled me to complete the test with 20 minutes left for review. I had barely enough time to review the questions that I had marked "for review". I thought the actual exam was a bit easier than the practice exams but it inspired me to study. Thanks again.
~~ Jerry (Oct 2013)
Just wanted to let you know I successfully passed the CSEP exam today. The exam was challenging, and prior to the test I was having anxiety on whether I was prepared or not. Luckily, I spent the majority of the time between our last class and today reviewing the course content, and actually re-reading the SE Handbook. Although it was the third time I read the chapters in detail, I realized after reviewing the information numerous times, how much the SE Processes and supporting documentation actually was more common sense.
For the exam, the best advice I have is to really read each questions completely, focusing on the words and intent. In addition, when reviewing the choices, look for patterns, use the process of elimination, and compare your answers to your question before moving on. It came to my attention that some of the wording was very deliberate. Yes, one word could change your answer. Last, as you walk through, keep a good pace while marking questions you might want to revisit after your finish. This is extremely important as some questions relate – i.e. later questions could give you some insight on questions you marked.
Even working your way up to the exam, make sure you study a little every night, and test yourself the next day to see what you retained. Beyond this, keep your SE hat on, and truly imagine you are the engineer implementing these processes. It will help you make better decisions on your answers.
Thanks again for your help. You are an excellent instructor, and I appreciate your examples and explanations.
~~ Tony (Oct 2013)
I took the CSEP exam today and passed! The class helped me prepare as well as the practice exams. … Your mega-process flow diagram was a really very useful as it served as a visual thread of all the context diagrams…. One thing I was surprised by the test is how questions were worded or not. To me it seemed as if the phrasing of the questions were not word-for-word as I expected (and studied). The takeaway for students is to understand the purpose and intent of a process, activity, or step and not to focus on the precise textbook wording. …. Thanks for all of your assistance.
~~ Chuck (Apr 2013)
I just returned from having taken the CSEP exam and I managed to PASS as well. ... Paul's materials are very helpful, especially the diagram and the listing of the various processes. I think that any prospective test taker should examine those thoroughly to recognize the specific names of the processes, their sequence in the flows, and a familiarity with their inputs/outputs.
~~Jim (May 2013)