For those who have taken the EA Exams (2F or 2L) which available materials did you find most helpful. I’ve been recommended Rick G (who I believe is associated with TIA) however, I find manuals to be more helpful than video lessons.
Any advice is appreciated.
I too find manuals more helpful. For both exams, I purchased the ACTEX manuals, the course outline and review questions from ASM, and the solutions manual from ASM.
The ASM course outline is bullet point format. I find it very difficult to read. The ACTEX manual seems to tell a coherent story (there is flow among the paragraphs rather than just a list of hundreds of bullet points). Due to this, I relied heavily on the ACTEX manual. In fact, due to time constraints, I virtually didn’t use the ASM course notes at all.
The ACTEX manual’s quality, however is…bad. On EA-2L I sent to ACTEX a list of ~70 issues (ranging from minor typos to misleading explanations to info that was just 100% wrong) after I took the exam. I had checked the errata already—these were issues that were not in the errata. I’m not sure if they acted on it to improve the manual or not. On EA-2F, I gave up on tracking everything that was wrong with it. Any time ACTEX was unclear or I wanted to confirm it was right, I did use the ASM course outline to confirm.
After learning the material, I went to the practice tests (historical exams). I seem to remember on one question, ACTEX actually had an answer that didn’t match the official answer released by the joint board. So I used the ASM for all my practice test checking, and it was pretty good.
After it all, I passed both exams on my first try. I’m not sure I would have changed my study method, though I wish the ACTEX were of a higher quality. I think it comes down to—can you digest a wall of bullet points? If so, go ASM. If not, go ACTEX and know that a small portion of the info may not be accurate. If you have the money (or company is paying), it may be worth getting ASM solutions manual regardless.
Given that I didn’t go through the whole ASM course outline, maybe it has some issues too. I think it tends to get better reviews than the ACTEX though.
It’s been a long time since I passed EA-2A and 2B, but I preferred ASM. This is no hit on Rick G (he was a great resource on-line), but I just don’t learn from audio.
For EA-2A (now EA-2F), I worked all exam problems post-PPA (unfortunately, the transition questions in 2006-2010 can be quite useless). You should have more options now.
For EA-2B (now EA-2L), I worked all exam problems since the mid 90s (when NDT took its current form).
I forgot to mention that the ACTEX website has a free 1-day trial for both the ACTEX and ASM study materials if you’re interested in getting a feel for them.
I thought Rick G was great, but also fairly certain he retired at the end of last year. His TIA videos were pretty much all I needed to pass. Not sure if someone else took over for him. possibly.
I normally don’t learn well from a live class, but the ability to pause or play it at double speed was invaluable in overcoming my ADD tendencies and somehow the online lectures were great for me.
edit - looks like on the TIA website it lists both Rick G and Susan Lee. Guessing it is a combination of both with Susan Lee taking over for the more recent stuff.
Thank you all for your thoughts!