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CONSOLIDATED ADVICE THREAD: Env PE Exam

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KYEnvEng    1

Test you took: PE Environmental Engineering

Where you took it: Louisville, KY

What books you brought with you: LOTS! I'll try to list them more-or-less in order of how useful they were to me.

Environmental Engineering Reference Manual

My personal binders of notes, quick references, common equations, unit conversions, regulations, chemical data, etc

Standard Handbook of Environmental Engineering (Corbett)

Hazardous Waste Management

Air Pollution Control

Intro to Environmental Engineering (Davis Cornwell)

Water & Wastewater Technology (Hammer & Hammer)

Wastewater Engineering (Metcalf Eddy)

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

Environmental Chemistry (2 volume set; Yen)

Practical Design Calc's (Kuo)

Environmental Engineering Review (Naimpally)

The Solid Waste Handbook

Aerosol Technology

Smoke Dust and Haze

I included solved problems in my binders that I had worked (while studying in advance) from basically every "sample test" and "sample problems" book I could get my hands on. I found that, during the test, I didn't have the time to locate similar problems that I had solved, but it was definitely helpful to have worked many problems in advance. (Please see my classified ad on here where I'm selling my "sample tests" and "sample problems" books - I have basically all of the available books. I have 7 different sample test/problem books.)

What books you actually used:

Mostly EERM and my extensive quick-reference binders that I created. If I remember correctly, these are the books I actually used during the exam:

Environmental Engineering Reference Manual

My personal binders of notes, quick references, common equations, unit conversions, regulations, chemical data, etc

Standard Handbook of Environmental Engineering (Corbett)

Hazardous Waste Management

Air Pollution Control

Intro to Environmental Engineering (Davis Cornwell)

Water & Wastewater Technology (Hammer & Hammer)

Wastewater Engineering (Metcalf Eddy)

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

What books did you wish you brought: Perhaps there are books I don't own that might have been helpful, but there weren't any books I left at home (like my Fluid Mechanics book or Geotechnical Engineering book or an OSHA book) that I felt would have helped me on any problems I might have missed.

General impression about exam and format: It went roughly how I expected it to go. The time goes by quickly, and I used all my available time. I felt relatively confident during the morning session, and somewhat less-so during the afternoon session. After taking the exam, I thought I had probably passed, but I wasn't sure.

Advice for future test takers: I spent a LOT of time making sure I knew how and where to QUICKLY find information I needed in my references. I made sure I was very familiar with all my references. You might have the "perfect" reference book with you for answering a certain question, but it's not going to help you if you're not already familiar with the book, what's in it, where to find the info you need, etc. Basically, I felt that being organized and prepared was perhaps the most important thing for me. Another "exam tip" I found helpful was that I basically skimmed all the questions first before working any of them, making note of which ones would be easy for me personally, which ones I basically had no idea how to solve, and which ones were somewhere in between. I solved all the easy ones first. Then moved to the "in between" questions. Then, as time permitted, I gave the questions that seemed most difficult a quick effort. If I had simply worked the questions in order, I probably would have spent way too much time on some of the hard questions (and possibly still missed them) and not even had time to get to the questions that were easy for me personally (due to my familiarity with the subject, having worked with the material, studied it extensively, or whatever the case may be).

Be organized, get there on time, try to relax (as best you can - I know it's not easy!), and watch your time to make sure you don't waste too much time on a single problem (or waste time searching blindly through your reference books).

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Janizzle    2

Hey! I've been meaning to do this for awhile, but now that Pennsylvania has finally issued me a PE license number and NCEES says that I passed (as of 1/21), I wanted to share my advice.

Test you took: PE Environmental

Where you took it: Philadelphia, PA

What books you brought with you:

  • Introduction to Environmental Engineering, Davis & Cornwell (a great book that covers just about everything)
  • Air Pollution Control, Cooper & Alley
  • Engineering Unit Conversions, Michael Lindenberg (HUGE time saver!)
  • Wastewater Engineering Treatment & Reuse, Metcalf & Eddy (a MUST for the exam!)
  • Hazardous Waste Management, LaGrega (a great book! I actually ordered this on Amazon used and it was already tabbed up really great!)
  • Water Supply and Pollution Control, Viessman & Hammer (very cheap, VERY useful - I didn't get until a couple of weeks until the exam and I'm glad I did!)
  • Environmental Sample Questions and Solutions, NCEES
  • Civil: Water Resources & Environmental Sample Questions and Solutions, NCEES (extremely helpful, gave me extra problems to practice! just skip the civil stuff in the front)
  • Environmental Law Handbook (not very useful during the exam)
  • Basic Environmental Technology (last minute buy and a complete waste)
  • Environmental Engineering Solved Problems, Lindenberg
  • FE Reference Manual (extremely helpful, thanks for the advice here on taking it!)
  • Environmental Engineering Review Manual
  • Practice Problems for the Environmental PE Exam, Lindenberg
  • Environmental Engineering Practice Exams
  • School of PE Notes and Practice Problems (3 Binders: Site Assessment/Remediation/Public Health & Safety, Air/HazWaste/Water Treatment, and Wastewater/Water Resources/Engineering Economics), plus recommended EPA Sheets on Remediation Technologies
  • NC State Course Notes in Binders (I think 2?)
  • Small Binder with home-made Index for each exam area citing useful page numbers for resources in textbooks, notes, and sample problems, and an index for key tables and figures in the EERM
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide (was able to order for free at the last minute)
  • Environmental Regulations Desk Reference binders, Lion Training (borrowed)
  • Emergency Response Guidebook (borrowed)
  • HAZWOPER Reference Manual (borrowed)
  • ACGIH References with TLV's and BEI's (borrowed)

What books you actually used:

  • EERM
  • School of PE Notes
  • NC State Notes (great hazardous waste information)
  • Davis & Cornwell (LOVE this book!)
  • LaGrega (so much information here)
  • Cooper & Alley (gave me a little boost, EERM covers air pretty well)
  • Viessman and Hammer
  • Engineering Unit Conversions
  • NCEES Civil WR&E and Environmental Sample Questions and Solutions
  • FE Reference Manual (got me a problem I wouldn't have otherwise)
  • Environmental Engineering Solved Problems
  • NIOSH (but couldn't find what I was looking for)
  • Environmental Regulations Desk Reference
  • My small binder with my indices

What books did you wish you brought: Clearly I brought a lot, LOL...but I did not buy the Practical Design Calculations for Groundwater and Soil Remediation by Kuo. I'm imagining it would have been extremely helpful in the afternoon. If I had failed, I believe not having this book would have been the reason, if that makes sense.

General impression about exam and format: Okay, so the Morning and Afternoon were two extremely different animals. When I did the Practice Exams, the morning topics were my biggest weakness...but somehow the morning was a breeze and the afternoon killed me! So clearly the Lindenberg problems are quite a bit tougher than the actual exam. I found overall, most questions were extremely straightforward and the "tricks" weren't that tricky. But often times you either had to know it or you didn't. The morning had questions on water, wastewater and waste management. The afternoon had engineering econ, health and safety, air, and remediation. The air questions were a little wilder than what I was expecting, health and safety had a lot of odd-balls and remediation was insane!!

Advice for future test takers:

  • Start studying as soon as possible. Don't wait until you're approved to sit for the exam. In Pennsylvania, it wasn't until August 20 or so when I received confirmation. I started collecting books in early July and while I did start studying in July, I didn't really push it until that confirmation came in the mail.
  • Buy used books if you can...old editions for the most part are fine. Make sure you KNOW your books well, or at least are comfortable with going through an index quickly. I did print out the index of the EERM but that wasn't terribly helpful during the exam.
  • I used two "milk crates" that I bought from Walmart to carry my books. They had to be about $7 a piece. I was able to carry these on a dolly I borrowed from work, straps and all. I had a bit of a hike from my car to the building but it wasn't that bad. I was able to easily set up a little bookcase at my desk. I thought this was better than storing it in a suitcase like a lot of others. Thankfully we were allowed to have more than one book on the table at a time.
  • It's been said but you really need to do a ton of problems and READ your reference books. Things start to stick the more you do it. It can be frustrating as hell but it gets better.
  • Re-read problems to make sure you're answering what has been asked. Circle, underline, cross out as needed.
  • Don't get lost in your books and miss an easy problem! I had a problem I meant to go back to that I knew how to do but got caught up trying to search through books!
  • I used the NC State Notes which were great, and I also did School of PE. They were both great but if I had to choose one I'd go with SOPE. The notes were invaluable for solving problems quickly.
  • Practice using ear plugs before the exam. And make sure you have a watch! It's amazing how quickly those last 15 minutes fly.

I am so relieved to have passed the exam. Thank you to EVERYONE for your advice that you've left over the years. Having my index full of references really made me comfortable with all of my materials, and while I did more page flipping in the afternoon, overall I felt in control. So glad to be done!!

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Dleg    2,641

Thanks for the excellent posting, Janizzle, and welcome to the Environmental PE club!


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Janizzle    2

Thanks for the excellent posting, Janizzle, and welcome to the Environmental PE club!

Thanks Dleg, glad to be a part of it! :)

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envirotex    789

  • Hazardous Waste Management, LaGrega (a great book! I actually ordered this on Amazon used and it was already tabbed up really great!)

I have been meaning to find a copy of LaGrega since everyone says it's such a good resource even outside of the exam...Thanks for the Amazon tip.

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joeenv    3

Hi all,



I posted this in a different topic section of the forum, and though it might be helpful in this discussion as well. I found the forum advice helpful when studying for the enviro exam, and hopefully can give back a bit in advising future takers, particularily in getting an idea on pulling together reference materials. I have a background in physical chemistry with a few engineering classes as well some pratical work experience, and was fortuante enough to pass first time the Environmental PE in 2010 and the Chemical PE last October.


For what’s its worth, here is a list of the main reference materials that I used for prepping and during the enviro exam:


  • Lindeberg Environmental Engineering Reference Manual
  • Wastewater Engineering, Metcalf and Eddy
  • Hazardous Waste Management, LaGrega and others
  • Air Pollution Control: A Design Approach, Cooper and Alley
  • Practical Design Calculations for Groundwater and Soil Remediation, Kuo

A few insights: It is easy to go overboard on bringing reference materials (and yes, I brought way more reference materials, and I found I didn't really need more than the references listed above). I think being very familar with a few core references (sort of a "less is more" approach), to point of where you can easily & quickly find information, is far more helpful than bringing a large number be of references that you might not be as familar with. One other insight, having a decent background/understanding of chemistry is a defintie plus (think mass transfer, phase change, basic thermo, etc.). Also I didn't take a review course, and while I think a review course can be helpful, I found making the time (and I realize how hard this can be with work, family, etc.) to simply work as many problems as possible in all the topic areas and improving understanding was what really helped in prepping for the exam.



Good luck to all future test takers!


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HAVOC4    4

Hello! I just passed the Environmental PE Exam (first attempt) in April 2015; below is a summary of my experience.

Test you took:

PE Environmental Engineering

Where you took it:

Columbia, SC

What books you brought with you:

POWERHOUSES – Resources that I heavily relied on to pass

  • ENVRM, 2nd Edition – Lindeburg (Not as comprehensive as I feel it could be but reliable.)
  • Intro to Environmental Engineering, 5th Edition – Davis & Cornwell (Classic that covers a ton. Wish I had this during grad school. It’s technical but an easy read; my dark horse candidate for my book of the exam.)
  • Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Resource Recovery, 5th Edition – Metcalf & Eddy/AECOM (Any wastewater-related question or concept is in this book, my international version came in 2 volumes)
  • Hazardous Waste Management, 2nd Edition – Lagrega (Solid, covered several exam topics in sufficient detail)
  • Engineering Unit Conversions, 4th Edition – Lindeburg (Saved me tons of time!)
  • NCEES FE Reference Handbook (My second dark horse candidate for book of the exam; definitely a must-have for the exam and contains more helpful exam information than many people realize.)
  • My test binder

GOOD HELP – Resources that assisted me on multiple questions

  • Basic Environmental Technology, 6th Edition – Nathanson & Schnieder (I call it the “Environmental Engineering for Dummies” book. Easy read, very helpful with helping me soak in the big concepts and has some unique jewels of info that could show up on the exam.)
  • Environmental Law Handbook, 22nd Edition (A must-have text in any environmental professional’s library.)
  • Air Pollution Control, 4th Edition – Cooper and Alley (Great technical text, another must-have text)
  • 2011/2012 Hazardous Materials, Substances & Wastes Compliance Guide (Basically the waste regulations in book form, I use it at work but I’m not sure how helpful it would have been if I didn’t have it tabbed for work purposes)
  • NCEES PE Environmental Sample Questions and Solutions, 2011 (Great starting point for studying and also for the chance familiar questions pop up on the exam.)
  • NCEES PE Civil: Water Resources and Environmental Practice Exam (Read above.)

OK – Resources used to answer an obscure question

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide for Chemical Hazards – Dept. of Health & Human Services

THE OTHERS – Items I didn’t need, but I would have been uncomfortable without them

  • 2012 DOT Emergency Response Guidebook
  • Practical Design Calculations for Groundwater and Soil Remediation, 2nd Edition – Kuo
  • Hydrology & Hydraulic Systems, 3rd Edition – Gupta
  • NCEES PE Environmental Sample Questions and Solutions, 2004
  • Environmental Engineering Practice PE Exams, 3rd Edition – Schneiter
  • Environmental Engineering Solved Problems, 3rd Edition – Schneiter
  • Practice Problems for the Environmental PE Exam, 2nd Edition - Lindeburg

What books you actually used:

See the book breakdown above; the “powerhouses” along with my personal binder were my technical backbone. Having my binder well organized saved me lots of time, as I had it organized by exam specifications and overall themes that kept showing up while I studied each topic. I think I ended up with 50 different sections in all. Along with charts, equations, and technical guides, all practice problems I worked that I deemed as “possible” were in the binder as well in their respective sections. The “good help” I would say was the difference between passing and failing, while the “OK” resources gave me some answer to questions I still to this day have no idea how to solve, but these types of questions change drastically from test to test so don’t take this list as the gospel. However, if you are trying to keep your resources as minimal as possible, stick to the powerhouses and good help sections on the list.

What books did you wish you brought:

Not sure if any additional text/resources would have helped me anymore than those I brought with me.

General impression about exam and format:

Working in regulatory compliance, I thought the morning was reasonable but due to my lack of experience with the water topics it was an overall struggle, especially with the conceptual questions (beside the regulatory questions). Either I knew how to solve the answer or I had no clue. I manage the industrial waste program at my employer (10 facilities in all) so I blazed through the solid waste questions. The morning followed the outline of the exam specifications and NCEES sample exams I took (Water Treatment, Waste Water, Solid waste, remediation, etc.). After the morning I felt beat. The afternoon followed the outline of the exam specs as well (air, remediation, EHS, Associated Engineering Principles, etc.). I honestly felt the afternoon was a little tougher but because of my experience with air, EHS, and overall math strengths I felt really confident in the problem solving aspect and grinding through the problems. Once again, the majority of regulatory questions were quick answers for me. I stayed the entire time for both sections but I felt much better in the afternoon than in the morning. Overall, the exam was similar in difficulty to the NCEES sample exam.

Advice for future test takers:

I have three technical tips for those taking the exam in the future:

1) If you feel you have enough discipline, you don’t need a prep class. I personally couldn’t afford the costs and my employer was not going to pay for one, so this worked out well for me. I had a strict study schedule (which you need with or without a class) of 4 hours/day for 6 days a week. I started studying in the middle of January so I had this schedule for 4 months. I honestly took 1 1/2 weeks off at the beginning of March because I started to wear down mentally, and this helped tremendously to get a second wind going into the exam. About a week before the exam I shortened my study time daily to about 1-2 hours and just read my resources, tightened up my equation sheets and test binder, and made sure I had everything I needed in the most accessible manner possible. This paid dividends on exam day.

2) Do several problems and simulate test conditions as much as possible. Your test day does not need to be the first time you continuously sat 4 hours in the same seat. If it is, you may be in for a long day. I started each study session with short, 3-5 question quizzes at the beginning of my study sessions using the resources I had, usually a mix of math, science, conceptual, and regulatory-based questions. This helped me get familiar with my resources as I solved or looked up answers to the quizzes. As I solved problems I focused on the topic or theme of the question, understanding the what, why, and how of each problem. Every other weekend, I took a 4-hour section just to get acclimated to sitting that long, and every month I did an 8-hour practice exam. The questions may change drastically from test to test, but the topics and themes, along with the time given for each section does not. There are a handful of overarching concepts that all environmental engineers should know, and you CANNOT pass this test without understanding them. Understanding the big concepts, reading your texts/resources, and practicing problem-solving will give you the capacity and confidence to solve problems on the exam and post-exam in your field that you did not know you had the guts/smarts to solve.

3) READ!!! Lots of practice problems and problems on exam day at initial glances appear as asking for one type of solution or answer, but are really asking for another type of solution. It could be differing units from what is presented in the problem, it could be a conceptual problem masking as a math problem, or vice versa. It could be some type of industrial, municipal, or treatment function that operates different than the 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year than many practice problems have established. I had a plan of completing problems in each section based on difficulty or type (e.g. 1 for easy, 2 for medium, 3 for conceptual, and 4 for hard) and this almost backfired on me because some problems I initially declared “easy” took much longer. Some of the “hard” problems that I almost didn’t even get to due to time were very simple and straightforward to solve after reading through the entire question. And again, read your texts, not only to tab them but to pick up some obscure knowledge that you can hopefully use for those 1 or 2 questions that come from outer space on the exam.

This forum was great in assisting me get together a solid game plan to prepare me in passing the exam the first time. Read the tips and see what works or does not work for you. Create a game plan and trust it, but do be afraid to change it mid-stream if you are not progressing as you feel you should. Take of yourself physically, get your rest as needed (physical and mental), and relax. Besides the technical skill and preparation, you need the moxy to grind through the test whenever you hit a rough spot or consecutive questions you have no idea how to solve. You have put in the work, prepared very well, and you are focused yet relaxed. You will be ready to pass. Best wishes, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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Dleg    2,641

I agree - one of the best, HAVOC4! Thank you for taking the time to pass on your knowledge.



I used a similar study approach to yours. No test prep services. I recommend this approach to most people. There's no substitute for truly understanding the overarching principles, as you put it, and nobody else but you can ensure that you really understand it.



Excellent write-up, you show some real ability to write. And by that I mean not just the mechanics and grammar, but also the organization of your post. That's really hard to find in engineers, and will set you apart as time goes by, whether you are working in the regulatory or consultant world.


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Blue 8    17

That was very well done Havoc. I'll add my advice after I finish this move overseas. My mind is all over the place.

*Future Post*

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Wootan    0

Guys-A newbie question here. How in-depth are the Math questions on the Environmental section of the PE? Do they go in to details such as Probability, Matrices etc.? I am trying to economize time and thought I could use your input. 

 

Thanks!

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Dleg    2,641

I think that's a good question, and one that naturally comes up with all test takers because of the dedicated chapter in the ENVRM (same thing with some of the other chapters on "basics" like thermo).  I don't think you need to necessarily practice pure math or read the chapter.  If you study hard and do lots of practice problems, you will get pretty well refreshed on your math skills and can handle whatever random math question(s) they decide to throw at you.  You might only get one or two of them anyway, so best not to waste too much time specifically studying up on math, except as you need to be able to solve the relevant subject matter problems.  

Then again, if you are many years out of school and feel shaky with math, some brushing up might be beneficial.  I didn't bother before the exam, and I passed.  A while later, though, just before starting grad school, I went through the "great courses" Calculus 1 DVD course, and found it to be really beneficial for that purpose, and got me back up to speed not only on basic calc but also all the algebra and pre-calc stuff like logarithms & trig.  I'd highly recommend that, if you feel you need the extra work, but otherwise I wouldn't worry about it.

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Wootan    0

Dleg-Thanks, much appreciated. I had just started my preparation a few weeks back, and I agree with your response. They rarely seem to ask a straight Math question, but brushing up helps in general. 

 

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Wootan    0

Thanks Dleg!

Here goes:

I recently passed the Environmental PE Exam on my first attempt in April 2017. Below are a few notes which may be helpful to future test takers:  

Test you took:

PE Environmental Engineering

Where you took it:

MD

What books you brought with you:

PRIORITY LIST – Books/notes that I referenced through the exam and couldn’t have done without.

  • An index made covering all topics/target words leading me to the appropriate page of each and every reference I used. It probably took me 20-30 hours just to put it together but it was time well spent. It was a 11 x 17 binder, color coded, for different sections, which was useful in finding out where to look for during the exam. Use it often during the prep to familiarize yourself with it and fine tune it to add topics as required.
  • School of PE Notes and associated solved questions
  • Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Resource Recovery, 5th Edition – Metcalf & Eddy/AECOM
  • Air Pollution Control, 4th Edition – Cooper and Alley (Great technical text, another must-have text)-This book is fantastic. I would suggest solving the problems at the back of the book as well to get a firm grip on the concepts.
  • Treatment and Resource Recovery, 5th Edition – Metcalf & Eddy/AECOM
  • Hazardous Waste Management, 2nd Edition – Lagrega
  • Engineering Unit Conversions, 4th Edition – Lindeburg-Probably the book I used the most. Fantastic resource!
  • ENVRM, 3nd Edition – Lindeburg-Decent enough book, but not as helpful as I hoped it would be before I started preparation

 SECOND LIST– Resources that assisted me on multiple questions

  • Intro to Environmental Engineering, 5th Edition – Davis & Cornwell
  • Practical Design Calculations for Groundwater and Soil Remediation, 2nd Edition – Kuo
  • Environmental Law Handbook-Got me a couple of questions so I was chuffed I purchased this

·        Water Supply and Pollution Control / Edition 8 by Warren Viessman Jr.Mark J. HammerElizabeth M. PerezPaul A. Chadik

·        NCEES PE Environmental Sample Questions and Solutions, 2011

  • NCEES PE Civil: Water Resources and Environmental Practice Exam-Very under-rated. I would highly suggest answering the relevant questions as part of the preparation

THIRD LIST – Resources used to answer an obscure question

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide for Chemical Hazards – Dept. of Health & Human Services

·        Environmental Sampling and Analysis: A Practical Guide-Keith, Lawrence H. (Helped me answer one question I wouldn’t have found anywhere else)

·        NCEES FE Reference Handbook-Didn’t use it though

What books you actually used:

Almost all of them at various times during the exam. I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with all the books prior to taking the exam and tabbing/marking them up.

What books did you wish you brought:

None 

General impression about exam and format:

As a wastewater engineer, I thought the morning was a breeze. I was unsure about maybe 3-4 questions. The conceptual questions can be whacky but the right resources should tide you over.  The solid waste questions had to be read and re-read closely to decipher what was being asked. Once I figured that out (only applicable to some questions), I could trot through them. I didn’t have time to check my answers, but I wasn’t grasping for time as well. I paced myself well and skipped a question if I didn’t know it and came back later to it. If I couldn’t solve it or I knew it was a dead end question, I guessed.

The afternoon was more challenging. There were a few questions (4-5) that weren’t (at least to me) spelt out properly and were not clear in what they were asking. I cannot emphasize it enough, but please read the questions carefully and if you must make a guess, use your knowledge but also intuition. I over analyzed a few conceptual questions that I shouldn’t have which resulted in at least 2 mistakes I could have avoided. All in all, keeping the pace and thinking through the questions should get you through as long you have put in the right preparation and questions aren’t downright very tough. Overall, I felt that the exam was a little easier (definitely the first section) than the NCEES sample exam.

Advice for future test takers:

I have three technical tips for those taking the exam in the future:

1)     If you require structure and solid study material, I would recommend the School of PE. They in no way cover all that would be asked on the exams, but they try and do a thorough job of covering most aspects of what maybe on the exam. I took their online course (I started in early Jan so used their Fall pre-recorded lessons-but the material even for the Spring prep is very similar). Some instructors are great, and the notes for the most part, are comprehensive. Not that taking this course means you wouldn’t have to familiarize yourself with other reference material, but it gives an outline, good practice questions and a structure to your preparation.

2) Practice as many questions as you can (School of PE, Practice Exams, and Cooper/Alley back of the book questions). I thought that the PPI practice questions were way harder than any I have come across, so don’t feel disheartened if you can’t solve those, since they are tough. Keeps your brain active though, if you have run out of practice questions.  Familiarize yourself with all the resources and tab them during your prep. I delayed tabbing one or two books till the last month and spent some time I could have saved.


3) Stay calm during the exam. If meditation/breathing helps you during or before the test, do that. Do not let nerves get the better of you at any time during the exam as that may hinder your ability to think. The test is challenging so staying in control helps immensely. Thoroughly read the questions and try not overthinking (easier said than done, but if you can, you may save yourself the grief of realizing you missed easy questions!) Have snacks/water/gum on you and use the restroom prior to starting the test so you do not lose those precious few minutes.

The advice here from past test takers helped me get organized. I would suggest starting preparing at least 105 to 120 days in advance. Get the administrative tasks of registering etc. out of the way before beginning prep as it will help you stay focused. Take breaks as required and do not let this suck the life out of you. I took a week’s break away from books between my preparation and it helped me rejuvenate. Having a solid work life balance is under rated and I realized that it helped me immensely during this time.

For the exam itself, pick a strategy that suits you and do a dry run of the same during the practice run. Time yourself and retake the test if you feel weak on certain concepts. Practice, practice and practice! Good luck!

 

 

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Dleg    2,641

Great post, @Wootan!  Thanks especially for the tip on a good sampling and monitoring reference - that was something I and many others who have posted here have regretted not having.  I will probably pick up a copy for my own library, since it seems reasonably priced.

I agree on the NCEES PE Civil: Water Resources and Environmental Practice Exam. I ran through all of these problems before taking the enviro exam, too, and it was definitely helpful.  As I have stressed throughout this forum for years, there is really nothing better than doing lots, and lots of practice problems.  I agree with your point that the exam prep courses may be useful for some as an organization aid, but they really won't do any more than that if you don't practice, practice, and practice.

Thanks for lending your advice, and best of luck with your career as a PE!  Next, consider the BCEE...

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EnvPERose    0

Hello!
 

A newbie here, thank you to all for your great recommendations for references provided in this forum!  Here's hoping there's someone out there still following this forum to help answer a question about one of the references... I have been borrowing some of these references through my local library Inter-library Loan program so I can review to decide which books to purchase.  I am finding there are two Metcalf references - one is Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Resource Recovery and the other one is Wastewater Engineering Treatment and Reuse.  Does anyone know what the difference is between the two references?  I reviewed the table of contents for both and it appears both of them have the same topics with the first one (Resource Recovery) being more advanced with additional topics and more recent technology development info in it? 

Thank you!

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EnvPERose    0

Maybe a better question to ask - which reference presents concept/material clearly and has the most relevant practice problems for preparing for the ENV PE exam?

Thank you!

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Dleg    2,641

I think one is just the most recent edition of the same book.  The one I have is titled "... treatment and reuse" which I think is the 2004 edition, so the other one might be newer?  I am not sure if the newer edition would give you any more value, but if the price difference isn't much, I always recommend the newer editions (especially if you will ever actually do wastewater treatment design).  If you can get the older edition significantly cheaper, I think it would be just fine for the exam.  

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EnvPERose    0

I think you are right, looking at the McGraw Hill website, latest shows two books authored by Metcalf -  One is the 5th Edition (2014) - Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Resource Recovery.  The second one is titled Water Reuse - 1st Edition (2007).  I could not find a later version than 4th Edition for Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Reuse past 2004.   I will request all three books through the lLL program to see which one I like the best for my purchase.  Thank you!

 

 

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