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Nio796

FE Passed.. Need Help to prepare for PE. Civil now

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Hi All,


I got the letter that I passed my FE :) in my first attempt. I was so sure that I did bad and had to take the test again but in the end I passed .. yahooooo... I graduated in 2004 so going back and preparing for general FE was hard for me but I did it.



Now next step is PE, civil. I need some help from all of you that what should be my next step? I have some books and will post the list later today. Mean while I have a question that is it possible to study through books and not from any online lecture? I am currently low on budget and trying not to pay $2000 for online classes.



Thank you all


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First questions: Which discipline test will you be sitting for within Civil? Which state do you live in?


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^ that's not fair. don't scare him about the PCS


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NIO, I did not attend any classes. I purchased the Morning Breadth and Afternoon Depth packages from PPI. In total this cost me $800. I took the civil construction and all of the recommended references (i.e. ACI 318-08) I was able to obtain for free from the library. I believe that the classes are only beneficial if you are not able to stick to your own study plan. Most of the topics are simple enough to teach to yourself as you are working through the CERM, and you will be surprised at how much comes back to you from your undergrad. It took me about 110 hours of "quality" study time to prepare for the test this way. By quality studying, I mean totally void of distractions, TV, Internet, kids, etc. To accomplish this I had to go to Panera Bread everyday for 3 hours and 8 hours a day on weekends. I wore earplugs and got plenty of coffee refills to keep me alert. Library atmospheres did not work for me because a) they closed too early, b) I would zone out/go insane and empty rooms, and c) They typically did not allow food or drinks (coffee).



Good Luck! P.S Texas AM puts out free Civil PE Courses, just "Google" it and you will find videos with associated pdf study guides.


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Thanks Jonny. That's some valuable info. With no kids and pets I think I can get some good studying time :)

Jarrowsm, I am in Chicago IL and will take civil construction exam in April.

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Thanks Jonny. That's some valuable info. With no kids and pets I think I can get some good studying time :)

Jarrowsm, I am in Chicago IL and will take civil construction exam in April.

Great! Then you probably don't have any funky state specific stuff happening (like CA).

1) First go to your state board's webpage and find out when their application for the PE exam is due. If you hope to sit in the spring, it's probably due sometime this month or next month. You have to get approved by your state before you actually apply for the exam. So, if you're on NCEES, they have a different deadline. This application takes some effort- you'll need to contact your college and have transcripts sent, get colleagues to sign off on your work experience...basically, it's going to take you a few days to a few weeks to get everything together. So that's your top priority.

2) Check with your employer to see what they are willing to cover cost-wise. Will they cover your application fees and exam fees? Will they cover a review course?

3) Preparation: go to NCEES and print out the exam specs for construction. Read this first- this will tell you which areas are covered on the exam. Don't panic.

4) Be prepared to set aside 2-3 months before the exam to study. If you can't make a commitment of your time, consider postponing to a later session when you have that time available. The amount of time is different for everyone. Don't get nervous when you see some folks say they put in 400 hours of study time. Everybody's starting from different points and everybody reviews differently.

Once you get through 1-4, then you can start coming up with a study plan and buying reference material. You will have no shortage of advice when it comes to that!

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The April deadlines are all pretty much like this week. What is the time/experience requirement for IL?



I passed the FE in April, and was planning on taking the PE in MD in October, they just want 12 years total experience. My home state, PA, requires 4 years between FE and PE.


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IL's deadline for applications is February 7, according to CTS's website.



In IL you can take the exam before you have 4 years of experience. If you pass, you just submit verification forms filled out by your supervisor to IDFPR. They might have you submit clarifications and such, I think the PE I worked under needed to elaborate on a project I worked on.


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The April deadlines are all pretty much like this week. What is the time/experience requirement for IL?

I passed the FE in April, and was planning on taking the PE in MD in October, they just want 12 years total experience. My home state, PA, requires 4 years between FE and PE.

That's the "non-academic" option for Maryland. That option doesn't even require the FE.

If you take the traditional path, and graduate from an ABET college, and pass the FE, the requirement is 4 years engineering experience.

There's also another path, in which you go to a non ABET school, and pass the FE, in which case the requirement is 8 years of engineering experience.

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Thanks Jonny. That's some valuable info. With no kids and pets I think I can get some good studying time :)

Jarrowsm, I am in Chicago IL and will take civil construction exam in April.

Great! Then you probably don't have any funky state specific stuff happening (like CA).

1) First go to your state board's webpage and find out when their application for the PE exam is due. If you hope to sit in the spring, it's probably due sometime this month or next month. You have to get approved by your state before you actually apply for the exam. So, if you're on NCEES, they have a different deadline. This application takes some effort- you'll need to contact your college and have transcripts sent, get colleagues to sign off on your work experience...basically, it's going to take you a few days to a few weeks to get everything together. So that's your top priority.

2) Check with your employer to see what they are willing to cover cost-wise. Will they cover your application fees and exam fees? Will they cover a review course?

3) Preparation: go to NCEES and print out the exam specs for construction. Read this first- this will tell you which areas are covered on the exam. Don't panic.

4) Be prepared to set aside 2-3 months before the exam to study. If you can't make a commitment of your time, consider postponing to a later session when you have that time available. The amount of time is different for everyone. Don't get nervous when you see some folks say they put in 400 hours of study time. Everybody's starting from different points and everybody reviews differently.

Once you get through 1-4, then you can start coming up with a study plan and buying reference material. You will have no shortage of advice when it comes to that!

Thank you. For me 1 & 2 are done so I will work on 3 & 4. I believe once I have the topics to cover, I can ask specific questions.

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I somewhat disagree with the 400 hours requirement. When I first started out studying, I literally read the CERM page by page and tried to figure out nearly every topic. This was taking me FOREVER and might have taken 400 hours. I than realized that a lot of the stuff I was studying did not apply to me and would only apply to those taking the depth section in that specific area. What first comes to mind is the structural section in the CERM. There is a lot of information in there that you will not need if you are taking the construction depth. You should try to focus your studies on what NCEES tells you will be on the test. After tailoring my studies to only the required information I found myself quickly working through the topics and that now I could spend the bulk of my time working problems. Working problems is really where you hone your skills, learn your weaknesses, and by repetition start to memorize little tidbits like the unit weight of water, or the weight of concrete, etc. Bottom line is by doing this I was able to cut study time down to 110 hours or so. I would also like to caveat by saying that only you will know what the right amount of study time is for you.


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For Civil Breadth & Construction Depth Exam


So here is list of all the books I have so far...


  1. Civil PE Sample Exam (Lindeburg)
  2. CERM 10th Edition (is it useful or not since I have 12th edition now)?
  3. CERM 12th Edition
  4. Construction Module, Practice problems (Ruwan Rajapakse)
  5. Construction Module, Exam, 3rd Edition (Ruwan Rajapakse)
  6. NCEES Civil Construction Sample questions & Solutions
  • I read from the forum that there are some practice problems by Dr Mansoor and they are good. Is it worth it to buy that?
  • Also I downloaded NCEES Design standards and specifications. It has total 9 standards.. Do I need all of them? (ASCE 37-02, NDS, CMWB, AISC, OSHA, ACI 318-08, ACI 347-04, ACI SP-4, MUTCD-Pt 6)

I will ask later for once I have a study plan for more details and specifications.


Thank you all...


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Yes you need all of the 9 standards. Also I would recommend that you get the 13th edition CERM. I do not have any experience with 4 or 5 above. I do recommend the PPI Construction Manual. Most important of all, PPI puts out a problems book that goes along with CERM and I consider this a must. Otherwise you have no way to test what you just studied in the CERM.



Also I believe there is a downloadable excel study schedule at learncivilengineering.com. If you cannot find it I have a copy that I can post.


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Thanks Johnnyusma08,


I will get the CERM 13 and other standards. I also downloaded the schedule and its very helpful. I am excited to start my studies :)


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Thanks Johnnyusma08,

I will get the CERM 13 and other standards. I also downloaded the schedule and its very helpful. I am excited to start my studies :)

Honestly, I'm not sure you need the 13th edition if you have the 12th. There should only be minor differences- small corrections in errata that should be listed somewhere. You can ask others, but I don't think I'd spend the $250. I saw lots of people using older editions at the PE exam.

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From PPI:



Why Upgrade to the 13th Edition?
  • Updates to current exam-adopted codes and standards for:
    • AASHTO: AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, 5th ed., 2010
    • ACI 318: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete, 2008
    • ACI 530: Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures, 2008
    • IBC: International Building Code, 2009

  • Modifications to concrete and masonry chapters to be consistent with NCEES' revised structural specifications
  • New content, including:
    • A new chapter on highway bridge rating
    • 31 chapters with revisions to existing material
    • 10 chapters with new material
    • 51 revised equations
    • 13 new equations
    • 15 revised tables
    • 2 new tables
    • 19 revised examples
    • 5 new examples
    • 3 revised appendices
    • 13 revised figures
    • 6 new figures
    • 130 new index entries to new and existing material

  • Removal of all ACI 318 App. C theory, equations, and examples to be consistent with the NCEES requirement of exclusive use of ACI 318 unified strength methods
  • Continued relevance to current technology and modern methods with updates, clarifications, and revisions to existing content



I'm not sure how relevant all of that is to the construction depth. Those code updates may be useful- or they may be more structural depth.


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Hmmm Thanks for the tip, I will see if I can get one copy from someone and go over some pages to compare if there is any difference or not.


I have the same experience while I was studying FE and FE manual was the same with some design change etc. As long as the content is same I think I might stick to CERM 12.


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From PPI:

Why Upgrade to the 13th Edition?

  • Updates to current exam-adopted codes and standards for:

    • AASHTO: AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, 5th ed., 2010

  • ACI 318: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete, 2008

ACI 530: Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures, 2008

IBC: International Building Code, 2009

Modifications to concrete and masonry chapters to be consistent with NCEES' revised structural specifications

New content, including:

  • A new chapter on highway bridge rating

31 chapters with revisions to existing material

10 chapters with new material

51 revised equations

13 new equations

15 revised tables

2 new tables

19 revised examples

5 new examples

3 revised appendices

13 revised figures

6 new figures

130 new index entries to new and existing material

Removal of all ACI 318 App. C theory, equations, and examples to be consistent with the NCEES requirement of exclusive use of ACI 318 unified strength methods

Continued relevance to current technology and modern methods with updates, clarifications, and revisions to existing content

I'm not sure how relevant all of that is to the construction depth. Those code updates may be useful- or they may be more structural depth.

Thanks :)

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The April deadlines are all pretty much like this week. What is the time/experience requirement for IL?

I passed the FE in April, and was planning on taking the PE in MD in October, they just want 12 years total experience. My home state, PA, requires 4 years between FE and PE.

That's the "non-academic" option for Maryland. That option doesn't even require the FE.

If you take the traditional path, and graduate from an ABET college, and pass the FE, the requirement is 4 years engineering experience.

There's also another path, in which you go to a non ABET school, and pass the FE, in which case the requirement is 8 years of engineering experience.

This route always confused me. I wasn't sure about if you really needed the FE or not, but I took it because I will need FE for most other states.

I'm in the "non-traditional" bracket, I have a degree, but it is in Land Planning, but I'v been working in CE for 15+ years. I was planning to test in MD, then apply for reciprocity in PA when my four (now three) years are up.

Someone mentioned IL had a deadline of February. Is that for first time applicants?

Do we know anyone who ever did the "non-academic" route in MD?

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The April deadlines are all pretty much like this week. What is the time/experience requirement for IL?

I passed the FE in April, and was planning on taking the PE in MD in October, they just want 12 years total experience. My home state, PA, requires 4 years between FE and PE.

That's the "non-academic" option for Maryland. That option doesn't even require the FE.

If you take the traditional path, and graduate from an ABET college, and pass the FE, the requirement is 4 years engineering experience.

There's also another path, in which you go to a non ABET school, and pass the FE, in which case the requirement is 8 years of engineering experience.

This route always confused me. I wasn't sure about if you really needed the FE or not, but I took it because I will need FE for most other states.

I'm in the "non-traditional" bracket, I have a degree, but it is in Land Planning, but I'v been working in CE for 15+ years. I was planning to test in MD, then apply for reciprocity in PA when my four (now three) years are up.

Someone mentioned IL had a deadline of February. Is that for first time applicants?

Do we know anyone who ever did the "non-academic" route in MD?

John,

I am not sure if this will relate to your question or not but I had my engineering (non ABET) degree from outside of USA. When I applied for FE/PE after enough experience, IL board told me that I lack some credit hours in science and humanities subject, 34 credit hours to be exact. Even though I had my masters in construction management from here (USA) I ended up going back to school to acquire those missing hours. BTW this was not required in any other state but just in IL.

Anyway I will recommend to evaluate your credentials from NCEES and then they can send that to your state board which will determine if you need more hours or can take the exam right away.

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This route always confused me. I wasn't sure about if you really needed the FE or not, but I took it because I will need FE for most other states.

I'm in the "non-traditional" bracket, I have a degree, but it is in Land Planning, but I'v been working in CE for 15+ years. I was planning to test in MD, then apply for reciprocity in PA when my four (now three) years are up.

Someone mentioned IL had a deadline of February. Is that for first time applicants?

Do we know anyone who ever did the "non-academic" route in MD?

There was one guy at the PE review class I took at UMD who was taking the experience track. His degree was in forestry, but his career had transitioned into stream restoration work. Can't really tell you much more than that, but yes, people do it. :B

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Someone mentioned IL had a deadline of February. Is that for first time applicants?

According to the CTS website and the way I read it, that deadline is for all applicants that have passed the FE and have an ABET accredited degree, both first time test takers and repeat takers.

Their website also states that people without ABET accredited degrees need to apply directly to IDFPR. I would assume that their deadline is the same.

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Thank you all for your valuable info and help. I passed civil construction PE in my first try :)

Thanks again and enjoy your weekend. Adios

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