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Useful References for Power PE Exam.

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I passed the Power PE exam this October on my first attempt. Here are the references I used and my opinion about them. 

  1. The Electrical Engineer’s Guide to Passing The Power PE Exam, A.S. Graffeo : (Highly recommended)

This is a very good book to use when you are just starting the PE preparation. One thing to keep in mind is this book does not cover all the topics, also examples in this book are easier compared to actual problems in the exam. None the less a good starting point. I used formulas in this book for few problems during the exam.

  1. Complex Imaginary Practice Exams: (Good for initial study, but don’t spend too much time on this)

Another book to use when you are just starting to prepare for the exam. Has lots of practice problems but they get repetitive.Problems in this book are a lot easier than the actual exam so don’t waste too much time on these practice exams. Still a good book to have for starting your PE preparation.

  1. Electrical Machines, Drives and Power Systems by Wildi: (Highly recommended)

I love this book and highly recommend this book to everyone preparing for Power PE exam. It is useful for so many topics like Electric Machines, Devices and Power Electronics Circuits, Transformers. This book explains theory in a simple and easy to understand manner. It has lot of good solved problems. It also has ton of quality practice problems at the end of each chapter. I found the solution manual online for these practice questions and solved lot of these practice problems which gave me confidence going into the exam.

  1. Power System Analysis – Grainger: (Good Book) 

I used this book a lot during my  preparation for Fault Current Analysis, Transformer, Transmission Line Models, Power System Stability. This book covers lot of theory but does not have many solved problems. I have mixed feeling about this book. I did not find this book too useful during the exam, I probably used it for couple of questions. I will still recommend this book unless you have some other book that covers these topics in detail. 

  1. Eng Pro Guides: (Technical Guide is okay, but the two practice exams are good)

I bought all three books because I wanted more practice questions. ( Power PE Technical Guide, Power PE Full Practice Exam, Power PE Code Reference Practice Exam).  I did not find the Technical Guide to be of particular use since I already had Graffeo’s book which is similar to the Eng Pro Guides -Technical Guide. But the practice exams are definitely helpful. Questions in the practice exam were difficult than Graffeo. Please keep in mind that Protection Questions in actual exam were much more difficult than Eng Pro Guide’s practice exam.

  1. NCEES Power PE Practice exam: (Must Have)

Another must have study material, especially for first time test takers who do not know what to expect in the exam. This practice exam gives you decent idea of what type of questions to expect in the exam. Before I started my full throttle preparation for PE,  I glanced through this exam without actually solving any problems. This gave me a good idea of what type of questions to prepare for. So when I started studying I wasn’t studying aimlessly. I organized my study material and schedule accordingly. This helped my confidence knowing what I was studying will be useful for the exam. Then towards the end of my preparation, I sat one weekend and took this practice exam. Solved first part on Saturday and second part on Sunday. I timed both sessions, so I got the feel of the exam. The actual exam was more difficult than this practice exam.

  1. NEC 2017: (Obviously a Must Have)

NEC is a vast book and you can’t read the entire code book. So you have to come up with a strategy. What I would recommend is studying & understanding certain topics which are asked frequently in the exam like Grounding, Motors, Transformers, Conductor sizing, load/demand calculations and for rest get familiar with the main index. So whenever you come across a question that you are not familiar with try to narrow it down to a section of NEC using the Main Index and after that go to that section and then use detailed index in that section to further narrow down the question to a particular sub-section or a page. Sometimes index at the back is also helpful. That’s the technique I used and it worked for me. 

      8. NESC 2017 (Must Have)

NESC is not as vast as NEC and questions that are asked tend to be from few select sections. I did not study the entire NESC, just got familiar with few topics. Used highlighters and tabs to easily find those sections.

  1. NFPA 70E (Must Have)

You can expect at least 2 questions from this. This is not a huge code-book like NEC. Easy to get familiar with some key sections. Learn different definitions, especially different approach boundaries. Get familiar with different techniques of incident energy calculations.   

  1. Protective Relaying Principles and Applications, Blackburn:( Good Book)

I did not study much from this book. I work on TCCs, Relays, different protection schemes on almost daily basis, plus my Masters was in Power with specialization on Power System Protection. I have good understanding of the basic concepts, so I did not spend a lot of time preparing for the protection part. But I referred to this book once in a while. If you are not familiar with Protection then I will recommend studying from this book along with IEEE Std. 242. Some important topics to learn: Fault analysis, PU calculations, different protection schemes, how to calculate primary side fault current, try to understand basics of Time Current Curves and co-ordination, Transformer Thermal Damage Curves, Motor Starting Curves, Distance Protection. Practice how to select relay pickup based on fault current and CT ratio. 

  1. IEEE Std. 242 (Protection and Coordination of Industrial & Commercial Power System) : 

Another good reference for Power System Protection. 

  1. Personal Notes:( Highly Recommended) 

I highly recommend making your personal notes/binder. Try to keep it well organized. Write down important formulas, notes. For non-code related questions, I ended up using my notes the most, followed by Graffeo, Wildi, Grainger ( in that order). 

  1. NCEES FE Reference Manual: 

This was my main reference for Engineering Economics questions. 

  1. Other than the material listed above, I prepared a binder consisting of online articles on Batteries, Ground Resistance & Insulation testing, Harmonics , Interest Tables (more detailed version than FE Reference Manual) & Reliability.

 

No matter how much you prepare or how much study material you carry with yourself, there will always be few problems where none of the study material helps. I will recommend not wasting too much time on such questions in the exam. Make an educated guess and move on. I would rather double check and make sure I did not make any stupid mistake on the questions I thought were easy. There were few lengthy questions in the exam, which were actually very easy if you can separate out the unwanted information. All the best for the exam !!!  

Edited by EE2PE
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Which NFPA 70E did you use? 2018 is already out and not sure if there is much difference between 2015 and 2018. The NCEES doesn't say which one to use. For NEC , they say 2017. 

 

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I used 2015 version. I have a copy of NFPA-70E 2018 but I have not gone through it to see what changed. 

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This is a really awesome list.  I concur with nearly everything and I believe this list will be very helpful to future test takers.  I think it would also be very beneficial, if you were to share your links for the Applications & Measurement/Instrumentation sections?   I have a list for most of these items on the link below, but I was really wondering about what you used.

Measurement and Instrumentation:  Instrument Transformers, Insulation Testing, Ground Resistance Testing

Applications:  Lightning Protection, Surge Protection, Reliability, Illumination, Energy Efficiency, Demand Calculations, Energy Management & Grounding

http://engproguides.com/powerreferences.html

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https://www.cedengineering.com/courses/electrical-test-instruments-and-measuring-devices 

https://www.cedengineering.com/courses/circuit-measurement  

When you go to the pages in the links above, under Course Document there is a pdf that you can download for free. I used these two pdfs for Measurement & Instrumentation. 

http://www.weschler.com/_upload/sitepdfs/techref/gettingdowntoearth.pdf   Used this for Ground Resistance Testing

http://www.techni-tool.com/site/ARTICLE_LIBRARY/Megger%20-%20The%20Complete%20Guide%20to%20Electrical%20Insulation%20Testing.pdf  Used this for Insulation Testing

http://www.reliabilityeducation.com/ReliabilityPredictionBasics.pdf  Reliability 

https://www.cedengineering.com/categories/electrical-engineering This website is a good resource for lots of Electrical Engineering related topics. You can download the pdf for free for each course. 

Edited by EE2PE
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You didn't list John Camara PPI book in your reference books list. I'm not finding this book much useful anyway. If you have graffeo and proguide, they cover exam topics better than this book. 

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I bought and tried to read through Protective Relaying Principles and Applications, Blackburn but it's notoriously difficult to follow this book.

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16 hours ago, roy167 said:

You didn't list John Camara PPI book in your reference books list. I'm not finding this book much useful anyway. If you have graffeo and proguide, they cover exam topics better than this book. 

I didn't use Camara. I only used the references listed above and I felt they were more than enough for the exam. 

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2 hours ago, Phenomenon083 said:

I bought and tried to read through Protective Relaying Principles and Applications, Blackburn but it's notoriously difficult to follow this book.

I felt that way too. It is written in a way that it's difficult to understand. Try Art & Science of Protective Relaying ( Free Download from GE's website) and IEEE 242. These are also good books for Protection.  

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I'm thinking you might have used NFPA 70E 2015, 2018 print is available and my company already bought this. Not sure if there are significant differences  and whether you have to use 2015 or you can use 2018. 

Alos, NESC, you have to use one from IEEE? correct? There is also mcgrawhill  NESC that comes in the search when you try to buy that. 

 

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I used IEEE- NESC and for NFPA-70 E I used 2015 version. Not sure if NCEES will switch to 2018 version of NFPA-70E for the April 2019 exam. 

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Thanks for this! Going to print out a few of these for my upcoming exam. Failed it last April. And want to pass it this time! 

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EE2PE - congrats on passing first try! I used a lot of the same references as you and concur with a lot of your opinions on them. I did use a few different ones than you as well. I also did a write up of my opinion of all references I took (located here). At that link I also provided PDFs you can download of my table of contents I made for the Graffeo book (I found his hard to navigate quickly), and for my binder. It looks like our biggest deviation is that I had the whole Camera suite with me. 

Edited by ItsStudyTime!
updating to correct URL
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We keep our article on recommended references up to date at all times including reasons why each book is worth the purchase to help you decide. Take a look, a lot of people have found the list helpful:

Electrical PE Review - Recommended References for the Electrical Power PE Exam

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On 12/18/2018 at 2:08 PM, EE2PE said:

I passed the Power PE exam this October on my first attempt. Here are the references I used and my opinion about them. 

  1. The Electrical Engineer’s Guide to Passing The Power PE Exam, A.S. Graffeo : (Highly recommended)

This is a very good book to use when you are just starting the PE preparation. One thing to keep in mind is this book does not cover all the topics, also examples in this book are easier compared to actual problems in the exam. None the less a good starting point. I used formulas in this book for few problems during the exam.

  1. Complex Imaginary Practice Exams: (Good for initial study, but don’t spend too much time on this)

Another book to use when you are just starting to prepare for the exam. Has lots of practice problems but they get repetitive.Problems in this book are a lot easier than the actual exam so don’t waste too much time on these practice exams. Still a good book to have for starting your PE preparation.

  1. Electrical Machines, Drives and Power Systems by Wildi: (Highly recommended)

I love this book and highly recommend this book to everyone preparing for Power PE exam. It is useful for so many topics like Electric Machines, Devices and Power Electronics Circuits, Transformers. This book explains theory in a simple and easy to understand manner. It has lot of good solved problems. It also has ton of quality practice problems at the end of each chapter. I found the solution manual online for these practice questions and solved lot of these practice problems which gave me confidence going into the exam.

  1. Power System Analysis – Grainger: (Good Book) 

I used this book a lot during my  preparation for Fault Current Analysis, Transformer, Transmission Line Models, Power System Stability. This book covers lot of theory but does not have many solved problems. I have mixed feeling about this book. I did not find this book too useful during the exam, I probably used it for couple of questions. I will still recommend this book unless you have some other book that covers these topics in detail. 

  1. Eng Pro Guides: (Technical Guide is okay, but the two practice exams are good)

I bought all three books because I wanted more practice questions. ( Power PE Technical Guide, Power PE Full Practice Exam, Power PE Code Reference Practice Exam).  I did not find the Technical Guide to be of particular use since I already had Graffeo’s book which is similar to the Eng Pro Guides -Technical Guide. But the practice exams are definitely helpful. Questions in the practice exam were difficult than Graffeo. Please keep in mind that Protection Questions in actual exam were much more difficult than Eng Pro Guide’s practice exam.

  1. NCEES Power PE Practice exam: (Must Have)

Another must have study material, especially for first time test takers who do not know what to expect in the exam. This practice exam gives you decent idea of what type of questions to expect in the exam. Before I started my full throttle preparation for PE,  I glanced through this exam without actually solving any problems. This gave me a good idea of what type of questions to prepare for. So when I started studying I wasn’t studying aimlessly. I organized my study material and schedule accordingly. This helped my confidence knowing what I was studying will be useful for the exam. Then towards the end of my preparation, I sat one weekend and took this practice exam. Solved first part on Saturday and second part on Sunday. I timed both sessions, so I got the feel of the exam. The actual exam was more difficult than this practice exam.

  1. NEC 2017: (Obviously a Must Have)

NEC is a vast book and you can’t read the entire code book. So you have to come up with a strategy. What I would recommend is studying & understanding certain topics which are asked frequently in the exam like Grounding, Motors, Transformers, Conductor sizing, load/demand calculations and for rest get familiar with the main index. So whenever you come across a question that you are not familiar with try to narrow it down to a section of NEC using the Main Index and after that go to that section and then use detailed index in that section to further narrow down the question to a particular sub-section or a page. Sometimes index at the back is also helpful. That’s the technique I used and it worked for me. 

      8. NESC 2017 (Must Have)

NESC is not as vast as NEC and questions that are asked tend to be from few select sections. I did not study the entire NESC, just got familiar with few topics. Used highlighters and tabs to easily find those sections.

  1. NFPA 70E (Must Have)

You can expect at least 2 questions from this. This is not a huge code-book like NEC. Easy to get familiar with some key sections. Learn different definitions, especially different approach boundaries. Get familiar with different techniques of incident energy calculations.   

  1. Protective Relaying Principles and Applications, Blackburn:( Good Book)

I did not study much from this book. I work on TCCs, Relays, different protection schemes on almost daily basis, plus my Masters was in Power with specialization on Power System Protection. I have good understanding of the basic concepts, so I did not spend a lot of time preparing for the protection part. But I referred to this book once in a while. If you are not familiar with Protection then I will recommend studying from this book along with IEEE Std. 242. Some important topics to learn: Fault analysis, PU calculations, different protection schemes, how to calculate primary side fault current, try to understand basics of Time Current Curves and co-ordination, Transformer Thermal Damage Curves, Motor Starting Curves, Distance Protection. Practice how to select relay pickup based on fault current and CT ratio. 

  1. IEEE Std. 242 (Protection and Coordination of Industrial & Commercial Power System) : 

Another good reference for Power System Protection. 

  1. Personal Notes:( Highly Recommended) 

I highly recommend making your personal notes/binder. Try to keep it well organized. Write down important formulas, notes. For non-code related questions, I ended up using my notes the most, followed by Graffeo, Wildi, Grainger ( in that order). 

  1. NCEES FE Reference Manual: 

This was my main reference for Engineering Economics questions. 

  1. Other than the material listed above, I prepared a binder consisting of online articles on Batteries, Ground Resistance & Insulation testing, Harmonics , Interest Tables (more detailed version than FE Reference Manual) & Reliability.

 

No matter how much you prepare or how much study material you carry with yourself, there will always be few problems where none of the study material helps. I will recommend not wasting too much time on such questions in the exam. Make an educated guess and move on. I would rather double check and make sure I did not make any stupid mistake on the questions I thought were easy. There were few lengthy questions in the exam, which were actually very easy if you can separate out the unwanted information. All the best for the exam !!!  

I also just passed first time, and I agree with all of this. I'll post something similar when I get home.

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The "Cram for the Professional Engineer Electrical and Computer Power Exam" and all the sample test are good material. Short and very much to the point.

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