PE Electrical Exam Electronics, Controls, and Communications References

Professional Engineer & PE Exam Forum

Help Support Professional Engineer & PE Exam Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New member
Jan 3, 2021
Reaction score
Hi, firstly thanks to all that participate in this forum, it’s been very useful for my PE exam preparation. 

Background: I have about 6 years experience in power electronics design (rectifiers of 100 kW/480VAC). I would like to get my PE license as something additional to add to my resume. Through much deliberation I’ve decided it’s a better idea to go with the Electronics, Controls, and Communications exam (while I’m familiar with the interfacing to AC mains, most of my experience is with power converter topologies, control theory, analog and mixed-signal instrumentation and control hardware, etc). I’m aware that the Power exam has many more references and practice exams and can be taken year-round now, that’s why it was so hard to decide. But I took a sample test without any studying (the preview of the sample exam that you can see for free on NCEES) for each and scored 2/8 on power and 6/7 on ECC so that settled it for me :)

Plan: I currently have the PPI Electrical PE Reference handbook (7th ed) by Camara, the practice problems book, and sample test. I plan to purchase the NCEES practice exam when it comes out in April 2021 and become very familiar with the NCEES-supplied reference handbook. I also have textbooks for the different disciplines, circuits, electronics, controls, EM, and comm. 


1. In the latest ECC exam specifications, Part 1C is safety and reliability. Does this mean knowing codes like the NEC? Just want to know if to spend time studying that. 
2. The Camara book I have is the 7th edition from 2007 which covers all areas of the Electrical PE exams (a colleague gave it to me). I noticed there is a newer Camara book focused specifically ECC, is it worth getting the new one or is it the same information?
3. Any additional tips for exam preparation based on my current plan?

Thanks in advance! 

I did not touch my NEC or NESC books the entire exam.

Also, I'd get the newest edition of the Camara book as there are some changes. For me I think the best things you can study would be transistors (especially the MOSFET) and know that inside and out. Also, be very familiar with control systems. I came from more of a communications background so those parts were easy for me but you'll want to have good knowledge of that as well.

Hi matate99,

Thanks so much for that input. I won't spend the time and money on those code books then and consider using it towards the newest Camara books. Do you think the same is true for the Camara practice problems and practice exams?

Fortunately, I'm pretty strong on analog electronics but will definitely make sure to spend time ensuring I know it completely. Communications and electromagnetics are the areas I'll have to spend most time on since it's out of my domain. 


There was no NEC as I could remember for ECC exam. The best reference would be its practice exam book. It covers both breadth and depth and hints the of level of difficulty. If you do well with exercise book you should pass the exam. You should time your practice too. It should not take you more than 3 minutes for each problem so read the questions carefully. It is designed for you to pass (if you prepare). It is open books, but the more books you take with you it shows the less confidence you have. It is not uncommon if you finish the session hour or two early, many peoples do.
Good luck of your preparation.
The best reference would be its practice exam book.

Yes, this is something that would would liked to have known before I really started studying even though I managed to pass. The NCEES practice exam is MUCH more similar to the actual exam vs. the Camera practice exam and problems. My thought was that I could study the Camera book and practice exam/problems, then a couple weeks before I took the test open the NCEES practice exam fresh and use that as a final guide on what to study.

I was not prepared for just how much the NCEES practice exam was different from Camera. In hindsight I would have taken the NCEES practice exam first, figured out where I needed help and what areas were really focused on by NCEES, then studied from Camera. Finally a couple weeks to go before the real deal, retaken the NCEES practice exam.

Best of luck to you!