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"When Should I Begin Studying for the NCEES PE Exam?"

  • 16 January, 2019

As an exam review course provider, we get the question, "When should I begin studying for the PE exam?" quite often. Since we get asked this question so often, we thought we would do some research. Did you know that the average exam applicant spends approximately 300 hours studying for the NCEES PE exam?

While 300 hours may seem like a lot, it makes sense; the PE exam, no matter which discipline, asks extremely complex questions. Those who pass the PE exam become licensed engineers, and as engineers are responsible for the general public's safety, they need to understand complex engineering concepts. For example, exam applicants preparing for the PE Civil exam with a Transportation Depth need to understand the following topics:

Breadth Topics
  • Project Planning
  • Hydraulics and Hydrology
  • Means and Methods
  • Geometrics
  • Soil Mechanics
  • Materials
  • Structural Mechanics
  • Site Development

Depth Topics
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Horizontal Design
  • Vertical Design
  • Intersection Geometry
  • Roadside and Cross- Section Design
  • Signal Design
  • Traffic Control Design
  • Geotechnical and Pavement
  • Drainage
  • Alternatives Analysis

When putting the 300 hours into consideration, how far in advance do typical exam applicants begin preparing for their exam? We dug a little deeper and conducted a survey. We found that a majority of survey respondents reported an average of 3-6 months was needed to sufficiently prepare.

As the pencil and paper PE exams are currently 3 months away, we highly encourage those who have not begun studying to begin. By beginning the studying process now rather than later (in March or April), you'll be thanking yourself when you aren't forced to cram hundreds of hours of studying into the two weeks before the PE exam.

A great way to study for the exam is to take an exam review course. School of PE offers PE Architectural, PE Chemical, PE Civil, PE Control Systems, PE Electrical, PE Environmental, PE Fire Protection, PE Industrial, PE Mechanical, and PE Petroleum exam review courses. Many Live Online courses for the upcoming pencil and paper exams begin this February, but to begin studying right away, School of PE offers an Ondemand option.

Bundling options are also available. With our bundle option, you can even pay for the Ondemand course and later add the Live Online or Onsite class for only $300. This allows our students to start studying on their own now and then participate in a structured class that is scheduled closer to the date of the NCEES PE exam.

What are you waiting for? Sign up to begin preparing today!

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