While the PM portion of the PE exam can be considered difficult because it dives deep into someone’s knowledge about a specific discipline of civil engineering, the AM portion can be just as challenging since it mixes up questions from all five major areas. Therefore, getting ready for the breadth portion of the PE exam is of crucial importance. Today, Isaac details the most common and best resources that will definitely help you out with your breadth exam.
Starting with the ever-present and always recommended books, such as the Civil Engineering Reference Manual (CERM)— which is now called the PE Civil Reference Manual— and Dr. Goswami’s All-in-One books, Isaac details the particular features of each of them, pointing out not only their positives and negatives but also how some of them can be used simultaneously with another one to help you build a study schedule. Furthermore, he also details some features of the newest guy in town, the PE Civil Exam Review Guide: Breadth, by School of PE. This one offers a new perspective on how PE materials could look like and their integration with technology by using plenty of QR codes scattered throughout the book in order to enhance our interaction with the material being studied.
If you’re about to take the PE exam soon, this episode is for you! It contains a lot of pro tips on how to pick the best resources that work best for you, but also on how to integrate theory and practice while studying so that you can ace the AM portion of your exam.
Some links below are affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you I get a little kickback for referring the products and services that I'm recommending. I've tried hard to only recommend tools and resources that I've personally used and think you'd enjoy.
Purple Mattress – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/purple
PPI is our partner to help you ace your FE and PE exams. Use our discount code of CIVAC and our link to get 15% off any book you order – http://www.civilengineeringacademy.com/ppi
Visit School of PE to check out the PE Civil Exam Review Guide: Breadth – http://www.civilengineeringacademy.com/sope
PE Civil Exam Review Guide: Breadth (Video Review) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGEN_0Wt8EI
All-in-One Civil Engineering PE Breadth and Depth Exam Guide, by Dr. Goswami – https://amzn.to/3iQoY2Q
All-in-One Civil Engineering PE Practice Exams, by Dr. Goswami – https://amzn.to/3olKJZu
Four Sample Exams for the Civil PE Exam With Step by Step Solutions, by Ruwan Rajapakse – https://amzn.to/39mQkup
Ultimate Civil PE Breadth Exam (Vol. 1 & 2) – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/breadth
Civil PE Review Course – https://civilpereviewcourse.com
Civil FE Review Course – https://civilfereviewcourse.com
Civil Engineering Academy Resources Page – http://engineeringacademy.com/resources
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If you need exams, solved problems, or courses, make sure to check out our home base – https://civilengineeringacademy.com
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Transcript of Show
You can download our show notes summary here or get our transcript of the show below!
Isaac Oakeson: Hey! What's going on, everybody? Isaac here with Civil Engineering Academy, and jumping on with another fun episode of our podcast. And it's going to be a good one. So today, we want to detail some of the most common and the best resources that's going to help you with your AM portion of your exam. They'll also help you with your PM portion of your exam as well, just because that's the nature of a lot of this material. But today I really wanted to hammer out what specifically will help you with your AM portion of the exam. So I'm going to detail a bunch of books and resources that will help you on your exam. And hopefully that'll help you. We have a video of this. If you're watching it on YouTube, you'll be able to see some of the books I'm talking about, but I will make sure in audio that I describe the book really well as well, so you can go check them out.
Isaac Oakeson: Anyway, having said all that, let's get right to it. I'm going to start with book number one. I got a whole pile of them right here, okay? So here we go. Book number one. This is the All-in-One Civil Engineering PE Breadth and Depth Exam Guide. Get a good shot of that. So this is providing complete coverage of all material for the PE exam. They offer theory, practice questions, solutions for every topic. It's really a good reference as well. It's by Dr. Goswami. So you can see this is my own copy. I've tabbed up some of this because this was my actual copy I studied from. They do have a newer edition. I can't remember which edition I have here. If I look it up, I could tell you. I want to say I got the second edition. Maybe it's the third. But in any case, what I really like about Dr. Goswami's book is that it fills in gaps that maybe the Civil Engineering Reference Manual might not cover, and we'll talk about that as well. But, you know, this has been a good reference. Like I said, it filled in the gaps in the depth section. I took the geo-tech depth section for my own depth section for the PE exam. And this had material about seismicthings of that nature. So it just filled in some of the gaps that I felt like the CERM didn't cover. Now, a lot of material that's in here is in the CERM as well. So you might get double coverage there. But as a resource, especially for theory problems, things of that nature I just think it's a good book to get. So again, this is book number one that I'm recommending to you. That is Dr. Goswami's book, okay? And get the latest edition because it's going to have the newest, latest, greatest stuff in there. Check it out. There's the back. There's the front. Showing people on there. The book I have is kind of a green tint to it, but I think the newest ones are red, or blue, or something like that.
Isaac Oakeson: Now, the associated book with that, Dr. Goswami's book, is his All-in-One Civil Engineering PE Practice Exams. So let's get a good look at that as well. So Dr. Goswami's civil engineering PE practice exams, all in one. Now the beauty of this book is that it comes with two breadth exams, you can see it right at the beginning. And it also includes all of your depth exams as well. So you can -- You know, you buy this because it gives you two breadth exams, but it also includes your depth exam. Now, what I really like about this book -- This is again my own copy. Got some tabs on there. What I really like about this book is that the problems and solutions are really close to the real life exam itself. And I felt like this was really true to the exam in terms of difficulty, the questions that they ask you. Check it out. I just solved them right in there. Boom! Okay? You get the idea. So yeah, this is a fun copy of mine that I was using when I was solving problems for the PE exam andstruggling to get through those at that time. I really like what he's got here. Like I said, it comes with two breadth exams, as well as your depth exam. It works well with his reference book as well. So definitely a must-have. That is Dr. Goswami. GOSWAMI. Civil engineering PE practice exams, breadth and depth, all in one. Boom!
Isaac Oakeson: Okay. Let's go to our next one. And I got a whole pile here. Whole pile. We might as well get this one out of the way. So the next one on my list is, what you should know about already, is the Civil Engineering Reference Manual. So, this is called now the PE Civil Reference Manual, 16th eddition, the latest edition, by Michael Lindeburg, from PPI, the choice of over 4 million professionals since 1975. Now, the beauty of this book is that it has just a ton of material. You can see how thick this guy is. It's kind of tabbed up for you a little bit. Everything's in black and white. I'll open it up for you. This is my own copy, but it's not the copy that I studied from. So it's not marked up and tabbed up. What I like to do is tab these up and you can tab them up by color, right? So, transportation section you could do a color, water resources, say, you want to do blue, steel maybe you want to do gray. I don't know. Whatever you want to do. But, this is the go-to book. This is kind of the Bible when it comes to studying for the PE exam right now. And that's just because it includes a ton of material for everything that you need. It also has practice problems in it as well. And the nice thing about it is, on the front cover, it's got every conversion that you would ever need, okay? You just plugg that in when you're solving problems. Just look it up right at the front. The back has all of your tables. Man, this thing is huge. So the back has your appendix. You can check that out. Your appendix has lots of facts, figures, bending moments beam deflection equations. You get the idea. So, I mean, this is the go-to book. So if you need this book, use our link. It's civilengineeringacademy.com/ppi, and you can use our discount code of CIVAC and get 15% off of this behemoth of a book. Now, I will say some of the common complaints about this book is that it includes more than what's on the exam. But the beauty of that is that it's a reference manual that you could keep at work, and it's going to have all of -- I mean, a lot of background material in it. So, some of the things you might not need on the exam that are in here is a lot of background support material and some other disciplines. And this includes -- So the background support material is a lot of math. But it does include you know, some electrical. A lot of the environmental stuff really isn't on the PE exam as well, unless you're specifically going into water resources, then it's definitely a must for that. But, I mean, this is the go-to book. Now Kaplan bought Lindeburg's company, PPI. They're still PPI, but they changed the title of the book. It used to be called the CERM and they still refer it to the CERM, but it's now the PE Civil Reference Manual. I want to change the acronym to the PERM, because that makes more sense to me. Just kidding. We can call it whatever we want. But that's a go-to. You gotta get that guy again. PE Civil Reference Manual. Definitely go check it out. Use our link, civilengineeringacademy.com/ppi, and go grab the CERM.
Isaac Oakeson: Now associated with the CERM that I want to make sure we hit because it goes right along with it, is this book. It's called the PE Civil Practice Problems, 16th edition. Goes right along with the CERM. These are the practice problems that are associated with the CERM. And the nice thing about this book is that it just follows along. So the chapters -- Chapter 36, Shallow Foundations, goes right along with the CERM and the chapters that it's in. Now you can see there's practice problems, a), b), c), d). Let's see if I can find a problem here. Now, a common complaint about this book is that it is harder than the real exam, and that is true. But the beauty of that is that you're going to be well prepared, right? You'd rather have it a little harder so you're more prepared for the actual exam. But like I said, it does include some sections that you're not going to need. You know, you're not going to be tested on the vectors on the PE exam. So there's some background material. Differential equations, you're not going to be tested on the PE exam. But the stuff you do want to know is all in here as well. So you got open channel flow and you want to solve those problems. Now, they give you weird stuff like this, a time limit of one hour to solve that. You know, who cares? You're solving the problems and you just take it as it goes, right? I mean, you know how much time you have on the exam to solve each problem. Six minutes per problem. And even when they give you like a time limit in some of these problemsAnd sometimes they break these up, I believe, into different questions, but it's still a very good book because you can set a study schedule to this and have it work well with the CERM. And so you use those two together and you can build out a study schedule hammer out the topics, practice problems, get back into homework mode because that's really the key to passing the civil PE exam. It's obviouslydoing tons of practice problems. So, no major secret there.
Isaac Oakeson: Okay. We got a new guy. New guy on the scene. I gave a book review about this, but I want to hit it again. And that is because the new player on the block is School of PE. Now, they've come out with this new book, which is called the PE Civil Exam Review Guide: Breadth. How about that for a mouthful? School of PE. PE Civil Exam Review Guide: Breadth. Okay. Now, I gave a nice review of this book. You can check it out on our YouTube channel, the beauty of this book, if I could show you this, it's already tabbed up. They've got it all color-coded for you. It just has a modern feel to it. You know what I mean? Like, the Civil Engineering Reference Manual has been around forever and there's nothing wrong with it, but, you know, it's black and white and it's just been around forever. Sothe new guys on the block are School of PE. They've come out with some new review manuals. They just developeddepth-specific manuals, but this is specifically for the breadth exam. And it is hitting specifically what's on the spec, right? So, chapter one is Project Planning, chapter two is Means and Methods, chapter three is Soil Mechanics, chapter four Structural Mechanics, and on and on. The chapters are matching the specifications. So, the beauty of that is that you get just what you need for the PE exam. The downside of that is the specs change all the time, right? And so with that, they most likely will have to update this guy as the specs get updated. That's just the nature of the beast. Even on our own courses, civilpereviewcourse.com, civilfereviewcourse.com, as the spec changes, we have to update those things and sometimes that takes a while. Same thing with these books. If you're following exactly what the spec is, you're going to have to fix that. Now, the CERM just took an opposite approach to that, and they just keep adding material to it. So you get a lot of extra material that might not be in there on the PE exam, but at least you got it, right? Like, they don't have to go through and edit the whole book. They can just keep adding material to it. No matter what the spec says, they got it covered, right? What I really like about this book, like I said, is that it's got a modern feel to it. Every fact, every figure, drawing and stuff is in color. Problems are easy to read. Another thing that they've got kind of updated in here is the use of these QR codes. If I could show you these. There's an example of a QR code, if you're watching this. But basically it has these QR codes scattered through -- Dropping stuff all over the place. They have these QR codes scattered throughout the book and what these QR codes do is give you different access to different things. So, you know, if you scan them they can take you to an errata list where they're showing updates to the book. You can provide feedback by scanning one of these. You can do flashcards that give you additional problems. There's links to NCEES if you scan it. You can scan it and go to a subject matter expert, if you need additional help. You can scan at the beginning of the chapter and you can meet the author of the chapter, which is pretty cool. You can do quizzes, you can search you can do unit conversions video lectures and tutoring. Now, some of those functions do cost additional dollars. So, if you want private tutoring, you can scan a QR code, it'll take you to their site and you can get tutoring. You know, that's cool. That's like a modern take on studying for this exam if you need the help. But overall, I found this book to be nice. It is a little expensive for what you're getting. The CERM is going to give you everything, but this School of PE book is giving you what the spec calls out. And that is strictly for the AM portion of the exam. So, it's definitely worth checking out if you need additional resources and you need additional problems, or if you're just starting and you want a book that goes straight to what the specs call out. School of PE has got a good book. And if you want to go check it out, go to civilengineeringacademy.com/sope and that'll take you over there. Go check it out. They've got some good stuff coming out as they've got more and more books and resources for engineers to study from. So, definitely a worthy mention and definitely wanted to go check out. PE Civil Exam Review Guide: Breadth. That's a mouthful. Okay. Put that guy away.
Isaac Oakeson: Okay. The last things I want to really hit on because we know how important it is to practice problems. Now, most of the books that I went over are kind of reference manuals and they do include problems. Sometimes they're associated with those. But the other thing you need to fill in for your AM study— and even your PM study, right?—is you gotta get practice exams. And you've got to, you know, get a bunch. I would recommend do them just like homework problems, if you have to. And if you run out of problems, you keep getting more. So, we can't leave without talking about our own, right? The Ultimate Civil PE Breadth Exam. We have volume one, we have volume two. So we have two volumes of these exams. You can go check them out at civilengineeringacademy.com. These are simple, 40 question, black and white. Get the job done. Good questions to ask. We do a good job explaining the solutions. Errata is on our website, civilengineeringacademy.com/Errata. And we've got two breadth exams, as well as every depth exam. You can go grab those to help you practice.
Isaac Oakeson: So, I'm just going to hit a couple practice exams I think are good. So we talked about Goswami. Civil Engineering Academy has practice exams as well. Another good one that you're going to find probably on YouTube, or if you go to civil engineeringacademy.com/resources, you can go check out all of these books and resources, including more for your breadth and your depth. Just go check out our website. We've got it all detailed there. But another exam that I really really enjoyed is this one: Four Sample Exams for the Civil PE Exam With Step by Step Solutions, by Ruwan Rajapakse. And I probably slaughtered that name. But you get all the exams here. He does make a breadth book as well. And I really like his material because what he does is he actually explains some of the theory behind the problems, right? So, just to show a brief description. He's got that. And the other thing I really like is the problems that he has covered in here. The book is black and white. You know, if there's a negative here, it's just like the type set and look of it. But overall, it still got good material. But you can see in here 'm just showing a little bit of this. The problems straightforward. The look and feel of the problems is very similar to the real exam. So, you're getting a problem set here that's very close to the exam. He's got other books that are available, if you want to check them out. The Civil PE Construction Module, the Geo-Tech Module. He's got one, I think, for every discipline, okay? But this particular book I'm looking at gives you water resources, transportation,tructural. They're all in here. So, it's a fun book. And I really like his material because it's very lifelike to the exam, and it provides you tons of practice problems. So, I really do like his stuff. Go check them out. This is called Four Sample Exams for the Civil PE Exam With Step by Step Solutions. All modules are in here. And Ruwan Rajapakse, a professional engineer. Check it out. Boom, boom! So, if you're listening to this, write all that down, go check it out.
Isaac Oakeson: Like I said, all of these resources, everything, can be found on our website at civilengineeringacademy.Com. Or you can go civil engineeringacademy.com/resources. They're all listed there. And other students that have taken the PE exam also have listed other recommendations. And so we list those depth books on there as well. So lots of material.
Isaac Oakeson: Guys, that's it. Hopefully that helped you out if you're starting to study. If you need the discount at PPI, go to civilengineeringacademy.com/ppi, use the code CIVAC, get a 15% discount to any book there. If you need the School of PE book, go to civilengineeringacademy.com/sope. Go check out our own exams, our courses. We've got stuff there for you. But if you get those, I promise you are well on your way to preparing for this exam. Supplement the theory with solving problems. Theory is a big part of the exam, but f you start solving problems, you'll be way ahead of the curve. So that's just a little pro tip for you.
Isaac Oakeson: Anyway, I'm curious what you guys think are some helpful resources if you've taken the exam before that you could recommend to others. Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email, [email protected] I would love to hear your recommendations, and if there's something missing on our website, you know, let me know and we will get it posted there because we want to share those resources with everyone taking the exam.
Isaac Oakeson: Anyway, guys. That's going to wrap it up. Thanks for joining me today on another episode of the Civil Engineering Academy podcast, and we'll see you in the next one. Bye.
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