Yes, it's that time of year when we look back on the published pass rates for the previous exam and try to dissect some valuable information from it.
The past April 2016 exam was actually a really good time to take the exam. Those that prepare well actually saw a higher pass rate than previous exams that we have looked at. Having said that let's look at some of the numbers and see what's working and what wasn't.
Here are your pass rates for first time takers for April of 2016:
Civil Water Resources
On average it looks like the pass rate was right around 67% which is pretty typical for the PE exam and first time takers. In fact, I think the pass rates for the Transportation and the Water Resource sections were actually higher than I remember seeing them in the past. Good for you guys!
It's also interesting to note that the highest volume of test takers was Transportation followed closely by Structural. Geo is at the bottom (typically is) which I find interesting. Geo requires virtually no additional standards to bring in with you. It is the smallest section in the CERM (Civil Engineering Reference Manual) and yet it gets the least amount of testers and Structural, which has THE most standards/codes to bring with you has almost the most test takers. Go figure.
Let's now look at the repeat takers:
Civil Water Resources
Looking at the repeat takers of the civil engineering PE exam can be daunting, but don't let discourage you from repeating the test. I myself am a repeat taker after I failed the exam in Arizona. I wasn't properly prepared and I didn't take it serious enough.
The thing is, if you are a repeat taker you know the look, feel, and the type of questions asked on the PE exam. You are better prepared to tackle it again so just keep going - you'll get there.
At 35% average you know if you are repeating the test you HAVE to put in the work. Don't just think you can get lazy because you've studied it all already and you don't need to put in the work. Quite the opposite really. You need to work MORE.
Do MORE problems. Practice MORE exams. Get exposure to problems you haven't done before so you can be ready when they spring that up on you on the PE exam. You also might just lucky enough to see the same problem as the last exam you took so take mental notes of the problems they asked so you can nail them the next time.
If you are still looking for exams make sure to check out the ones we have made for you. You can get great breadth exams here. You can also get great depth exams right here. If you haven't taken them already then get them. You get free updates for life and it's the best deal we have (better than a physical copy on Amazon). If you need more recommendations for books and practice exams than make sure to check out our RESOURCE page and you'll find more than you bargained for.
So, congratulations to those that took the exam in April and passed! And to those that still need to get it done don't give up. Crap, pay to take a review course if you need to. Getting the PE is a must if you are a civil engineer!