Best Civil PE Exam Study Materials

CIVIL PE EXAM Study Materials

**Updated 4/25/2015**


The Civil Engineering Reference Manual by PPI now has a 14th edition, and the Practice Problems for the Civil Engineering PE Exam now also has a 14th edition.  You will obviously want to use the most updated version of both.

An Overview of What You Need:

The three things that will help you the most in your preparation for the PE Exam are as follows: A core reference manual, a Lot of problems, and a sample exam. For your depth review, you will also need to gather your design standards, when applicable.

The majority of your review should come from doing problems, and you will need the reference manual to help you through the problems. First skim the relevant chapters, and then work the problems for those types of problems. At some point in your review, you will want to take the sample exam to ascertain how you are doing, and determine what you need to focus on the most.

Reference Guide

Try to find a good reference guide that covers most of the material. Guides such as the Civil Engineering Reference Manual are a must. There are other publishers, but this is really the one that has been tried and true. Read a more complete review here.

Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam (Hardcover)

By (author) Michael R. Lindeburg; ISBN10 = 1591264537 | ISBN 13: 978-1591264538 | Published by Professional Publications, Inc.

Civil Engineering PE License Review (Kaplan); ISBN10 = 1427761396

Civil Engineering All-In-One PE Exam Guide: Breadth and Depth 2/E [Hardcover]

Goswani; ISBN10 = 0071787720

Design Standards Library
For the Civil PE Exam, the structural, construction, and transportation modules have design standards that will be necessary.
First, gather all of the references that NCEES has specified to be covered on the exam. If you are taking a depth module that cites specific references (such as Structural, Transportation, and the Construction depth modules), you certainly want to gather those materials for your depth module. Also, consider some of the materials for your breadth exam library as well. I have mentioned steel before, and underscore it is an important reference.

Practice Problems

One of the keys to passing the PE Exam is to work a ton of problems. You will need to obtain plenty of practice problems.

Practice Problems for the Civil Engineering PE Exam, 14th Edition:

A Companion to the Civil Engineering Reference Manual [Paperback] |  Michael R. Lindeburg PE (Author); 754 pages | Professional Publications, Inc.; Thirteenth Edition, New Edition edition (April 26, 2012) | ISBN-10: 1591264545 | ISBN-13: 978-1591264545

Sample Exam

To get a feel for the exam day experience, and also to help you ascertain where you are in your studies, you will need to take a sample exam about half-way to two-thirds of the way through your preparation.

Civil PE Sample Examination, Fifth Edition (July, 2014) by Michael R. Lindeburg PE  

ISBN-13: 978-1591264569 | ISBN-10: 1591264561

Civil PE Practice Examination (Paperback)

New From: $55.00 USD In Stock

Mike’s Civil PE Exam Guide; ISBN10 = 1453716343

An Approved NCEES Calculator for the Civil PE Exam

You will need a calculator for the exam. NCEES has limitations on the calculator you can use, so be sure you follow those requirements.  Pick on one of the calculators below. I recommend buying it early and using the calculator at work as well as during studies. You can pick these up anywhere you buy electronics.

Casio: All Casio fx-115 models. Any Casio calculator must contain fx-115 in its model name. (This is Andy’s Personal Choice for calculator)

Hewlett Packard: The HP 33s and HP 35s models, but no others. Texas Instruments: All TI-30X and TI-36X models.

TI calculator must contain either TI-30X or TI-36X in its model name.

Civil ‘Depth’/ Afternoon Exam Materials

If you are taking the construction depth exam, I am told that this book is a great supplement for this portion of the exam.

Construction Depth Review Book (Ruwan)

Civil PE Exam Review Courses

A PE Exam review course can be a helpful way to study for the PE Exam.

Civil PE Review Course – Online

This course by PPI is one, which come that I would highly suggest. Well, I am a bit biased, because I am the instructor.  I have taught the class since 2012.  We cover all 5 sub-disciplines of the Civil PE Exam.  (Note, use the code ANDYS54U and save another 5%!).

Another review program that I personally offer is the Civil PE StudyCast:

Don’t buy into the idea that courses can help?  Check out this video expaining why a PE review course can help you prepare for the PE Exam:


Discounts on Review Materials & Courses

If you choose to purchase from the following publishers, then use the links below to save.

Save 5% on any PPI Course or Materials with the code:   ANDYS54U.  Find the PPI Civil PE exam materials at Find the Course at

Getting a Course + Books from  PPI? Use the code FREEUNIT4 to get the Free Unit conversion book on top of the 15% package discount at

photo by: Redeo

About Andy Richardson