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Prepare for the PE Civil Exam

Brand new Live Online courses for the CBT exam are enrolling now! These new courses have been fully redesigned to prepare you to pass the closed-book CBT exam.

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Prepare for the California Civil Exam

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What Our Customers Say

Matthew
“Just wanted to let you know, I received results for PE Exam today…PASS!! Thank you to PPI…Specifically Josh Ogle and Richard Austin, my instructors for the April 2021 review courses."
Matthew
“Just wanted to let you know, I received results for PE Exam today…PASS!! Thank you to PPI…Specifically Josh Ogle and Richard Austin, my instructors for the April 2021 review courses."
Ryan
"I don't think I could have stayed on track studying without this online review course. You definitely have to put in extra hours to complete the homework, but I really didn't feel overwhelmed by the time spent in the lectures and studying outside of it. If you have to miss a lecture, you can watch the recording and still get credit for attendance. This course really made me feel confident going into the exam, and I would recommend it to anyone!"
Matthew
“Just wanted to let you know, I received results for PE Exam today…PASS!! Thank you to PPI…Specifically Josh Ogle and Richard Austin, my instructors for the April 2021 review courses."
Ryan
"I don't think I could have stayed on track studying without this online review course. You definitely have to put in extra hours to complete the homework, but I really didn't feel overwhelmed by the time spent in the lectures and studying outside of it. If you have to miss a lecture, you can watch the recording and still get credit for attendance. This course really made me feel confident going into the exam, and I would recommend it to anyone!"
Eduardo
"I would definitely recommend this course to a friend or coworker. The course provided many homework problems and a lot of valuable study material. The instructor was great and answered many questions during office hours. Tips provided in the course were very useful!"

What Makes PPI Exam Prep Different?

PPI Learning Hub: The Learning Hub is more than an eLearning platform—it is a time-tested program that guides examinees through their exam prep from start to finish.

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FAQs for the PE Civil Exam

The Handbook should be used as a reference. You should know the content of it well enough that you can easily find what you're looking for during the exam, saving you time and avoiding additional stress. However, don't rely too heavily on it. If a topic is in the exam specs, you should study it in-depth regardless of whether or not it's in the Handbook. Learn more in our Ultimate Guide to the PE Civil Exam.

The PE Civil exam is an 8-hour closed-book CBT exam split into the AM—Breadth and PM—Depth sessions. It contains 80 total questions: 40 multiple-choice questions in the 4-hour AM session, and 40 multiple-choice questions in the 4-hour PM session.

The recommended amount of study time for the PE Civil CBT exam is approximately 300 hours. To make sure that you are covering the right content during your study time, think about enrolling in a PE Civil exam prep course designed specifically for the CBT exam. PPI offers three different prep options for the PE Civil exam to suit the amount of prep you need and the format that works best for you:

  • Live Online Course Bundle: This option is best for examinees who want an all-in-one solution to preparing for the PE Civil CBT exam and would like to attend scheduled class sessions. The Live Online course bundle will prepare you for both the depth and breadth portions of the exam. 

  • OnDemand Course Bundle: The OnDemand course bundle is a great option for students or professionals with busy schedules who want to study on the go or at inconsistent times. You'll receive access to pre-recorded lectures, problem-solving demonstrations, and exam strategy sessions from licensed engineers, as well as homework assignments and reference materials. 

  • Self Study - Learning Hub and Print Bundle: Students or professionals who need a refresher before they take the PE Civil Exam, but may not need a full review course, might find that the Learning Hub and Print option is for them. With this option, you’ll get access to the PE Learning Hub and printed review and practice materials.

No, the PE Civil exam is now a closed-book CBT exam. October 2021 was the last exam in the open-book format. In 2022, the exam transitioned to a closed book Computer-Based Test (CBT) that is available to take year-round. You will not be able to bring any books into the exam. Your only reference will be an electronic reference supplied by NCEES.

The PE Civil exam is a closed-book CBT exam that tests for a minimum level of competency in civil engineering. You need a minimum of four years of post-college work experience to be able to sit for the exam.

According to NCEES, there isn't a specific pass or fail score. You can view how NCEES scores the exam by visiting here.


The latest pass rates released by NCEES for the PE Civil exam were:

  • First-time test takers: 63%
  • Repeat test takers: 40%

Can't decide which PE Civil depth section to take? Choosing a depth section is a big decision, particularly if you're unsure of the best route to take. Isaac Oakeson, PE, of Civil Engineering Academy, put together this video explaining how to best choose a depth section when you're not sure what direction is best for you.