CHANGE IS COMING
CIVIL ENGINEERS! YOU SHOULD TAKE THE PE EXAM NOW! HERE’S WHY!
Final CIVIL Paper Exam: October 22, 2021
BREAKING NEWS: Last Chance to Take DTC Civil Review
October 2021 is the last time that the pencil-and-paper version of the Civil PE Exams will be offered. NCEES has moved up the conversion of the Civil PE Exams to CBT to 2022 and, unfortunately, has yet to release information about the scope of these new exams or the Reference Handbook, making it impossible for DTC to begin creating new Civil courses for the CBT exam format.
Because of these circumstances, the DTC team has made the difficult decision to discontinue our reviews for the Civil PE Exams after the October 2021 Exam and concentrate our efforts going forward on providing the best Mechanical PE Exam Reviews available.
We will continue to fully support participants in our Civil Reviews right up until the day of October Exam, but we will not be able to offer any retakes of the course after that date, as the course we currently offer will no longer be applicable to the CBT Exam and we will not be creating a new Civil Course. Read Civil Terms & Conditions for complete details.
We are offering a Special Discount Price on our Pay Up Front option for this last pencil-and-paper Civil Exam. May 1 through August 31, you can purchase the Pay Up Front option of any Civil Review for only $550!
PAY UP FRONT – $550 (Save $400!)
Change Is Coming to the Civil PE Exams!
by Dr. Tom Brown, PE
Civil Computer-Based Testing – This Changes Everything!
CBT Means No Personal References During Exam
In the long history of the PE Exam, you could bring almost any personal reference to the exam facility. I remember when I took the exam many, many years ago, a fellow examinee rolled in with a steamer trunk full of books. In the face of that long-standing tradition, the upcoming transition to the CBT format is very disconcerting indeed. In this new format, you will not be allowed to take a single reference to the exam with you. Not one!
Instead, you will be presented with a searchable PDF of the NCEES Reference Handbook, sharing half of the 24-inch computer screen with the PE Exam itself. The PE Civil Reference Handbook is not yet available, but if the Mechanical handbook is any reference, it’s going to be lengthy. The PE Mechanical Reference Handbook is over 500 pages. With five disciplines in Civil, I anticipate that the Civil Handbook will be even longer. The thought of getting to be familiar with hundreds of pages of information is daunting, to say the least. Also, having looked through the Mechanical handbook since its release, I’ve found that, while some of the material provided in it is excellent and even a great improvement over other references, there are many serious gaps. And the Handbook preface clearly states that, while the handbook contains material that may be helpful in answering questions on the exam, “it does not contain all information required to answer every question; theories, conversions, formulas, and definitions that examinees are expected to know have not been included.” Let that sink in.
With the old format, which is now referred to as a Pencil-and-Paper exam, the process of assembling the reference materials to take into the exam was a vital part of your preparation. Deciding what to take and preparing your references for easy access to information, required much thought, resulting in better retention of that information. I have seen this consistently in many years helping engineers to pass the PE Exam. The more effort our students put into preparing and organizing their references, the better they do on the exam. Beyond the exam, the materials you generate in preparing for the PE Exam are also materials you can use once you become a licensed professional engineer. It is unfortunate that the CBT format will make that effort obsolete. No longer will you be able to enter the exam with the sense of confidence and accomplishment that you had collected, created and brought to the exam the materials that you needed to succeed, and leave with a wealth of materials you can use in your life as a PE. I’m afraid that, instead, there will now be merely a sense of just surviving the CBT exam experience.
There is clearly an advantage in preparing for the PE Exam with materials you gather and create yourself, as well as great reward in passing the PE Exam knowing you were the one who compiled the reference materials. And for these reasons alone, my advice is to take and pass the PE exam now, before the change takes place!
The CBT Exam Experience Versus the Pencil-and-Paper Exam Experience
Allowable Items – CBT Exam versus Pencil-and-Paper Exam
Time Allotment – CBT Exam versus Pencil-and-Paper Exam
- 2 minutes to read and sign the Nondisclosure Agreement. If you don’t sign, it is over.
- 8 minutes for an online tutorial on how to navigate the exam screen.
- 8 hours for the exam.
- 50 minutes for a lunch break, where you decide when to take the break. You will want to take this break after 4 hours where hopefully you have had a chance to answer half of the 80 questions. If you don’t take a break, you lose the 50 minutes; it does not add to your time. If you spend more than 50 minutes on your break, the exam time clock re-starts after the 50 minutes. At the end of 8 hours to the second, the exam is over.
CBT Brings New Types of Questions
- Multiple correct options – allows multiple choices to be correct and can have more than the usual four possible answers
- Point and click – click on part of a graphic to answer
- Drag and drop – click on and drag items to match, sort, rank, or label
- Fill in the blank – space provided to type a response to the question.