Civil Exam Strategy

Dr. Tom is the founder of and visionary behind DTC, and in our Civil Reviews, he teaches the Dr. Tom Method he developed and shares his Civil Exam strategy to get your review off the the best start.


I’m Tom Brown, and I have based my online 20-Week PE Exam Reviews on my many years of experience preparing engineers for the PE Exam. With the help of my DTC team, I developed the tried and true structure and method that we offer online today. Our Civil courses will provide you will a step by step path to being successful on the exam. It requires a tremendous time commitment and effort on your part, but if you follow the plan that we have laid out for you, you will have everything you need to succeed.

To help you start your review with a full understanding of what is required to complete the course successfully and pass the exam, I’m going to go over the Dr. Tom Method and how you will use it throughout your review to organize your resources and train yourself to identify familiar problems and solve them quickly during the exam.

– Tom

Tom received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1970. He earned a Masters Degree in Engineering Mechanics from Georgia Tech in 1973. Dr. Tom holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, earned at NC State. Today, Dr. Tom is the founder and driving force behind Dr. Tom’s Classroom where he pursues his passion of teaching engineers how to prepare for and pass the PE exam.

Want to learn more? MEET DR. TOM


What does it mean to be a PE? I’m sure that’s different for every engineer, but on some level, I believe there is a common feeling that all Professional Engineers share. Not all of us will use our PE licenses in an engineering practice capacity, I certainly haven’t, but we all have a feeling of pride in our accomplishment and a sense that we have unlocked a door on our potential to achieve extraordinary things.
I have been helping people obtain their PE license through various review courses for so long that it is hard to remember when the PE process was not central to my role in the engineering profession, but I think I first heard the term “PE” when I was in my first job at Scientific-Atlanta in the mid 1970’s. That company, and the others I worked for in my early career, had large groups of engineers with only the supervisor being a PE. I left the corporate world in 1981 to pursue my PhD in mechanical engineering and teach at NC State, and even there only a couple of the thirty or so faculty had their PE.

But it was at NC State that I began teaching parts of the FE and PE Exam reviews offered there, and discovered the importance of professional licensure. Even though it wasn’t until after I finished my PhD in 1989 that I took and passed both the FE and PE Exams, I can tell you that there was no prouder moment than to receive the certificate in the mail. Yes, ten years working on my PhD was the culmination of many years of sacrifice, however becoming a PE said something about my relationship with others who had earned their PE. The feeling is almost indescribable. It is one of my most proud accomplishments. Over the mantle of our fireplace my wife has framed my BS, MS, and PhD diplomas. Above them, however, is my PE certificate.

Getting my PE was the key that made Dr. Tom’s Classroom possible and gave me my opportunity to achieve the extraordinary. Every day I get to help others do the same by helping them get their PE with our Mechanical and Civil PE Exam reviews. Then I see how it improves their lives – allowing them to start their own business, get their dream job, or develop something brand new to improve our world. When they pass the exam, we celebrate with them in “achieving the extraordinary” because they have and they will.

– Tom



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