How Civil Courses Work
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One Extraordinary Idea. Ten Extraordinary Years. The Best is Yet to Come…
First, here’s a quick summary of how our courses Work.
The DTC Civil PE Exam Reviews are comprehensive, structured and flexible online courses for each Civil discipline to give you:
- THE BEST CHANCE OF PASSING THE EXAM: our reviews teach you the fundamentals and a selected method of solving problems that can be applied quickly across classes of problems. And you will learn Dr. Tom’s tried and true method of organizing your exam resource materials and a problem-solving strategy for maximizing your ability to solve problems quickly during the exam.
- STRUCTURE AND FOCUS: our reviews feature weekly study plans with targeted day-by-day assignments to focus your review on the topics and problems needed to pass the exam and to help you avoid wasting time studying things you don’t really need
- A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW: each review contains a complete review for both the common Civil AM Exam and the discipline-specific PM Exam with video lessons, assigned readings, and numerous problems to work.
- FLEXIBILITY: the courses are easy to access online anytime and can be done at your pace and on your schedule.
- THE TIME YOU NEED FOR YOUR REVIEW: for each exam date, we offer each review for up to a year before the exam so you can review at a pace that works for you.
“With DTC’s help I finally passed the Civil PE exam after several previous attempts! The organization of the course material helped me out tremendously.”
– PE, Baton Rouge, Louisana
You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.
To learn more about how our Civil PE Exam Reviews work, click on the topics below.
I am delighted to be offering Civil Engineering PE Exam Reviews. With the success of my Mechanical Engineering PE Exam Review, I received numerous requests to provide an exam review for Civil Engineers as well. It’s something I had always hoped to do, and I have lots of experience providing PE exam prep instruction on mechanical topics to civil engineers. From that experience, I knew that the methods I developed for my online mechanical review could be applied to civil engineering as well. There was only one catch; there are five civil engineering areas covered in the Civil exam, and not only am I not a civil engineer, I’m not an expert in any of the civil areas.
Fortunately, I was able partner with a group of amazing young engineers who are passionate about teaching in addition to being very skilled their field of expertise. I am absolutely thrilled with the team of five instructors we were able to assemble to undertake this monumental task, one for each area covered on the Civil PE Exam. I hope you will read more about them. I have been so impressed with how they have embraced the Dr. Tom Method and have worked so diligently to create excellent lessons, problems and study plans to guide your exam review. And they are all in it for the long haul. They will each be available to answer your questions about the course content they have created throughout your review, right up until the day of the exam.
The 20-Week Civil PE Exam Review follows the tried and true structure and method that I developed for my Mechanical Engineering PE Exam Review, and it 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.
Everyone at Dr. Tom’s Classroom works hard to make your learning experience the best it can be, and our staff and instructors will be with you every step of the way. The idea of taking the Civil PE Exam is daunting, and yet you know you’ve got to do it. It can be a lot less scary if you’ve got a team supporting you all the way. Successfully passing the PE Exam is a defining moment in an engineer’s life. We want to share that moment and we will do our part to make your time with Dr. Tom’s Classroom an excellent experience.
Thank you for considering a Dr. Tom’s Classroom review. I hope to see you in a course!
– Dr. Tom
To be successful on the exam, you need to be familiar with the right problems, learn how to recognize them, and have a method to quickly locate the information you need on exam day.
The Dr. Tom Method teaches the fundamentals of each topic and a selected method of solving problems that can be applied across classes of problems. The goal is to build your knowledge base in a way that can be applied quickly to problems. By following Dr. Tom’s Method, you will have fewer equations to become familiar with and you will have less decision making to do during the exam.
The Dr. Tom Method also provides you with a system to organize your resources and a problem-solving strategy that involves identifying “low hanging fruit,” or problems that are familiar and can be solved quickly, to work first, and leaving overly complex or completely unfamiliar problems to attempt only after all others have been answered.
You are unlikely to be able to quickly solve a problem that is completely unfamiliar to you, but after a DTC review, you will have a wealth of carefully chosen problems that are likely to be on the exam which will be very familiar to you and easy for you to access. And the course material is targeted specifically to material that will be seen on the exam. If it’s not going to be on the exam, you’re not going to waste time learning it.
“I had taken the PE twice before, and my biggest concern was problem identification and time management. I knew that these two strategies are critical to passing. It was apparent early on in Dr. Tom’s 20-Week Review course that problem identification was one of the main focuses. With the way the course topics were divided, as well as with use of the Personalized Resource Notebooks, I was able to identify problem types significantly faster than before. I believe this was the main reason I passed.”
William Allred, PE, LEED AP BD+C, RS&H, Merritt Island, Florida
Knowing what to not to review can be just as important as knowing what to review, and our reviews give you a day by day, week by week plan that targets what you need to know to pass the exam. Weekly assignments include video lessons, assigned readings and problems, challenge problems, and assessment quizzes – all focused on preparing you for exam problems and exam problems only.
This is not about your job, your proficiency at solving real-world engineering challenges or even your complete knowledge of your engineering field. This is about passing the PE Exam and nothing else. There are lots of ways to solve just about any engineering problem. We teach you a way that will help you most efficiently solve problems on the exam. With our reviews, you can confidently focus your energy on learning a proven method, and not on trying to decide what to study.
“The PE exam is not a measure of your academic or professional intuitiveness. It’s simply a test where a bunch of engineers decide to sit and make up tests based solely on their own experiences. So there’s no distinct way to prep or study for it. I thank Dr. Tom a lot because somehow he’s been able to decode this myth. My advice is to pay very close attention to every word of his – regardless of what you’ve been taught in college or at work. The goal isn’t to help you with your profession. The goal is to pass the PE test.”
– Eche, PE, Richmond, VA
Our online reviews are based on a 20-week schedule. Each week you have a five-day study plan that gives you detailed daily assignments and a schedule to follow. Weekly assignments include video lessons, assigned readings and problems, challenge problems with solutions videos, and weekly assessment quizzes with exam-type problems. Handout downloads are provided for all videos and quizzes. All this structure allows you to keep your review focused on material and not on having to decide what and when you should study. DTC provides you with a structure for organizing your resources into personalized resource notebooks for quick reference during the exam. We also provide an Exam Day Companion to help you quickly identify the equations you need to solve problems during the exam.
Civil AM Exam (Breadth) – 15 Weeks
For the first 15 weeks, you will review the common Civil AM Exam topics in each of the five Civil Engineering areas: Construction, Geotechnical, Structural, Transportation, and Water Resources/Environmental. Each area is covered in three weeks and will have its own expert instructor. We spend more time on the AM Exam because it takes 3 weeks to get you up to speed on the four areas that are not your chosen PM Exam area, and you want to build a good foundation on the topics that are in your area as well.
Area-Specific PM Exam (Depth) – 5 Weeks
For the last 5 weeks, you will review PM Exam topics for your chosen discipline, familiarizing you with solutions for the type of problems you will see on the exam.
“If you work the program, watch the lectures, do the problems, prepare the personalized resource notebooks, and use the participant forum…..you will pass the exam. This structure, organization, and commitment are why this program is so successful.”
– Neil Martin, PE (LTC (Retired – US Army)), Veolia Water Technologies, Naperville, Illinois
Dr. Tom developed his 20-Week Reviews to provide you with the maximum exposure to the material needed to pass the exam in the most advantageous time frame to promote comprehension as you review and retention of the material on exam day. But at DTC, we understand that timeframe doesn’t work for everyone. So for each exam date, we offer our reviews from up to a year in advance to two months before the exam.
You have access to all the course materials you have paid for from the day you purchase them until the day of the exam, so you can start your review immediately and work at your own pace until the exam. Keep in mind that the sooner you start, the more time you will have to complete your review. The ideal time to begin your 20-Week Review is 24 weeks before the exam.
Reviews for April Exams are available from May 1 of the previous year through the end of February before the exam, giving you anywhere from 11 months to 2 months to complete your review. The ideal time to start your review for the April Exam is in October (6 months before the exam).
Reviews for October Exams are available from November 1 of the previous year through the end of August before the exam, giving you anywhere from 11 months to 2 months to complete your review. The ideal time to start your review for the October Exam is in May (6 months before the exam).
“The best part about the 20-Week Review is that you develop a weekly schedule of what you need to work on. Material is not crammed into a 3 or 4-week review like some other PE courses. With the 20-Week Review, you gradually rebuild and strengthen what you learned in college so you can take on the PE exam with confidence.”
– Michael Noll, PE, Delmar Systems in Houston, TX
All DTC Reviews are based on a 20-week review schedule plus a two-week final review. Each week requires about 15-20 hours of review or a total of 350-450 hours. We recommend that you spend 3 to 4 hours a day, 5 days each week, taking a couple of days per week off. Because you have access to the course materials from the time you sign up, if you start sooner, you could work slightly fewer hours each week and still get through everything before the exam. If you start later, however, you will need to work more hours per week to finish the review.
- If you start 12 months before the exam, you need to spend an average of 7-10 hours per week.
- If you start 6 months before the exam, you need to spend an average of 15-20 hours per week. (RECOMMENDED!)
- If you start 3 months before the exam, you need to spend an average of 30-40 hours per week.
It’s a lot of material and a lot of work, but if you put in the time and follow the plan, you will be prepared for the exam.
“Dr. Tom guided us with a cookbook method of organizing the info and provided a test day companion that concisely summarized most of the reference info in one notebook. He defined for us the number of hours needed for prep. I felt that Dr. Tom saw everything from the test taker’s point of view. It was very helpful, but Dr. Tom can’t do it all. If a student wants to pass on the first try, they need to put in the hours of quality prep time that Dr. Tom recommends.”
– Patrick P. PE, 25 yrs out of college
We offer Civil PE Exam Reviews for each of the five Civil areas:
We strongly recommend that you watch Dr. Tom’s Civil Exam Strategy Videos before choosing which exam you are going to take.
“I wasn’t sure which exam to take, and Dr. Tom covers that well.”
– Adam Jones, PE
You need to make a strategic decision in choosing which PM Exam to take, you need to prepare strategically, and you need to have a strategic approach to solving problems on the exam itself. The key word here is strategy. Dr. Tom shares his thoughts on each of these important strategies in his Exam Strategy videos.
We strongly recommend that you watch Dr. Tom’s Civil Exam Strategy Videos before choosing which exam you are going to take. Dr. Tom outlines the steps he has found can lead to success on the exam and shares several key pieces of information that everyone needs to know to be successful on the Civil PE Exam.
“The exam strategies provided by Dr. Tom coupled with the Exam Day Companion kept me focused during the exam, allowing me to scoop up as much “low hanging fruit” as I could on my way to passing.”
– Chris, PE, Toms River, New Jersey
All the assignments of your comprehensive and targeted review are available online 24/7 via your web browser, so you can do your review anywhere, anytime, at your pace and on your schedule. You will need a reliable, broadband internet connection to access the course and play video lessons.
You have access to all the course material for the time period that you have purchased, so you can work through the review in any order, at your pace and on your schedule.
The DTC Online Classroom is easy to use. You simply log in and there you will find a list of all the assignments for your review in the order we recommend that you approach them.
- Instructions to read
- Handouts to download
- Video lessons to watch
- Quizzes to take
To access each assignment, you simply click on it. Once you have completed an assignment, the online classroom marks it as completed automatically to help you keep track of where you are in the course. You have the opportunity to view each video lesson 3 times. This limit is necessary to ensure that only one person is using the course. We have found that the 3 views are sufficient for most participants for most of the lessons. If you need to view a few lessons more than 3 times, we are happy to reset your access to those for you on request.
“Dr. Tom’s 20-Week review was immensely helpful towards my success on the PE exam. The online lessons were the especially helpful because they explained concepts that can be confusing in other resources or difficult to review on your own. The lessons are easy to follow, and instructors’ teaching style gets right to the point.”
– Angela McNeely, PE, Overland Park, KS
For our Civil PE Exam Reviews, Dr. Tom has assembled an amazing team of instructors who are passionate about teaching in addition to being very skilled in their field of expertise. Dr. Tom teaches the course introduction, and the five other instructors each teach 3 weeks of material for the common Civil AM Exam and 5 weeks of material for the PM Exam for their area.
- Course Overview and Exam Strategy – Dr. Tom Brown, PE
- Construction – Jason Savage, PE
- Geotechnical – Mike Batten, PE
- Structural – Shannon Warchol, PE
- Transportation – Dr. Daniel Findley, PE
- Water Resources/Environmental – Dr. Beth Sciaudone, PE
“I passed the Civil PE exam on my first try, and I attribute this to Dr. Tom’s Classroom for providing the best schedule, study material, and strategies and also introducing a great team of instructors.”
– Dadbeh Dowlatshahi, P.E., Houston, Texas
You will have access to the DTC Civil Engineering Participant Forum. This forum is where you will ask your instructors questions about the course materials. You can also search through questions from previous and current participants to see if your question has already been asked and answered.
Our instructors want to have an active and productive interaction with participants in the Forum. They are dedicated to answering your questions as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.
“I found the Participant Forum to be a useful tool to post questions and see other students’ questions and concerns throughout the 20 weeks. All of the questions I posted were answered within twenty four hours.”
– Chris F, PE – Westinghouse Electric Company – Irmo, SC
In addition to the online video lessons you will watch online, you will receive a lot of material that you will need to download and print, including:
- Dr. Tom’s Civil Exam Day Companion (EDC) – Quick reference with vital equations and information you need to solve problems quickly. One chapter for each discipline on the Common AM Exam and then one additional chapter for the PM Depth Exam that you are taking.
- Personalized Resource Notebook Guide – System to help you organize the other handouts you receive into quick reference notebooks to use during the exam.
- Study Plans – Give you detailed, daily assignments for all 20 study weeks.
- Lesson Handouts – Each video lesson has a handout that contains the slides from the lesson.
- Challenge Problem Handouts – Solutions for challenge problems.
- Assessment Problem Handouts – Solutions for assessment problems.
“The elements of the review course that I found most beneficial were the Exam Day Companion (EDC) and practice problems which were compiled into personal reference notebooks (PRNs). The EDC was my first reference during the exam and provided the equations and concepts needed for the majority of exam day questions.”
– Chris F, PE – Westinghouse Electric Company – Irmo, SC
For the initial review for the Common AM Exam, you will need to purchase the CERM and the NCEES Practice Exam for the PM Depth Exam you plan to take. Those you should order right away.
Depending on which PM Exam you are taking, there may be additional required and recommended references you will need to acquire for your PM Exam Review. Those references are listed on our Civil Course Details pages. You will have some time to gather those references while you are reviewing the morning topics, and many of those you may be able to borrow or find at the office.
- Pay Up Front – $750 (Save $200!)
- Pay-As-You-Go – $950
- Five AM Review Modules for $150 each
- One PM Review Module for $200
Only for Your Use – When you purchase a DTC exam review course, it is licensed to only you. You agree that you will not share your login, password or use of the course with anyone else.
Time Limit – You are paying for access to a specific course for a set period of time. It is up to you to take advantage of the course materials during the timeframe you have purchased. Your access to the course cannot be extended beyond the purchased timeframe. If you would like to continue your review beyond the end of your purchased timeframe, you will need to sign up again for another course.
Retakes – Dr. Tom’s Classroom offers no free retake of the course. Once you have purchased one of our reviews, however, we are committed supporting your effort to pass the exam as much as we can. So we do offer deeply discounted Retake Prices.
Please review the complete Terms and Conditions for purchasing Dr. Tom’s Classroom review course.
Dr. Tom’s Classroom offers no free retake of the course. We are unable to extend your access to any course beyond the purchased timeframe. If you would like to continue your review beyond the end of your purchased timeframe, you will need to sign up again for another course.
Once you have purchased one of our reviews, however, we are committed to supporting your effort to pass the exam as much as we can. So we do offer deeply discounted Retake Prices.
General Retake Prices (for participants who purchase a complete review and are unable to finish the course or take the exam for any reason):
- $400 for full 20-Week Review
Failed Test Retake Prices (for participants who purchase a complete review, take the exam and do not pass):
- $200 for full 20-Week Review
Please read our Terms and Conditions for full details.
Dr. Tom’s Classroom is proud to support our military and former military engineers in their efforts to become Professional Engineers with a 15% Military Discount.
“I passed on my first try – 51 years old, military veteran, and 29 years since I passed the EIT exam. I was getting nowhere trying to prepare on my own. Dr. Tom helped me focus my efforts, cutting out things not likely to impact the test. His approach built my confidence steadily from beginning to end. Even if I hadn’t passed, I was sure that my chances would be good with more effort using Dr. Tom’s approach.”
– Andrew Miller, PE
Delivering courses that are easy to use and have the best quality audio, video, and graphics across multiple platforms and devices is our goal. However, sometimes you may not be sure exactly how something works or there may be a technical issue. Whatever the issue, our support staff will work diligently to identify the problem and work for a solution. Our goal is to keep you learning and on the path to passing the exam.
“I was very impressed with how open his staff were to any questions or problems I had throughout the courses.”
– Amy C., PE, Houston, Texas
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