How DTC Mechanical Courses Work

READY TO PURCHASE YOUR COURSE? GO STRAIGHT TO OUR CATALOG.

First, here’s a quick summary of how our courses Work.

The DTC Mechanical PE Exam Reviews give you the BEST CHANCE OF PASSING THE EXAM with:

  • COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW: A complete review for the PE Exam with video lessons teach you the fundamentals and a selected method of solving problems that can be applied quickly across classes of problems.
  • REFERENCE HANDBOOK GUIDE: Lots of practice accessing information in the Reference Handbook to become intimately familiar with what’s in it and what’s not.
  • PRACTICE PROBLEMS: An extensive combination of problems designed to build your confidence, plus practice exams in an exam-type setting. 
  • STRUCTURE AND FOCUS: Weekly study plans with targeted day-by-day assignments focus your review on the topics and problems needed to pass the exam. No wasting time studying things you don’t really need.
  • FLEXIBILITY: Your course is easy to access online anytime and can be done on your schedule.
  • THE TIME YOU NEED FOR YOUR REVIEW: We offer each review for a full year, so you can review at a pace that works for you.

“Dr. Tom’s 20-week Thermal Fluid System course is the best option on the market, hands down. His method is clear, consistent, and most of all – it works. The beauty of DTC is they do not assume pre-requisite knowledge; every topic is stripped to bedrock and then built back up utilizing his method. Using his course, I was able to pass the PE on the first try. I would highly recommend anyone who is serious about passing the PE exam to use Dr. Tom’s Classroom.”  

– Aldo Leon II, PE, Entergy Nuclear, New Orleans, Louisiana

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.

To learn more about how our CBT Mechanical PE Exam Reviews work, click on the topics below.

Welcome!

I based my original online 20-Week Mechanical Engineering PE Exam Review on my many years of experience preparing mechanical engineers for the PE Exam. With the help of my DTC team, I developed the tried and true structure and method that we offered online for many years. Now everything has changed. In 2020, the NCEES converted the exam to a CBT or Computer-Based-Testing Format. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of the CBT Exam, and I can give you my reasons why, but it’s here and it’s what you going to be dealing with. Such a different exam experience requires a completely new approach to your exam preparation. With the same care we put into developing our original courses, DTC spent two years developing our brand new CBT Mechanical Exam Reviews to specifically prepare you to be successful with the CBT exam experience.

I understand in the years you’re out of college, you’re going to lose your proficiency in the exam topics. We help you get back up to speed on the areas that you need to pass 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. This is not about recovering everything you learned. This is about passing the exam. Just keep moving with Dr. Tom. You will get there.

Everyone at Dr. Tom’s Classroom works hard to make your learning experience the best it can be, and the DTC team and I will be with you every step of the way. Facing this exam 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 Dr. Tom’s Classroom review. I hope to see you in the course!

– Dr. Tom

PROBLEM RECOGNITION: 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 topics presented in a way to build your knowledge base and help you learn to identify problem types quickly. 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. 

ONE WAY TO SOLVE A PROBLEM:  The Dr. Tom Method teaches a selected method of solving problems that can be applied across classes of problems. By following Dr. Tom’s approach to a problem, you will have fewer equations to become familiar with and you will have less decision making to do during the exam.

FAMILIARITY WITH REFERENCE HANDBOOK: The Dr. Tom Method also provides you with a system to become intimately familiar with onscreen NCEES Reference Handbook you will have available as your only resource during the exam, and to help compensate for the rather substantial gaps it has. 

LOTS OF PRACTICE: The Dr. Tom Method provides you with numerous problems for you to solve including: problems for every lesson to practice what you’ve just learned, assigned NCEES Practice Exam problems, challenge problems to help you better understand the context of the problems you’ll be solving on the exam, weekly assessment problems (on the computer) to make sure you’ve gained the skills for solving problems associated with each week’s problems. Then every five weeks, you have a 1-hour, timed practice exam (on the computer) that includes problems from the five previous weeks, and at the end of the course, you have two 2-hour, timed practice exams (on the computer) with problems from throughout the course. This combination of problems is designed to teach you an efficient way to solve problems, and then build your confidence in using that method in ways that build to solving them an exam-type setting. So lots of doing, and by the end of the course, you will be ready for the exam. 

EXAM DAY STRATEGY: The Dr. Tom Method gives you 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 the ability to quickly access the information you need in the NCEES Handbook.

“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, 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

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Course Focus – How We Target Your Review

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, practice 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

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20-WEEK SCHEDULE: Our online reviews are based on a 20-Week review schedule. Each week is devoted to a different topic and provides you with lessons and practice, familiarizing you with solutions for the type of problems you will see on the exam. While 20 weeks is the ideal time frame for the reviews, you have access to the course for a year, and can do the course at whatever pace works best for you.

WEEKLY STUDY PLANS: 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 on fundamental concepts and problem-solving strategies
  • a Reference Handbook guide
  • lots of assigned problems with solutions videos
  • weekly assessment quizzes with exam-type problems. 
  • Handout downloads are provided for all lessons 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. 

PRACTICE EXAMS: Every five weeks you have a 1-hour, timed practice exam (on the computer) that includes problems from the five previous weeks, and at the end of the course, you have two 2-hour, timed practice exams (on the computer) with problems from throughout the course. These practice exams help build your confidence solving problems in an exam-type setting.

TOPICS COVERED: Our Mechanical Reviews are structured to teach topics in a logical instructional order, not in the way they are presented in the specifications. This is to build a base of understanding that will help you solve problems quickly. So it may look like it’s not lining up with the specs, but it is. If any specification isn’t taught, it is because any problems based on that topic are too complex to be solved quickly during the exam, and you’re better off just guessing on those and devoting your time to problems that you can work quickly. Our approach is very strategic because we want to give you the greatest change of succeeding on the exam. All topics are taught by Dr. Tom himself.

HVAC & Refrigeration PE Exam Review (COMING SOON!)

  • Course Introduction
  • Fluid Mechanics (2 weeks),
  • Thermodynamics (4 weeks) 
  • Refrigeration (2.5 weeks)
  • Economics (0.5 week)
  • Heat Transfer (3 weeks)
  • HVAC (8 weeks)


Machine Design & Materials PE  Exam Review

  • Course Introduction
  • Basic Mechanical Engineering Topics: Statics, Dynamics and Solid Mechanics (6 weeks),
  • Material Properties (0.5 week)
  • Economics (0.5 week)
  • Machine Design (8 weeks)
  • Machine Dynamic (5 weeks)


Thermal & Fluid Systems PE Exam Review

  • Course Introduction
  • Fluid Mechanics (4 weeks),
  • Thermodynamics (9 weeks)
  • Refrigeration (0.5 week)
  • Economics (0.5 week)
  • HVAC (3 weeks)
  • Heat Transfer (3 weeks)

 

“If you work the program, watch the lectures, do the problems, 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

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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 time frame doesn’t work for everyone. So we offer access to our Mechanical reviews for a full year.

You have access to all the course materials you have purchased for one full year from the day you purchase your review. You can start your review immediately and work at your own pace to complete your review and take the exam on your schedule. Keep in mind that you will lose access to the course when your purchase period expires, so make sure to pace your review to be complete before the course expires. 

If you want to work through your review in the recommended 20-Week schedule, the ideal time to begin your review is 24 weeks, or roughly 6 months, before you plan to take 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

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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. 

You have access to the course materials for a full year from the time you sign up. So, if need to, you can take longer than 20 weeks to complete the course and work slightly fewer hours each week. You can also put in more hours per week and complete the course in less than 20 weeks. However, you will need to make sure that you work quickly enough to finish the review before you lose access to the course.

For example:

  • 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 takers 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

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We offer Mechanical PE Exam Reviews for the following Mechanical areas:

 

We strongly recommend that you watch Dr. Tom’s Mechanical 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

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You need to make a strategic decision in choosing which Mechanical PE 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 Mechanical 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 Mechanical 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

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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. You will need is a reliable, broadband internet connection to access the course and play video lessons.

You have access to all the course material for full year, 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 into your account and there you will find a dashboard with all the modules for your course. Click on a module and you’ll find a list of all the assignments for your review in the order we recommend that you approach them. 

Assignments include:

  • Instructions to read
  • Handouts to download
  • Video lessons and problem solution videos to watch
  • Quizzes and practice exams 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. 

Limit on Viewing Videos – 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

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For our Mechanical PE Exam Reviews, Dr. Tom has assembled an amazing team of instructors that he leads. They are passionate about teaching in addition to being very skilled in their field of expertise. 

Dr. Thomas H. Brown, PE, teaches the course introduction for all three DTC Mechanical PE Exam Reviews, all the main topics for Machine Design & Materials and Thermal &  Fluids Systems, and half of the topics for HVAC & Refrigeration. 

Tom received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1970. He earned a Masters Degree in Engineering Mechanics from North Carolina State University in 1973. Dr. Tom holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, also 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. To learn more about Dr. Tom, check out Meet Dr. Tom.  

Dr. Stephen Terry, PE, teaches the more advanced topics for the DTC HVAC & Refrigeration PE Exam Review. 

Stephen holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in North Carolina. He is a Research Associate Professor in the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at NC State, and is Director of the NCSU Industrial Assessment Center, performing energy assessments at over 700 manufacturing plants. He teaches a variety of courses in the MAE Department, including Thermal Systems Design, Energy Conservation in Industry, and Air Conditioning. He has also taught classes for the US Department of Energy on Steam Systems. He performs research into Energy Storage Systems and has published over two dozen research papers. 

Dr. Daniel Fijndley, PE, teaches Engineering Economics for all three DTC Mechanical PE Exam Reviews.

Daniel holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in North Carolina. Presently, Daniel is a Senior Research Associate with the Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NC State in Raleigh, North Carolina and also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at NC State University. He is an author of 3 books, 29 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has given numerous presentations at local, state, national, and international audiences. 

“I truly enjoyed Dr. Tom’s online presence and encouragement.  His approach built my confidence steadily from beginning to end.  He is a gifted and enthusiastic teacher who comes alongside you with empathy and humor.“ 

– Andrew Miller, PE

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Once you purchase your course, 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

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Our courses contain a carefully structured instructional experience that allows you to build your knowledge, skills and confidence through a combination of instruction and practice. In addition to the online video lessons and problem solution videos you will watch online and ass, you will receive course materials that you will need to download and print. 

Here is a complete list of the course materials:

  • Dr. Tom’s Reference Handbook Companion (RHC) – quick reference that helps you become intimately familiar with important equations in the NCEES Handbook you will have available as your only resource during the exam, as well as equations that are not included.
  • Study Plans – detailed, daily assignments for all 20 study weeks.
  • Lesson Videos – teach concepts and provide problem examples.
  • Lesson Handouts – Handouts that contain the slides from the each lesson and problem statements for lesson problems.
  • Lesson Problem Videos – solutions for lesson problems.
  • Challenge Problem Handouts – problem statements for challenge problems.
  • Challenge Problem Videos – solutions for challenge problems.
  • Assessment Quiz – problem statements for assessment problems provided onscreen. 
  • Assessment Problem Handouts – Solutions for assessment problems.
  • 5-Week Practice Exams – problem statements for timed practice exams provided onscreen. 
  • 5-Week Practice Exams Handouts – Key to find solutions for practice exam problems.

“I can say with absolute certainty that Dr. Tom’s review course was the key to my success. The organized approach allowed me to focus on learning the content for the exam instead of wasting time trying to figure those out on my own. Focusing on solving examples, and shoring up trouble areas before progressing to new lessons was the only way I could effectively learn the material. Doing, not merely watching is the key for me.”

– Brent V., PE, Houston, Texas

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You will only need to acquire two additional references for your review, both from NCEES:

  • NCEES PE Mechanical Practice Exam for your review (HVAC, MDM or TFS) 
  • NCEES PE Mechanical Reference Handbook
  • The only reference that you will be allowed to use during the exam. You can download it FREE from the NCEES website in PDF format. You’ll need to create an NCEES account to access it. 

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With each payment option, you receive the same comprehensive review; the only difference is when you pay and the overall cost. You can save $100 if you pay up front for the full course and save $50 with our Test Drive option.

You have access to all the course materials you have purchased for one full year from the day you begin your review. You can start your review immediately and work at your own pace to complete your review and take the exam on your schedule. Keep in mind that you will lose access to the course when your purchase period expires, so make sure to pace your review to be complete before the course expires. The ideal time to begin your 20-Week Review is 24 weeks before your exam date.

  • Pay Up Front – $850 (Save $100!)
  • Test Drive – $900 (Save $50)
    • First Module (3 weeks) for $50
    • Other Six Modules (17 weeks) for $850
  • Pay-As-You-Go – $950
    • First Module (3 weeks) for $50
    • Other Six Modules for $150 each


We do offer a Military Discount for active military personnel and veterans.

We can also provide Group Discounts to organizations, companies or government entities who would like to purchase courses or offer discounts to their employees or members.

“With better than competitive prices, effective teaching ability, and proven results, Dr. Tom’s Classroom is undeniably the best value in PE exam preparation. Thanks Dr. Tom!” 

– Andrew Lipetzky, PE, Duke Energy, New Hill, NC

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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. 

Limit on Viewing Videos – 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.

Time Limit – You are paying for access to a specific course for a set period of time – one full year. It is up to you to take advantage of the course materials during the time frame you have purchased. Your access to the course cannot be extended beyond the purchased time frame. If you would like to continue your review beyond the end of your purchased time frame, you will need to sign up again for another course. 

Retakes – Dr. Tom’s Classroom offers no free retakes of our courses. 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 a Dr. Tom’s Classroom review course.

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Dr. Tom’s Classroom offers no free retake of the course. We unable to extend your access to any course beyond the purchased time frame. If you would like to continue your review beyond the end of your purchased time frame, you will need to sign up again for another 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.

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 Pay Up Front 20-Week Review  

Failed Test Retake Prices (for participants who purchase a complete review, take the exam and do not pass):

  • $200 for Pay Up Front 20-Week Review

Please read our Terms and Conditions for full details. 

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Dr. Tom’s Classroom is proud to support our military and former military civil 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

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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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