So you want to pass the NCEES Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam but don’t know where to start? Advance your career and take the guesswork out of the equation by enrolling in one of the best PE review courses on the market.
Not only can PE exam prep courses help you pass the Professional Engineer exam on your first try, but they can also help you secure the knowledge needed to be one of the top professional engineers in the field.
To help you save time, we’ve researched and ranked the best PE exam prep courses and prep materials.
You should consider the number of practice questions, how long you’ll have access, the availability of realistic practice exams, and whether a live or on-demand course best suits your schedule and learning style.
From workshop sessions to onsite courses, exam applicants can use lecture videos, video practice problems, live online course offerings, and more to make sure they know all of the important info related to their chosen engineering discipline.
This comparison chart summarizes the different features of leading PE study materials, so you’re sure to find one that works best for you!
Click Below To Research the Top 5 “Best PE Review Courses” of 2023
- School of PE
- PPI2Pass PE Review
- Ultimate Civil PE Review
- Capstone Learning Associates
- EET PE Review Course
- TestMasters PE Review
Best PE Exam Prep Courses Comparison
School of PE (Rank: #1)
Live, on-site, and on-demand PE courses (with tutoring!)
School of PE Review Pros & Cons 2023
What Everyone Needs To Know About School of PE Review
Comprehensive Review and Course Options:
Rivaled only by PPI in content and specialization of instructors, School of PE has long been a favorite for those who want a comprehensive list of options. There’s a course for every Professional Engineer exam in a variety of formats: On Site, Live Online, and On Demand.
Well-Organized and Helpful Reference Notes:
Test takers rate the course notes as one of the most valuable features. They are well-organized and extremely helpful as an exam reference. Even students who skimmed through the long video lectures and griped about specific instructors said the notes were excellent.
High Pass Rates and Tutoring:
School of PE sets itself apart as an exceptional choice, boasting pass rates that far exceed the national average. A prime example of this can be seen in the January 2023 Civil FE exam, where only 62% of test-takers successfully passed, while an impressive 87% of School of PE students achieved a triumph.
This exceptional track record serves as a testament to the effectiveness and superiority of School of PE’s review courses. It demonstrates their unparalleled commitment to ensuring your success in passing the exam, placing you in an elite group of individuals who excel and surpass expectations. By choosing School of PE, you position yourself for a remarkable engineering career, fueled by their dedication to your professional growth and advancement.
It’s important to read the fine print before making any professional decision. When checking the fine print for School of PE’s policy on returns, you’ll find out that it’s only guaranteed within 10 days of your class start date. This means an administrative fee will be taken out if you change your mind in the middle of the PE exam review courses. It’s still a partial refund, but now you know ahead of time!
The Bottom Line: School of PE offers the most comprehensive options for test takers, including a full menu of live, on site and on demand courses. The study notes are excellent and it’s the only program we reviewed that provides tutoring.
PPI2Pass PE Review (Rank: #2)
Including access to the popular “learning hub” PE exam simulation
PPI2Pass PE Review Pros & Cons 2023
What Everyone Needs To Know About PPI2Pass PE Review
Reputation and Consistent Success:
As one of the oldest PE prep companies (they’ve been around since 1975), PPI has a long history of helping millions of test takers prepare for the PE, FE, and SE exams. And when it comes to consistency, this course constantly updates their materials to match the most recent changes to these exams.
Guarantee and Refund Options:
PPI’s pass guarantee means those who fail after taking a Live Course can enroll in the 90-Day Guarantee OnDemand Course for free. Of course, you can advantage of early bird pricing while you’re waiting for exam results. It’s risk-free: enroll in the Live Course and get a 100% refund if you find out you passed the exam. (See the PPI website for details and exceptions.)
Options for Every Examinee:
PPI stands out for their comprehensive resources for every single PE exam— including a recent update that prepares students for the new Computer-Based Testing (CBT) format. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another company with so many options that can be mixed and matched to fit the needs of any learner.
Enter your exam date and your study plan will be designed for you, take a diagnostic test to pinpoint areas that need the most work, and create your own quiz from the many practice questions in their online database. You can even select an additional OnDemand course for just $99.
Live Classes, Office Hours, and Targeted Practice:
Attend lectures in person or in real-time by logging in from your computer. Ask your instructor questions during lectures and office hours instead of waiting around for someone to get back to your email or forum post.
The Bottom Line: PPI2Pass is popular with students signed up for the computer-based PE exam because it closely simulates the computer-based exam experience. Choose from their popular Live Online or OnDemand courses that are tailored to your specific PE exam. Whether you need practice with breadth or depth exams, PPI has a course for you!
The Ultimate Civil PE Review (Rank: #3)
Streamlined review format with lots of practice questions
Ultimate Civil PE Review Pros & Cons 2023
What Everyone Needs To Know About Ultimate Civil PE Review
Cuts out the Clutter:
This no-frills course focuses exclusively on what you need to know to pass the Civil PE breadth exam. 10 complete theory modules with video lectures and 150+ video example problems form the core of this concise yet effective course.
Bang for your Buck:
Even the Ultimate package is reasonably priced. At just $997 it covers access for an entire year: all video lectures, a growing library of video-solved problems, 2 full-length breadth practice exams, a depth exam of your choice, and 20 additional theory questions.
Plenty of Practice Questions:
Ultimate Civil PE offers two full-breadth exams and one depth exam of your choice. Past test takers found the breadth exams particularly useful. There’s simply no substitute for practicing as many exam-like questions as possible.
Civil Engineering PE only:
This review course only covers the Civil Engineering PE exam. Anyone preparing for the other PE Engineering discipline exams (Chemical, Electrical, Environmental, Mechanical, etc.) should look at PPI2Pass or the School of PE and their broader selection of Professional Engineering exam prep materials.
The Bottom Line: This course is best for students with a solid background in engineering fundamentals who want great practice questions and a streamlined review of what’s covered on the PE Civil Exam. However, it isn’t recommended for those who’ve been out of the classroom for a while. The same is true for those who need a more comprehensive review.
Choose the Ultimate package rather than the Lite ($247/month) and Basic ($697 for 6 months) because they don’t include as many practice questions or exams.
GO TO THE ULTIMATE CIVIL PE REVIEW
Captstone Associates PE Review (Rank: #4)
Expert-led courses with unlimited access
Capstone Associates PE Review Pros & Cons 2023
What Everyone Needs To Know About Capstone PE Review
It can be annoying to switch between units of measurement while working on study materials related to professional engineering. To make this less of a hassle, Capstone includes an instant units conversion module that can be accessed to make on-the-fly conversions, cutting down on excess study time and unnecessary frustration. This is one thing that makes their PE prep courses so great.
When you pay for a Capstone course, you’ll never have to pay for it again. This is because they put no time limits on any of their study materials and no monthly subscription fees. Take all the time you need to understand the difficult PE exam concepts without feeling the pressure on your wallet.
All of the instructors at Capstone Learning Associates are extremely qualified to both teach and practice professional engineering. Furthermore, these instructors are available for additional help if you find yourself struggling with a particular content area.
What if you’re not satisfied with your PE review course and you want a refund? Unfortunately, Capstone has no refund policy— all sales are final. However, you can get an idea of whether or not you’ll like this course by taking advantage of their free FE sample course.
The Bottom Line: The biggest benefit you can gain from enrolling in Capstone’s PE prep course packages is the aid of extremely qualified instructors and access to a well-made course dashboard. That being said, a bit more content would make this a much easier pick.
GO TO CAPSTONE ASSOCIATES PE REVIEW
EET PE Exam Prep Review(Rank: #5)
Solid reference binder, excellent questions and low cost
EET PE Exam Prep Review Pros & Cons 2023
What Everyone Needs To Know About EET PE Exam Prep Review
Great Ratings and High Pass Rate:
Engineering Education and Training (EET) gets great feedback from test takers for both the breadth and depth tests in various engineering disciplines. EET boasts a pass rate of 80-85% for students who attend all classes, do the homework, and complete the simulation exams. California engineers will appreciate the specific EET seismic and surveying classes, which come highly recommended.
Past students rave about EET Review’s top-notch and passionate instructors. The small group of knowledgeable instructors is consistently praised for caring about their students, providing helpful and effective strategies to use on the test, and answering individuals’ questions patiently and promptly.
EET’s options are very reasonably priced, especially given their incredibly knowledgeable instructors and high pass rate. For example, the Civil PE breadth course costs between $550-$650. The final price depends on the option you choose (On-Demand Webinar, Live Webinar, Live Seminar).
The depth courses cost an additional $550 (On Demand)/$600 (Live Webinar). Seismic and Survey courses are even cheaper at $525/$375. The Live seminar is only available in Sacramento, but the Live Webinar is nearly identical.
This company offers great California PE exam study materials (which makes sense since they are based out of CA), but only for a select number of PE exams, including the PE Civil breadth and depth, the California PE Seismic Principles Exam, and the California Engineering Surveying Exam. If you need to take a different engineering PE exam, try a different prep company.
The Bottom Line: If you’re taking the CA specific PE exams, signing up for the EET PE Review is a no brainer. The low cost coupled with excellent instruction will give you an edge on exam day. It’s also a great option for the breadth and/or depth portions of the PE Civil exam because of the top notch reference binder and knowledgeable instructors who go above and beyond for their students.
Choose from a live in person seminar (Sacramento only), live online webinar (using Adobe Connect) and on demand video webinar. You’ll also get unlimited access to videos until the day of the exam.
TestMasters PE Review (Rank: #6)
Savvy PE instructors and straightforward study approach
Testmasters PE Review Pros & Cons 2023
What Everyone Needs To Know About Testmasters PE Review
Experienced Instructors and Affordable:
TestMasters PE Review comes highly recommended by those who’ve passed the PE exam. Former students in various states report that the Live Classroom, Live Online, and On-Demand courses are extremely well-taught. Complex topics are explained in a straightforward way by highly qualified instructors and; practice problems are geared towards tackling those on the test quickly and accurately.
Amazing Reference Notes/Binder:
The TestMasters PE binder and reference notes get stellar reviews. Many test takers report that they used these as their main (or only!) resource on the day of the test. It’s essential to have everything you need for the test organized and at your fingertips instead of hauling in a huge stack of books on exam day.
Pass the exam or the next review session is free! It’s nice to have a built-in back up plan at no extra cost to you if you don’t pass the PE exam the first time around. (See the Testmasters/Excel Test Prep website for details and exceptions.)
Common Reference Books and Practice Exams Not Included:
Although many prep courses include the most popular reference manuals that you will need to study and answer practice questions, the Test Masters price does not include reference books or practice exams.
The Bottom Line: At the end of the day, Test Masters alumni credit their instructors’ coaching and specific strategies for helping them ace the test. Although Test Masters may not offer the bells and whistles of the more well-known PE prep companies, their tried and true approach has worked for many who failed after taking a more comprehensive review course first.
PE Exam Prep Courses FAQs
Which PE prep course is best?
There are lots of PE exam review courses on the market. School of PE offers one of the best professional engineering review courses to date. If you’re looking for a PE course to help you pass your engineering exam, you should definitely check out their course materials.
Is 3 months enough to study for PE?
Most agree that 200-300 hours of prep time is needed to pass the PE exam tests created by the Civil Engineering Academy. How you will secure these hours depends on whether you prefer a traditional classroom environment, full length practice exams, want an on demand course, need live classes, and the type of study schedule you prefer.
What is the hardest PE exam to pass?
There really is no easiest PE exam or hardest PE exam since this is subjective. However, the numbers show that Structural Depth and Geotechnica are the most difficult NCEES PE exam offerings. Of course, a PE exam prep course can make passing easier.
Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, YEC and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created CrushTheCPAexam.com to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. Bryce was named one of Accounting Today’s “Accountants To Watch” among other accolades. As Seen On Forbes