Sunday, January 30, 2011

PE Review Course List & Comparison

This list comprises as many PE review courses as I could find. If you know of or host a review course not listed, please post a comment! (No recommendation is implied. Please review available courses responsibly.)

School of PE   Cost: $1490 ($300 possible discount for early registration- $200 discount for first 15 registrants, and $100 if registered during early enrollment period.) This is for the School of PE live online course.
If you take an onsite course, the cost is also $895 for a 40-hour "Refresher" course which covers each of the 5 critical topics for 8 hours each. There is an optional "Workshop" afterward which costs $595 (the cost of both, 70 hours of live, in-person review, is $1490).
SchoolofPE also offers an interesting OnDemand option. Pay $1190 for immediate access to streaming video. Then, if you still desire live classroom instruction, pay $300 to join a class. You must add the class before a deadline. For the April, 2015 PE exam, this deadline is February 2nd.

PE Review.net   This site changed their format to one different from the others on this list. They offer three levels of use: bronze ($99), silver ($599), and gold ($999).
  • Bronze: access to forum and online practice exams
  • Silver: includes bronze and 200+ worked problems and video on demand
  • Gold: includes bronze and silver and live webinars, access to instructor through forum, and 500+ word problems 
Subscriptions are valid for a year (that was the case when I visited April 9,2013). The Silver level worked problems are very interesting. I agree with their approach: You download sets of 8 problems to work. Attempt it first, then peak at a partial solution, and attempt to fill in the blanks. Finally, watch a flash video in which an instructor walks you through the problem. This is a system of learning that works. 

Professional Engineering Review Classes   (New York state)  Cost: $895. See site for detailed course plan.

Testmasters PE Exam Test Prep Course Cost $1595 ($100 refund if you already have the Civil Engineering Reference Manual.) One thing to like about this program: a great guarantee. The guarantee is also a motivational tool. To activate it, the examinee is required to attend every session. If you don't pass, the next course is free. 72 hours of instruction.

PPI2PASS Online Civil Exam Morning Session Prep:  Cost: $1,785. But, you get everything you need: six quality review books, NCEES-qualified calculator, tabs for marking your indexes, and Free access to Exam Cafe ($125 value). The online course is 40 hours of instruction. You can save 5% on all PPI-published books with ppi2pass discount code PASS1114.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): 12-Part Review Course cost: $1,620. The course page says $1,945 for non-members and $1,395 for members. Since a membership costs $225, it's a no-brainer. Buy the membership and get a discounted review course for the PE. Webinar format, with on-demand video available afterward. Tuesday and Thursday nights from 3:00 to 5:00. This is noon to 2:00 on the west coast, an extended lunch, basically. 24 hours of total instruction. Note: When I joined in February, 2014, I paid much less than $225, and, I learned there are two more bonuses. First, ASCE give you a free membership to another association (I joined SEI.) And, new members receive 4 free webinars as well.

PEreviewcourse.com: This site has a 100% pass guarantee. "If you don't pass, you'll receive a one-hundred percent refund," the site video says. This review works by taking modules, then taking mini exams, which are graded by an instructor. The cost is only $460. There is an option for shipped binders for the course as well. They offer civil, electrical, mechanical, and chemical review courses. 

Also consider Excel Test Prep Service to study for the NCEES PE exam.

The majority of people purchase a slew of books, and use those to study instead. Check out this list of the top-rated (as reviewed by other examinees) PE exam books

Whether you decide to use a PE exam prep service, or to prepare on your own, be sure to read the following two posts:
Test Taking Tips
Six Week NCEES PE Exam Study Guide

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