So you’re studying for the PE exam and as you get started you begin to feel overwhelmed with it all. What’s on the exam? Where can you find the best practice problems? How should you make a study plan? If you try to answer these questions on your own, you might end up like I did on my first attempt at the PE exam and be staring at that awful red “FAIL” on your exam results.
Contrast that confusion, frustration, and overwhelm with the feeling you’d have if you opened your test results to find a green “PASS” next to the PE Exam. It’s an amazing thing and I’ve felt it myself because that’s exactly what happened after my second attempt at the PE exam. But it was only because I had a review course like Civil Engineering Academy’s Ultimate Civil PE Review Course to guide me to know how to study, what practice problems to do, and more.
In this Civil Engineering Academy review, I’m going to dive into the details of why I highly recommend Civil Engineering Academy’s PE review courses and practice exams.
Civil Engineering Academy’s PE review course – The Ultimate Civil PE Review Course, is by far the best bang for your buck when it comes to study materials for the PE exam. Their practice problems are very similar to what you see on the actual PE exam. The review material is thorough and just what you need to know to pass and nothing more. You won’t feel overwhelmed if you take Civil Engineering Academy’s PE review course. And your wallet is going to be happier, too, with prices that are at a fraction of what other review courses cost.
If you’re ready to jump right in and buy the course or want to take a closer look at what Civil Engineering Academy is all about, you can click here to go right to their site for the course.
But don’t head there too quick, all of this is just scratching the surface. There’s a lot more to know about this course. And there are a lot of reasons why it may be the best option for you to finally feel confident that you can pass the PE exam.
Here’s a handy table of contents to help you easily navigate this review:
- Quick Summary of My Civil Engineering Academy Review (FAQ)
- What are the pros and cons of buying the Civil Engineering Academy PE Review Course?
- What’s it like to use Civil Engineering Academy’s Ultimate PE Review Course?
- How much is Civil Engineering Academy’s Civil PE Review Course?
- So is the Civil Engineering Academy PE review course worth it?
Also, just a head’s up that throughout this article I’ll often abbreviate Civil Engineering Academy as CEA. Now let’s jump right in with the FAQ!
Quick Summary of My Civil Engineering Academy Review (FAQ)
Is Civil Engineering Academy worth it?
As far as review courses, Civil Engineering Academy is one of the best out there and definitely worth it. I’d say it’s at least as good as School of PE or ppi2pass at a fraction of the cost. You’ll really get your money’s worth with their Ultimate Civil PE Review Course!
How much does Civil Engineering Academy cost?
You have three options to purchase the course:
- 3 Month Access for $397
- 6 Month Access for $697
- 12 Month Access for $997
You can also buy individual practice exams (both breadth and depth) for around $25-$45.
Can I pay over time?
Yes! For the 6-month access, you have the option to do 3 payments of $247 and for the 12-month access, you can do 4 payments of $297. Since the 3-month access is just $397 it doesn’t have any payment options.
What’s included with Civil Engineering Academy?
Here are just a few of the main things you get with CEA:
- Hours of lecture videos that follow the exact specifications of what’s on the exam per NCEES (the council that administers the exam)
- Over 200 practice problems with video solutions
- 2 breadth practice exams and a depth practice exam for each Civil PE discipline
- A private Facebook community in which you can ask questions and get help about anything relating to the PE exam
Will I pass the PE if I take the Civil Engineering Academy PE review course?
While nothing is ever 100% guaranteed, your chances of passing the PE exam will go up significantly if you take Civil Engineering Academy’s Civil PE Review Course. The average pass rate for the PE test, in general, is around 60-70%. With CEA the pass rate is roughly 85%!
What are the pros and cons of buying the Civil Engineering Academy PE Review Course?
If you’re like me, you are probably nervous about the idea of dropping hundreds of dollars on a PE review course. It’s a lot of money, even if the prices are the lowest out there. That’s totally understandable! Let’s go over some of the pros and cons of Civil Engineering Academy.
Pros of purchasing Civil Engineering Academy’s Civil PE Review Course:
- The price is unbeatable. One of the biggest benefits of Civil Engineering Academy is that the price is far below most PE review courses. If you were to buy School of PE or ppi2pass (the two most popular review courses), you’d be spending over $1,000. With CEA, you get the same benefits of a higher pass rate but at a fraction of the cost, with the lowest-priced option being around $400.
- You get TONS of awesome practice problems. When I was studying for the PE exam and wondering which practice exams to get I bought CEA’s “The Ultimate Civil PE Breadth Exams Vol. 1 & 2 (you can get those right here) and was blown away at how much better the problems were than most others. When it came time to the actual exam, CEA’s practice exams were among my top reference materials because of how similar they were to the actual test questions. With the course, you get both volumes of the breadth exam, a depth exam of each civil discipline, and over 200 individual practice problems, all with video solutions. In total that’s around 300 high-quality practice problems!
- Everything is simplified, including the material and how you access the course. One of my biggest complaints about some PE review courses is how complicated they are. I purchased access to a practice portal from ppi2pass and the problems were WAY harder than what I actually saw on the PE exam. It was a huge waste of my time. This is not the case with Civil Engineering Academy. Isaac (the founder of CEA) has made the course as in-depth as required for you to know what you need to pass the PE exam but not any more complex than that. You won’t be wasting any time with these courses.
- Isaac and his team are personable, helpful, and awesome to work with. When I first discovered CEA I found out that it was owned by a guy that lives not too far from where I do. I was excited when, after emailing him about some of my questions, he actually responded! Not long afterward I was able to develop a friendship with him and even got to be on his podcast. Isaac is great and the level of personal attention he gives to this course, and to his students, is something that no other PE review course has. It’s super helpful to feel like you’ve got someone right there beside you helping you along the way.
- The course has been revised to account for the PE exam going from pencil and paper to computer-based. The change from pencil-and-paper PE exams to computer-based was a gigantic one and you’ve got to know what you’re doing with the computer-based version if you want to succeed. Because Isaac is down in the trenches constantly updating this course and helping students, he is familiar with the challenges this change brings. He’s been working hard to make updates to the course so you can succeed on the PE exam now that it’s computer-based!
Cons of purchasing Civil Engineering Academy’s Civil PE Review Course:
- It’s a smaller company than other PE review courses and it has fewer instructors. Don’t get me wrong here, Isaac and his team are awesome and their course is just as good as the others. What I mean by this is that it’s a smaller team than what you might expect so things might be different than you might expect. Don’t let that discourage you from CEA though, Isaac 100% knows what he’s talking about (he’s a PE himself, after all). You will definitely get your money’s worth here. And the reality is that having a smaller team means they are more likely to give you a more personalized experience.
- There’s no free repeat if you fail the PE exam. One of my favorite things about School of PE is that if you take their course and fail the PE exam you can retake it for free. CEA doesn’t have this same promise. However, their prices are so cheap that it’s not too bad if you have to retake them. Plus, if you get the 12-month access option you’ll be set for 3 attempts of the PE exam!
- I found a couple of errors in the questions and answers of the practice exams I got from CEA. This didn’t end up being too big of a deal though because I emailed Isaac about it and he responded to help get those resolved. As I mentioned before, he’s always hard at work making sure everything in the course is updated and he responds well to feedback, so it’s constantly getting better. Plus, if there are errors, Isaac is right there to help!
What’s it like to use Civil Engineering Academy’s Ultimate PE Review Course?
Although the price is more affordable than other options, I’m sure you’re still wondering if you want to drop hundreds of dollars on Civil Engineering Academy’s Ultimate PE Review Course. That’s completely normal and you don’t need to worry about jumping into anything just yet. Let me share with you a little of what you’ll see if you do decide to purchase the course to help you understand what you’d be getting into.
When you purchase CEA’s review course you get access to the following:
- 10 modules of video lessons (51 videos in total) that follow the exact specifications of the PE Exam. NCEES has a sheet that has a breakdown of the main topics within each civil engineering discipline that they will ask questions about on the exam. Isaac has taken each of these and made a whole module full of video lessons explaining what you need to know to succeed with each.
- Over 200 practice problems in PDF form that you can do on your own, plus video solutions for each (in 12+ hours of video). This alone is a huge benefit to your studies. On my first attempt at the PE exam, I didn’t know what I did wrong when I got problems incorrect. I could only see the question and the correct answer for most study materials. Once I had a course, though, all of that changed. Because I could clearly see what I got wrong, I got to re-learn how to do things correctly and every subsequent practice problem was significantly more effective. When my second attempt at the exam came I was extremely confident in my answers. This was likely the greatest factor in me passing the PE exam.
- 2 Civil PE breadth exams (40 questions each) and 5 Civil PE depth exams (one for each discipline). These practice tests are another significant piece to my passing the PE exam. I always tell aspiring Professional Engineers to set up a practice run of the PE with their practice exams by finding a quiet place and sitting down and running through the full 80 problems, breadth and depth, in 8 hours, with a lunch break in the middle. I did this myself twice, once for each attempt at the PE exam, and it made me way less nervous on test day because I had at least some idea of what to expect. These practice exams are perfect for that and I used them myself when I took the PE the second time. These are fantastic resources and the problems are spot on to what is actually on the PE exam.
- Access to a private group where you can ask questions and get additional help. Did you know that the most significant determiner of success is social connection? In other words, you are highly likely to win at something in life if you have the right people on your side. This says a lot for getting a course at all because when you buy a course you’re getting help from somebody who knows how to pass. But the added benefit of having a group like this means you’re even more likely to succeed! There’s nothing like working with others to boost your confidence, give you hope when you get down, or answer the little questions that you may not be able to get answers to anywhere else.
One thing I really love about this course is that it’s hosted on Teachable, which is by far the most user-friendly interface out there. Other PE review courses have the videos and materials hosted on their sites and I always found that confusing to figure out. Teachable is extremely easy to use and there’s no confusion about where to get your content. It’s all there in one easy-to-access place.
When you purchase the course you’ll get access through Teachable by creating a username and password. After that, it’s really straightforward. From lesson 1 Isaac explains everything you need to know, where to get all the study materials, and the mindsets you’ll want to get into if you want to succeed.
At that point, you can continue through the introduction module to learn about the exam format, test-taking resources and tips, and the outline of the rest of the course.
Once you’re through the intro module, you’ll get right into the material with the modules for each Civil Engineering discipline, including structural, geotechnical, water resources & environmental, transportation, and construction.
You can skip around at this point and you might want to. If you feel like you need a lot of work in the structural area, you can start there then come back to it and re-watch it again after you go through all of the other sections.
One of the last modules has videos for all of the practice problems and they are divided into each discipline as well. Within each video, you can access the PDF download for that discipline’s practice problems. It’s a good idea to download these and run through them on your own first then look at the video solutions.
It may seem like a lot but it’s all simple, easy to access, and just as thorough as it needs to be but no more than that.
How much is Civil Engineering Academy’s Civil PE Review Course?
I mentioned briefly earlier that there are three options for purchasing CEA’s Civil PE Review course but in this section, I’m going to go more in-depth on all the different options available. There are a lot, but another thing I love about CEA is that they are the best at not overcomplicating things. And that includes their pricing structure.
Breadth Review: One Month Access – $397 (no payment plan)
Breadth Review: 6 Month Access – $697 or 3 payments of $247
Breadth Review: Yearly Access – $997 or 4 payments of $297
All of these come with 10 lecture modules, 200 video-solved practice problems, the private FB community, the breadth and depth exams, and more. The only difference in the prices is how long you will have access.
Remember that those are just the breadth review options, though. Because your PE exam score is cumulative and you don’t have to get a minimum amount in the afternoon to pass, you could pass by just taking this option. If you want the depth review material also, you’ll have these options:
Breadth + Depth Review: One Month Access – $697 (no payment plan)
Breadth + Depth Review: 6 Month Access – $997 or 4 payments of $267
Breadth + Depth Review: Yearly Access – $1297 or 4 payments of $347
Each of these options comes with 10 lecture modules for the breadth and another 5 for the depth, 200 video solved practice problems, the private FB community, the breadth and depth exams, and more.
These all have a 15-day money-back guarantee as well, which allows you to get a 100% refund if you aren’t satisfied with the course within the first 15 days. That’s a pretty awesome deal that isn’t available with many other review courses!
You can also buy individual practice exams. Prices for those are as follows:
Basic (vol. 1 or vol 2 only) – $24.95 for 40 breadth questions
Premium: $37.95 for both volumes (80 breadth questions)
Ultimate: $44.95 for both volumes and 20 bonus questions (100 total)
You can also get other bonus study materials such as:
The Ultimate Equation Reference Guide – $24.95
20 Bonus Theory Questions – $14.95
The PE Starter Toolkit – $147 (includes all of the above + bonus lessons)
That might sound like a lot of options but to break it down simply you have the breadth study courses for a few hundred dollars a month, the depth study courses for about twice that price, and the individual exams, which are about $25 each or less if you bundle them together.
The main takeaway here is that CEA is far more affordable than other PE review options. If you compare their 85% pass rate to that of others like School of PE, it’s not that different. In other words, you’re getting almost the same thing at a fraction of the cost.
So is the Civil Engineering Academy PE review course worth it?
I’ll cut straight to the point here: Civil Engineering Academy’s PE Review Course is 100% worth the price. But why?
If for nothing else, being able to work practice problems and see video solutions to know why you’re getting things wrong is 100% worth the price just on its own.
As I mentioned earlier, the hardest thing by far about studying without a course was that I had no idea how to correctly solve problems when I got them wrong. Sure, there were explanations in some of the books I had, but that’s worthless compared to video solutions. Plus, a lot of their solutions weren’t very good.
When you can actually see and hear a human being telling you how to solve a problem it makes a significant difference in your ability to understand and retain that information. Every subsequent problem you practice is 100x more effective because you know you’re getting it right.
Another way to think of it is that when you study on your own you’re pretty much just reinforcing what you already know but you have no way to fully learn how to solve the problems you don’t know. The video solutions to the practice problems alone fix this completely. But that’s not all you get with this amazing course.
Another difficulty in learning how to solve problems was figuring out the concepts. I remember there were a lot of principles that I didn’t fully understand until after I had taken a course myself. Because I could watch lecture videos that were tailored to the PE exam I knew exactly what to look for and it all started to make sense.
All of this and we still aren’t including the other benefits of the course. The social aspect of the community boosts your chances of passing tremendously. And the practice exams give you a perfect way to set up your own practice run of the PE to make sure you’re completely ready for test day.
At the end of the day, though, each of these things is just simply a nice feature of the course. The real benefit of taking this course is confidence on test day. It’s walking out of the PE exam feeling like you absolutely crushed it. That feeling, and the feeling when you find out that you passed, is worth the cost of any review course to me. And I would know because it’s exactly how I felt when I passed the PE exam.
My first attempt without a course was a disaster. I wasted hours trying to figure out what to study and where to get the best materials. I’d often wonder if I was even on the right track. When test day came I felt somewhat prepared but mostly nervous. It was terrifying to feel like I didn’t know how to answer many of the questions on the exam. And even more so when I found out that I had failed.
But my next attempt, when I had a course, was completely different. I invested in myself and my career by purchasing a course and it made all the difference. I no longer had to wonder what to study and didn’t have to waste time trying to find practice materials. The confidence that I was on the right track was finally there.
When test day came around that second time I felt amazing. I blazed through nearly every problem in the morning section almost like it was one of those multiplication sheets from elementary school. When I met up with my wife at lunch I mentioned that it felt easy. The afternoon session was difficult, but I still felt like I had rocked it.
The contrast between taking the PE without a course and then taking it with a course was extremely stark. And so was the feeling when I found out that I passed on that second attempt.
My career and life will always be better because I passed the PE exam. Sure I make almost twice as much money now that I’m licensed. But more than that, I actually feel like I earned the right to call myself a Professional Engineer and that’s been a huge boost to my personal confidence. I’m extremely proud of myself for putting in the work and passing the PE exam and it was worth every penny I put into it.
Can you imagine how it would feel to have these same results in your life? Picture yourself, on test day, absolutely crushing the exam. Imagine how you’ll react when you find out that you passed. What is that worth to you?
None of what I’ve just described is possible by just studying on your own. You’ve got to have a course. And Civil Engineering Academy’s PE Review Course is the best bang for your buck. So yes, I completely recommend this course and I know that you won’t regret purchasing it and feeling the confidence on the PE exam that I had.
If you’d like to get Civil Engineering Academy’s review course and support PE Preparation at no extra cost to you, click here to go straight to checkout.
If you’ve made it all the way here, thank you for reading this review of Civil Engineering Academy! We hope that PE Preparation helps you pass the PE exam on your first or next try!