I graduated in 2010 with my BS and in 2012 with my MS. I took the PE exam in Minnesota in April 2015, with 3 years experience plus my master's degree. I was able to count some of my internship and teaching experience towards the experience requirement. I took the general portion in the AM and the geotechnical portion in the PM.
I took the exam as soon as allowed by the state of Minnesota, and it worked out pretty well. I started studying 3 months before the exam. I don't recall the specific reference book I used, but it was a PE prep manual with references and practice tests. I used my old college textbooks (hang on to those, kids) and CERM for the studying. I found the geotechnical portion to be relatively simple (main practice), but had to brush up on water resources and fluid mechanics. I ran through the entire manual, one topic per week to determine where I needed to focus my efforts. I completed multiple practice problems from the reference manual.
During the exam itself, I didn't find myself struggling for time due to my preparation. The test problems were of similar difficulty to the practice problems, but sometimes required less steps/derivations to arrive at the answer.My original PE application was through the state of Minnesota, but approximately three months after the test I became a NCEES Model Law Engineer for applications to multiple states. Over the next year, I became licensed in four additional states, and I am currently licensed in nine total. The initial reaction of the cost to send to each state was poor, but the value was realized in the time savings of each subsequent application ($75 is cheaper than 4-6 hours of PM labor + transcript expenses).My recommendations for any engineering graduates - get licensed, even if it's not your main job function. Getting the license when you are relatively young and the general material is fresh is the easiest way to achieve this professional status. The cost to maintain a license is relatively low and is usually covered by the employer. In addition to being able to sign project documents, the status gives you some "soft power" when discussing technical topics with clients, colleagues, and teammates.
Great discussion on PE Licensure and advice for fellow engineers who are yet to take the exam. I specifically wanted to mention that ASCE also offers a review course for all five depth disciplines. The course is 8-week long is focused on exam topics; the reference materials includes handouts, practice problems, free recordings, access to instructors and discussion forum. Member can also access other free resources for PE Civil preparation in AccessEngineering, a free technical online resources for members.