Discussion Thread

  • 1.  PE Civil Exam Reference Manual

    Posted 07-07-2020 09:57 PM
    Hello fellow civil engineers,

    I noticed there's a Sixteenth Edition of the Civil Engineering Reference Manual by Michael Lindeburg. I presume this manual is the most commonly used one in our industry, however, to prepare for the exam is the latest edition recommended? 

    Thank you,

    Maria Kozdroy

  • 2.  RE: PE Civil Exam Reference Manual

    Posted 07-08-2020 08:48 AM
    Hi Maria,

    I looked around online and I couldn't find a more recent edition, so even though it's a few years old, I think the 16th Ed is the one.

    At least I hope that's the case, since that's what I bought! Having received it in the mail over the weekend, it's a whale of a book. There will be lots to go through before October 23.

    Aside, a friend of mine recommended Goswami All-in-One, which is apparently a less verbose than Lindeberg. I believe All-in-One is currently on the Third Ed (2015, with the blue cover), but the Fourth Ed is coming out in mid September. I'm going with the Third Ed, as I think Sept is a bit too close to the exam to be getting a new reference!

    Good luck,

    Daniel Claff EI, A.M.ASCE
    Engineer II
    South Orange NJ

  • 3.  RE: PE Civil Exam Reference Manual

    Posted 07-08-2020 10:17 AM
    PPI will certainly recommend the latest edition as a business decision. I do not think latest edition is necessary. I know plenty of PE's who used prior editions on the test and continue to use those prior editions in practice. I would guess the Fifteenth Edition of the CERM can provide 99% of the information the 16th does.

    Parker Suess P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal Engineer (Structural)

  • 4.  RE: PE Civil Exam Reference Manual

    Posted 07-08-2020 10:17 AM

    My experience and opinion is that the fundamentals in the manuals don't change that much from edition to edition.  You will probably be alright with the most current or the previous edition.  As long as you spend enough time familiarizing yourself with the manual you choose, you will be fine. One of the biggest aids for me was marking the specific sections with tabs, so I could find them quickly.  

    Best to you!

    Hale Sloan P.E., M.ASCE
    Owner, Principal Engineer
    Sloan Engineering and Consulting, LLC
    Hays KS

  • 5.  RE: PE Civil Exam Reference Manual

    Posted 07-08-2020 02:56 PM
    Hello Maria,
    I would second the opinions posted by Parker and Hale. 

    PPI quite often comes up with new editions to discourage students from using older editions and pay full prices for new editions. They maintain that the newest edition has been updated to match the most current NCEES test specifications. As you know, the recent changes in specifications have not been substantial, but there certainly have been some changes. That would be the only issue and the only reason to use the latest edition. 

    Charu Gupta Aff.M.ASCE
    Manager, PE Exam Review
    Reston VA

  • 6.  RE: PE Civil Exam Reference Manual

    Posted 07-16-2020 09:16 AM
    One of  my coworkers has a CERMs that is one edition newer than mine. A brief comparison between several chapters showed that the example problems were the same. I would think that a slightly older edition is fine, although you should be aware of any code changes. For instance, structural code books are updated every few years, and sometimes code sections are renumbered.

    Rachel Leung P.E., M.ASCE
    Rocklin CA

  • 7.  RE: PE Civil Exam Reference Manual

    Posted 07-17-2020 08:51 AM
    Short answer; no. When I took the exam i was an edition behind. Just need to know that the chapters move around if you take a class to prepare. I'd recommend printing out the appendix for your edition and having that with you at the exam.

    Christopher Dzidek P.E., M.ASCE
    Project Engineer II
    Boston MA