In our previous four episodes in this series, I discussed four of the depth areas that you can take for your Civil PE Exam: geotechnical, construction, structural, as well as the transportation depth area, and in this article, (and video above), I review-in detail the Civil: Water Resources & Environmental depth portion of the PE Exam to help you decide if this might be the right option for you. You can find links to the first four videos in this series below.
The Five Different Areas That You Can Choose From When Taking the PE Civil Exam Are:
- PE Civil: Geotechnical
- PE Civil: Construction
- PE Civil: Structural
- PE Civil: Transportation
- PE Civil: Water Resources & Environmental
Remember that the PE Water Resources & Environmental exam is a breadth and depth examination. The breadth items (typically known as the morning section) cover topics from all areas of civil engineering. However, the depth items (also known as the afternoon section) focus more closely on a single area of practice, like structural engineering.
What Is Water Resources & Environmental Engineering?
Water resources engineering is concerned with the collection and management of water (as a natural resource). It therefore combines hydrology, environmental science, meteorology, geology, conservation, and resource management. This area of civil engineering relates to the prediction and management of the quality and quantity of water in both underground and above-ground sources, such as aquifers, lakes, rivers, and streams. Water resource engineers analyze and model areas of the Earth ranging from the very small to the very large, to predict the amount and content of water as it flows into, through, or out of a facility. The actual design of the facility may be left to other engineers.
Here Are a Few Things to Note About the Civil Water Resources & Environmental Engineering CBT PE Exam:
The exam includes 80 questions. The exam appointment time is 9 hours and includes a:
- Nondisclosure agreement (2 minutes)
- Tutorial (8 minutes)
- Exam (8 hours) and a
- Scheduled break (50 minutes)
This Is What You Can Expect to Be Tested on in the Exam:
- Project Planning, such as quantity take-off methods, cost estimating, and project schedules.
- Means and Methods, such as construction loads, construction methods and temporary structures and facilities.
- Soil Mechanics, such as lateral earth pressure, soil consolidation, and effective and total stresses.
- Structural Mechanics, such as dead and live loads, trusses, bending (e.g., moments and stresses) and shear.
- Hydraulics and Hydrology, such as open-channel flow, and stormwater collection and drainage.
- Geometrics, such as basic circular curve elements (for example, middle ordinate, length, chord, radius) and basic vertical curve elements.
- Materials, such as soil classification and boring log interpretation, soil properties (for example, strength, permeability, compressibility, phase relationships) and concrete (for example, non reinforced, reinforced) .
- Site Development, such as excavation and embankment (for example, cut and fill), construction site layout and control and temporary and permanent soil erosion and sediment control.
- Analysis and Design, such as mass balance, hydraulic loading, solids loading and hydraulic flow measurement.
- Hydraulics–Closed Conduit, such as energy and/or continuity equation, pressure conduit, pump application and analysis and pipe network analysis.
- Hydraulics–Open Channel, such as open-channel flow, hydraulic energy dissipation, stormwater collection and drainage and sub- and supercritical flow.
- Hydrology, such as storm characteristics, runoff analysis, hydrograph development and applications, rainfall intensity, duration, and frequency and stormwater management.
- Groundwater and Wells, such as aquifers, groundwater flow and well analysis–steady state.
- Wastewater Collection and Treatment, such as wastewater collection systems, wastewater treatment processes, wastewater flow rates and nitrification/denitrification.
- Water Quality, such as stream degradation, oxygen dynamics, total maximum daily load and biological contaminants.
- Drinking Water Distribution and Treatment, such as drinking water distribution systems, drinking water treatment processes, demands and storage.
- Engineering Economics Analysis, such as economic analysis.
Here Are the Pass Rates for the Civil Transportation CBT Exam:
As of December 2021 the PE Water Resources & Environmental Engineering depth has a 67% pass rate for first time takers and 44% pass rate for repeat takers. You can view the full list of pass rates at https://ncees.org/engineering/pe/pass-rates/
Let’s compare them to the PE Civil: Geotechnical, Construction, Structural, and Transportation depth exams that we discussed in the previous episodes:
- The Construction depth had a 53% pass rate for first time takers and 37% pass rate for repeat takers.
- The Geotechnical depth portion had a 54% pass rate for first time takers and 30% pass rate for repeat takers.
- The Structural depth had a 62% pass rate for first time takers and 42% pass rate for repeat takers.
- The Transportation depth had a 63% pass rate for first time takers and 41% pass rate for repeat takers.
So you can see the PE Water Resources & Environmental Engineering exam has the highest pass rate at 67%.
Hopefully this information will give you a better idea of what to expect on The PE Civil Water Resources & Environmental Engineering CBT Exam. Remember to consider your experience and interests and to check the passing rates when deciding what depth section to take for your PE Exam. Lastly, I would strongly recommend also previewing the exam by doing some exam prep courses that offer a variety of live and on-demand classes. Looking at the previews of the practice exams for each discipline might help jog your memory of which areas have questions that are easier to study for. For some great prep courses visit our sponsor PPI today at ppi2pass.com to see all the options available for PE exam prep.
Geotechnical Review | What Depth Exam Should You Take for the Civil PE Exam?
Civil Construction Depth | What Depth Exam Should You Take for the Civil PE Exam?
Civil Structural Depth Review | Pass the PE Exam
Civil Transportation Depth | Civil PE Exam Review
College of Engineering Civil Engineering Department
NCEES: PE Civil exam
NCEES PE exam Pass Rates
This Episode Is Brought to You by PPI
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I hope you found this article helpful. In upcoming articles, I will solve some more PE exam practice problems and answer other questions from our subscribers. Pass the PE Exam videos will publish weekly, so be sure to click the subscribe button so you don’t miss something that could make a substantial difference in your exam result.
Lastly, I encourage you to ask questions in the comments of this video, or on this page and I’ll read and respond to them in future videos. So, if there’s a specific topic you want me to cover or answer, we have you covered.
I’ll see you next week… on Pass the PE Exam
Anthony Fasano, P.E.
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success