In our previous three videos, I discussed three of the PE depth areas that you can take for your Civil PE Exam, geotechnical, construction, and structural, and in this week’s article, (and video above) I review in detail the transportation depth portion of the Civil PE Exam to help you decide if this might be the right option for you. You can find links to the first three videos 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 Civil Structural 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 Transportation Engineering?
Transportation engineering is concerned with moving people and goods efficiently, safely, and in a manner conducive to a vibrant community. It involves specifying, designing, constructing, and maintaining transportation infrastructure, including streets, highways, rail systems, ports, and airports. It includes areas such as transportation design, transportation planning, traffic engineering, urban engineering, queueing theory, pavement engineering, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and infrastructure management.
Here Are a Few Things to Note About the Civil–Transportation CBT 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)
- 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, 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.
- Traffic Engineering, such as uninterrupted flow, street segment interrupted flow, intersection capacity and accident analysis.
- Horizontal Design, such as basic curve elements, sight distance considerations, superelevation and special horizontal curves.
- Vertical Design, such as vertical curve geometry, stopping and passing sight distance and vertical clearance.
- Intersection Geometry, such as Intersection sight distance, Interchanges and At-grade intersection layout, including roundabouts.
- Roadside and Cross-Section Design, such as Forgiving roadside concepts, Barrier design, Cross-section elements and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) design considerations.
- Signal Design, such as Signal timing and Signal warrants
- Traffic Control Design, such as Signs and pavement marking and Temporary traffic control
- Geotechnical and Pavement, such as Sampling and testing, Soil stabilization techniques Design traffic analysis and pavement design procedures rehabilitation treatments)
- Drainage, such as Hydrology and Hydraulics, including culvert and stormwater collection system design
- Alternatives Analysis, such as Economic analysis.
Here Are the Pass Rates for the Civil Transportation CBT Exam:
As of December 2021 the PE Civil: Transportation depth has a 63% pass rate for first time takers and 41% 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, and Structural Depth exams that we discussed in the previous episode.
- The Construction depth portion 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.
So you can see the PE Civil Transportation exam has the highest pass rate so far at 63% for first time takers.
Hopefully this information will give you a better idea of what to expect on The PE Civil Transportation 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
College of Engineering Civil Engineering Department
NCEES: PE Civil exam
NCEES PE exam Pass Rates
This Episode Is Brought to You by PPI
PPI has helped engineers achieve their licensing goals since 1975. Passing the FE and PE exams can open doors to career advancement and new opportunities. Check out PPI’s wide range of prep options, including Live Online courses, OnDemand courses, and digital study tools to help prepare you to pass your licensing exam here.
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