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RE: CE Exam - Taking Structural in the PM?

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I took the Civil PE Exam with the Structural in the PM in 2004.  I worked as a structural engineer for 4 years prior to taking the exam and felt it was pretty easy.  I would not have done well with the Transportation portion since I had no experience with the reference documents.  If you have worked in the structural realm of engineering for any length of time I would say that's the way to go.  For the most part the problems are those related to basic problems with some reference to the codes.  Many of the specific problems can be found if you are familiar with the reference codes.  I would suggest attending a review course that does a basic review of all the topics.  It especially helped with the items I hadn't used since college like hydrology and environmental stuff.

Seth W. Cutler, P.E.
Silverdale, WA
e-mail:  seth.cutler(--nospam--at)

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy South [mailto:jslist(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 6:28
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: CE Exam - Taking Structural in the PM?

Good point, Scott...I should have been more specific.

My question was aimed primarily at those who have taken the new 
format exam
(since 2002 I think). When I said majority, I meant to say that most 
of the people who
frequent this list AND took the new format exam, probably took the 
depth portion in the afternoon.

For you "old timers" who took the essay format, just disregard this 
message. :)

- Jeremy

On 9/9/05, Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)> wrote:
> I would be careful with your assumption the majority on this list have
> taken the structural depth exam.  That would likely be true of relatively
> new PEs, but those that have taken the exam more than about 2 or 3 years
> ago (I believe that is about when the change occurred) would have taken an
> exam of a completely different format.  For example, I cannot comment as I
> have not taken the new format exam.  I know the general format of the exam
> under the new format (i.e. all multple guess problems; all general civil
> problems in the morning; sub-discipline concentrated problems in the
> afternoon), but cannot comment on the difficultly of the questions.  I can
> say that from my experience, I considered the PE level exams (Civil and
> Struct I...have taken both) to be rather easy, but it is possible that the
> change in format could have changed that some (although I rather doubt
> it).
> Regards,
> Scott
> Adrian, MI
> On Thu, 8 Sep 2005, Jeremy South wrote:
> > I'll be taking the PE exam (Mississippi) next month and would like to
> > get some insight from those that took the Structural depth exam (ie,
> > not the Structural I or II exams) in the afternoon under the new exam
> > format.
> >
> > Quite honestly, the feedback I've gotten about the Structural exam
> > from the PPI2PASS website forum hasn't been too good.  However, I do
> > get the feeling that those taking the Structural PM exam really
> > probably weren't prepared for it or didn't have as much experience as
> > an SE, exclusively.
> >
> > Many of those that have taken the Structural portion in the aftermoon
> > have claimed it's the hardest of all the disciplines and seems to get
> > harder every year. Some have chosen to take other branches (ie,
> > geotech) in the PM and said it was much easier.
> >
> > I've done structural design exclusively for most of the past 4-years
> > since I graduated college. However, I did switch jobs this past
> > February to a general CE firm, but I still do some structural
> > projects.
> >
> > I know the answers will probably be biased, since I am, of course,
> > posting this on a structural list.
> >
> > For those of you who have taken the Structural depth exam (which I
> > assume, the majority), I'd really appreciate your thoughts.
> >
> > Since 90% of my "real world" experience is in concrete/steel/retaining
> > wall/foundation design, I just assumed structures was the way to go in
> > the afternoon.
> >
> > Now, I'm beginning to wonder. Then again, Transportation seems MUCH easier. :)
> >
> > - Jeremy S.
> > Tupelo, MS
> >

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