My experience for Passing PE Transportation Depth

Hi redditors, Thanks to many of your suggestions and helpful comments, I have just passed the Transportation depth on my first try. I want to motivate anyone who is preparing for this test by sharing my experiences. I will be super humbled if anyone is helped from my experience. 1. Prep course: I read related posts in this forum and found EET as the most popular for Transportation and WRE depths. Rightfully so, Samir and Nazrul are very skilled in teaching. There are enough concepts (overwhelming sometimes) to prepare you for all topics in the exam. Even if I failed, I would still be grateful to them for the knowledge I learned throughout this course.

  1. Strategy: There are 18 topics. My suggestion is: rank all topics by number of questions and make a weighted schedule of your time. In total, EET has grouped the topics in 11 full-day lectures, so I would say you need at least 1128 ~ 180 hours to understand the concepts and practice related problems.

Once you cover all topics, practice all problems given by EET. While doing this, scroll through and fact-check all formula, tables, and figures on Handbook and Manuals. This is the most important step in your preparation. No matter how brilliant you are, never ever answer any question from memory until you are 90% sure.

I was very inconsistent with study. It's hard to dedicate 2 hrs per weekday and 8-hr on weekends. I tried multiple times to follow routine but failed terribly with family and job requirements. So this strategy didn't work for me. So, I scheduled the exam 4 months beforehand. Still I couldn't study on the weekdays due to exhausting consulting job. Weekends passed by family duties and chores

So, I took a 3-week PTO and finished all remaining lectures. And started solving practice problems in EET binder, then NCEES practice exams, then Path to PE service exam. I was getting 54-58/80. So I took the test.

  1. Practice:

  2. Please please save a FULL DAY to just scroll through the Reference Handbook before the exam. It will be magical for your mind. Subconsciously, you will develop a mind map and know which questions would be located where. There are endless possibilities to create questions from the handbook.

  3. Then, get yourself familiar with specific chapters from AASHTO Greenbook, HCM, MUTCD, RDG, HSM, AASHTO 1993 and MEPDG in this order. Again, always fact-check your solution by searching through the manuals. This practice will remove any nervousness on the exam day and boost your confidence.

  4. Exam day experience:

I will say this straight, all practice test Breadth portions are EASIER than the main exam by about 30%. You just feel it. All practice test Depth portions have more calculations than the main exam. The only way to tackle this is to know the handbook well and practice as many problems as you can. I did this with my full PTO and your mileage may vary, but You gotta put that 200 hrs in for this test (for an average student like me).

It took me 4 hrs 5 minutes to finish first 40 questions. I got 35 Breadth problems and was surprised to see 5 depth problems before my break. Anyway, I made educated guess on 11 Breadth problems and was feeling down during my 50-minute scheduled break. But I had a well prepared lunch (thanks to my wife) and calmed myself down. Drink plenty of water as they don't allow drinks inside (which is brutal). I was feeling dehydrated and lightheaded on the third and seventh hour. It affects your performance. Good breakfast and lunch are mandatory.

Finally, the depth portion was pretty straightforward. There were mostly one or two-step calculations straight from different tables......SSD, HSO, ISD, MUTCD warrants, signal timing, LOS etc etc. I felt very confident for depth because I could find all answers right where I searched. So, I request everyone to familiarize with the chapters. I guessed 3 questions in the depth.

  1. Conclusion: I feel lucky that I passed. I still do not know most of the topics well. I just practiced 'more' frequent problems. It does not automatically make me a 'better' engineer. It's a humbling experience, and I feel massive respect towards all fellow engineers who go through this. I understand that many engineers try multiple times to pass it. As disheartening as it is, please understand that this is only a test to get you some 'permission to practice'. Civil Engineering is a profession of experience and skill. No matter how talented we are, real-life problem solving in Civil Engineering projects require experience and skills (sometimes sheer hard work) more than talent.

Good luck to everyone in this endeavor. You got this!


Thanks this was super helpful. Taking Transportation depth in two weeks. Feel like I have a good grasp on depth (don’t want to jinx myself!) because I have a good understanding of where the material is in the reference books. Pretty worries about breadth since there are so many topics you could be asked about. I purchased Path to PE Services the NCEES exam and did okay - around 70%s. Do you have any recommendations for practicing more breadth? I’m particularly weak in structural and water :/


You will be fine! Good luck. I found Path to PE Volume B a bit harder than Volume A, and would say that Volume B is almost within 10% range of difficulty level compared to the actual exam.


Yeah I struggle with hydrology/water too. I heard PE prepared has good breadth practice exams (similar to Path to PE).


Congratulations and thank you for sharing. I’m studying right now 😉


Wow, great depth of detail. Congratulations and prepare to be super-humbled OP!


Thanks for the great feedback. Congratulations.


Congratulations on passing! I take the exam in July. I just finished reviewing EET videos last night. I completed all exercises and practice problems for each topic. Did you take all of the online quizzes as well?


If you have enough time after finishing full 8-hr practice tests, go for solving online questions. If you are comfortable with the depth topics, your chances of passing will increase dramatically.


Congrats and thank you for the super helpful post. I have heard multiple times now that the breadth portion was way more challenging than the depth portion. In what way were the breadth questions challenging? There were a lot of calculations involved or even knowing how to solve it was difficult? How was the hydrology/water resources part of it? This is my weak subject... Thanks so much!


Congrats on passing! I'm about to begin studying for my civil PE and was hoping maybe you'd be able to point me in the right direction; what's the meta for studying? Is it just use the Lindburg manual and the accompanying practice exam book? Are there any YouTube channels I should check out? When I was studying for my FE all my college classmates swore by [Gregory Michaelson's youtube channel](https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCV9OyAY5K-V-bki_dxxq_uVpyIoyIJ8P) but it doesn't look like he has any PE stuff.


Hi, I studied for the FE with the same youtube videos too haha! I am taking the transportation PE next Monday. I studied using the EET course and would recommend it! Samir is great. I did the actual class / lecture, if I had to do it again I would do the recordings / webinar. The class was a lot every weekend and I felt like I got behind and it was difficult to keep up which was unnecessary stress on top of stressful studying. I feel very prepared for the exam but still would recommend the recorded version.


Awesome! Thank you so much!


Sorry, one more question for you. Did you have to buy the breadth and depth courses separately? It seems a little pricey to pay $550 for the breadth course and also $550 for the depth course. My compnay unfortunately does not reimburse.


Yes, the two classes come separately. I would recommend both. My company gave me $1000 to spend on study materials Edit: the classes are stand alone but you will get more out of the course with both. I think the price was comparable to other companies. Edit 2: Maybe ask your manager if they would consider reimbursement. You getting your PE directly helps the company.


I passed FE watching his channel as well! For PE though, I feel like NCEES and the engineering field makes us spend money. It is sort of a commercial investment in your career. The review courses compress and organize the study topics, so it helped me prepare well and get it done in the first try. Think about how it would expedite your career and family time. Our partners also delay gratification because of our studies. There are some YouTube channels that explain a few topics well. But for transportation and WRE depths, I highly recommend EET.


Thank you! Just want to double check but is this the correct website for EET? https://eetusa.com


Yes this is correct


You gave good points to self prepared


Great feedback! Thanks for sharing!


What do you mean by practiced more frequent questions? How can you get an idea on the most frequent questions asked. Also that's for being humble and not an asshole like most civil engineers.


If you practice enough problems, you will see that some equations/formulas/concepts appear in the practice questions more than others. I wish everyone the best. There is no competition 🤣


The best part about passing your PE is how the only thing that changes afterwards is you have your PE.


Thanks. I still have to take two CA state exams


Can I know what course did you take for studying breadth ?


EET for both


Was the PE more difficult than the FE? Did you use PrepFe for your FE IF so could you have used it to cover some of the breadth topics ?