PE Exam – Tips on reference books

PE Exam Book Review

PE Exam Book Review

It is critical to have good reference books for the PE exam, so I wanted to do a PE exam book review.  I have several suggestions of reference books on my site. The book I am going to review in this blog can be added to your list of references, but it may contain a lot of information you will not need.  The book is called Engineering Drawing and Design.


PE exam book review

What is in the book?

The book has a lot of information!  As the name of the book implies, it does contain a lot of information about engineering drawing.  However, the PE exam does have a section on interpretation of technical drawings.  This book can also help with engineering terms and symbols, including GD&T symbols and a great section on weld symbols.  It discusses drawing views such as section views and auxiliary views.  The rest of the information on drawing is probably not useful for the PE exam, but it is a good overall review.



What I really like about the book is the remaining content.  It covers a ton of important information on fasteners, materials, manufacturing methods, and power transmission.  There are sections that discuss fits and tolerances, screw threads, springs, casting, forging, materials, belt drives, chain drives, gear drives, couplings, clutches, brakes, bearings, cams, linkages, and hydraulics.  That is a lot of information for one book.

Can this book replace my other reference books?

The quick answer to this is ‘no’. It should be used to supplement other references or be used to help you prepare for the exam. The main reason I say ‘no’ for this is the lack of calculations. For example, the book has a great section on fasteners. It talks about the different types of fasteners and how they are used. The book does not, however, have calculations for designing bolted connections. I do feel that it does a better job describing the fasteners compared to a lot of other books.

Final thoughts

I know this was a very short review. I think this is a very good book, but I don’t know if I should add it to my recommended references list. It does a fantastic job of providing overview information on a lot of topics but lacks calculations. Regardless, it is a very good reference book. You should at least consider using it for your PE exam references.  Let me know what you think.  If you need more help preparing for the exam, check out my study guide.


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