What is Your Recommendation for a Reference Manual or Manuals?

Your references are dependent upon your PM exam selection.  You need more for the PM than the AM exam.

You should compile your own collection of references and use them throughout your preparation because you’ll get to know your way around them.  And you’ll be preparing in the same way as actually taking the exam i.e. with references.

Some engineers like to supplement their own collection of materials with a reference manual such as the Civil Engineering Reference Manual (CERM).  There are pro’s and con’s.  If you use one of these large manuals you’ll have access to most materials – they’re comprehensive.  Alternatively, their sheer size means that you can’t afford to spend time browsing which could cost you dearly.  So, if you want to get one of these big tomes, do it soon, and use it as you prepare.  In this way, you’ll get to know your way around and will be able to find content quickly.  You may find these books so overwhelming; if so, you’d better work with your own collection of references without a manual.  

See subscription site for a list of NCEES defined references.

Three cautionary tips:

  1. While really big, they won’t cover everything e.g all. HCM or AASHTO Green Book’s tables and charts.
  2. There are errors – so make sure you mark them in ink on your copy – see PEreview subscription for errata.
  3. Nomenclature can vary – be sure you can work with the approved references and the reference manuals.

Finally, as a professionally licensed Civil Engineer, you should be able to access a reliable source throughout your career. The CERM is a fine source.