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As an aspiring candidate for the PE Civil Exam the first book you should read is NCEES PE Civil Reference Handbook 1.1.

PE Civil Reference Handbook 1.1 contains all of the necessary tables, figures, charts and equations you may need to solve the PE exam questions.

Why Having PE Civil Reference Handbook 1.1 is Mandatory?

As all of us know, PE Civil exam is now computer-based and an examinee is not allowed to carry any study material or personal copy of the PE Civil Reference Manual. Rather than, NCEES will supply a computerized searchable PDF copy of the PE Civil Reference Handbook 1.1. This is the only resource that will be supplied by NCEES for solving the exam questions. In addition, NCEES will also supply the necessary codes and standards. The PDFs will be searchable and hence it will leverage your work on finding the exact topic to solve any specific exam question.

Does NCEES PE Civil Reference Handbook 1.1 Contain Everything?

Simply the answer is NO. It does not contain formulas, theories or charts that an engineer must know. In short, general theories, very simple engineering and mathematical formulas and conversions are excluded from this reference handbook. Hence, the examinee should study well to identify the missing information.

Exam PDF will be the same as the downloaded PDF?

Yes, it will be the same if you use the updated version. NCEES will update the PE Civil Reference Handbook 1.1 and you should study using the updated reference handbook only. However, some pages that contain general instruction may be omitted from the real exam PDF copy.

 How to Download NCEES PE Civil Reference Handbook 1.1?

Download from

Visit reference handbooks page of If you already have an account just log in or create a free account on You can download the updated reference handbook from there and it is 100% free of charge. Most importantly do not download Reference Handbook from any other source as this may lead to copyright infringement. Moreover, the exam will be held on the updated copy and downloading from the NCEES account is the most trustworthy way to keep yourself updated.

If you are logged in the you should see a page like below-

NCEES PE Civil Reference Handbook 1.1