So often I am asked whether students need to purchase the PPE or NPPE exam books. They are definitely not cheap. You are looking at approximately $250 CAD. You are also facing a significant amount of reading, in the order of 800 pages. Its easy to see the dilemma.
An alternative, is to purchase training material such as the study guide's offered at PPE Headquarters. If one passes the exam without purchasing the materials, then outstanding, a great save of money. If one fails without purchasing the materials ... its easy to feel like an idiot.
It's a tough question; however, here are the criteria I utilize to make a solid recommendation. First let's have a look at the texts in question as they differ for some Associations.
The Associations utilizing the National Professional Practice Exam include:
The two texts that are recommended material are below:
PEO PPE Books
The only differing Association is the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO), which utilize a different text for the law portion as below:
The single largest criteria I utilize to make a decision is english skills. Simply put you need great english to pass this exam. If you do not have great english skills you must put in more work. A great way to put in the extra work is by reading the texts. It really is that simple.
Typically the question is posed by an email, so let's have a look at a few examples:
Your English is Good - No Need To Buy the Texts
These student's writing and english comprehension seems good therefore I suggested the texts were not required.
Your English Needs Work - Buy The Textbooks
I definitely recommend purchasing the texts for these students. I also typically recommend delaying the exam and focusing on english language skills.
How you want me to put mu email doesn't work? Use my email.Thanks. Where I buy text Samuels.
If you do need to purchase the textbooks, keep in mind there are a number of solutions. For NPPE students, the Association is going to be your best solution with a very slight price reduction. For the PEO students, PEO does not keep texts in stock and Amazon is your best bet.
Regardless, it is always good to check out Kijiji for used copies for both the PEO and NPPE students. Beware of out of date copies and make sure you purchase the correct version. There does tend to be shady products being sold on Kijiji. I know of more than one PEO student who purchased guide's that turned out to simply be an anonymous person's handwritten PEO seminar notes.
Another option is to check out a program which sells eTextbooks, called CourseSmart. There you can rent digital textbooks for 6 months and generally save 60%. Its worth a look and it is what I utilize to keep my products up to date.
Wrap It Up
I trust that provides you a good overview of the question whether to buy the exam texts or not. Simply put, if you do not have solid english skills the exam is going to be that much tougher. In that case I do recommend purchasing the texts. Also in that case consider putting in some work on english before writing.
Have a look at the questions that have been posed before and compare your english. From there you should be able to make a good decision on your english. If not, definitely ask a colleague for a basic assessment of your skills.
Finally keep in mind that there are a few cost effective solutions to purchasing the textbooks.
Most of all best wishes with your studies.
Mike Grossman, P. Eng.