After completing my review, I felt confident that I could take whatever the exams had to offer. The PE exam is open book and you can bring in almost any reference book you would like. I put together a small stack of the books that I used most during my review and my practice exams:
- Mechanical Engineering Design by Shigley and Mischke
- The Standard Handbook of Machine Design by Shigley
- Machinery’s Handbook
- The Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual
- Compact edition of ASME Steam Tables
Of this small stack I only used three of the books. My exam neighbors, however, went crazy with what they brought in as reference. The average number of books was probably around ten. The most I saw was around thirty. People say the less prepared you are for the exam, the more books you bring so I would say a lot of people did not review at all.
The PE went by very quickly and the FE was even easier. The PE is supposed to be harder than the FE so this did make sense, but the FE does not allow you to bring any reference material. The proctors do provide to each examinee a book that, if you are somewhat familiar with the material, contains the answer to almost every problem. Nice and easy.