WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A study guide for those planning to take the new software engineering exam is now available from IEEE- USA. It includes 40 representative questions and solutions, a suggested reference list and test specifications. The Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Software Engineering exam – PE Software exam – will be offered by NCEES, The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, for the first time in April 2013. IEEE Fellow Dr. Phillip Laplante, a professor of software engineering at Penn State University's Malvern, Pa., campus and chair of the Software Engineering Licensure Examination Development Committee, said the study guide is an essential tool in preparing for the exam. "All prospective exam takers would be well-served to review the book to help identify weaknesses in their knowledge prior to taking the exam," Laplante said. The study guide is $39.99 for IEEE members and $49.99 for nonmembers. http://ieeeusa.org/communications/ebooks/info.asp?Keyword=career&Product=Software+PE+Exam+%96+Sample+Questions+and+Solutions#= PE Software exam registration begins 17 December. Check http://ncees.org/exams to find out about your state's approval and registration process. See exam specifications at http://engineers.texas.gov/downloads/ncees_PESoftware_2013.pdf. Many state licensing boards have long contended that because software engineers play a significant and expanding role in the design and operation of safety-critical systems, they should be regulated in the same manner as other engineering disciplines. Projects affecting public health, welfare and safety -- such as electric grids, traffic control systems and water treatment plants -- require licensed engineers to verify that design work is done properly. The PE Software exam was developed under the auspices of IEEE- USA, the IEEE Computer Society, the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers. "The exam is the result of a comprehensive survey study of several hundred software engineering professionals and the hard work of a dedicated committee of practicing software engineers with extensive experience in a wide range of mission-critical systems," Laplante said.