What to do if you Need to Reschedule your Computer-based PE Exam

If you’re hoping to get your professional engineering license, you should be well on your way to studying and making reference materials for exam day. Being prepared is the best way to ensure you can concentrate on the PE exam and get the results you’re looking for. But what happens if something stops you from taking your exam, such as an injury or death in the family? Unfortunately, these things do happen, and it’s good to know how to proceed if it does.

For those seeking a professional engineering license in chemical or nuclear engineering, don’t think you can just reschedule last minute since the exam is computer-based. Instead, familiarize yourself with the protocol of what’s allowed and what’s not and how to proceed if you can’t make your scheduled exam day.

Cancellations and Refunds

When you cancel your exam, you may not receive a refund if you cancel too close to the exam date. If you cancel more than 48 hours before the exam, you will receive a refund of the NCEES registration fee minus a $50 administrative fee. Cancellations less than 48 hours before the exam will not be accepted.


The rules are different for testers wishing to reschedule their exams. If you reschedule, you must pay a rescheduling fee. However, those who reschedule 24 to 48 hours prior to the exam time must pay a higher rescheduling fee than the others. No rescheduling will be accepted 24 hours or less before the exam.


There are a few exceptions to the cancellation and refund rules. You may reschedule without a fee or cancel and receive a full refund for the following reasons: illness to yourself or immediate family member, death in the immediate family, disabling traffic accident, court appearance or jury duty, or military duty. To be eligible for these exceptions, you must provide written documentation within 14 days following the exam. Please note: if there’s inclement weather but the test site is still open, everyone is still required to attend – no exceptions.

Where to Cancel and Reschedule

If you wish to cancel or reschedule your computer-based exam, log in to your MyNCEES account and follow the instructions. The funds will be issued to your credit card within seven to 10 business days if you qualify to receive them.

We hope you don’t have to reschedule or cancel your computer-based PE exam. But if you do, hopefully this information can point in you in the direction of what to do and what to expect. Are you a professional engineering license hopeful looking for more great information about the exam? Check out this page.

How to Nail Check-in the Day of your Professional Engineering Exam

If you’re like most people, making sure you have everything you need to check-in and sit for the exam can be as stressful as worrying about acing the exam itself. While the check-in instructions can slightly vary based on your test location, here are the main things you need to have prepared on the day of your professional engineering exam:

  • Exam authorization – this is emailed to you about two weeks before your exam day, and it is very important! When you receive it, review it to ensure your name is spelled correctly, you have the proper test site, and the test date is correct. If there are any errors, contact the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying immediately to remedy it. The authorization will also include instructions for what to do when you arrive to the test location. Please print and bring this authorization with you on the day of the professional engineering exam, because it is necessary for check-in. Forgetting it could delay or cancel your check-in.
  • Identification – to be clear, not all identification is appropriate for checking in to the professional engineering exam. You must have one of the following: a government-issued identification that was provided by the country you are testing in, a passport from your country of citizenship, or a U.S. military ID. These identification items include a clear picture, date of birth, name, signature, and expiration date. If any of those pieces are missing, your ID will not be accepted, and you will be turned away from taking the exam.

The information on your exam authorization and your provided ID must match. That means if you got married and recently changed your last name, both documents must have either your new last name or old last name. No exceptions.

Once your authorization and ID are checked, the proctor will show you your assigned seat and ask you to turn over any prohibited items, and then you’re all set to take the exam. Have any questions? Drop us a line at info@njspe.org

Big Things to Avoid on your PE Exam Day

The PE exam is designed to test how professional, ethical, and knowledgeable an engineer is before they receive the distinction of professional engineer. Because of how important this distinction is, it should come as no surprise that the exam is taken very seriously. If you are unfamiliar with the important things to steer clear of when it comes to the PE exam, the following actions will result in either rejection from entering the test area, ejection from the test area, and/or invalidation of exam results with no refund:

  • Arriving late to the exam (no one will be admitted into the test area once the exam instructions are given)
  • Failing to provide government-issued identification or printed exam authorization
  • Having a cell phone, smartwatch, tablet, or other electronic device in the test area
  • Having any device with recording capabilities in the test area, including tape recorders, cameras, video cameras, and similar items
  • Using loose leaf paper, notepads, or unbound reference materials during the exam
  • Cheating off or looking at another tester’s answer sheet or notes
  • Talking to or working with another tester during the exam, whether cheating or not
  • Using a non-approved calculator during the exam
  • Using any writing instrument or eraser other than the utensil provided to you at the test site
  • Pulling pages out of your exam booklet or reference materials
  • Leaving the exam area without receiving approval from the proctor
  • Beginning the exam prior to when the instructor tells you to
  • Continuing to work on the exam after the proctor asks you to stop
  • Writing on anything other than the exam booklet or answer sheet provided to you
  • Violating any instructions given to you at the test site or outlined in the information provided to you when registering

Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in dismissal from the exam or rejection from entering the exam area with no refunds given. If you are found with any restricted items during the exam, the item will be sent to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying for investigation. Depending on how serious the infraction is, further action may be taken.

At the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers, we want to ensure you succeed! Please pay close attention to these exam no-nos, and remember: if you are unsure about whether an item is allowed into the test area, always ask for permission beforehand. If you’re looking for some more helpful information about the PE exam, check out this blog.

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