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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