Due to increased health concerns and state-mandated stay-at-home orders, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) has canceled the April 2020 paper-and-pencil PE exam. This has impacted about 16,000 examinees. To accommodate these examinees, dates have been added for October 2020.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Civil: Water Resources and Environmental
SE Vertical Forces Bridges
SE Vertical Forces Buildings
Friday, October 23, 2020
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering
Electrical and Computer: Electronics, Controls, and Communications
Electrical and Computer: Power
Metallurgical and Materials
Mining and Mineral Processing
Naval Architecture and Marine
SE Lateral Forces Bridges
SE Lateral Forces Buildings
Will my April registration roll over to the October exam?
No! Registration for the October 2020 pencil-and-paper exam will open at 10:00 a.m. EDT on June 1, 2020 and close at 3:00 p.m. EDT on August 20.
Will my money be refunded for the cancelled April PE exam?
Yes! Examinees who are registered to take an exam in April 2020 are receiving a full refund of fees paid to NCEES.
What about the computer-based tests?
Pearson VUE, which administers NCEES computer-based exams, closed its professional test centers and will remain closed until conditions are deemed safe to reopen. If you have been impacted by this closure, you are able to reschedule your exam without paying a rescheduling fee.
2020 license renewal deadlines are officially pushed back until June 30, 2020. Renewal applications are all by mail this year. They were mailed out in February 2020 and will NOT be available online! The renewal grace period has been extended as well between July 1 and July 31, 2020.
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The next PE electrical and computer exam will be held in Fall 2019. To be fully prepared to pass, you should take a few months to plan and build your study materials. Maybe it has been a few years since you’ve taken a serious exam, so you may be a little rusty with studying. Not to worry because we have you covered! Here, you’ll learn what to expect from the exam, the best ways to study, and where you can find helpful materials to study.
The electrical and computer exam is an eight-hour open-book exam, containing 40 multiple choice questions in the four-hour morning session and 40 multiple choice questions in the four-hour afternoon session. The questions require a variety of approaches and methodologies, including design, analysis, and application. The exam features questions on subjects like general electrical engineering knowledge, digital systems, electromagnetics, electronics, control systems, and communications. A breakdown of each category and the approximate number of questions for each can be found here.
For this open-book exam, you are allowed to bring bound reference materials, and they must remain bound for the duration of the exam. Loose papers can be bound with ring binders, brads, plastic snap binders, spiral-bound notebooks, or screw posts. As you’re studying, it’s beneficial to organize the information that will be the most important to bring with you.
It is also helpful to create a schedule for your studying. For some subjects, there will be more questions than others, so pay attention to this when you are breaking up your study time. When you organize what you will bring to the exam, remember that sometimes, less is more. Having to flip through potentially hundreds of pages of notes to find an answer will eat into your exam time. When doing practice exams, notice what subjects you are weakest in and focus your materials a little more on those.
To prep for your exam, The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) offers practice exams, supplied-reference handbooks, and free PDF downloads to aid your studying. The practice exam will also contain 80 questions and will familiarize you with the subjects and layout of the exam. All electrical engineering exam materials can be found and purchased on your MyNEECS account.
On ppi2pass.com, you’ll find exam prep bundles, which include a reference manual, practice problems, practice exams, an NEC quick-card, engineering unit conversions, customizable book tabs, and a scientific calculator. See the bundles here. They also offer a number of a la carte manuals and practice exams.
Hopefully you take these materials and go on to crush the PE electrical and computer exam! Have any other topics you’d like more information on? Drop us an email at email@example.com
Congratulations on passing your PE exam! Months of learning and studying has paid off, and you’re probably asking yourself, “When do I receive my professional engineering license?” Unfortunately, after passing the exam, obtaining your actual license isn’t as easy as waiting by mailbox.
The process for obtaining your license varies state by state; the following information applies to New Jersey engineers. To find your state’s licensing board process, click here.
At the beginning of your PE exam journey, you should have filled out an exam application, like this. This application was your gateway to be able to take the exam, as the state licensing board must grant approval. Once you’ve passed the PE exam, your application is reviewed again by the state licensing board. Each month, the licensing board members meet to determine who will receive a PE license. The board goes through hundreds of applications at every meeting, meaning it could be a few weeks before your application is officially approved.
Upon full approval, you will receive a License Activation form – the final step to obtaining your professional engineering license. Send your activation form, along with the licensure fee ($80 – check or money order made payable to the State of New Jersey), to:
State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors
124 Halsey Street, 3rd Floor
P.O. Box 45015
Newark, New Jersey 07101
Once you officially become a professional engineer, you can reap all the benefits of licensure. Like printing business cards with your new title, displaying your certificate on the wall, purchasing a personalized stamp/seal, negotiating a higher wage at work, and joining a professional engineering society, like NJSPE. Learn more about the benefits of joining a professional engineering society here.
If you failed the PE exam this time around, don’t get discouraged! In the email you received that included your score, you should have also received a diagnostic report. This report indicates what subject areas on the exam you did well or poorly on. Utilizing your diagnostic report gives you a big advantage when trying for your professional engineering license again. In future study sessions, you’ll know exactly what subjects you should be focusing harder on.
If you’re taking a pencil-and-paper exam, your diagnostic report will look like this.
If you’re taking a computer-based test (CBT), your diagnostic report will look like this.
Understanding Your Diagnostic Report
In your report, you’ll notice all subjects from the exam in the ‘Knowledge Area’ column. Each subject corresponds with the number of questions asked related to that subject. The next two columns are your performance in that subject, followed by the average score of passing examinees. The average examinee is indicated by a dashed line, and your score is indicated by a solid line.
For example, in the ‘Mass & Energy Balances & Thermodynamics: Mass Balances’ subject, the sample examinee got three questions correct out of nine. Compared to the average passing examinee, this sample tester did not do so well. For the next exam, he or she will probably study harder for Mass & Energy Balances & Thermodynamics, Mass Transfer, Kinetics: Reaction Rate, and Plant Design & Operation: Process Control.
Out of all of the PE disciplines, only two exams are computer-based (nuclear and chemical exams). The example diagnostic report above shows examples of an FE exam and uses similar scoring methods as the pencil-and-paper report. You’ll notice there is a column for knowledge area and number of questions asked, and the comparison of your performance to the average of the passing examinee. However, on this report, your performance is ranked on a scale of 0 to 15. The scaled score adjusts for any minor differences in difficulty across the different exam forms.
Like the pencil-and-paper report, you are able to see where you fall compared to the average passing examinee to determine your focus for future study sessions.
Using your diagnostic report as a study tool will give you an edge for passing the PE exam and get you that much closer to receiving your professional engineering license. For more study tips, check out our blog on how to improve your study sessions. Good luck!
After months and months of studying, you finally took your PE exam. Whether you felt awesome or just not sure after the exam, you’ll have to do a bit of waiting before you find out your score and next steps towards licensure. There are some important differences between the computer-based exams and pencil-and-paper exams when it comes to the waiting period, scoring procedures, and next steps after you pass or fail.
Typically, results for computer-based exams are determined much faster than pencil-and-paper exams; they are usually available seven to 10 days after you take the exam. An email will be sent out with instructions to view your results. Your exam results are reported as pass or fail, with your score being based on the number of correct answers you selected. The good news is your score is not affected by incorrect answers. After the number of correct answers are tallied, your score is then converted to a scaled score, this adjusts for any minor differences in difficulty across the different exam forms. Your scaled score represents your ability level and is compared to the minimum ability level for that particular exam. Since every exam differs, there is no predetermined passing score.
A majority of the PE exams are pencil-and-paper exams. The results of these\ exams typically take about eight to 10 weeks to be sent out, depending on the licensing board you selected during the registration process. The process for scoring and releasing results for pencil-and-paper exams are similar to computer-based tests (CBT) in many ways. However, there are also some key differences. You should receive an email with instructions for viewing your results, which will be reported as pass or fail, and you are not penalized for incorrect answers.
Unlike CBTs, there is a rigorous process for scoring exams. Each exam undergoes extensive statistical analysis to determine the minimum level of performance required for a passing score. All answer sheets are scanned and a psychometric analysis is performed on a sample of answer sheets to identify any questions with unusual statistics. These questions are then flagged for review by licensed engineers or surveyors. They also take into consideration examinee comments about specific exam questions. If there is an error in a question, credit may be given for more than one answer. When all of the reviews are complete, the answer keys are changed as necessary, and it is time for exam scoring. Answer sheets are typically machine-graded, but there is a percentage of answer sheets that are manually scored and compared to the machine score to ensure accuracy. For a fee, you may request that your exam be manually verified.
If you pass your exam, congratulations! The next steps you should be taking after passing the exam are highlighted in our blog post here.
If you do not pass your exam, don’t be discouraged! For CBTs, NCEES policy allows examinees to attempt an exam one time per testing window and no more than three times in a 12-month period. For pencil-and-paper exams, the number of times you are allowed to take an exam varies by licensing board. View the policy of your specific licensing board here. In the email you receive with your test results, you will also receive a diagnostic report showing your performance for each of the major topics covered on the exam. The next time you take the exam, you’ll be able to crush those hard topics!
If you’re in the waiting period to get your PE exam results, take a deep breath! You’ve studied and gave the exam your best. Whether you pass or fail, you’re now equipped with your next steps to go forth and crush it.
As the fall 2018 PE exam date crawls near, you may be doing some last minute cramming and starting to think about what you should have with you on exam day. We’ve mentioned this before – the PE exam rules for what you can and cannot have are very strict, so it’s important to spend some time familiarizing yourself with them before exam day. To make things a little easier, here is a checklist you can print out the night before exam day so you have everything you need:
Remember, rules for the PE exam are very strict and are taken very seriously. Preparing what you can and cannot bring the night before will ensure you are in compliance with regulations, making check-in and the exam itself easier. Looking for some more information related to the PE exam? You can check out all our most recent PE exam resources and blogs here.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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.
If you’re hoping to become a New Jersey professional engineer, the biggest obstacle in your way is the PE exam. When you register to sit for the exam, you will see a section regarding special exam accommodations. This is for people who have a special circumstance that requires a different test date, different test location, specific item typically not allowed in the test environment, and other unique accommodations. There are three situations where you may request special accommodations for the PE exam when you provide the proper documentation:
These special accommodations must be requested ahead of the scheduled exam date. Once you request the accommodations, you will receive an email with instructions on how to proceed. If you are unsure if you qualify for receiving special accommodations, email the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying at email@example.com. Don’t let anything stop you from becoming a New Jersey professional engineer!