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PE Course Information
The Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam is an eight-hour exam designed by the NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) that must be passed in order to obtain an Engineer’s license. The test can vary for each engineering discipline. The official NCEES website provides greater overview of the test formats.
The PE exam is created and regulated by the NCEES for all licensing boards. To find specific information to the licensing board within your area, refer to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying’s website.
The exam is offered in October and April each year. Test dates are as follows:
|YEAR||PE Test Dates|
|2016||April 15, October 28|
|2017||April 21, October 27|
|2018||April 13, October 26|
|2019||April 5, October 25|
Depending on the discipline, PE exams are scheduled on one or both months.
|Exam||Held in April||Held in October|
|PE Agricultural and Biological||x|
|PE Civil: Construction||x||x|
|PE Civil: Geotechnical||x||x|
|PE Civil: Structural||x||x|
|PE Civil: Transportation||x||x|
|PE Civil: Water Resources and Environmental||x||x|
|PE Control Systems||x|
|PE Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering||x||x|
|PE Electrical and Computer: Electrical and Electronics||x||x|
|PE Electrical and Computer: Power||x||x|
|PE Fire Protection||x|
|PE Mechanical: HVAC and Refrigeration||x||x|
|PE Mechanical: Mechanical Systems and Materials||x||x|
|PE Mechanical: Thermal and Fluids Systems||x||x|
|PE Metallurgical and Materials||x|
|PE Mining and Mineral Processing||x|
|PE Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering||x|
The PE exam is an open-book exam. You are allowed to bring reference materials to the exam, provided they are bound and remain bound during the exam. Loose paper may be bound with ring binders, brads, plastic snap binders, spiral-bound notebooks, and screw posts—but not with staples. Sticky notes and flags are permitted only when they remain attached to book pages.
Contact your state’s licensing board for registration requirements and deadlines.
Contact your state’s licensing board for details about exam registration.
Fees and exam schedules can vary by state. Contact your local licensing board for further information.
The PE exam is based on a pass/fail basis. If you do not pass the exam, you will receive a diagnostic report indicating your areas of strength and weakness. The diagnostic report can assist you if you decide to retake the exam.
You will be contacted by your licensing board within eight to ten weeks of the test date. Depending on your state, you will be notified of your exam result through your My NCEES online account or via mail from your state licensing board.
The PE is scored on a pass/fail basis. Below are the pass rates for the April 2014 exam, unless otherwise noted. The pass rates for the October 2014 exam have not been posted yet.
|Exam||First-time takers (%)||Repeat takers (%)|
|Agricultural (October 2013)||69||50|
|Control Systems (October 2013)||76||53|
|Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering||71||0|
|Electrical and Computer: Electrical and Electronics||73||36|
|Electrical and Computer: Power||68||43|
|Fire Protection (October 2013)||69||37|
|Metallurgical and Materials (October 2013)||62||0|
|Mining and Mineral Processing (October 2013)||71||37|
|Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering||81||67|
|Nuclear (October 2013)||54||44|
|Petroleum (October 2013)||75||53|
You are not eligible to take the PE until you pass the Fundamentals (FE) exam. Students usually have at least four years of experience in their discipline before taking the PE. Most licensing boards require that your work experience be under a licensed professional engineer’s supervision.
Each discipline of the PE exam is different – see detailed specifications for each exam at http://ncees.org
To protect the integrity of the PE exam, NCEES limits the types of calculators you may use on the exam. The only calculator models acceptable for use during the 2014 exams are as follows.
Casio: All fx-115 models. Any Casio calculator must contain fx-115 in its model name. Examples of acceptable Casio fx-115 models include (but are not limited to):
Hewlett Packard: The HP 33s and HP 35s models, but no others.
Texas Instruments: All TI-30X and TI-36X models. Any Texas Instruments calculator must contain either TI-30X or TI-36X in its model name. Examples of acceptable TI-30X and TI-36X models include (but are not limited to):