The Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam is typically the first step in the process leading to the P.S. license. It is designed for recent graduates and students who are close to finishing an undergraduate degree. The FS is a computer-based exam that is administered year-round in testing windows at NCEES-approved Pearson VUE test centers.
The FS contains 110 multiple-choice questions. The exam appointment time is 6 hours long, which includes a nondisclosure agreement, tutorial (8 minutes), the exam (5 hours and 20 minutes), a scheduled break (25 minutes), and a brief survey. Learn more at our YouTube channel.
To register for an FS exam, log in to your MyNCEES account, select the REGISTER button, and follow the onscreen instructions. Learn more about the exam and the exam environment by reading the rules and policies in your NCEES Examinee Guide.
FS exam specifications
Exam fees and requirements
An exam fee of $225 is payable directly to NCEES during the registration process. Some licensing boards may require examinees to file a separate application and pay an application fee as part of their approval process in order to be qualified for seating for an NCEES exam. You will be notified during the registration process if the licensing board you selected has additional requirements.
NCEES offers an FS Reference Handbook for free download.
Scoring and reporting
Exam results for computer-based exams are typically available 7–10 days after you take the exam. You will receive an email notification from NCEES with instructions to view your results in your MyNCEES account. Results will include information specific to your licensing board regarding how you should proceed based on your performance.
Evaluate your readiness for the FS exam by testing your knowledge with the most realistic computer-based simulation available. Learn more about NCEES computer-based practice exams.
FS pass rates
For the January/February and April/May 2014 FS exams, 55 percent of first-time takers passed and 13 percent of repeat takers passed.