Scoring

NCEES administers the FE and FS exams via computer and the PE, PS, and SE exams in pencil-and-paper format. The scoring process for each is different for each format. Click on the appropriate exam below to read about how an exam is scored and when examinees can expect to receive their results after taking an exam.

Select your exam type

Computer-based exam scoring (FE, FS exams)

Your exam results are based on the total number of correct answers that you selected. There are no deductions for wrong answers. The score is then converted to a scaled score, which adjusts for any minor differences in difficulty across the different exam forms. This scaled score represents an examinee’s ability level and is compared to the minimum ability level for that exam, which has been determined by subject-matter experts through psychometric statistical methods. NCEES does not publish the passing score because it varies slightly based on difficulty. NCEES scores each exam with no predetermined percentage of examinees that should pass or fail. All exams are scored the same way. First-time takers and repeat takers are graded to the same standard.

When will I get my result?

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.

Your exam result

Exam results are reported pass/fail. If you did not pass the exam, you will receive a diagnostic report indicating subject areas of relative strength and weakness. The diagnostic report can assist you if you decide to retake the exam.

Download a sample diagnostic report (PDF).


Pencil-and-paper exam scoring (PE, PS, SE exams)

This video explains the NCEES pencil-and-paper scoring process.

When will I get my result?

Typically, NCEES releases results to licensing boards 8–10 weeks after the exam date. How and when examinees receive their results varies by state. Some boards use NCEES Exam Administration Services to release the results directly to examinees; some release them through another testing service such as PCS; and other boards release the results themselves. In addition, some state boards must validate the results at a board meeting before they can release them to examinees.

Your exam result

Exam results are reported pass/fail. If you did not pass the exam, you will receive a diagnostic report indicating subject areas of relative strength and weakness. The diagnostic report can assist you if you decide to retake the exam.

Download a sample diagnostic report (PDF).

The grading process

All answer sheets for multiple-choice exams are machine graded; a percentage of answer sheets are also manually verified to ensure accuracy. The essays for the afternoon portion of the SE exam are scored by teams of subject-matter experts.

Read a step-by-step explanation of the scoring process.

Determining passing scores

When an exam is introduced or when its specifications change, a committee of subject-matter experts works with experienced psychometricians (testing experts with a background in statistics) to determine the level of performance that corresponds with minimal competence in that discipline. This becomes the passing score. NCEES does not publish passing scores because they change with each administration. NCEES scores each exam with no predetermined percentage of examinees that should pass or fail. All exams are scored the same way. First-time takers and repeat takers are graded to the same standard.

Equating

For subsequent administrations of the exam, statistical equating is used to ensure that this level of performance is consistent across multiple administrations of that exam. Essentially, this means that while the numerical passing score may change with each administration, you are not disadvantaged when one administration of a particular exam is more difficult than another. This process accounts for the 8- to 10-week interval between an exam administration and the release of scores to member licensing boards.

Your exam results are determined by the number of items you answered correctly for the exam in its entirety. There are no minimum requirements for particular sections or topics within an exam. You are not penalized for incorrect answers. You may request that your exam answer sheet be manually verified. A fee is charged for this service.