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PE Architectural Engineering exam

The Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam tests for a minimum level of competency in a particular engineering discipline. It is designed for engineers who have gained a minimum of four years’ post-college work experience in their chosen engineering discipline.

The PE Architectural Engineering exam is computer-based and administered one day per year. Like other PE exams with small examinee populations, this is a single-day testing event similar to the current pencil-and-paper exams. Registration opens November 1, 2021. View the upcoming test date here. Examinees may reserve their seat up to a year in advance at a Pearson VUE test center once they are registered with NCEES and approved by their board. Candidates are encouraged to reserve their seat for this single-day event as early as possible.

The exam includes 85 questions. The exam appointment time is 9.5 hours and includes

  • Nondisclosure agreement (2 minutes)
  • Tutorial (8 minutes)
  • Exam (8.5 hours)
  • Scheduled break (50 minutes)

Learn more at the NCEES YouTube channel.

Register for the exam by logging in to your MyNCEES account and following the onscreen instructions. Prepare for your exam by

  • Reviewing the exam specifications, fees, and requirements
  • Reading the reference materials
  • Understanding scoring and reporting
  • Viewing the most up-to-date exam pass rates

A $375 exam fee is payable directly to NCEES. Some licensing boards may require you to file a separate application and pay an application fee as part of the approval process to qualify you for a seat for an NCEES exam. Your licensing board may have additional requirements. Familiarize yourself with your state licensing board’s unique registration procedures before registering for a PE exam.

Reasonable accommodations are available for examinees who meet certain eligibility criteria and sufficiently document their request.

Exam specifications

For more information on the format of the exam, the topics covered, and the design standards required, download the PE Architectural Engineering exam specifications (PDF).

PE exam specifications and design standards are posted 6 months before the exam administration. Exam specifications change once every 5–7 years. Design standards change more frequently.

The PE Architectural Engineering exam includes multiple-choice questions as well as alternative item types (AITs).

Reference materials and exam prep

NCEES will provide an electronic NCEES PE Architectural Engineering Reference Handbook and all specified design standards during the exam. This handbook and the standards listed on the exam specifications are the only reference materials that can be used during the exam. You will not be allowed to bring personal copies of any material into the exam room.

Register or log in to MyNCEES to download your free copy of the PE Architectural Engineering Reference Handbook.

NCEES does not sell printed copies of the handbook or provide design standards. Design standards are available through the publisher, typically as both an electronic and printed copy.

The NCEES handbook and the design standards used on the exam are searchable PDF files with linked chapters for easy navigation. Learn more about the design codes and standards library with our YouTube video.

NCEES offers an Architectural Engineering Practice Exam to familiarize you with the exam format and content, including alternative item types (AITs). The practice exam contains questions that have been used on past exams and questions written just for study materials to give you extra practice.

The NCEES Examinee Guide is the official guide to policies and procedures for all NCEES exams. Download your free copy to find out more about registering for exams and what to expect on exam day.

Scoring and reporting

Computer-based exam results 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 include information specific to your licensing board regarding how you should proceed based on your performance.

Learn more about the exam scoring process.

Pass rates

View the most up-to-date pass rates for the PE exams.