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 with a minimum of four years of post-college work experience in their chosen engineering discipline.
The exam includes 80 questions. The exam appointment time is 9 hours and includes:
- Nondisclosure agreement (2 minutes)
- Tutorial (8 minutes)
- Exam (8 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 by returning to the primary PE page and choosing your location on the map.
Exam specifications and design standards
The PE Civil exam is a breadth and depth examination. The breadth items cover topics from all five areas of civil engineering. The depth items focus more closely on a single area of practice.
For details on the format and length of the exam, the topics covered, and applicable design standards, select your engineering discipline below to download the exam specifications. PE exam specifications and design standards are posted 6 months before their effective date. Exam specifications change once every 5–7 years. Design standards change more frequently. The design standards included in the information below are effective as of January 2022.
Exam specifications and design standards (effective April 2024)
The PE Civil exam includes multiple-choice questions as well as alternative item types (AITs).