October 2020 exam administration updates

September 16, 2020

NCEES is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the October 2020 pencil-and-paper exam administration. All exam site locations are currently proceeding with reduced capacity restrictions in place. Changes to state and local requirements that further reduce capacities for groups and events may impact the number of examinees that are able to test at a specific site. NCEES will continue to monitor these changes between now and exam day. As noted during the exam registration process, any changes in capacity restrictions for an exam site may result in the cancellation of an examinee’s registration.

The cancellation of the April 2020 paper-and-pencil exam administration impacted approximately 16,000 examinees. To accommodate these examinees, the format of the October 2020 exam administration will be modified as detailed below.

October 2020 exam site procedures regarding COVID-19
To help ensure the health, safety, and welfare of examinees and proctoring teams, NCEES is implementing the following measures for the October 2020 exam administration.

Examinees must review and satisfy the following requirements before being admitted to an exam site. No one will be admitted to the exam site if they have met any of the COVID-19 qualifications listed below.

  • Tested positive for COVID-19
    UNLESS symptom-free and fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine AND at least 14 days have passed since your last exposure, or you have received two negative COVID-19 test results in a row, 24 hours apart.
  • Experiencing (or have experienced) one or more associated symptoms the last fourteen (14) days: shortness of breath, cough, fever, chills, sore throat, loss of smell
    UNLESS you have been symptom-free and fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine.
  • Live with or have had close contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19
    UNLESS at least 14 days have passed since your last exposure.
  • Have been or are currently under home quarantine or centralized observation by government or healthcare authorities
    UNLESS at least 14 days have passed since your quarantine or centralized observation has been lifted by the government or healthcare authorities.

Examinees who meet the above conditions on exam day and are admitted to the exam site must agree to follow the below guidelines on exam day.

  • Examinees will be seated alone and properly distanced from other tables.
  • Examinees and proctors are required to wear face masks at all times.
  • Examinees must practice social distancing at all times.
  • Examinees will be allowed to have hand sanitizer and wipes, extra face coverings, and disposable gloves in the exam room; they must be placed on the floor during the exam.

Exam specifications and design standards
Design standards for the October 2020 exams listed below will remain in effect for the April 2021 exams. The information below contains design standards for each exam.

PE Civil exam
Civil: Construction (PDF; with design standards)
Civil: Geotechnical (PDF; with design standards)
Civil: Structural (PDF; with design standards)
Civil: Transportation (PDF; with design standards)
Civil: Water Resources and Environmental (PDF)

PE Structural exam
Friday morning breadth – vertical forces (PDF)
Friday afternoon depth – vertical forces (PDF)
Saturday morning breadth – lateral forces (PDF)
Saturday morning depth – lateral forces (PDF)

PE Architectural Engineering (PDF; with design standards)

Exam administration format
Registration for the October 2020 paper-and-pencil exam administration will open at 10:00 a.m. EDT on June 1 and close at 3:00 p.m. EDT on August 20. The exam administration will take place over two days—Thursday, October 22 and Friday, October 23.* Please note that exams usually offered once a year during the April administration will be offered in October. Exams will be administered on the day assigned as follows:

Thursday, October 22, 2020
Civil: Geotechnical
Civil: Transportation
Civil: Water Resources and Environmental
SE Vertical Forces Bridges
SE Vertical Forces Buildings

Friday, October 23, 2020
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Architectural Engineering
Civil: Construction
Civil: Structural
Control Systems
Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering
Electrical and Computer: Electronics, Controls, and Communications
Metallurgical and Materials
Mining and Mineral Processing
Naval Architecture and Marine
SE Lateral Forces Bridges
SE Lateral Forces Buildings

All sites for the October 2020 exam administration must operate in compliance with capacity and social distancing requirements. In most cases, this will reduce the number of examinees that can be accommodated at an exam site. Examinees will be allowed to complete the registration process only when a seat is available for their selected site. Capacity and social distancing requirements are subject to change at any time. Any changes that require a further reduction in capacity may result in the cancellation of your exam registration. Please be aware that every effort will be made to accommodate all registered examinees in a manner that protects the health and safety of everyone involved.

Click here for information about registering.

*Overseas sites will maintain their normal testing procedures. Please contact your testing agency for further instruction.