NCEES Dates, Links and INFO

BREAKING NEWS: NCEES Moves Up Civil PE Exam Conversion to CBT to 2022

NCEES is moving up the date for the conversion of the Civil PE Exam to computer-based testing (CBT), beginning April 1, 2022. That means the last exam to be offered in pencil-and-paper format will be the October 2021 Exam. 

This conversion was originally scheduled to happen in 2023, but NCEES fast-tracked the change in response to COVID-19. According to NCEES Chief Officer of Examinations Tim Miller, P.E., “Under the current COVID-19 guidelines, fewer examinees can be in the exam room at the same time, so we began discussions with Pearson VUE about transitioning the PE Civil exam from 2023 to an earlier date.”

With the CBT format you can make an appointment year-round at a testing center. Registration for the CBT Civil exam will open on November 1, 2021.

For more information on the change:

Additional Exam Date for Civil PE Exam: January 26, 2021

With COVID-19 requirements having significant impacts on the ability to meet the demand for exam registrations, NCEES added a new REGIONAL exam date for PE Civil examinees on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Registration for the January 26, 2021 Regional PE Civil exam will begin on November 1, 2020, and end on December 13, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EST. The Regional Exam Sites include:

      Phoenix, AZ
      Pomona, CA
      San Mateo, CA
      Hartford, CT
      Orlando, FL
      Topeka, KS
      Minneapolis, MN
      Raleigh, NC
      Cleveland, OH
      Houston, TX
      Seattle, WA

It is possible that more cities will be added before registration begins. NCEES recommends that, if you are located outside of these states, you should check with their state licensing board prior to registering to determine your eligibility to test outside of your state.

You will be allowed to complete the NCEES exam registration process only if there is a seat available at your selected site. However, NCEES warns that capacity and social distancing requirements could change at any time and impact your ability to take the exam.

Revised Schedule for October 2020 Civil PE Exam

To deal with this influx of examinees caused by the cancellation of all April 2020 paper-and-pencil exams and operate in compliance with capacity and social distancing requirements, NCEES has modified the format of the October 2020 Exams. 

 The exams will take place over two days—Thursday, October 22 and Friday, October 23 as follows:

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Civil: Geotechnical
Civil: Transportation
Civil: Water Resources & Environmental

 Friday, October 23, 2020

Civil: Construction
Civil: Structural


Like everything else in our lives, the administration of the PE Exams has been affected by the pandemic. There are a number of resulting changes, and you need to make sure you are aware of all that will impact exam scheduling, and the exam experience itself. We encourage you to confirm specific requirements for your testing location well before your exam.

Keep in mind that your ability to register for and take your exam may be more challenging due to backlogs from cancelled April 2020 Exam and the period in March and April when the CBT testing centers were closed and due to possible reduced capacity at testing sites due to social distancing requirements.

You can find can find the most recent information from NCEES here:


Civil Engineers should read the articles above for information about changes in the schedule for the October 2020 Exam and the addition of the new January 26, 2021 Regional Exams. They should also check with their local boards for specific details about COVID-19 related requirements at their testing sites.

Mechanical Engineers can find the latest information related to the CBT testing centers here:

PEARSON | VUE Testing Centers COVID-19 Info:

The CBT testing centers have introduced strict new COVID-19 screening measures for test takers, and you will not be admitted to the test center and should reschedule your exam if:

you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days,

you are currently experiencing one or more COVID-19 symptoms,

you have had close contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in the last 14 days,

you were under government ordered home quarantine in the last 14 days,

you violate any travel restrictions that may be in place to reach the testing location.

Some test sites may also require a temperature check.

You will need to bring a face mask with you to the CBT testing site because you will be required to wear a face mask the entire time you are in the testing center, including during your test. Any surgical or cloth face mask, including a homemade face mask, is acceptable, as long as your nose and mouth are fully covered. In the waiting area and during admission, you will also need to maintain 6+ feet of social distance from other people.

We know that these new measures introduce a new level of uncertainty to the already stressful endeavor of taking the PE Exam, but by being informed and prepared, you can meet this challenge with the calm needed to succeed.


As you most likely already know, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is the national nonprofit organization that develops, administers, and scores the examinations used for engineering licensure in the United States. Their website is your source for all the most current and authoritative details on the examination process, rules, dates and deadlines. This page is here to help you zero in on some of the most important details you need to know.

NCEES Website:

NCEES Examinee Guide

This is your PE Exam bible, and it should be where you go to to answer all questions about how the PE exam works, registration procedures, and what is and is not allowed during the exam. The Civil PE Exams are still being offered as pencil-and-paper tests, while the Mechanical PE Exams have converted to the Computer-Based-Testing format. So make sure you’re looking at the information for the correct test format. Pay careful attention to what you are not allowed to bring into the exam or have on your desk. This will impact your preparation and could impact your ability to even take the exam.

NCEES Examinee Guide:

NCEES Exam Specifications & Design Standards

For each PE Exam, the NCEES provides a detailed list of the topics covered in the exam specifications for that exam. Four of the Civil Exams also have applicable design standards.

New PE Exam specifications and design standards are generally posted May and November, so make sure you have the most recent specifications and design standards.

NCEES Civil Exam Specifications and Design Standards:

NCEES Mechanical Exam Specifications:

NCEES Exam Registration

Registering to take the PE Exam is a two step process in which you must:

1) Meet the requirements of your state’s professional licensing board.

Links to State Engineering Boards:

2) Register with NCEES to take your chosen exam.

  • For Civil, that means registering during the exam registration period for each exam date. The opening and closing dates for the current registration period are posted on the NCEES website Exam Registration page below when they become available.
  • For Mechanical, you can register at any time, and you will also need to schedule your exam date.

NCEES Exam Registration:

You must create a MyNCEES account to register to take an exam, download reference handbooks or purchase practice exams.

MyNCEES Account:

For International Engineers:

Exam Dates

The Civil PE Exams are currently being offered as pencil-and-paper tests. These are offered on two dates each year in April and October. The Civil Exams are scheduled to convert in 2023.

The Mechanical Exams have converted to a computer-based testing format, which is offered year-round, so there are no scheduled exam dates.

NCEES Exam Schedule:  

          Mechanical – Year-Round Computer-Based Testing
          Civil – Thursday, October 22, 2020 – Geotechnical, Transportation, Water Resources & Environmental
          Civil – Friday, October 23, 2020 – Construction, Structural

          Mechanical – Year-Round Computer-Based Testing
          Civil – Tuesday, January 26, 2021 – Regional Exam
          Civil – Friday, April 23, 2021
          Civil – Friday, October 22, 2021

          Mechanical – Year-Round Computer-Based Testing
          Civil – Year-Round Computer-Based Testing

NCEES Practice Exams

For each PE Exam, the NCEES publishes a Practice Exam that you can purchase. These are excellent exam prep resources as they contain questions from past exams; simulate the format, style, and level of difficulty, and provide solutions. We require participants in our reviews to purchase the Practice Exam for their exam, and we highly recommend that anyone taking the PE Exam use the NCEES practice exam as part of their exam review. 

NCEES Practice Exams:


CBT Exam Experience

There have always been rules about what you can and cannot bring into the PE Exam, but the CBT format takes that to a new level. To familiarize yourself with that experience, we recommend that you watch the NCEES YouTube video showing what happens when you arrive at a Pearson VUE Testing Center to take your exam, plus other videos on how the CBT Exam works.

NCEES CBT Exams Videos:

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