(From the NCEES publication LICENSURE EXCHANGE, February 2013, ISSN NO. 1093-541X, VOLUME 17, ISSUE 1 – PAGE 8)
NCEES is scheduled to complete the transition of the FE and FS exams to computer-based testing (CBT) on January 1, 2014. The transition involves significant changes to the format of the exams and the procedures for administering them.
New exam specifications
NCEES has set new specifications—the knowledge areas to be tested and their relative weights of emphasis—for the FE and FS exams. These are posted online at ncees.org/cbt.
The updated FE and FS specifications are the result of content reviews held in 2011 and 2012, in which NCEES surveyed a cross section of P.E.s and P.S.s, respectively, about the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for an engineer or surveyor intern to work in a manner that safeguards the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
Changes to administration
The October 2013 exam administration will be the last time the FE and FS exams are offered in pencil-and-paper format. Effective January 1, 2014, the FE and FS exams will be offered only via CBT at approved Pearson VUE testing centers. The PE and PS exams will continue to be offered twice each year (April and October) in pencil-and-paper format, pending further action by NCEES exam committees.
Registration for all exams will open November 4, 2013. The first available seating at a Pearson VUE testing center for the FE and FS exams will be January 2, 2014. There will be four testing windows for the FE and FS each year. Each window will last two months, with a month between them. For example, exam appointments will be available in January and February, with none available in March. Individuals may take the FE or FS exam only one time per testing window and no more than three times in a 12-month period.
The FE and FS exams will be six hours in length, which will include a tutorial, breaks, the exam, and a brief survey. The FE and FS exams will continue to be closed book, and examinees will continue to follow the NCEES policy for using approved calculators. Supplied reference material for the exams will be provided on the computers at the testing centers.
Sample exams for the computer-based FE and FS will be available for purchase after the October 2013 exam administration.
“NCEES will continue to finalize details of the transition and work with Pearson VUE to identify potential sites for new testing centers to ensure adequate seating capacity at locations convenient to our candidate population centers,” said Jerry Carter, NCEES executive director.
More information on the FE and FS exams’ transition to CBT, including details of the latest announcements and events, is available online at ncees.org/cbt.