PE Civil Exam Since the CBT Transition
Beginning April 1, 2022, the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Civil exam will involve computer-based testing (CBT), with appointments accessible year-round at Pearson VUE test centers. In October 2021, candidates appeared for the test in pencil-and-paper format for the final time.
Since November 1, 2021, registration for the April 2022 CBT test has been open.
NCEES intended to finish the transfer of the PE Civil test to CBT format in 2023, but as part of its reaction to COVID-19, it accelerated the process. Following the cancellation of the April 2020 pencil-and-paper exam administration due to the coronavirus epidemic, NCEES added an extra day to the October 2020 administration and began investigating the prospect of switching the PE Civil exam to CBT sooner than scheduled.
There are several reasons for switching to CBT, all of which should considerably improve the experience of taking these tests. A couple of major changes are:
- Increased schedule flexibility for all candidates: Prior to the transfer, NCEES conducted the FE test twice a year. With the new CBT, an examinee will effectively be able to register for and sit for tests all year round. The exam venues will also be more widespread; no more driving hours merely to take an exam; with Pearson VUE, they will most likely be lot more handy.
- Having extra sites to take the exam is also useful to the NCEES. The enhanced flexibility and convenience given to examinees by CBT is likely to lead to a corresponding rise in the number of people obtaining professional registrations.
- The duration of the exam will change from 8 hours to 6 hours, with results accessible to test centers within 48 hours. That's correct, 48 hours... If you've taken the exam before, this score turnaround may have taken up to 13 weeks of gnawing your nails and wondering if you needed to study for the next exam date.
- Will ensure that all candidates can take the test in uniform testing conditions
- As a CBT, the tests will now be more closely monitored and will deliver a more consistent testing environment and experience across the board.
- The test format will change because of the switch to CBT. In general, each test will remain closed book, but participants will now have access to an electronic reference manual while taking the exam.
- The sub-topics are further outlined so that candidates are well-prepared for what to expect on exam day.
- CBT candidates may take the exam just once within a certain testing window, but no more than three times in a 12-month period.
- All exam-related fees will be paid to the NCEES directly. Electronic transactions will be required for online registration.
- Candidates may bring NCEES-approved calculators, and the FE will remain a closed book exam; however, an electronic reference manual will be available.
With nature and life taking control of decision-making throughout the epidemic, technology has been critical for a long-term structural change that has come much faster, but better for all candidates. Therefore, the transition of the PE Civil Exam to CBT is a welcome change for you!