FE Exam-Day Experience: From Testing Environment to Exit Procedures
Season’s Greetings! New Year brings not only joys, but it makes us happy with a hope to satisfy our dream or maybe even a new beginning of our life. We would like to wish all our readers a VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!
When approaching the FE Exam for the first time, it’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed. The best way to build your confidence is to prepare for the test and to know the ins and outs of the test. To answer many of our readers’ questions, in this month’s article, we would like to review the exam day experience and what you are expected to do that day. Make sure you review the website of NCEES. Once your registration is approved, you will receive an email notification that you have been authorized to take the exam and are eligible to schedule your exam appointment. NCEES computer-based tests (CBT) are offered in testing windows throughout the year during the following months: January, February, April, May, July, August, October and November.
After you register and know your exam date, NCEES recommends the following: First, you should plan to arrive at the testing center 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. Upon arrival, a representative will provide you with a copy of NCEES-CBT exam rules for your review. After doing so, you will be asked to provide your digital signature to confirm that you have read the rules and agree to abide by them. Also you will be asked to provide a current government issued form of ID such as a driver’s license. Once the representative has confirmed your identification and the exam that you are taking, you will be asked to provide a palm vein scan and have your photo taken. Your signature, palm vein scan, and photo will be stored with your exam result. Prior to being admitted into the testing room, a representative will insure that you have, in your possession, only the items that NCEES allows into the testing room. These items include, your ID, an NCEES approved calculator, and eye glasses. Most test centers have secure storage lockers on site for you to store prohibited items such as cell phones, other electronic devices, and personal belongings such as a watch, wallet, and bag.
Once you complete the check in process, then you report to an exam proctor who will ask you to confirm your ID by providing, again, your palm vein scan. Next, the proctor will provide a review of the exam rules, escort you to the exam room, assign you a work station, and launch the exam period. Then the proctor will review the exam rules and will escort you to the exam room and assigned work station and launches the exam. Before starting your exam, all examinees will be required to read and agree to the NCEES’ non-disclosure agreement and complete a brief tutorial to learn how to ADVANCE to the next item, RETURN to a previous item, and FLAG items for review. After completing approximately 55 questions, examinees will be prompted, on screen with the option to take a 25 minute break. Examinees who wish to take the scheduled break should raise their hands and wait for the prompter to offer assistance. Unscheduled breaks may be requested at any time during the exam by following the same procedure. However, examinees should be aware that clock will not stop during an unscheduled break. Examinees are allowed to access their lockers during the scheduled and unscheduled breaks.
After completing the exam and a brief survey, you should raise your hand and the proctor will verify that you have properly exited from the exam. They will then escort you from the testing room and collect your booklet and marker. You will not receive any type of score before leaving the testing center. You will receive an email from NCEES within 7 to 10 days notifying you that your results are available for viewing in your MYNCEES account.
Finally, in both FE and PE exams, timing is everything. To conquer these exams, speed is crucial, but remember, speed can only be attained through practice and more practice!
Ahmet Zeytinci, Ph.D.,
P.E., F-NSPE, F-ASCE (Dr.Z.)