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Exam Scoring

The Exam Scoring Process

The scoring process for exams varies based on the testing format—computer-based or pencil-and-paper. As of 2023, all FE, PE, FS, and PE exams except the PE Structural exam are computer-based.

To learn more about the scoring process for your exam, select the appropriate testing format below.
Exam results are based on the total number of correct answers that you selected. There are no deductions for wrong answers. The score is then converted to a scaled score, which adjusts for any minor differences in difficulty across the different exam forms. This scaled score represents an examinee’s ability level and is compared to the minimum ability level for that exam, which has been determined by subject-matter experts through psychometric statistical methods. NCEES does not publish the passing score. NCEES scores each exam with no predetermined percentage of examinees that should pass or fail. All exams are scored the same way. First-time takers and repeat takers are graded to the same standard.
When will I get my result?

Exam results for computer-based exams are typically available 7–10 days after you take the exam. You will receive an email notification from NCEES with instructions to view your results in your MyNCEES account. Results will include information specific to your licensing board regarding how you should proceed based on your performance.

Your exam result
Exam results are reported pass/fail. If you did not pass the exam, you will receive a diagnostic report indicating subject areas of relative strength and weakness. The diagnostic report can assist you if you decide to retake the exam.

Download a sample diagnostic report (PDF).

When will I get my result?
Typically, NCEES releases results to licensing boards 8–10 weeks after the exam date. How and when examinees receive their results varies by state. Some boards use NCEES Exam Administration Services to release the results directly to examinees; some release them through another testing service such as PCS; and other boards release the results themselves. In addition, some state boards must validate the results at a board meeting before they can release them to examinees.
Your exam result
Exam results are reported pass/fail. If you did not pass the exam, you will receive a diagnostic report indicating subject areas of relative strength and weakness. The diagnostic report can assist you if you decide to retake the exam.

Download a sample diagnostic report (PDF).

The grading process

All answer sheets for multiple-choice exams are machine graded; a percentage of answer sheets are also manually verified to ensure accuracy. The essays for the afternoon portion of the PE Structural exam are scored by teams of subject-matter experts.

Read a step-by-step explanation of the scoring process in the Pencil-and-Paper Exams section of the NCEES Examinee Guide.

Determining passing scores
When an exam is introduced or when its specifications change, a committee of subject-matter experts works with experienced psychometricians (testing experts with a background in statistics) to determine the level of performance that corresponds with minimal competence in that discipline. This becomes the passing score. NCEES does not publish passing scores because they change with each administration. NCEES scores each exam with no predetermined percentage of examinees that should pass or fail. All exams are scored the same way. First-time takers and repeat takers are graded to the same standard.
Equating
For subsequent administrations of the exam, statistical equating is used to ensure that this level of performance is consistent across multiple administrations of that exam. Essentially, this means that while the numerical passing score may change with each administration, you are not disadvantaged when one administration of a particular exam is more difficult than another. This process accounts for the 8- to 10-week interval between an exam administration and the release of scores to member licensing boards.

Your exam results are determined by the number of items you answered correctly for the exam in its entirety. There are no minimum requirements for particular sections or topics within an exam. You are not penalized for incorrect answers. You may request that your exam answer sheet be manually verified. A fee is charged for this service.

MANUAL VERIFICATION REQUESTS

Manual verification ensures that the scanner accurately transferred the answers from your answer sheet to the scoring system for your pencil-and-paper exam. There are no manual verifications for computer-based exams. The states listed below allow manual verification requests under certain circumstances. If you took an NCEES exam in a state, territory, or foreign entity that is not listed below, your licensing board likely does not allow manual verifications. Contact your board or foreign entity to confirm that they do or do not allow manual verifications before proceeding.

If allowed by your board, log into your MyNCEES account to request a manual verification. The verification can be requested at Exams/Result Notice/Actions/Manual Verification. Requests for manual verification must be submitted to NCEES within 60 days of release of your exam results.

You will not be able to request a manual verification if you are registered with a state licensing board or foreign entity that does not allow manual verification requests, or if more than 60 days have passed since your exam results were released.
All exam answer sheets are machine scanned. Examinees who receive a failing score may request that their answer sheet be manually verified by hand as well. A fee of $75 is assessed by NCEES for each request.
The afternoon portion of each Structural component is essay format and is scored and verified by at least two engineers from a committee of licensed structural engineers; a third engineer adjudicates any differences between the first two scores. Manual verification is only available for the AM portion of this exam.
When NCEES receives your request and fee, we manually confirm that the scanner accurately transferred your answer responses from your answer sheet to the scoring system to ensure there is no discrepancy. No specific examinee comments are addressed on manual verification requests.
If there is no change in your results, you will receive a letter from NCEES that simply states there is no change. No further details about your exam will be provided. If your results change from failing to passing, NCEES will notify you and your state board with the revised results.

Boards And Foreign Entities That Allow Manual Verification Requests

 
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • APEGA
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • AUC (Egypt)
  • AUS (Sharjah)
  • CIE (Taiwan)
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • JPEC (Japan)
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • KPEA (South Korea)
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • SCE (Saudi Arabia)
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
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