References, Materials and Procedures for the
Illinois Professional Engineering Examinations
Each candidate is responsible for knowing and adhering to these rules regulating the administration of the
Professional Engineering Examinations. Read all of the following information carefully. Failure to follow
these rules can result in immediate dismissal and disqualification from these examinations.
Two examinations are required for licensure as a Professional Engineer in Illinois:
1. Fundamentals of Engineering Examination
2. Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination
Both exams are administered in April and October of each year. Specific dates for the next scheduled
examinations are available at the NCEES website at www.ncees.org. Continental Testing Services Inc.
(CTS) is designated as the authorized exam administration service for the Department as Illinois is NOT a
member of ELSES (Engineering and Land Surveying Examination Services) which is the NCEES exam
administration affiliate. You may register to take the Fundamentals examination if you are a senior student in
an ABET (EAC) approved engineering program. You may register to take the Principles and Practice and/
or Fundamentals examination(s) if you are a graduate of an ABET (EAC) engineering program or if you are
an Illinois Engineer Intern. All other candidates must be approved by the Department prior to
registering for the engineering examination(s). All candidates taking an engineering examination must
register with the NCEES at www.ncees.org, as well as Continental Testing Services Inc.
The examination specifications (content) are available from the NCEES. You may obtain a
copy from the NCEES Web site at www.ncees.org. If you do not have access to the Internet,
you may contact the NCEES toll free at 1-800-250-3196. The specifications are only provided
through the NCEES.
These are the requirements of Illinois for the Testing Centers: Where the NCEES requirements
and Illinois requirements differ, the Illinois requirements will take precedence for those taking
the exams at the Illinois Testing Centers. The Standard NCEES candidate information packet
is the last two pages of this reference sheet.
1. By registering for this examination, each candidate acknowledges and accepts the
responsibility to maintain the security of these examinations by neither copying nor divulging
any questions, answers or solutions to any part of these tests, including any drawings or
notes made with reference to these examinations. Each examinee will sign a statement
2. Any breach of examination security will be grounds for discipline by the Illinois Department
of Professional Regulation.
Photo Identification Required. Each candidate must present a photo ID and a valid admission
notice to be admitted into any of the examinations. The only acceptable photographic identification
is a Driver’s License, Secretary of State ID card, or a current passport. If the name on the photo ID
does not match the name on the admission notice, proof of legal name change must be presented
before the candidate can be admitted to an examination.
Illinois PE Reference Guide February 2011
Study Guide Page 1
Seating and Permission to Leave the Room. The tables in the examination room will be numbered. When
directed to do so by a proctor, please sit at the table that is marked with the number which corresponds with
your admission card number. Place your admission card, with a photo ID near the edge of your table so that
it may be checked by the monitors without disturbing you.
Permission must be obtained from examination security personnel to leave the room for any reason.
Talking or any contact with other examinees during the examination is not permitted and may be grounds for
immediate removal and disqualification.
Visitors. Friends and relatives are not permitted to be in the testing area at any time. Anyone who accompanies
you to the test site and is not registered to take these tests must meet you outside the testing facility after the
test has been completed.
Materials Prohibited During Examinations
l Any devices or materials that might compromise the security of the examination ARE
PROHIBITED. All such devices or materials found during an examination may be checked by
examination security personnel and confiscated pending any investigation or action regarding
possible threats to the security of the test.
l All communicating devices such as pagers, beepers, cellular telephones or other electronic
instruments that may disturb or distract candidates during the examination, including electronic
watches with set alarms, ARE PROHIBITED.
l Smoking and consumption of food and drink ARE PROHIBITED in the examination room.
l Devices having a QWERTY keypad arrangement similar to a typewriter or keyboard are not
permitted. Devices not permitted include, but are not limited to, palmtop, laptop, hand-held and
desktop computers, calculators not approved by NCEES, databanks, data collectors, and organizers.
l Personal pencils or other writing devices. ONLY MECHANICAL PENCILS SUPPLIED BY
THE NCEES ARE PERMITTED IN THE EXAMINATION ROOM.
l CALCULATORS. Only those calculators specified by NCEES will be allowed. For the latest
list of allowable calculators, you may obtain a copy from the NCEES Web site at www.ncees.org.
The following references are NOT permitted in the examination room:
l Material copied from several handbooks and textbooks and bound by/for the candidate;
l Loose tables, maps, charts, reference cards, etc.;
l Writing tables, unbound tables, or unbound notes;
l Manuals that are publications of the Illinois Department of Transportation (commonly referred
to as the IDOT Manual);
l Books with content directed mainly toward solution of engineering problems or preparation for
professional engineering examinations.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you move before you receive your examination results, you must
submit your change of address in writing to Continental Testing Services, Inc., 547 South La Grange
Road, La Grange, IL 60525.
Illinois PE Reference Guide February 2011
EXAMINATION RESULTS: The examination results should be available within approximately three months
from the date of the examination. The results will be mailed to you as soon as they are available. DO NOT
CALL THE DEPARTMENT OR CONTINENTAL TESTING SERVICES, INC. IN THIS
NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination
Other Disciplines Exam Specifications
The FE exam contains 180 multiple-choice questions and is split into a morning session (120 questions) and
an afternoon session (60 questions).
The morning is the same for everyone. For the afternoon session, you will be asked to select the module that
best corresponds to your undergraduate degree. When registering with the NCEES, you will have to choose
your PM module. On exam day, you will receive only the PM module you selected when registering.
The FE is a closed-book exam. You will be provided a FE Supplied-Reference Handbook at your seat on
Both sessions must be taken to receive a score. The score will be reported as Pass or Fail.
You may obtain a copy of the examination specifications (examination content) from the NCEES
Web site at www.ncees.org or toll-free at 1-800-250-3196.
l The NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering Reference Handbook will be provided at the examination. If
you bring a copy with you, it will not be permitted in the examination.
l The examination booklet, answer sheet, and supplied-reference handbook shall be turned in before
leaving the examination room.
l In preparation for the examination, you may obtain copies of the reference, “The Fundamentals of
Engineering Reference Handbook,” and the most current examination specifications from the
National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEEs) at www.ncees.org or toll free at
PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF ENGINEERING EXAMINATION
The Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination is administered as a Discipline Examination. You
must indicate the discipline that you plan to be examined in at the time you register for the examination with
Continental Testing Services, Inc., and the appropriate examination booklet will be ordered for your use.
The specifications indicate the content areas and the format of the examination. The examination may be
No-Choice, all multiple choice questions, or Breadth/Depth format, all multiple-choice questions. In
preparation for the examination, you may obtain the most current examination specifications (examination
content and summary of format) from the NCEES Web site at www.ncees.org.
l Each discipline examination uses dimensional units which reflect current practice in that
discipline. Some disciplines will have an increase in the use of metric units due to federal
l No scratch paper is allowed. Blank pages for scratchwork are provided in each solution
pamphlet. No credit will be given for answers recorded in the test booklets; the answers must be
recorded in the solution pamphlets.
Illinois PE Reference Guide February 2011
References for Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination:
l Examinees may use any number of texts during the examination. No exchange of reference material
will be permitted during any examination session. Examinees may choose to change some of their
reference books between the morning and afternoon sessions.
l All exams are open book. PE Civil must bring their own copies of the applicable design standards.
l All reference books must be printed in the English language.
l Books must be copyrighted and formally bound by the publisher.
l The NCEES Transportation Design Standards and Structural Design Standards are referenced in
the Civil examination. Examination problems, which reference a standard of practice, are scored
based on these lists. To ensure that you have the most current copy available, you may obtain a copy
from the NCEES Web site at www.ncees.org.
l The codes and standards used on the PE examinations are identified in the NCEES examination
specifications, such as the 2005 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) applies to any
code-related questions contained in the Electrical discipline examination.
l Reference manuals published by Professional Publications, Inc., and Great Lakes Press, Inc., (which
includes reference manuals by Michael Lindeburg, Merle Potter and other authors) are permitted.
However, the accompanying solution manuals are not permitted.
Examples of books not approved include: Hicks Handbook, FAN Engineering, NCEES Study Guides,
solution manuals (which includes the solution manuals by Michael Lindeburg, Merle Potter, and other
authors published by Professional Publications, Inc., and Great Lakes Press, Inc.) and any other books
purported to be helpful in preparation for professional engineering examinations. The NCEES Fundamentals
of Engineering Reference Handbook will not be allowed in the examination.
STUDY MATERIALS AND REFRESHER COURSES
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) has developed exam
preparation materials and study guides for the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination and the
Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination. To order a copy of the Fundamentals of Engineering
Reference Handbook or study materials, contact the NCEES at one of the following:
l Web site: www.ncees.org l NCEES
l Toll-free: 800-250-3196 Post Office Box 11686
l FAX: 864-654-6033 Clemson, SC 29633-1686
For information regarding refresher courses, contact:
l Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, Inc. (ISPE) 217/544-7424
Illinois PE Reference Guide February 2011
NCEES Candidate Agreement
April 2011 Exam Administration
All licensure candidates qualified to take any NCEES exam must review this agreement before sitting for the exam.
Examinees are required to sign their exam answer sheet before the exam starts to affirm that they
have been provided this information, have read and understand the material, and agree to abide by
the stated policies and procedures, which apply to all NCEES exams. Full compliance is required.
Approved Calculators Leaving the exam area without authorization
Only models of calculators listed below are permitted in Violating any other terms stated in this agreement
the exam room for the 2011 exams. that are cause for dismissal or exam invalidation
Hewlett Packard HP 33s and HP 35s models, but If any prohibited item is s-
no others. sion after the exam begins, the item will be confiscated
Casio All fx-115 models. Any Casio calculator must and sent to NCEES. No refund will be provided to
contain fx-115 in its model name. examinees dismissed from the exam.
Texas Instruments All TI-30X and TI-36X models. Exam to Be Scored
Any Texas Instruments calculator must contain either On exam day, examinees will receive only the exam listed
TI-30X or TI-36X in its model name. on their Exam Authorization and will not be allowed to
Admission Requirements sit for a different exam. NCEES will score only the exam
listed on the Exam Authorization.
For exam admission, examinees must present their
Exam Authorization and a current, government-issued Reference Materials
sport, that For Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam:
contains the following: name, date of birth, expiration This is a closed-book exam. The only reference
date, signature, and a recent and recognizable photo- material examinees may use is the FE Supplied-
Reference Handbook distributed by proctors. The
Exam Authorization must match. Student and expired Handbook may be purchased or printed from the
IDs will not be accepted. NCEES Web site. Examinees may not bring their own
Examinees must report to the exam site by the designat- Handbook, other reference material, or Post-itTM type
ed time. Examinees will not be admitted after the exam notes or flags into the exam room.
instructions begin. For Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam:
This is a closed-book exam. Examinees may use only
Grounds for Dismissal from the Exam and/or the reference formulas at the front of their exam
Invalidation of Exam Results books. No other reference materials may be used. The
Having a cell phone in your possession reference formulas are available on the NCEES Web
Having loose papers, legal pads, writing tablets, or site. Examinees are not allowed to bring their own
unbound notes in your possession copies of the formulas into the exam room. Post-it
type notes or flags are not permitted.
Having a device with copying, recording, or commu-
nication capabilities in your possession. These For Principles and Practice of Engineering
include but are not limited to cameras, pagers, PDAs, (PE) and Principles and Practice of Surveying
radios, headsets, tape players, MP3 players, calcula- (PS) exams: These are open-book exams. Exami-
tor watches, electronic dictionaries, electronic trans- nees must bring their own reference materials. All
lators, and transmitting devices. reference materials must be bound and remain bound
during the exam. Bound refers to (1) materials perma-
Having a calculator that is not on the NCEES-
nently bound, as by stitching or glue, and (2) materials
securely fastened in their covers by fasteners that
Using a non-NCEES writing instrument or eraser to penetrate all papers. Ring binders, spiral binders, plas-
complete any portion of the exam tic snap binders, brads, and screw posts are acceptable
fasteners. Staples are not acceptable fasteners. Writing
colluding with other examinees tablets and legal pads are not allowed. Examinees may
Beginning the exam before the proctor instructs you tab reference books before the exam with Post-it type
to do so notes and flags, but pads of Post-it notes and flags are
not permitted in the exam room.
Failing to stop writing immediately when time is
called Personal Items
Writing on anything other than your exam booklet or Personal items are the sole responsibility of the exami-
answer sheet; writing in the FE Supplied-Reference nee. Neither NCEES, the state board, exam proctors, or
Handbook the site facility are responsible for any lost, misplaced, or
Removing pages from your exam booklet stolen items.
(continued on next page)
Personal Items (continued)
FE and FS examinees may bring personal items in a NCEES Response to Testing Errors, Disruptions
clear plastic bag only. Purses and backpacks are not in Testing, and Potential Compromises
permitted in closed-book exams. In the unlikely event that a mistake occurs in printing,
Examinees may bring snacks (e.g., hard candies, handling, or processing test materials or in scoring or
candy bars, gum) and nonalcoholic drinks, as long as reporting scores, the test administrator, after consulta-
having them does not disturb other examinees. tion with NCEES, will correct the error, if possible, or
Examinees may wear wristwatches or place them on permit the affected examinees either to retest at no addi-
the floor. Small clocks must be placed on the floor. tional fee or to receive a refund of the exam fee. These
are the sole and exclusive remedies available to
Examinees may not wear hoods (on hooded sweat- examinees for errors in handling or processing registra-
shirts, for example) or hats with brims during tion materials; in printing, handling, or processing
the exam. Head coverings that qualify as religious exams and exam answer sheets; in determining or
apparel are permitted. reporting results; and/or in investigating or responding
Examinees may not bring slide charts or wheel charts to suspected irregularities.
(hand-held cardboard or plastic calculating devices
with rotating or sliding pieces) or drafting compasses. NCEES, jurisdictions, and testing agents also take steps
that are intended to ensure standardized administration
Examinees may not bring weapons of any kind. on test day. If events occur that cause testing to be
Examinees may not bring tobacco products or canceled or interrupted, involve a mistiming on any part
personal chairs. of the test, result in a deviation from required testing
procedures, raise concerns about possible advance
Items Permitted on the Desktop
access to exam content by one or more examinees, or
Examinees may have these items on the desktop during
otherwise disrupt or compromise the normal testing
the exam: answer sheet, exam booklet, ID, admission
process, NCEES will determine whether corrective action
notice, approved reference material, NCEES-approved
is warranted, which could include canceling results or
calculators, NCEES-issued pencils with erasers, small
not scoring answer documents. If NCEES determines
snacks, and two straightedges such as a ruler, scale,
that corrective action is necessary, affected examinees
triangle, or protractor.
may have the option to retest at no additional fee
Exam Irregularities (normally on a future national test date) or to receive a
Fraud, deceit, dishonesty, unprofessional behavior, and refund of the exam fee, unless the affected examinees
other irregular behavior in connection with taking any caused or were involved in the conduct that resulted in
NCEES exam is strictly prohibited. Irregular behavior the need for corrective action, in which case the jurisdic-
includes but is not limited to copying or allowing the tion that authorized seating for the exam will have the
copying of exam answers; failing to work independently; right to withhold either or both of these options. If a
possessing prohibited items; communicating with other jurisdiction offers a retest and an examinee selects that
examinees or any outside parties by way of telephones, option, the examinee may be required to retake the
personal computers, the Internet, or any other means entire exam in order to produce a valid result. These are
during the course of an exam; surrogate testing or other the sole and exclusive remedies available to any
dishonest conduct; disrupting other examinees; creating examinee who is affected by disruptions in testing or a
any safety concerns; failing to cease work on the exam potential exam compromise.
when time is called; and possessing, reproducing, or dis-
Special Testing Accommodations
closing nonpublic exam questions, answers, or other
NCEES must receive testing-accommodation requests by
information regarding the content of the exam without
the registration deadline. All testing accommodations
authorization, before, during, or after the exam admin-
must be approved by NCEES for each exam administra-
istration. NCEES will conduct an analysis each exam
tion. Information about accommodations and the pro-
administration to identify incidents of copying or
cess for requesting accommodations are posted on the
NCEES Web site.
The chief proctor is authorized to take appropriate action
to investigate, stop, or correct any observed or suspected Intellectual Property Rights and Exam Security
irregular behavior, including discharging examinees All NCEES exams are copyrighted works. Examinees are
from the exam site for prohibited activities and confis- strictly prohibited from copying or disclosing any exam
cating any prohibited devices or materials. Examinees questions, problems, or answers, orally or in writing.
must cooperate fully in any investigation of a suspected This prohibition includes not discussing or disclosing
irregularity. NCEES reserves the right to pursue all any exam questions or problems on Internet blogs or
available remedies for exam irregularities, including chat rooms or through any other means.
canceling results and pursuing administrative, civil, Additional Information
and/or criminal remedies. Examinees or other persons Current exam specifications, study materials, scoring
implicated in an irregularity will be identified to the state methods, and other exam information are available at
board, which may invoke additional sanctions. Exami- ncees.org or by calling NCEES at 800-250-3196.
nees implicated in an irregularity will not receive exam
results and will not be eligible for a refund of exam fees.
December 1, 2010