I hated waiting to get my PE exam results after taking the test. It took weeks to hear back, and on my first attempt I found out I failed! The second time I took the test, the results got delayed by a few days and it took even longer to get results than the first time.
According to NCEES, it takes 7-10 calendar days (not business days) to get your PE exam results for computer-based tests (which most PE exams are, including the Civil PE). For pencil and paper exams, the official timeline to hear back is 8-10 weeks, though most people see results in 5-6 weeks.
But with all PE exams shifting to computer-based format very soon, the long wait won’t be so bad anymore.
The Long Wait For Your PE Exam Results
I still remember well the day that I took the PE exam. After eight long hours of working problems and filling in bubbles on the scantron, I was grateful to be done. I hid my books away and tried not to think too much about it. But I just couldn’t help but try to find out when I would get my results.
In the weeks that followed, many friends and family would ask me many times if I got my results. Many of them were surprised that even after a few weeks I still didn’t know the outcome.
Thankfully, I had many friends and co-workers who have taken the exam before and knew a little of what to expect. According to NCEES, for the Civil PE exam:
“Results for this exam are generally released to the licensing boards 8–10 weeks after the exam administration. Depending on your state, you will be notified of your exam results online through your MyNCEES account or via postal mail from your state licensing board.”
Knowing that other engineers saw results after only 5-6 weeks, I took an estimated guess of when I might see mine. For my first attempt, I took the PE exam on April 5, 2019. Based on the wait times of friends and coworkers, I estimated I would receive results by May 17. I was grateful to see my results come in a little earlier than that, on May 14. For my second attempt, I took the test on October 25, 2019 and didn’t see results until December 12.
I received my PE exam results exactly 39 days after taking the test for my first attempt and 48 days for my second.
From what I’ve read on forums and in other places online, the wait time for my first attempt seems to be about the average. The wait time for my second attempt is an outlier, although with COVID it seems that recently there have been some increases in wait times. It does vary depending on what state you took the test in, but I would say that people in most states should see results around this time.
Here’s How to Find the Times of Previous Test Results Releases
What I wish I knew before and while I was waiting is that NCEES announces when they release results. If you go to their website and click on “news” on the top right, you’ll see that they’ve announced test results there. You can also follow them on social media to get updates there as well.
You can look through past results to see how long it took for NCEES to release results each time. If you do a little bit more research, though, you’ll find that someone has already done the work for you.
Click on this link to go to an engineerboards thread to see how long it took to get PE exam results for all past years. A couple of trends that I notice:
- NCEES is getting faster at reporting results overall. If you compare the earliest on the list, which is October ‘15 and an average of 59 days, to the latest, which is April ‘18 and an average of 41 days, it’s decreasing. This holds true if you look at the tests around each of these two times as well.
- The average time for each state to get their results is getting closer to the overall average. Look at how many 41’s you see in the column for April 2018. Compare that to all of the random numbers in the column for October 2015, and you’ll see what I mean.
Remember though that NCEES is switching all exams to computer-based. The usual wait time for computer-based tests according to NCEES is just 7-10 days, so all of this guessing will not be a problem anymore. Plus, the PE will be offered much more frequently, which is going to be awesome for everybody!
I know that waiting to see how long it will take you to get your PE exam results is hard. I’ve been there myself and even once got the result that I failed the exam, which was really not fun.
Just remember that even though the wait is long and hard, you’re not alone. And also note that the NCEES estimate of 8-10 weeks for results is pretty conservative. You’ll most likely see your PE exam results within six weeks or so of taking the test. Good luck and I hope that you receive the good news that you passed!
Looking for some good resources to help you pass the PE Exam? Here are my 3 favorites:
- School of PE Review Course. They were my ticket to passing the PE Exam because they were so spot on with preparing me for the test. Check them out right here and even try out their course for free!
- Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator. This is the best calculator that is approved by NCEES for use on the FE and PE Exams. Get it on Amazon right here.
- Civil Engineering Academy Review Course & Practice Exams. Their courses are a more budget-friendly option and I highly recommend them. You can also try out their practice exams which provided me some great problems that were a lot like the actual NCEES exams!