About the Exam

In California, potential civil engineer licensees must pass four exams: Civil Engineering Principles & Practice, Special Civil Engineering Surveying, Special Civil Seismic Principles, and the California Professional Engineers State Laws and Board Rules. All but one (Civil Engineering Principles & Practice) are specific to California examinees.

Civil PE Review offers courses for the Civil Engineering Principles & Practice and Special Civil Engineering Surveying exams.

Civil Engineering Principles & Practice Exam

This exam is written and graded by the NCEEs (National Council of Engineering Examiners) and is administrated, in California, by the State of California. Approximately 30 states arrange for NCEEs to administer the exam but California is not one of them.

The exam is 8 hours in duration and consists of a morning Breadth session that is common to all examinees plus an afternoon Depth session. Each examinee is now required to pre-select one of five available Depth sessions.

The entire exam is multiple-choice formatted. Up to forty points are possible for the Breadth session and another forty points are possible for the Depth session of the exam, for a total of 80 points possible. Cutscores are determined uniquely for each exam cycle (there are two cycles per year), but generally examinees will need to earn approximately two-thirds of the points possible to ensure passage, although lower scores may suffice as well. No points are deducted for incorrect or missing answers.

Special California Civil Engineering Surveying Exam

This exam is written, graded, and administered by the State of California. There is no NCEEs involvement in this exam.

The single session, multiple-choice formatted exam is 2.5 hours in duration. Approximately 50 points are possible. Cutscores are determined uniquely for each exam cycle (there are two cycles per year), but generally examinees will need to earn approximately two-thirds of the points possible to ensure passage, although lower scores may suffice as well. No points are deducted for incorrect or missing answers.