Surveying Exam FAQs
- What is the format of the FS exam?
- What are the FS exam dates?
- What is the format of the PS exam?
- What are the PS exam dates?
- How far ahead do I need to register for the FS and PS exams?
- What units of measurement are used on the FS and PS exams?
- What kind of calculator can I take into the exam?
- If I don't know an answer on the exam, should I guess or leave it blank?
- What were the passing rates for the most recent FS exams?
- How to contact your State Licensing Board
- Where can I find study materials for the FS and PS exam?
The Fundamentals of Land Surveying (FS) exam is an 8-hour test consisting of 170 multiple-choice problems. There are two sessions, morning and afternoon, each with 85 problems.
The ONLY reference material that may be used during the FS exam is a small reference handbook that is provided at the exam site.
The 2013 FS exam dates are:
April 13, 2013
October 26, 2013
The FS exams will be given via computer-based testing beginning in 2014. When that happens, they will be given during assigned windows of time rather than specific April and October dates.
The NCEES-developed Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam is 6 hours long. Many states administer this exam in conjunction with a state-specific exam. Contact your state board to determine the exam format in your state.
The PS exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions. It is administered in two parts: 67 questions in the morning session (4 hours) and 33 in the afternoon session (2 hours). The exam is closed-book. Examinees will use NCEES-supplied reference materials during the exam, and are not allowed to bring other reference materials into the exam room.
The PS exam is given on the same date (and always on a Friday) in every state. The upcoming dates are:
April 12, 2013
October 25, 2013
April 11, 2014
October 24, 2014
April 17, 2015
October 30, 2015
April 15, 2016
October 28, 2016
April 21, 2017
October 27, 2017
This varies significantly by state, ranging from 45 to more than 180 days before the exam date. Contact your state board for the exact application deadline that applies to you. Your board will also tell you what locations are available for taking the exam.
The FS and PS exams use US Customary System (USCS) of units.
Your calculator should be battery-powered, silent, and nonprinting, and it must not have word-processing capabilities. Actually, you should bring two calculators of the same model in case one fails.
Some states have restrictions on what models of calculators are allowed into the exam, and a few restrict the use of ROM cards in calculators. It doesn't hurt to contact your state board to get definitive information.
Guess! No points are subtracted for incorrect answers.
The passing rates for the October 2012 exams are:
Reference manuals, sample exams, and other materials to aid your preparation are located in the PPI store.