NCEES Structural Engineering (SE) Exam FAQs

 

What is the format of the NCEES Structural Engineering (SE) exam?
Which topics and design codes are covered on the Friday morning (breadth) vertical forces (gravity/other) and incidental lateral session?
Which topics and design codes are covered on the Friday afternoon (depth) vertical forces (gravity/other) and incidental lateral session?
Which topics and design codes are covered on the Saturday morning (breadth) lateral forces (wind/earthquake) session?
Which topics and design codes are covered on Saturday afternoon (depth) lateral forces (wind/earthquake) session?
Is the ASD or LRFD method used on the SE exam?
Which system of units is used on the SE exam?
What are the future exam dates for the SE exam?
What are the passing rates for the SE exam?


What is the format of the NCEES Structural Engineering (SE) exam?

The 16-hour Structural Engineering (SE) exam was first administered in April 2011. It replaced the Structural I and II exams.

The SE exam consists of two components, each eight hours long, which are given on consecutive days. The vertical forces (gravity/other) and incidental lateral component is given on a Friday. This component focuses on gravity loads and lateral earth pressures. The lateral forces (wind/earthquake) component is given on a Saturday, and focuses on wind and earthquake loads.

Each day's component comprises a morning (breadth) session and an afternoon (depth) session. You must take both sessions in each component. For the afternoon sessions, you will choose one of two subject areas, either bridges or buildings.

The two morning (breadth) sessions are four hours each. These sessions are made up of 40 multiple-choice problems that cover a broad range of structural engineering topics specific to vertical forces (on Friday) and lateral forces (on Saturday).

The two afternoon (depth) sections are also four hours each. These sections are made up of essay problems. You may choose either bridges or buildings as your subject area, but you must make the same choice on both afternoons. That is, if you choose buildings in the vertical forces component, you must also choose buildings in the lateral forces component.

Results of the morning (breadth) and afternoon (depth) sessions are combined to determine a final score for each component.


Which topics and design codes are covered on the Friday morning (breadth) vertical forces (gravity/other) and incidental lateral session?

Visit this page to view topics that are covered on the Friday morning (breadth) vertical forces (gravity/other) and incidental lateral morning session.


Which topics and design codes are covered on the Friday afternoon (depth) vertical forces (gravity/other) and incidental lateral session?

Visit this page to view topics that are covered on the Friday afternoon (depth) vertical forces (gravity/other) and incidental lateral afternoon session.


Which topics and design codes are covered on the Saturday morning (breadth) lateral forces (wind/earthquake) session?

Visit this page to view topics are covered on the Saturday morning (breadth) lateral forces (wind/earthquake) session.


Which topics and design codes are covered on the Saturday afternoon (depth) lateral forces (wind/earthquake) session?

Visit this page to view topics that are covered on the Saturday afternoon (depth) lateral forces (wind/earthquake) session.


Is the ASD or LRFD method used on the SE exam?

Steel problems must be solved using either AISC ASD or LRFD methods. Masonry problems must be solved using only the allowable stress design (ASD) method, except for problems related to walls with out-of-plane loads, which may be solved using strength design methods in ACI 530 Sec. 3.3.5.


Which system of units is used on the SE exam?

All exam problems use the US Customary System (USCS) of units. You will not receive credit for solutions using SI units.


What are the future exam dates for the SE exam?

October 24 – 25, 2014
April 17 – 18, 2015
October 30 – 31, 2015
April 15 – 16, 2016
October 28 – 29, 2016
April 21 – 22, 2017
October 27 – 28, 2017
April 13 – 14, 2018
October 26 – 27, 2018
April 5 – 6, 2019
October 25 – 26, 2019
April 17 – 18, 2020
October 23 – 24, 2020
April 23 – 24, 2021
October 22 – 23, 2021


What is the passing rate for the SE exam?

The passing rate for first-time examinees in October 2013 was 50% for the SE Vertical Component, and 38% for the SE Lateral Component.

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