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PE Structural (SE) Exam Overview

The PE Structural (SE) exam is designed to test for a minimum level of competency in structural engineering. 

This exam is a 16-hour, open-book breadth and depth exam. Each of the sessions of the exam are four hours in length and are multiple choice in the breadth sessions and essay form in the depth sessions. The breadth sessions contain questions covering a range of structural engineering topics. The depth sessions focuses on a single area of practice, either buildings or bridges, which you will choose when registering. 

The PE Structural exam is given on successive days. The 8-hour Vertical Forces (Gravity/Other) and Incidental Lateral component is offered only on a Friday. It focuses on gravity loads and lateral earth pressures.

The 8-hour Lateral Forces (Wind/Earthquake) component is offered only on a Saturday. It focuses on wind and earthquake loads.

The PE Structural exam is administered two times a year in April and October as an open-book exam. In 2024, the exam will transition to a closed-book, computer-based test (CBT) exam and be available to take year-round.

Interested in registering for the PE Structural (SE) exam? Visit NCEES to learn more.

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