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What to Bring to the NCEES FE Exam

By: PPI
October 29, 2021
Read about what you can and what you cannot bring to your Pearson VUE testing center on NCEES FE Exam day.

Having a greater understanding of the NCEES FE exam will give better insight as to what you should bring on test day, and set proper expectations for what’s to come while taking the exam.

How Long is the NCEES FE Exam?

Knowing how long you’re going to be at the testing center will help you decide what you’ll need to bring. As a whole, you’ll be given six hours to answer 110 computer-based questions. The session begins with an eight-minute tutorial in which you’ll be instructed on what you can and cannot do before starting the FE exam, followed by a reading of the nondisclosure agreement (two minutes). During the exam, you’ll be given a 25-minute break where you can access your personal items in your locker, have a snack, or simply stretch your legs.

Bring Proper Identification to the NCEES FE Exam

When you arrive at the test center for your FE Exam, you will need to provide one of the following photo IDs:

  • ID issued by a government entity in the country in which you are testing

  • International travel passport in roman characters from your country of citizenship

  • U.S. military ID

Your ID must be current and contain a signature. This is typically a driver’s license or passport. A student ID card is not acceptable for admittance. The first and last name on the photo ID must match the name on your appointment confirmation letter.

Bring Your NCEES Appointment Confirmation Letter to the FE Exam

NCEES recommends that you bring a copy of your appointment confirmation letter in order to speed up the check-in process. In most cases, Pearson VUE will email this to you, or you can download it from your MyNCEES account 2–3 weeks prior to the exam date.

Is the NCEES FE Exam Open Book?

Because the exam is administered via computer, you are not permitted to bring any books to the testing center. However, you will be provided with the NCEES FE Reference Handbook to search through during the exam. The Reference Handbook is updated on a regular basis, so make sure you’re using the most up-to-date version when you’re preparing for the FE exam.

Materials the Pearson VUE Test-Center Will Provide

The NCEES-approved Pearson Vue Test Center can provide you with a few items to bring into the exam if needed. These items include:

  • Earplugs

  • Noise-canceling headphones

  • Tissues

  • A reusable booklet and marker

Do You Need to Bring Writing Materials to the NCEES FE Exam?

Writing materials will be provided to you by the NCEES. They will give you a laminated notebook with a marker to take notes or to use as scratch paper during your exam. Try out the marker before the exam begins to ensure it’s functioning properly. If you need more space to write in your notebook, do not spend time erasing what you’ve already written. Instead, raise your hand and the administrator will provide you with another notebook.

What Items Can I Bring into the NCEES FE Exam Room?

Separate from the items provided to you by the NCEES, below is a list of personal items you may bring to the FE exam room.

  • Your ID (same one used for admittance to the exam)

  • Key to your test center locker

  • One NCEES-approved calculator without a case

  • Anything included on the Comfort Aid List, including bandages, braces, casts, unwrapped cough drops, inhalers, eye drops, and more

  • Eyeglasses (without cases)

  • Light sweaters or jackets

NCEES-Approved Calculators

The NCEES has guidelines for the kind of calculator you’re permitted to use during the FE exam. Those approved calculators include:

  • Casio FX-115 and FX-991

  • Hewlett Packard HP-33 and HP-35

  • Texas Instrument TI-30X and TI-36X

What Items Should You Leave in the Locker During the NCEES FE Exam?

Typically, the test center will have lockers where you can keep your personal items that aren’t permitted during the test. Since you’ll be there for a little more than six hours, it’s wise to bring snacks and refreshments so you can refuel during the 25-minute break.

Depending on your situation, any of the following items may prove useful but should be left in your test center locker or your car.

  • Cell phone

  • Wallets

  • Purses

  • Hats

  • Watches 

  • Calculator batteries

  • Contact lens wetting solution

  • Spare calculator

  • Spare reading glasses

  • Loose shoes or slippers

  • Eyeglass repair kit, including a small screwdriver for fixing glasses (or removing batteries from your calculator)

You may wear a watch during the test if you’re able to turn off any beeping functions. Similarly, it’s important to silence your cell phone and any other electronic devices stored in the testing locker. For more information on rules and recommendations for your exam day, check out the Pearson VUE Professional Examination Rules PDF. As your NCEES FE exam date approaches, make sure you’re taking advantage of the many resources in the PPI FE Learning Hub.

Thinking about taking the FE exam? Download our 'Preparing for the FE Exam' eBook to learn more.

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