Surveying (FS & PS) Exam Overview

The Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam is widely recognized as the first step in the process to becoming a professional licensed surveyor (P.S.). The FS exam is designed for those who have graduated or are close to graduating with a surveying degree from an ABET accredited program. 

The Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam tests your ability to practice the surveying profession competently. It is designed for surveyors who have gained at least four years of professional experience.

These exams are both closed-book computer-based tests given year-round. The FS exam consists of 110 questions, while the PS exam consists of 100. 

A minimum of 300 hours of preparation for each Surveying exam is recommended, although some candidates will need more or less time, depending on their individual backgrounds and experience. There is no limit to the number of times you can take the exam.


Interested in registering for the FS or PS Surveying exam? Visit NCEES to learn more.

Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) Exam

The average pass rate of a first-time taker of the FS exam is 66%.

Topics covered include:

  • Surveying Processes and Methods
  • Mapping Processes and Methods
  • Boundary Law and Real Property Principles
  • Surveying Principles
  • Surveying Computations and Computer Applications
  • Business Concepts
  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics
For more information on the exam specifications, please visit NCEES.

Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) Exam

The average pass rate of a first-time taker of the PS exam is 70%.

Topics covered include:

  • Legal Principles
  • Professional Survey Practices
  • Standards and Specifications
  • Business Practices
  • Areas of Practice

For more information on the exam specifications, please visit NCEES.

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