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Big Changes for Intern Registration

01/29/2014

As you know by now, the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exams converted to a 6-hour computer based test on January 1, 2014.  Paper and pencil exams are no longer available for the FE and FS.  With the conversion to computer based testing and the exam length changing to 6 hours, the Board needed to make big changes in the method of registering interns. 

What are the changes and how do they affect me? 

When the FE and FS exams were in paper format examinees were restricted to exam sites located within the jurisdiction that approved them for the exam.  If you applied for the exam in North Dakota, you had to take the exam at a North Dakota exam site.  The computer based exams are administered at Pearson Vue Professional Centers.  Because Pearson Vue has testing centers located across the nation, you can take the computer based exam at any approved Pearson Vue Professional Center.  A map showing the location of all approved testing centers is located via the NCEES web site. 

The paper FE and FS exams were only given on two days each year; one day in October and one day in April.  The computer based exam is available for the first two months of any calendar quarter.  For example the exams are available in January and February but not in March; available in April and May but not in June, and so forth.  In other words, you now have 8 calendar months from which to select your exam date instead of 2. 

The above two changes are significantly different from the way exams were previously administered and they prompted the Board to re-evaluate how North Dakota examinees are approved for the exam.  It is important to the Board that the approval model be designed to give you the opportunity to take the exam when you are ready and the best possible chance of passing. 

The new procedure is that you decide when you are ready to take the exam.  When you are ready, go to the NCEES web site at www.ncees.org and select “My NCEES” located in the upper right corner.  On the next page, select “Examinee”.  Then, create an account if you don’t have one or login if you do have an account.  From this point you will be prompted to enter your information and select your exam date and Pearson Vue Professional Center.  When you have finished the registration process on the NCEES site, you will receive a notice that it is “pending board approval”.  There is no need for you to contact the Board office prior to registering for the exam.  NCEES will send us a list of all registered candidates.  At the Board office, we will review the list and respond with our approval.

When you take the exam, NCEES will tell you whether you passed the exam or if you will need to retake it.  You need to contact the Board office at the time NCEES tells you that you have passed the exam to become registered as an Intern.  By the time you have reached this point, you are only two steps away from receiving your Intern certificate.

The next step is to let the Board office know you are ready to become registered as an Intern.  Right now, new application forms are awaiting approval by the Board.  The next meeting of the Board is February 11, 2014.  Hopefully, the forms will be approved at that meeting and posted to the web site shortly thereafter.  For now, the Board office has a temporary form in place so if you have already been notified by NCEES that you have passed the FE or FS exam, please contact the Board office at 701-258-0786 and we’ll let you know what to do.  We have deliberately made these forms simple and quick to fill out because we know by this point you are ready to be done filling out forms.  If you fill out these forms correctly, they are the last forms you need prior to being registered as an Intern.  Send the forms to the Board office.

This is where the next big change comes in.  The exam length dropped to 6 hours but North Dakota law still requires 8 hours of testing in the fundamentals of engineering or land surveying.  Because the requirement is located in the law, we can’t just “let this one slide”.  To meet the requirements of the law, the Board has developed a 2 hour exam but there are no math problems. The FE and FS already tested your math skills.  The two hour exam will cover the laws and rules governing the practices of engineering and land surveying and some general information about professionalism and ethics.  A reference will be supplied to you so you do not need to find the laws and rules yourself.

When the Board office receives your Intern application, we will send you instructions for taking the two-hour test along with all of the information that will be tested.  All you need to do to prepare for this exam is read the material and be familiar with it.  The reference material is in a digital format.  It is also available in pdf format on the Board’s web site if you want to put it on a device that does not have a disk drive.  You will be sent a web address where you will go to register and take the exam at a time and place of your choosing.  This exam is web based so it is available 24/7. The location you choose must have a reliable internet connection.  The reference may be used during the exam so make sure you have it available.  The Board office will automatically receive your score.  If you pass the exam, we will register you as an Intern and send your new certificate to you.  If you do not pass the exam on the first try, the exam will be available for you to take again in 24 hours.  The exam questions are randomly generated so you will not have the exact same questions on your exam.

Although this seems like a lot of information, in reality the Board’s changes have made it easier for you to take the exam and become registered as an Intern.  The new procedure allows you to take the examinations when you are ready and best prepared to take the exam.  As always, the Board office wishes you the best of luck on the exams.  Please contact us if you have more questions or need clarification of any information.  We look forward to registering you as an Intern.