Gianni Evangelisti Authored By: Gianni Evangelisti
PE Control Systems Practice Exam

Like plenty of other career fields, engineers of all types must take a competency test in their specific area of expertise to practice engineering. These tests are called the Principles and Practices of Engineering or PE tests. 

One specific PE assessment is the Control Systems exam, which is designed for engineers who are at least four years post-graduation and have decided which engineering discipline to enter.

All engineers should take a PE Control Systems practice exam to best prepare for the actual test. We are here to help you understand what Control Systems PE exam questions will look like and how to best answer them. 

Summary: Utilize the following PE Control Systems practice tests to prepare for your upcoming exam.

Control Systems PE Exam Questions

There are several subject areas covered by the PE Control Systems practice test that will appear on the real exam. The best way to study is practice tests to show you what to expect on the exam. 

Here are some good practice tests and study materials to help you prepare for your PE Control Systems exam:

Resource Notes Provider
PE Control Systems Review 1 Practice 20+ PE control systems questions Quizlet
PE Control Systems Review 2 Practice 20+ PE control systems questions Quizlet

What is the PE Control Systems Test?

As stated above, the PE Control Systems test is administered to engineers who have at least four years of post-graduation experience and are looking to settle into a field of engineering. 

It is an open-book exam set to test measurement; control system; final control element; signal, transmission, and networking; and safety system knowledge. 

PE Control Systems Exam Length

The test is administered every October, and it lasts for nine and a half hours. Taking a PE Control Systems practice exam is so important to prepare you for the lengthy amount of time you will spend taking this computer-based exam. However, you will not spend the whole nine and a half hours. The PE Control Systems exam is broken up as follows:

  • Approx. 2 minutes – Reading and signing a non-disclosure agreement to not take or disclose any exam materials or information with others
  • Approx. 8 minutes – Listening to the tutorial on how to answer the questions on the PE Control Systems test
  • Approx. 50 minutes – Taking scheduled breaks to get a breather from the exam
  • Approx. 8.5 hours – Completing the PE Control Systems exam

This leaves you with almost 6 minutes to answer each question. While that seems like a long time, there will be a lot of calculations you have to do to complete the 85-question exam. The 85-questions are divided into two sessions of equal multiple-choice questions to keep you from feeling too overwhelmed.

PE Control Systems Exam Topics

Now that you know how long it will take to complete the exam, we are here to explain the Control Systems PE exam questions. As mentioned above there are five main areas that are tested during this exam. Within each area, different sections cover smaller topics. They break down as follows:

Main Section Number of Questions Subtopics
Measurements 17 to 27
  • Sensors
  • Flow, Level, and Pressure Calculations
  • General Calculations
Control Systems 17 to 27
  • Drawings
  • Theory
  • Implementation
  • Security of Industrial Automation and Control Systems
Final Control Elements 14 to 23
  • Valves
  • Pressure Relieving Devices
  • Motor Controls
  • Other Final Control Elements
Signals, Transmission, and Networking 11 to 18
  • Signal
  • Transmission
  • Networking
Safety Systems 11 to 19
  • Documentation
  • Theory
  • Implementation
  • Safety Life-Cycle Management

The Control Systems Exam uses both the International System of Units (SI) and the U.S. Customary System (USCS) to calculate various answers and measurements. Make sure you are familiar with both before going to the exam. 

However, there isn’t a lot of memorization needed for this exam—as opposed to other standardized tests—as it is open book.

PE Control Systems Allowed Exam Materials

You can use reference materials during the exam to help you answer the required questions. You can bring multiple booklets that should help you come to the right answer with ease.

On top of that, here are some additional materials you should and shouldn’t bring:

Necessary Materials:

  • A driver’s license or passport for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) to validate your identity before the exam begins
  • A printed copy of your exam authorization from NCEES that should be sent to your email when you registered
  • An NCEES-approved calculator
  • A rolling bag or bin to help carry your reference materials
  • All of your reference materials
  • A water bottle and food or snacks

Allowed Materials:

  • A jacket in case the room is too cold
  • Earplugs to help you focus on your work

Materials NOT Allowed:

  • Loose-leaf paper as there is plenty of room to do work in the booklet
  • A pencil as the instructors will provide you with one
  • A cell phone

PE Control Systems Registration

You can register to take the exam almost a year before you will take it as registration opens in November of the year prior. There is no perfect time to register, but you should do so as soon as possible. It costs $375 to register for the exam, so make sure you have sufficient funds before beginning the registration process.

About PE Control System Practice Tests

The first-time pass rate of the PE Control Systems test is 66% with the retake success rate of 33%, therefore, proper studying is important to be successful with it.

On a PE Control Systems practice exam, you will see many of the questions you would see on the actual exam. This means the five core areas and their subtopics will be covered in extensive detail. We recommend looking at study materials and getting well-acquainted with your reference material well before taking a practice exam to make sure you get proper results on the practice exam.

You can get special accommodations on your exam if you have various needs to be met when taking tests. Be sure to let a practice test giver know of your needs before taking the test to assure you will have your most accurate results and know where you need to improve.

How to Pass the PE Control Systems Exam

Being able to register almost a year in advance for your PE Control Systems test allows you plenty of time to get prepared for the exam. Proper preparation is the best way to assure you have a good chance of passing the test the first time around. You can’t start studying too early, so make sure to get a jump on learning and recalling all this important information.

Check Out Study Course

There should be a preparation course for your PE Control Systems exam located somewhere in your area for you to attend to meet your instructor, learn about study materials, and start your preparation for the exam. 

While a prep course will cost money, some places offer a meeting that will allow you to do all of the above to a lesser capacity without costing you a cent.

Get Reference Materials

Although they will cost money, reference materials are a huge part of this preparing yourself for either a PE Control System practice test or the real test. 

Not to mention, you get to use them on the test, so assuring you have high-quality PE Control Systems information to rely on when you take the tests.

Become Acquainted with Reference Materials

Being able to use the reference materials on the test may make it easier, but if you can’t find the information in a timely manner, you will only be hurting yourself in the long run. 

Using your reference material to study—and even highlighting important information or equations—can help you cut down your test-taking time.

Use a PE Control Systems Practice Exam

Getting a feel for what the test will be like is one of the best ways to prepare your mind and body to take the exam. Set aside time to take it exactly as you would the day of, complete the test to the best of your ability, check your answers, and learn what you need to brush up on.

PE Control Systems Exam FAQs

Is the PE Control Systems exam hard?

There is only a 66% pass rate for first-time test takers and most people begin studying at least a year or so in advance to prepare for this test. Due to the large number of questions and areas covered, this test can prove to be quite difficult if you aren’t properly prepared.

What kinds of questions are on the PE Control Systems exam?

The PE Control Systems exam is a multiple-choice exam that consists of questions in five main categories: measurements; control systems; final control elements; signs, transmission, and networking; and safety systems.

How long is the PE Control Systems exam?

The PE Control Systems exam is a roughly nine-and-a-half-hour exam with 85 questions to answer. However, takers are given breaks to ease the difficulty, and the test is divided into two sessions.

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