National Professional Practice Exam | APEGA

National Professional Practice Exam

The National Professional Practice Exam (NPPE) confirms knowledge of professionalism, law, and ethics. Eleven engineering and geoscience self-regulatory organizations in Canada use the NPPE.

Do I Need to Write the National Professional Practice Exam?

All applicants, including those applying for Licensees and Professional Licensees, must pass the NPPE before they can be licensed to practise. It is one of the requirements to become a Professional Member.

If you passed a professional practice exam other than the NPPE in another Canadian professional engineering or geoscience self-regulatory organization, you will still need to take and pass the NPPE as part of your application process to APEGA. 

If you have been assigned the Fundamentals of Engineering exam or any technical exams by APEGA's Board of Examiners, focus on passing those exams before registering for the NPPE. Your application will be withdrawn if they are not attempted within a two year period. If the NPPE is your last requirement to obtaining a licence, you have one year from the date of the BOE's letter to write the NPPE. 

Candidates are strongly encouraged to download and read the NPPE Candidate Guide before registering for the exam. It contains more detailed information than is presented here and is optimized for printing.

NPPE Hold Applicants: If the NPPE is your last requirement prior to licensure, you will be given one year (4 attempts) to take the exam and pass, starting with the September 2017 exam session. Applicants who fail to pass the exam within the allotted time will have their applications withdrawn and will be required to re-apply by completing a new application for membership. 

Download the NPPE Candidate Guide (PDF)

Titles Reserved for Professional Members

Even if the NPPE is the last requirement to obtaining your professional licence, there are restrictions on the use of titles and designations until you receive your professional licence from APEGA.

Using the title of engineer, geoscientist, geologist, or geophysicist in any electronic or print media is not permitted until you obtain your professional licence from APEGA. These titles imply your ability to practice the above professions independently. This includes: 

  • social media profiles
  • email signatures
  • business cards
  • resumes
  • letters

Read about reserved titles and designations 

Registering for the National Professional Practice Exam

The exam is offered five times per year. Each session for that month offers the exam six times: one morning and one afternoon slot over three days.

Exam Fees

Exam LocationExamination Fee
Alberta$230
Canada (but outside Alberta)$330
United States$480
Internationally$630

Fees do not include GST and are subject to change without notice.

Upcoming Exams

Exam DatesRegistration Deadline
November 19, 20, 22, 2018October 12, 2018
January 28-30, 2019December 14, 2018
April 8-10, 2019March 1, 2019
June 10-12, 2019May 3, 2019
September 9-11, 2019 July 12, 2019

Registration opens once the registration deadline for the previous session has passed.

Members-in-Training may only write the exam when they have initiated or started an application for Professional Membership (P.Eng./P.Geo.). You can register for the exam in the Member Self-Service Centre.

When you register, you will choose your preferred location from a list. After the registration deadline, you will receive an email confirming your exam location, date, and time, as well as any additional instructions.

Register for the NPPE

Rescheduling & Cancelling

To reschedule or cancel your exam, email nppe@apega.ca before the registration deadline. You cannot reschedule or cancel after the registration deadline.

Writing the National Professional Practice Exam

The exam has 110 multiple-choice questions based on 6 subject areas. You have 2.5 hours to complete it. Although the NPPE contains specialized vocabulary and terms, the exam is not used as a test of English language proficiency and is regularly verified (using standard readability measures) to function at a readability level of approximately grade 10.

Read about the NPPE syllabus

Two textbooks and several free websites are recommended as study materials to prepare for the NPPE.

Read about recommended study materials

Several practice tests are available to help you prepare for the NPPE. Practice test questions are ones used on previous NPP exams. The practice test gives you detailed feedback showing you your areas of strength and weakness in terms of learning. To best use the practice tests, we recommend that you take one early in your studying process and then later to determine which areas you still need to focus on.

The practice test site also sells an NPPE preparation package, which includes the two textbooks and access to a 100-question practice test at a discounted price.

Order practice tests Order an NPPE preparation package

Writing Outside Alberta

If you wish to take the exam outside of Alberta, you must specify your preferred location when you register for the exam. You must make this request at least one week before the exam registration deadline.

Applicants taking exams outside of Canada must find a secure location and a proctor (a person who will supervise the exam). The location must be a business with a street address. The proctor must be a registered P.Eng., P.Geo., or a United States P.E.

Email the location and proctor information to nppe@apega.ca for final approval. Extra charges apply—see the online exam application for information.

Special Accommodations

APEGA can accommodate special needs because of a medical condition, including:

  • extended testing time
  • extra breaks
  • reduced-distraction testing rooms
  • larger font

To submit a request, email nppe@apega.ca to obtain the special accommodation instructions and forms.

You must submit the special accommodation forms before the registration deadline or your request cannot be accommodated.

Exam Results

An equated score of 65 or greater is required to pass. If you passed the exam, you will not receive detailed score information. Exam results are either pass or fail based on the number of correct answers (1 point per correct answer) you achieved on the operational (scored) questions on the exam. You are not penalized for incorrect answers. Statistical equating ensures that variations in exam difficulty from each session are taken into account to ensure fairness to all applicants taking exams. The Educational Testing Service has published a report that explains test equating in more detail.

Download Principles and Practices of Test Score Equating (PDF)

Exam results are usually available in 3 to 4 weeks. The results will appear in your Member Self-Service Centre account. We do not provide results over the phone or by email.

If you failed the NPPE, APEGA will send you a report showing the subject areas that you were weak in.

Failure Note: If you fail the NPPE four times, your application will be withdrawn, and you will be need to submit a new application for membership.

To retake the exam, re-apply through the Member Self-Service Centre.

Log in to the Member Self-Service Centre

Exam Security

To ensure the validity of the NPPE, APEGA uses exam security investigation techniques, such as statistical collusion detection and content theft patrols. APEGA investigates applicants and Professional Members who are suspected of cheating or who engage in content theft.

Cheating and content theft includes:

  • copying answers from another person during an exam
  • working with another candidate to answer questions during an exam
  • sharing exam questions before, during, or after an exam (memorizing, taking screenshots, etc.)
  • sharing copyright practice test questions

No NPPE exams have been released publicly, other than the practice test questions. Any copies of the NPPE in circulation have been taken through content theft. There are serious consequences to cheating and content theft:

  • exam results can be withheld
  • your application to APEGA may be rejected
  • Professional Members may be investigated for unprofessional conduct

Applicants and Professional Members are obligated to report any test security issues they are aware of, whether they occurred before, during or after the exam. Incidents can be reported anonymously to examsecurity@apega.ca.