NPPE Exam Scope and Syllabus
The biggest mistake made when preparing for this exam is devoting most efforts to reading the suggested books, rather than planning your studies around the syllaubs. There are many sections of the suggested material that you shouldn’t bother reading at all. The materials suggested by your Association are around 875 pages.
The syllabus of the examination along with the weighting is shown below - feel free to print (adapted from APEGA).
Should I Buy The Textbooks?
Main Article - Should I buy the PPE Textbooks
So often I am asked whether students need to purchase the PPE or NPPE books. They are definitely not cheap. You are looking at approximately $250 CAD. You are also facing a significant amount of reading, in the order of 800 pages. Its easy to see the dilemma.
An alternative, is to purchase training material such as the study guide's offered at PPE Headquarters. If one passes the exam without purchasing the materials, then outstanding, a great save of money. If one fails without purchasing the materials ... its easy to feel like an idiot.
It's a tough question; however, here are the criteria I use to make a solid recommendation.
The single largest criteria I utilize to make a decision is english skills. Simply put you need great english to pass this exam. If you do not have great english skills you must put in more work. A great way to put in the extra work is by reading the texts. It really is that simple.
Typically the question is posed by an email, so let's have a look at a few examples:
Your English is Good - No Need To Buy the Textbooks
These student's writing and english comprehension seems great, therefore I suggested not to buy the textbooks. These students passed the exam and saved a lot of time.
What I understood from your webpage, that I need to read only 50 pages to pass the exam. Is that correct?
My Best Regards,
I would like to buy the e-book guide. I am planning to go fro P. Eng. exam in Saskatchewan. Do you think I need to by Law and Ethics book after buying your e-book?
Thank you very much for replying. I'm writing the test January 19th in Alberta and haven't started yet. Is your material enough to pass the exam without reading the recommended textbooks and other notes provided by APEGA?
Your English Needs Work - Buy the Textbooks
I recommended purchasing the texts for these students. I also typically recommend delaying the exam and focusing on english language skills.
I bought your guide to prepare to NPPE exam January 2015. I wondering if need to order textbook or not. Could you please give me advice? Is enough to read your guide and sample?
How would you send me the material after I pay the necessary fee? Please include text APEGA. Is it by e-mail too? And how long it takes?
How you want me to put MU email doesn't work? Use my email thanks. Where I buy text Samuels.
How To Study For The NPPE
With proper study notes there is no reason you cannot get through the material in a weekend. DO NOT take 2 weeks off to study as I did. DO NOT make study notes on the material as it is supplied - follow the syllabus.
If you choose to make your own study notes from the 875 pages of material you will need some time, If your interested, I offer a NPPE Exam Study Guide (47 pages) with exam questions - see below.
The National Professional Practice Exam
I graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2001 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 2003, I took two weeks of time to prepare for the NPPE exam. Yup, two weeks of my extremely small vacation allotment.
I started by ordering the material and simply making study notes of that material. It wasn’t until I was 60% of the way through the material that I realized I should be making study notes on the supplied syllabus.
I cannot tell you how much time I wasted making study notes of the OH&S manual and the CIPO documents only the find out they were worth less than 5% of the exam. Super Disappointed!!
Avoid the biggest NPPE mistake. Devote your time to studying the material in the syllabus and not the blindly reading the suggested material.
The National Professional Practice Exam is required of any practicing engineer and geoscientist in Alberta and most other provinces and territories within Canada. The NPPE is one of the steps to becoming a Professional Engineer or Geoscientist.
The exam, administered by The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) on behalf of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE), tests the individual on the laws and ethics of the profession.
APEGA was set up in compliance with the Engineering and Geoscience Professions (EGP) Act in 1920. Since then, this self-governing association has been working to guarantee that only licensed individuals can practice within Alberta.
They take on the responsibility of ensuring that licensed engineers and geoscientists have the education and experience necessary to perform with the high standards and ethics expected from the profession.
APEGA also aids in professional development, sets practice standards, and determines disciplinary actions when these standards are not met. The National Professional Practice Exam is one of the many ways that APEGA prevents non-qualified individuals from practicing.
Along with Alberta, other provinces and territories that require a form of the National Professional Practice Exam, along with their regulatory bodies, are:
Some regulatory bodies choose to add additional multiple-choice and/or essay questions to the standard format and give extra time accordingly. This includes British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
Other jurisdictions (Quebec, and Ontario) administer a completely different versions of the Professional Practice Exam and a candidate must write the exam within the province or territory in which he or she wishes to practice, even if licensed in another jurisdiction within Canada or another country.
NPPE Exam Structure
The two-hour exam (update 2-1/2 hours) is offered each quarter of the tar in multiple cities across North America and can be set up in other countries as well.
In order to pass the exam, a candidate must correctly answer 65% of the 100 multiple-choice questions (update: the exam is now computer-based and is 110 questions) that span the topics of:
The number one goal of APEGA and other regulatory bodies is to protect public safety. The National Professional Practice Exam is one tool to ensure that practicing Professional Engineers and Geoscientist have the required knowledge of the standards, ethics, and laws within their professions in order make the proper decisions and act in the best interest of the public.
NPPE Sample Exam Questions and a Method
Unfortunately old exams are not made available. However, APEGA and the other Associations provide 8 sample questions. Lets have a look the first question and examine the structure.
According to most Provincial and Territorial Acts, which activity by a professional member would be considered UNETHICAL?
A. Not charging a fee for presenting a speech
B. Signing plans prepared by an unknown person without thoroughly reviewing those plans
C. Reviewing the work of another member with that member’s consent
D. Providing professional services as a consultant
B. is correct. Most Provincial and Territorial Acts stipulate that before professionals sign plans that were not prepared by themselves or under their direct supervision, they must first thoroughly review those plans. Failing to do so means that the professional failed to comply with the Act, and, therefore, was in violation of the Code of Ethics.
All of the questions will contain four choices. Very rarely will an advanced multiple choice exam be as simple as one correct choice and three incorrect choices. There are generally three different methods to challenge the understanding of the examinees.
The first method is to have four correct answers to the question. In this case the examinees must choose the most correct answer. Often the most correct answer includes more than one course of action that the other three are missing.
The second method is to have four incorrect answers. In this case the examinees must choose the answer that is closest to a correct answer. A common theme of the NPPE study material is public safety. Often the most correct answer will the only one that protects the public.
The third method is to utilize answers that all involve a negative action. However, one of those negative actions is not applicable to the question.
You can see an example of this method in the question we reviewed previously. You do have a duty to yourself and the profession to charge for professional services as in choice A. However it is not an ethical code as asked in the question.
I have provided a number of NPPE Sample Questions with answers here for free. Additionally you can find more information about the study guide and practice exams below.