NPPE Exam: 2024 Study Guide + FREE Practice Exam

Author:
Mike Grossman
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Professional Engineer
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Editor:
Chantal Flores
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Education Facilitator
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11
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Updated:
June 8, 2023
NPPE Exam: 2024 Study Guide + FREE Practice Exam

The PPE Headquarters promise

We strive to help you make smarter exam preparation decisions. We adhere to an editorial integrity, so this article does not contain references to affiliate products or services.

The dates for the 2024 NPPE Exam are:

Exam Date Registration Deadline
September 11 - 13, 2023 Completed
November 6 - 8, 2023 Completed
January 22 - 24, 2024 Completed
April 8 - 10, 2024 Completed
June 3 - 5, 2024 April 26, 2024
September 9 - 11, 2024 July 12, 2024
November 18 - 20, 2024 October 4, 2024

NPPE Exam Dates

​For most Canadian associations, the NPPE exam is offered 4 or 5 times per year. Be sure to register early, as the deadlines are typically 5 weeks earlier than the exam date.  

Important updates:
PEO (Ontario) has formally transitioned to the NPPE Exam that is used across in Canada.

EGBC (British Columbia) and PGO (Ontario Geologists) no longer have essay questions.

What is the NPPE exam?

The National Professional Practice Exam (NPPE) is a computer-based exam required to practice engineering or geoscience in Canada (excluding Quebec). Some specifics of the exam are:

  • 110 multiple choice questions with a 2.5 hour time limit (~1.25 minutes each)​
  • 1 point for correct answers and no punishment for wrong answers
  • To pass, you must correctly answer 65% of the questions within each topic​

The topics and weightings are:

Topic Exam Weighting
I Professionalism 10% or 7-10 Questions
II Ethics 20% or 17-21 Questions
III Professional Practice 30% or 27-32 Questions
IV Law for Professional Practice 20% or 23-28 Questions
V Professional Law 10% or 7-10 Questions
VI Regulation of Members and Discipline Processes 10% or 7-10 Questions

The cost to register for the exam varies (as of January 2024, GST and HST included):

NPPE Exam Cost

If you're a Canadian-Educated Engineer (or Geoscientist), then simply register with your Association as a Member in Training (E.I.T. or G.I.T.).

NPPE Exam Requirements

Visit the CAEB (Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board) to determine if your Canadian engineering degree is accredited.

How to pass the NPPE exam

Real exam experiences, from those that have written the NPPE, are difficult to come by. So there are many questions:

  • What do I need to do to pass?
  • How tough is the exam?
  • How much time do I need to prepare?
  • Do I have to buy and read the textbooks?
  • Are there any hacks or tips to save money & time?

Fact: The majority of people pass the NPPE exam

Our students have a historical pass rate of 98% (based on a pass guarantee). The Associations do not publish a pass rate, but we know from Association meeting minutes that it is quite high as well.

So it's not about whether you can pass the exam, it's about how long you wish to spend preparing for the exam.

Tip: Focus on preparing efficiently for the exam

I want to help you avoid the biggest mistake made when preparing for the exam. Most people prepare by reading the textbooks cover-to-cover, rather than planning their studies around the syllabus. I made this mistake, and it cost me a lot of precious time.

I graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I took 2 weeks of time to prepare for the NPPE exam. Yes, 2 weeks of my hard-earned vacation. 

I started by ordering the material and making study notes of the subjects I enjoyed, like patents and copyright. It wasn’t until I was 60% of the way through the material that I realized I messed up.  

I wasted so much time making study notes of the OH&S manual and the CIPO documents only to find out they were worth less than 5% of the exam. Super Disappointed!

There are many sections of the textbooks and suggested material that you shouldn’t bother reading at all. There's also an extreme amount of overlap between the two textbooks. The materials proposed by your Association amount to ~1000 pages and take 2 weeks of evenings to read. So be strategic about your preparation time.

NPPE exam ready in 5 hours

This is our 8th year of Canadian Engineering exam preparation at PPE Headquarters. Last year we set out to improve our products, so went back to basics and started preparing students with classroom tutorials.

So in early 2018 we put 100 students through a pilot program and here is what we learned:

The overwhelming feedback from our pilot program was:

"I work and don't have time to read 1000 pages of study materials, (20 hours, 2 weeks of evenings)."
"The textbooks are too expensive ($250) and I'll never use them again."
"Reading about ethics and professionalism is mind-numbing."

So that year we launched a revised product:

  • NPPE Study Guide: This concise, 60-page guide, removes the burden of reading 1000 pages from the two textbooks and the suggested materials.
  • NPPE Practice Exams: 110 exam questions come complete with answers and thorough solutions. We use conversational based software to tackle boredom of material.
  • Video Strategy Sessions: These sessions ensure you can prepare in 5 hours and help answer questions you may have.
  • NPPE Audiobook: This allows students to study on the go and tackle the boredom of the material.

Since then, we've put 10,000+ students through the program and achieved a 98% pass rate. More importantly, we've been able to reduce the preparation time in a big way:

  • Students are consistently preparing in 5 hours or less.
  • Students no longer need to read the textbooks, reducing the preparation time from 2 weeks of evening to 5 hours that most students accomplish in 1 or 2 days.

You can easily prepare for the exam in 5 hours:

  • Step 1: Read the Study Guide (1 hour)
  • Step 2: Jump into the Practice Exams (3-4 hours)
  • Step 3: Watch the Strategy Videos (30 minutes)

Choosing the right course for you

The chart below is a summary of what's available for study packages on the market today. Note that PPE Headquarters platform removes the need to buy or read the 2 textbooks.

With PPE Headquarters save $250+ on textbooks, and prepare efficiently in 1 or 2 days, not 2 weeks.

Canadian Comparison NPPE Exam

Question: Should I buy the textbooks?

Main Article: Should I buy the PPE Textbooks

Many students inquire about whether they should purchase the NPPE textbooks. These books are expensive, ranging from $250 to $400 CAD. Additionally, they entail a significant amount of reading of around 1000 pages.

It can be difficult to trust that you don't need to read the textbooks, particularly if English is your second language. Here are the criteria crucial in making a well-informed decision of whether to buy the textbooks.

First and foremost, prioritize English skills as an important factor for success in this exam. Excellent command of the English language is essential. If your English skills are not strong, it will require additional effort on your part. A practical approach to putting in that extra work is by reading the recommended textbooks.

Here are a few zero-cost tools, back by science-backed, so that you can measure your English skills.

Zero-cost tool: Duolingo English Test is a tool that you can assess your English skills for free.
Zero-cost tool: The Government of Canada, Language Portal is a collection of resources with a free assessment tool.
Zero-cost tool: CLB-OSA Self-Assessment tool, is a result of a collaboration between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


Note, the exam is said to function at an English readability level of grade 10 to grade 11. To be more descriptive, many Associations require a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 100 or more.

PS: don't forget to take a break for a laugh with these funny engineering jokes.

Sample exam questions

Unfortunately, old exams are not available, and your Association takes rigours measures to protect its exam bank. Yet, APEGA and the other Associations provide 8 sample questions.

Let's have a look at 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.

(source:
APEGA)

Each of the exam questions you'll face in the exam will consist of four choices. It is important to note that advanced multiple choice exams are rarely as straightforward as having one correct choice and three incorrect choices. Generally, there are three different methods employed to test the understanding of the examinees.

  • Four correct choices: The first method involves presenting four correct answers to the question. In this scenario, the examinees must select the most appropriate and comprehensive answer. Often, the most correct answer includes multiple courses of action that the other three choices lack.
  • Four incomplete choices: The second method is to provide four incomplete answers. In this case, examinees must choose the answer that is most correct. A recurring theme in the NPPE study material is public safety. The most correct answer is typically the one that prioritizes protecting the public.
  • Four negative choices: The third method involves choices that all involve four negative action choices. One of these negative actions is not applicable to the question at hand. An example of this method can be seen in the previously reviewed question. While it is indeed your professional duty to charge for professional services, as stated in choice A, it is not directly related to the ethical code being addressed in the question.

Here is a free collection of sample exam questions, complete with answers:

Zero-cost tool: NPPE Sample Questions is a sample of 10 questions that we provide completely free.

Learn more about PPE Headquarter's NPPE Study Guide + Practice Exams that are designed for the NPPE Exam and the PEO NPPE Exam.

Frequently asked questions

What grade do I need to pass the NPPE?

A grade of 65% in each section is required to pass the exam. Your Association will take approximately 2–4 weeks to notify you of a pass by email.

Are the PPE Headquarters courses enough to pass the exam?

Our products are sufficient to pass the NPPE exam without reading the textbooks. You'll have to work hard and focus, but the pass rates for the exam are high. So often times it's more about how to prepare efficiently, rather than being a decision about passing or failing.

Some people have purchased additional materials. Here's a comment from an examinee in July, “I realized no further studying would help, and I’m glad I took that remaining time to focus on my [exam] performance. It’s a long exam, and so I focused on getting a good sleep, and packing a small snack.

Where do I get further information?

See the NPPE exam page for further details of the course, or write us.

The Study Guide keeps you from having to read the textbooks (~1000 pages and 2 weeks of evenings). We've worked hard to keep the reading down to 60 minutes with the Study Guide. The real power is in the Practice Exams, we supply 110 questions complete with answers, thorough solutions, with unlimited attempts.

So our focus is to prepare you in 1–2 days (5-8 hours study time) and you can find that here: ppehq.com/nppe-buy-now

Is the NPPE exam the same for each Association, Province, and Territory?

Yes, it's now the same for each jurisdiction. The NPPE exam is a closed book exam with 110 multiple choice questions to be completed in 2-1/2 hours. British Colombia (EGBC), and Geologist Ontario (PGO) have now discontinued the additional essay question(s).

Is this course designed for the PEO NPPE? The APEGS NPPE? The PEGNL NPPE? The EGBC NPPE?

Yes. This course is designed for the PEO NPPE, the APEGS NPPE, the PEGNL NPPE, and the EGBC NPPE. The NPPE is the same for all provinces now, excluding Quebec.

I’m a G.I.T. with PGO. Is the best product for me?

Of course. All geoscientists registered with PGO now write the same NPPE exam, excluding Quebec. PGO has discontinued the additional essay questions.

How often do you update your products?

We update the Study Guide and Exam Questions after each writing of the exam, based on feedback from our examinees.

There's typically 4 exams per year, so we update every 3 months as a minimum.

Best wishes with your studies.

Do I need to take the NPPE or FE Exam to practice in Canada or the USA?

— A shout-out to Giancarlo Mendoza —

Depending on where you wish to practice, you have different routes to become a licensed professional engineer.

You will need to write the NPPE exam to practice in Canada as a licensed professional. You will have to write the FE exam to practice in the United States as a licensed professional.

Each country has a process to confirm your engineering education from your country.

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