Clearing SE Vertical Forces Exam Made Easy

What next after the FE and PE license? The next big leap after getting the FE and PE structural engineering license is the SE vertical forces exam. Structural engineers, armed with this license, will be the most-wanted professionals in the industry.

Female students at the libraryThe growth in this field of engineering is phenomenal. As a specialized branch of civil engineering, structural engineers are responsible for building stable, strong and rigid structures with minimal resources. The demand for structural engineers is rising with the construction industry booming.

About SE Exam

There are two components in the SE exam – vertical forces and lateral forces course. The exams for both these components are twice a year – in April and October. The notifications will be out in November for the April schedule and in May for the October schedule.

Students must take up a 16-hour long exam. Each of the components – lateral and vertical – is 8 hours each. Those with FE and PE license can take the 8-hour exam, get good scores and sit for the next 8-hour exam within the next five years.

The morning session of the exam is in the multiple-choice format. Corrections are through the OCR machine. In the afternoon session, students must write essay-type answers. This is to test the subject knowledge of the students. Evaluation of papers will be by the experts in the field. Generally, professors or structural engineers will evaluate the papers.

Open Book Format

The exams are in open book format. This means students can take the reference materials inside the exam hall. Text books and papers are also allowed. But avoid taking sticky notes unless they attached to the books.

The exam format itself is difficult to understand. To clear this exam, students must attend SE vertical forces course at a reputed institute like the School of PE, Kaplan etc,. Here, the students will have the opportunity to learn the nuances of clearing the exam at one sitting.


The results for both the components will be out within 10 days of the exam. The average scores of both the components are considered to declare a student pass.


  • Start preparing for the exam well ahead
  • Enroll at a reputed institute
  • Get instructors help you with the registration process
  • Concentrate in problems. Reasoning and logic are important
  • Get doubts cleared

Expert instructors will be able to teach the students even the most difficult concepts and problems. Check out this link to gain an insight on what this exam is all about and how to clear it at one sitting.


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