Fundamentals in Land Surveying Exam

As a Penn State Surveying Engineering student, you are allowed to take the Fundamentals in Land Surveying exam in your junior-year of school. Due to the content of the exam, it is recommended that you take the exam in your second-to-last semester; that is, the fall of your senior year for a spring graduate. Surveying Technology students can take the exam after graduation. It is not the responsibility of Penn State to schedule or assist you in passing the exam. However your education will greatly assist you in this endeavor. Our students have over a 90% pass rate, but it is best to take the fundamentals exams while the material is still fresh.

Do NOT wait until the week before the exam to study. Study your course material during the semester before you take the exam. Professional Publications, Inc. sells exam review materials; examinees can also purchase a book containing sample questions from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). You are not allowed to take any materials into the exam. Furthermore, you cannot use a calculator that has infrared or QWERTY (text messaging) capabilities. The exam is 8 hours long; It’s broken into a 4-hour morning portion and a 4-hour afternoon portion with one hour allotted for lunch.

You should:

  • Be on time for the exam!
  • Take spare batteries with you for your calculator.
  • Be sure you have at least 8 hours of sleep before the exam.
  • Have a good breakfast before the exam.

Good luck in your efforts!

Contents of the FLS Exam (Effective October 1999)

The exam consists of 170 questions spread out over a four-hour morning and a four-hour afternoon.

Subject % of Questions Subject % of Questions
Algebra and Trigonometry 6 Field Data Acquisition and Reduction 6
Higher Math 4 Photo/Image Data Acquisition and Reduction 3
Probability and Statistics 4 Graphical Communication, Mapping 5
Basic Sciences 3 Plane Survey Calculation 7
Geodesy and Survey Astronomy 4 Geodetic Survey Calculation 5
Computer Operations and Programming 5 Measurement Analysis and Data Adjustment 6
Written and Verbal Communication 6 Geographic Information Systems Concepts 4
Cadastral Law and Administration 6 Land Development Principles 5
Boundary Law 7 Survey Planning, Processes, and Procedures 6
Business Law, Management, Economics, and Finance 4    
Surveying and Mapping History 4 Total 100