How To Pass The FE Exam Without Studying

Are you left with a lot of material to cover for the FE exam but got a bit of a time crunch?

Well, here’s a magic trick – you can ace the FE exam with little or without studying as long as Pareto Principle is there to help you out – only if you apply it appropriately.

The “Pareto Principle,” a well-known time management concept, states that 80% of your intended result could be obtained with only 20% of the input. The remaining 80% of work will yield just an additional 20% of returns. Scholars and students have examined and applied this idea to real-world situations in order to determine whether the 80/20 rule works at all.

In other words, a small number of inputs are responsible for a large amount of output. If this concept is applied to exam preparation, it means that studying just specific topics may help you clear the exam. Other subjects may make a little impact on your ability to pass the exam.

We will employ the Pareto Principle to prepare for the FE Exam in this post because the goal is to minimize your studying time and boost your performance. This would benefit individuals, particularly ones that do not have a lot of time to study and are only a few weeks away from the exam. This time systematic approach can be used to categorize the FE test subjects, allowing you to determine how much time should be spent on each.

Bear in mind that the objective here isn’t to work harder, but to work more effectively.

The 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle is largely applied in a multitude of practices, ideologies, and systems around the world, even in systems of economics and commerce. A real-world example can be given regarding the distribution and allocation of goods and resources in the world. It is a fact that 20% of the world population holds wealth and resources, which are circulated around the rest of the population.

So let’s get started with today’s article and see how to pass the FE exam without studying by effectively applying the Pareto Principle when preparing for the exam.

Can You Pass FE Without Studying?

As a method focused on improving productivity, the Pareto Principle can be a great ally, which would help you make the most of your study time for your FE exams.

Many times, we don’t have time to study absolutely everything for an exam. In that case, selective studying can help.

Before you start putting your effort into what produces 80% of the benefits, you should carry out an analysis exercise.

The analysis should answer the following points:

  • What are 20% of your study habits that are the most practical?
  • What study methods work the most for you?
  • Do you summarize, underline and also make outlines of the same topic?
  • What 20% of things that happen or are around you steal your study time?
  • Do you know what 20% of topics are usually more important in the final exam?

There are many questions, but they are necessary for you to learn to use the Pareto Principle in preparation for your physical exams.

Applying the Pareto Principle

There is a lot of information to cover when preparing for the FE exam. However, you can focus on the most important concepts with the 80/20 rule. This rule states that 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes. In other words, you can get a lot of results by focusing on a few key areas.

When it comes to the FE exam, this means that you should focus on the topics that are most likely to be on the exam. These topics are typically the ones that are covered in most textbooks and lectures. If you can master these concepts, you will be in a good position to do well on the exam.

Of course, you also need to make sure that you are familiar with all of the material that could be on the exam. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of time on topics that are less likely to be tested. By focusing your efforts, you can make the most of your study time and increase your chances of success.

Identifying inefficiencies is the first step in applying the 80/20 Principle to your exam preparation. Determine how much of your 4-5 hours a day spent preparing for the FE Exam is spent actually improving your ability to answer exam questions. It’s not uncommon to relax and slip into a passive observer mode while reading textbooks or watching lectures. Not paying attention can inhibit your ability to grasp crucial concepts. As a result, it’s critical that you actively engage with the information.

If you come across a question, attempt to solve it yourself first without taking any help. If you get a question wrong, make sure you figure out why you got it wrong, instead of just skipping it and moving forward. If you take notes, don’t go through them over and over again. Rather, try rewriting them without looking at them. Whatever tactics you employ, make an effort to learn more actively and to be more involved with the material while studying.

Applying the Pareto Principle will allow you to prepare for the FE exam in a smarter way. You’ll spend less time studying and still be able to ace the test.

Breaking It Down

You have exactly 4 weeks to study, 1.5 hours a day, Monday through Friday, and 4 hours a day, including Saturday and Sunday.

The following is a formula for estimating how much time you’ll need to study for the FE: An additional 4 hours on Saturdays for the duration of the week. If you spend 15 minutes on each practice issue, you can finish 184 problems in 46 hours. Make sure to account for the actual test day and time when deciding how many practice hours (and problems) you can finish.

Determine how much time you’ll spend analyzing each test problem after you’ve determined how much time you have to prepare for the exam.

For easy time allocation, divide 184 practice problems into five equal buckets.

After you’re done dividing, ask yourself this:

Do you intend to distribute 90% of your practice problems to the first four buckets and the final 10% to the fifth bucket? In the end, the amount of time you devote to each bucket is entirely up to you. Your circumstances will influence this decision.

The most effective approach to learning something is to do it over and over again, spaced out throughout time, according to research. It is possible to plan your learning and concentrate on the topics you need to review the most. Courses like FE prep course can really help you with this approach. This course guide will help you fully prepare for the upcoming FE exam as it addresses a multitude of topics and theories.

Successful candidates have always recommended studying from a diverse range of source materials and this is where the Study For FE course comes into play. Solve the free FE practice problems by trial and error rather than by using the answer key. Take a look at the solution if you make a mistake, so you know what to search for next time. Then, without considering the solution, try to solve the problem again. As a result of this practice, you’ll be able to solve comparable problems when they arise in the FE quickly.

Tip on How to Pass the Fe Exam Without Studying Too Much

If you’re like most people, you probably think that the only way to pass the FE exam is by studying hard. However, there are a few things that you can do to increase your chances of passing the exam without having to put in tons of hours studying.

Here are a few actionable tips you can follow:

Tip #1: If the calculations don’t provide an answer, mentally step back and ask yourself what the most reasonable answer is in terms of the magnitude of the possibilities listed.

Tip #2: Allow 3 hours for the exam’s second half, which is more subject-specific.

Tip #3: Make a list of the top five equations utilized in each discipline, such as dynamics, chemistry, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and more. Make sure you’re familiar with them.

Tip #4: Don’t get too worked up if you can’t think of anything when you’re asked a question. Keep a level head. In most cases, there are only one or two steps in the computation.

Tip #5: Go over 1000+ questions which isn’t a lot given the diversity of topics and then take a timed NCEES® practice exam before the exam. You’ll be fine if you get 60-70 percent correct.

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass the FE Exam?

To put it shortly, there is no set percentage you need to attain for the FE exam. You will only get two possible FE exam results: pass or fail – there’s no grey area. To tell you more, the NCEES® does not even reveal the marks you scored on the exam.

You absolutely read that correctly.

The reason for this is:

The NCEES® scoring standards are not like the ones that students are already used to. Each student’s FE Exam is unique, and grading is performed on a standard scale eliminating all bias.

The minimal skill level of the test takers is evaluated in the NCEES® fundamentals of engineering examination. The FE exam score is considered a raw number throughout the exam grading. The raw score is then converted into a scaled score utilizing standard techniques, demonstrating the candidates’ competence level. Then, this scaled score is contrasted to the baseline ability level for the FE exam, which the NCEES® predetermines for each examination period.


The FE exam’s passing percentage is 70 percent on average. But it’s essential to keep in mind that these values are liable to change rapidly because the test-takers least ability score determines the standard score for the NCEES®. The diversity in passing percentages may not fairly represent the examination difficulty level.

Consider perusing our comprehensive article on the FE exam passing score for more clarity.


Although it may seem daunting at first to prepare for the FE exam when you have not much time left, the chances are that you can still pass the FE exam with little to no studying at all.

By taking advantage of the Pareto Principle, you can generate 80% results if you only put in 20% effort.

In other words, the Pareto principle can help you cut down on the amount of time you will have to spend preparing for the FE exam and maximize your results.

It means you can pass the FE exam if you only focus on a few subject areas while preparing – almost no studying and still getting the desired result!

We hope this article gave you a thorough insight into how to pass the FE exam without studying.

For more informative articles, we recommend heading to our blog section.


Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas (PE), Florida (PE) and Ontario (P. Eng) with consulting experience in design, commissioning and plant engineering for clients in Energy, Mining and Infrastructure.