NCEES PE Exam Passing Rates

NCEES PE Exam pass rate is released after every exam. These pass rates help determine how successful the exam has been and based on it, the students can understand how much effort they have to put into the study and how many chances are of them to pass the exam successfully. The PE passing rate helps us to determine what our odds of passing are and why some students pass and some don’t. Passing the PE exam is the last step to becoming a professional engineer, and therefore it is a very important step in your career.

NCEES Exam Pass Rates for Different Disciplines

NCEES takes two types of exams for different disciplines. Some are computer-based exams, and the others are paper and pencil exams. NCEES is in the process of converting all its exams to computer-based exams, but some are still conducted as pencil and paper exams right now. NCEES releases pass rates according to every discipline separately.

Some exams are measured all year long. These tests are created by NCEES using a linear-on-the-fly (LOFT) method. This implies that while all examinees for a certain test must answer the same amount of questions in the same areas, no two examinees will receive the same set of questions. The algorithm will create a one-of-a-kind test within the same specification framework (i.e., the same number of questions per topic area) and relative level of difficulty. Other tests with a smaller examinee population are only given once a year. The identical questions are given to all examinees sitting these tests.

First-Timers Pass Rate

A lot of students can pass the exam on the first try. However, if someone is not able to pass on the first try, he can try another time, but the students can only take the test twice a year, so they have to wait some months before they can take the test again.

The first-timers pass rate is:

Exam disciplinesVolumePass ratesFormatAvailability
PE Civil: Transportation157763%P&PTwice per year
PE Civil: Water Resources and Environmental173067%P&PTwice per year
PE Control Systems17567%P&POnce per year
PE Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering4549%CBTOnce per year
PE Electronics, Controls, and Communications20869%CBTOnce per year
PE Electrical and Computer: Power154862%CBTYear-round
PE Environmental41072%CBTYear-round
PE Fire Protection23682%CBTOnce per year
PE Industrial and Systems10466%CBTOnce per year
PE Mechanical: HVAC and Refrigeration66370%CBTYear-round
PE Mechanical: Thermal and Fluid Systems49067%CBTYear-round
PE Metallurgical and Materials5682%P&POnce per year
PE Mining and Mineral Processing6551%CBTOnce per year
PE Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering2662%P&POnce per year
PE Petroleum8656%CBTOnce per year
PE Mechanical: Machine Design and Materials39169%CBTYear-round
PE Nuclear1753%CBTOnce per year

Repeaters Pass Rate

If a student doesn’t pass the first time, he can always take the exam again. Students can take the test as many times as they want.

The repeaters pass rate is:

Exam disciplinesVolumePass RateFormatAvailability
PE Agricultural and Biological Engineering0N/ACBTOnce per year
PE Architectural Engineering2138%P&POnce per year
PE Chemical7543%CBTYear-round
PE Civil: Construction71937%P&PTwice per year
PE Civil: Geotechnical36630%P&PTwice per year
PE Civil: Structural90842%P&PTwice per year
PE Civil: Transportation104541%P&PTwice per year
PE Civil: Water Resources and Environmental98844%P&PTwice per year
PE Control Systems4943%P&POnce per year
PE Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering0N/ACBTOnce per year
PE Electronics, Controls, and Communications0N/ACBTOnce per year
PE Electrical and Computer: Power21350%CBTYear-round
PE Environmental8841%CBTYear-round
PE Fire Protection2259%CBTOnce per year
PE Industrial and Systems2335%CBTOnce per year
PE Mechanical: HVAC and Refrigeration8856%CBTYear-round
PE Mechanical: Machine Design and Materials6159%CBTYear-round
PE Mechanical: Thermal and Fluid Systems8060%CBTYear-round
PE Metallurgical and Materials1225%P&POnce per year
PE Mining and Mineral Processing0N/ACBTOnce per year
PE Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering1233%P&POnce per year
PE Nuclear250%CBTOnce per year
PE Petroleum3027%CBTOnce per year

How to Pass the PE exam for the First Time?

It is easier to start Preparation for PE exam a couple of weeks before than to cram all the material just a few days before the exam. The latter exhaust you and leave you with uncompleted studying, more stress, and ultimately impact your performance in the exam. Therefore you should start studying a little ahead of time so that you can prepare better. It is necessary that you brainstorm effectively and figure out what areas you need to work on more and assign more time for those subjects. You can also take help from seniors and teachers or study for FE online. Moreover, you should practice free PE practice problems in abundance and complete as many of them as possible.

Students should also stay away from social media sites and utilize most of their time preparation. At the same time, they should take breaks to rest and relax. Studying can be tough and stressful. To help you stay focused and energetic, you need to take short breaks so that you can put 100% effort into the preparation. For additional help, you can also take PE License courses. They can help you with the practice of questions and guide you around the exam pattern, tips to pass, and guidance by professionals. These tips ensure that you pass the PE exam on the first try.

PE Exam Prerequisites

The Prerequisites for all Exams of PE are:

1. A 4-year degree in engineering from an accredited engineering program.

2.   Passing the fundamental engineering exam (FE Exam)

3.   Completing four years of progressive engineering experience under a PE

If a student has completed all the above steps he is eligible to sit for the PE Exam and become a professional engineer.


The NCEES PE exam pass rate can help you to get an idea of how to go around studying and giving the exam, but it will not help you to pass the exam. There are many factors we have to take into consideration while looking at the exam rates, such as the disciplines, format, availability, etc. they help to develop a clear understanding of how NCEES scores its exams. However, to pass, we need to work hard and study better.

Wasim Asghar – P.E, P.ENG, M.ENG

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.

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