PE Exam Passing Score 2023

The NCEES® PE exam is a nerve-wracking experience. NCEES® has so many standards, and guidelines that must be adhered to that most students get overwhelmed. Nevertheless, you can ace this examination with proper preparation and the appropriate tactics. You only need to get knowledgeable about everything there is to know about the PE exam.

The standard criteria students are used to seeing are completely different from the NCEES® assessment standards. The PE Exam is unique for each test-taker, and the grading is done using a standard scale, eliminating any bias.

This article will review the NCEES® scoring procedure for computer and paper-based formats and the average PE exam passing score. Furthermore, we will also discuss when the NCEES® releases the results and how the results are reported for each format.

So without any further ado, let’s dive into this article and look at the PE exam pass rates.

PE Exam Passing Score

Passing Score of PE Exam

NCEES® does not provide a specific PE exam passing score. However, after each result, students discuss their PE passing scores with one another, providing a general picture of how the students should perform to clear the exam.

Based on that, students must, on average, attain a score of at least 70% to pass, but this score is determined only by the students’ experiences and isn’t always true. In addition, it’s essential to remember that these figures are subject to rapid change. This is because the NCEES® set the benchmark score on the examinee’s minimal ability score.

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The NCEES’s CBT Exam Scoring Procedure

CBT Exam Scoring Procedure

The NCEES® PE exam pass rate is determined by the total number of right answers you choose. Wrong or empty answers are not considered, so they have no deductions. The score is then converted into a scaled score, compensating for slight changes in the difficulty among the several exam variants.

This scaled score reflects the test taker’s ability level. It is assessed against the minimal competence level required for that examination as established by subject-matter experts using psychometric statistical methods. This is comparable to how exams are scored in primary school; the passing result is centered on how well the entire class performed on the examination.

NCEES® does not disclose the PE exam pass rates. The method of scoring all exams is the same, and NCEES® grades each PE examination without estimating what proportion of students should pass or fail. In addition, the NCEES® evaluates both new and repeat test-takers similarly.

When Are the Results Out?

The results for computer-based exams are released much faster than those for pencil and paper exams. In most cases, you can receive your PE exam results for computer-based exams 7–10 days after you take them. NCEES® will provide you with guidelines on how to access your results in your MyNCEES account through email. Furthermore, your results will contain details about your licensing board’s requirements for how you should proceed in light of your PE pass rate.

How are the Results Reported?

The NCEES® reports the PE exam results as either pass or fail – there’s nothing in between. If you fail the PE exam, the NCEES® will attach a diagnostic report with your email. The diagnostic report highlights the areas where the student is weak and his strengths lie. It can serve as a blueprint and help the student to know where he has to focus more if he decides to give the PE exam again.

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NCEES® Paper-Based PE Exam Scoring Procedure

Paper-Based PE Exam Scoring Procedure

When the paper-based PE exam is created or its criteria get updated, a panel of subject-matter experts collaborates with seasoned psychometricians to decide the performance level that matches with baseline competence in that discipline. This becomes the PE passing score for the pencil and paper-based format. 

When Are the Results Out?

The NCEES® typically notifies the licensing boards about your result eight to ten weeks following the PE exam date. It differs from state to state how and when test-takers obtain their PE exam results. The results can be made accessible to candidates directly by some boards using NCEES® Exam Administration Services. Other boards may publish the results via another testing service like PCS; some will release the results independently.

How are the Results Reported?

Like the CBT exams, PE exam results for the pencil and paper format are reported simply as pass or fail. If you fail the exam, you will be given a diagnostic report that details your performance in each of the major areas addressed. The diagnostic report is supplied to assist in identifying areas for improvement prior to retaking the exam. This report’s aim is to offer general performance information, and it is not intended to be used for any other reason.

What Score Is Required to Pass the PE Exam?

As mentioned earlier, there is no predefined PE passing score set by the NCEES® you need to achieve for the PE Exam.


It is suggested that the average passing score for the PE exam is about 70%. It means you will need to correctly answer about 70% of the problems, that is roughly 56 out of 80 correct responses.

Remember that this is only an estimate based on various people’s opinions. No one can determine the exact PE passing score, and even if they succeed in knowing the PE pass rate, it will be different the next time you take the exam. This is because the PE scoring depends upon the questions and administration, and the NCEES® changes its questions each time it creates the PE exam. Plus, different versions of the PE exam are administered, each with a different passing score.

How to Achieve a Good Score on PE Exam

The only way to get a good PE passing score is to perform well on the exam. You should practice for the PE exam as much as you can beforehand. Review the questions in the previous exam, practice challenging questions, focus on difficult topics and sections, and try to ace all the difficult parts. Set goals for your study time, make schedules, and follow them to ensure you make the most of your time.

You can even take guidance and help from previous test takers who have passed, from your professors and seniors. They will help you solve the questions and give tips on preparing well for the PE exam and passing it. Getting a good PE exam passing score requires a lot of practice and determination. The only way you can achieve it is by studying enough. Studying tips should help you greatly too.

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Preparing well for the PE exam is more important than knowing the PE exam passing score. However, the NCEES® PE exam pass rate gives you an idea of how well you must perform to ace the exam. But, you can only succeed if you know how to solve the questions that are different for each PE exam version.

This ensures that students get a score suited to the type of exam they are given, but it also means that the PE passing score is different for each exam. Therefore, the only way to clear the PE exam is to ensure you have the right preparation done beforehand.


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.