Which PE Exam Is Easiest

Which PE Exam is easiest to pass with minimal study and preparation time?

Which PE Exam Is Easiest

I am continuoudly asked questions like these:

  • Which PE Exam is easiest?
  • Which exam requires the least amount of study and preparation?
  • What discipline should I test in to ensure I pass and get a PE License?

My answer is always the same,
they’re all easy … if you’re prepared.

Stop rolling your eyes for a minute and allow me to explain my answer.

It’s my experience, after working with hundreds of eager (and a few not so eager) test-takers, that:

  1. those who are most successful have the most experience and/or knowledge in a particular discipline regardless of their past career path.
  2. those who struggle with the exam and typically have to retake it several times are the ones attempting to test in a discipline they think they should (or have been told to.)

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?

But, in reality, that’s not always the case.

For instance, someone graduates from college with a degree in Mechanical Fluids Engineering and then spends the next four years employed as an HVAC construction engineer.

The wise path would be to take the Mechanical Engineering HVAC and Refrigeration PE Exam or the Civil Engineering Construction PE Exam.

But there are some who are determined to take the Mechanical Engineering Thermal and Fluid Systems PE Exam because that was their major.

Wrong Choice

So, back to my answer.

Which PE Exam Is Easiest

All PE Exams are easy … if you’re prepared.

Preparation is not cramming four years of college review and four years of practical, on-the-job experience into as little time as possible just to pass an exam.

  • First, this rarely works especially given the fact that you probably have a job, a social life, and other outside interests that consume a good deal of your free time. So the amount of time you are able to devote to preparation for the exam is most likely considerably less than what is required.
  • Second, the intent of the PE Exams is not to make you learn or re-learn multiple concepts in order to pass a test after which you will promptly forget the vast majority. The intent is to show you’ve been able to develop a level of mastery of a discipline and that you are competent enough to provide your services to the public.

As you’ve probably witnessed in your career, those two letters – PE – after someone’s name evokes a great deal of confidence from the general public. And it’s the licensing board’s job to ensure that PE licenses are rightly earned.

Preparation begins your first day “on the job”

Through your 4-year internship (i.e. J-O-B), you learn how to apply the principles you learned in college, how your particular discipline operates, how projects get designed or implemented, how the quality review process works, what codes and standards are applicable, and so on.

It’s during your work experience that you gain the knowledge you need to pass the PE Exam and to continue a career in engineering. This same 4-year period will also reveal your passions – what you were meant to do.

So when it comes time to select which PE Exam to take don’t try to figure out which PE Exam is easiest, I recommend spending some time reflecting on the past four years.

  • Do you like what you do?
  • Do you have a passion for your vocation (or does it just “pay the bills”)?
  • Do you find yourself pursuing activities outside of work that are in-line with your career or completely different?
  • Are you really good at what you do and would you be a good ambassador for your profession as a licensed engineer?
  • Are you able to step away from the label you “earned” in college and take the exam that truly tests your knowledge and abilities?

After you’ve answered these questions and understand the path you should follow, then it’s time to tackle the particulars of the exam. Read PE Exam Success – The 10 Best Ways To Be Prepared and How To Pass The PE Exam for additional information on what it takes to pass the PE.


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