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Failing an NCEES Exam: Avoiding Post-Failure Blues and Passing the Next Time Around

  • 04 June, 2019

"If you don't succeed, try try again."

You've probably heard that popular saying, and if you haven't, the quotation is a proverb first recorded in a Teacher's Manual by Thomas H. Palmer. The proverb is a very common motivator for children (hence evolving from a Teacher's Manual) who feel discouraged. Although the famous proverb can be used in a variety of situations for everyone, no matter how old or what frustrations one is feeling.

Let's lay out a scenario this proverb is perfect for:

Alex is an engineer in training who is anxiously waiting for his exam results from the PE Mechanical exam he took a few weeks ago. He religiously checks his email, logs into his my NCEES account, and browses engineering forums to see if anyone else has received their results.

Finally, an email from NCEES arrives into his email inbox announcing the releasing of results in his state. Alex, though nervous, quickly logs into his account to view his results.

"Results: Fail," Alex read in disbelief. He couldn't believe it; he studied every day, read mechanical engineering notes, and watched PE Mechanical exam tip videos on YouTube. When he walked into the testing room on exam day, he thought he was ready.

Does that scenario sound familiar? If you've taken an NCEES exam and have not received your desired results, we can help! In fact, we've broken down our favorite tips and tricks for passing your exam the second time around:

Prepare by Analyzing Your Diagnostic Letter and Creating a Study Plan

If you have taken an NCEES exam and have unfortunately failed, use your diagnostic letter to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Look at the topics you scored the maximum and compare them to the topics you didn't do as well. The topics you struggled with are the topics you should really focus on. Of course, make sure to continually review all of the topics that may appear on your chosen exam to ensure that you keep all of the concepts fresh in your mind.

A great way to prepare for your chosen NCEES exam, whether you are taking it for the first time or trying to pass on your second attempt, is to get help from a Professional Engineer. By getting direction from licensed professional engineers, whether it be through taking an online exam prep course or being tutored, PEs have the knowledge and experience needed to help you pass the exam the next time you take it.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Did you know that consistently practicing problems after studying is a proven method for examination success? If you've taken an NCEES exam before and failed, try practicing 10 questions each night, and focus on the topics you struggled with by referring to your diagnostic letter. Practicing problems will help you understand which topics you have mastered and which ones you need to spend more time reviewing. If you're looking for a great platform to practice problems on, School of PE provides a Question Bank to its students as well as workshop problems and solutions.

Pass Your Exam with Flying Colors

After analyzing your diagnostic letter, determining your weaknesses, and perhaps taking an exam review course or attending a tutoring session, we're confident that you'll have received the right tools to pass your exam the second time around! What are you waiting for? Prepare, Practice, Pass!

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