Why is taking the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam important?
The FE Exam is the first step in becoming a licensed Professional Engineer. If you are debating on whether to take the exam, please see Why Should I Become a Professional Engineer?
What’s the difference between FE and EIT?
You may hear FE and EIT used interchangeably. In general, FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) is the actual exam you take. EIT (Engineer-In-Training) is the title you can carry after you have passed the FE exam and registered appropriately.
Who can take the exam?
You can take the exam if you:
1. Have a degree in an engineering or related field from an accredited institution.
2. Are a current undergraduate engineering student and are within two semesters of graduating.
When is the best time to take the exam?
The ideal time to take the FE Exam is when you are finishing up your undergraduate engineering education. To see the reasons why taking the exam while you’re still in school is the smart thing to do, please click here.
If I passed the FE exam in another state, do I have to take it again in my new state?
No. Once you’ve passed the FE Exam in any state, it is recognized. Good Job! However Professional Engineer status may or may not be recognized.
What if I have a degree from a foreign college?
You should contact the Professional Engineering Board of your state for details and instructions. Foreign degrees will be evaluated by the board and you will have to provide supporting documentation such as transcripts.
How do I register to take the test?
The FE exam is administered locally through each state board so the particulars will vary. The registration periods can also vary by state, anywhere between 45-180 days before the exam. Check with your state board for details.
What are my state’s exam and registration requirements?
FE EXAM SPECIFICS
What dates are the test given?
The FE exam is administered twice per year, usually sometime in April and October.
What time does the FE exam start?
Starting time is 7:45 AM. If you are not present by this time you will be turned away. Doors open typically around 7:15 AM. The exam lasts for 8 hours total.
How many questions are there on the FE exam?
The exam has 180 multiple-choice questions total.
- Morning session (120 questions)
- Afternoon session (60 questions)
Whats the difference between the General and the Discipline Specific part of the FE exam?
The General section is given in the morning and consists of 120 multiple choice questions covering various subjects across ALL engineering (i.e. math, physics, chemistry, probability, etc). The Discipline Specific section is given in the afternoon and consists of 60 multiple choice questions covering only subjects in your core engineering discipline (i.e. chemical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, etc).
Do I get to pick which engineering discipline subject I take in the afternoon session?
Yes. You will select which subject to take in the afternoon at the time that you register for the exam. In previous years, you did not have to make the choice until exam day and could decide after looking at all the questions for each subject. As of 2010, that rule was changed and you must make your election ahead of time.
Do I need to bring pencils and scratch paper?
No. Writing tools and scratch paper may not be brought to the testing site. Mechanical pencils are issued to all examinees, and the test booklet may be used as scratch paper for working problems. The supplied pencil is a 0.7 mm mechanical pencil. Thus, use one when you solve practice problems or take a practice exam, to get the feel of the lead. It sounds strange, but any little thing that makes you more comfortable during the exam helps!
What calculators can I use?
No calculators are allowed except for those specifically approved by the NCEES. Approved models have no programming or communications capabilities which could allow people to cheat. See our post on calculators here.
Can I bring notes or reference material?
The only reference material that may be used is the Fundamentals of Engineering Handbook , which is issued to examinees. Examinees can obtain a copy of the handbook prior to the exam by purchasing a hard copy HERE .
What is the best way to study for the FE exam?
While obvious, there is no “best” way to prepare for the exam. That depends on your skill/knowledge level and what way you learn best. Regardless, here are a few tips:
1. Make sure you know every detail, rule, etc of the exam. This will help you develop the strategy on how to approach the exam since you need to focus on solving problems on test day, and only that.
2. Do practice problems. Realize that you won’t be able to review every single topic in undergraduate engineering so you might as well try as many problems as you can.
3. Get the FE Exam Review Study Guide! You’ll get practice problems, test strategy, and more.
Are you allowed to leave FE exam test site between morning and afternoon sections for lunch?
Technically yes. When the morning session ends, everyone breaks for lunch and you must leave the exam room. However, it is strongly advised NOT to leave the test site to grab a bite to eat. Bring your own lunch to eat there at the FE Exam site.
POST EXAM STUFF
How is the exam graded?
You are scored for a correct or incorrect answer on the 180 questions. There is no partial credit. Most importantly, there is NO penalty for an incorrect answer.
When will I find out my score and if I passed?
You will receive results by mail. The NCEES website says that it generally takes about 12 weeks after the test date. The results are usually available online before the official letter comes in so check the test website often.
What score do I need to pass?
A scaled score of 70 is required to pass the exam. This doesn’t mean you need to get 70% of the answers correct to pass though. A statistical analysis of the questions is used to scale the test after every test taker’s exam has been scored. Think of it like the grading curve in your engineering classes.
Can I take the exam again if I fail?
You can take the the exam as many times as necessary to pass (you still have to pay the registration fee every time though). However there may be additional requirements that are asked of you by the state engineering board (additional experience or education) if you fail the test too many times.
How long is my score good for?
When you pass the test and register as an Engineer-In-Training (EIT), your score and EIT status will expire in eight (8) years. That’s plenty of time to get the prerequisite 4 years of experience to apply for your professional engineer license.
Does my required experience have to be AFTER I have passed FE exam?
No. The key is that your experience is AFTER you have received your engineering degree.Thus if you have been working in industry for several years, you do not have to wait to take the PE exam and apply for licensure. You could theoretically take the FE and PE exams respectively in the same calendar year. In some cases, your major experience could exempt you from having to take the FE exam all together. Check with your state’s engineering board.
Where can I find information on the Professional Engineer Examination (PE Exam)?
The NCEES administers the PE exam as well so you can start with their website. You can also check with your state’s engineering board for specific requirements related to the exam.
FE Exam Review Study Guide
Is the FE Exam Review Study Guide Right for me?
- Who Should Buy This: Anyone looking for a fast rundown of what they need to know to pass the exam, Anyone looking for test strategy, Anyone looking for the key ideas to passing the exam, and Anyone who needs last minute guidance…i.e. those of you who didn’t study ;).
- Who Should Not Buy This: Anyone looking for a review of undergraduate engineering, Anyone looking for endless practice problems, and Anyone who feels they will breeze through the exam easily.
What software do I need to view the eBook?
You will need a PDF reader. There are numerous FREE options available online (just Google PDF reader). The most common program is Adobe Reader which you can download here. The eBook is also compatible with Adobe Acrobat 6.0 (PDF 1.5) or higher.
I purchased the Study Guide, where is my file download?
If you completed the buying process and reached the Thank You page, we have sent an email to the email address you entered in the shopping cart, with instructions on how to easily download the guide onto your computer. If you don’t receive an email within the next 15 minutes, please check your junk or spam folder, as some filters may catch it.
If for any reason you did not receive an email, please contact us using the Contact Form and we will be more than happy to get everything straightened out for you.