Below are the NCEES category specifications for exam coverage.

Effective UNTIL July 1st, 2020, these are the categories and subcategories specified by the NCEES that this discipline will cover. It includes an estimate of the number of questions you will see on the official exam for each category. PrepFE provides hundreds of questions in proportional amounts to the official exam.

For the upcoming categories that are effective as of July 1st, 2020, please see the categories here.

Chemical FE exam categories

110 Total Questions

Analytic geometry

Roots of equations


Differential equations

Probability distributions (e.g., discrete, continuous, normal, binomial)

Expected value (weighted average) in decision making

Hypothesis testing

Measures of central tendencies and dispersions (e.g., mean, mode, standard deviation)

Estimation for a single mean (e.g., point, confidence intervals)

Regression and curve fitting

Applications of vector analysis (e.g., statics)

Basic dynamics (e.g., friction, force, mass, acceleration, momentum)

Work, energy, and power (as applied to particles or rigid bodies)

Electricity and current and voltage laws (e.g., charge, energy, current, voltage, power, Kirchhoff, Ohm)

Numerical methods and concepts (e.g., convergence, tolerance)

Spreadsheets for chemical engineering calculations


Chemical, electrical, mechanical, and physical properties (e.g., effect of temperature, pressure, stress, strain)

Material types and compatibilities (e.g., engineered materials, ferrous and nonferrous metals)

Corrosion mechanisms and control

Inorganic chemistry (e.g., molarity, normality, molality, acids, bases, redox reactions, valence, solubility product, pH, pK, electrochemistry, periodic table)

Organic chemistry (e.g., nomenclature, structure, qualitative and quantitative analyses, balanced equations, reactions, synthesis, basic biochemistry)

Fluid properties

Dimensionless numbers (e.g., Reynolds number)

Mechanical energy balance (e.g., pipes, valves, fittings, pressure losses across packed beds, pipe networks)

Bernoulli equation (hydrostatic pressure, velocity head)

Laminar and turbulent flow

Flow measurement (e.g., orifices, Venturi meters)

Pumps, turbines, and compressors

Compressible flow and non-Newtonian fluids

Thermodynamic properties (e.g., specific volume, internal energy, enthalpy, entropy, free energy)

Properties data and phase diagrams (e.g., steam tables, psychrometric charts, T-s, P-h, x-y, T-x-y)

Thermodynamic laws (e.g., 1st law, 2nd law)

Thermodynamic processes (e.g., isothermal, adiabatic, isentropic)

Cyclic processes and efficiency (e.g., power, refrigeration, heat pump)

Phase equilibrium (e.g., fugacity, activity coefficient)

Chemical equilibrium

Heats of reaction and mixing

Mass balance (steady and unsteady state)

Energy balance (steady and unsteady state)

Recycle/bypass processes

Reactive systems (e.g., combustion)

Conductive heat transfer

Convective heat transfer (natural and forced)

Radiation heat transfer

Heat transfer coefficients (e.g., overall, local, fouling)

Heat transfer equipment, operation, and design (e.g., double pipe, shell and tube, fouling, number of transfer units, log-mean temperature difference, flow configuration)

Molecular diffusion (e.g., steady and unsteady state, physical property estimation)

Convective mass transfer (e.g., mass transfer coefficient, eddy diffusion)

Separation systems (e.g., distillation, absorption, extraction, membrane processes)

Equilibrium stage methods (e.g., graphical methods, McCabe-Thiele, efficiency)

Continuous contact methods (e.g., number of transfer units, height equivalent to a theoretical plate, height of transfer unit, number of theoretical plates)

Humidification and drying

Reaction rates and order

Rate constant (e.g., Arrhenius function)

Conversion, yield, and selectivity

Type of reactions (e.g., series, parallel, forward, reverse, homogeneous, heterogeneous, catalysis, biocatalysis)

Reactor types (e.g., batch, semibatch, continuous stirred tank, plug flow, gas phase, liquid phase)

Process flow diagrams and piping and instrumentation diagrams

Equipment selection (e.g., sizing and scale-up)

Cost estimation

Comparison of economic alternatives (e.g., net present value, discounted cash flow, rate of return, expected value and risk)

Process design and optimization (e.g., sustainability, efficiency, green engineering, inherently safer design, evaluation of specifications)

Dynamics (e.g., time constants and 2nd order, underdamped, and transfer functions)

Control strategies (e.g., feedback, feed-forward, cascade, ratio, and PID)

Control loop design and hardware (e.g., matching measured and manipulated variables, sensors, control valves, and conceptual process control)

Hazardous properties of materials (e.g., corrosivity, flammability, toxicity, reactivity, handling and storage), including SDS

Industrial hygiene (e.g., noise, PPE, ergonomics)

Process safety and hazard analysis [e.g., layer of protection analysis, hazard and operability studies (HazOps), fault-tree analysis or event tree]

Overpressure and underpressure protection (e.g., relief, redundant control, intrinsically safe)

Waste minimization, waste treatment, and regulation (e.g., air, water, solids, RCRA, CWA, EPA, OSHA)

Codes of ethics (professional and technical societies)

Agreements and contracts

Ethical and legal considerations

Professional liability

Public protection issues (e.g., licensing boards)