Updated for the new July 2020 FE Exam Topics


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.

Mechanical FE exam categories

110 Total Questions

Analytic geometry


Linear algebra

Vector analysis

Differential equations

Numerical methods

Probability distributions

Regression and curve fitting

Codes of ethics

Agreements and contracts

Ethical and legal considerations

Professional liability

Public health, safety, and welfare

Time value of money

Cost, including incremental, average, sunk, and estimating

Economic analyses


Charge, current, voltage, power, and energy

Current and voltage laws (Kirchhoff, Ohm)

Equivalent circuits (series, parallel)

AC circuits

Motors and generators

Resultants of force systems

Concurrent force systems

Equilibrium of rigid bodies

Frames and trusses


Moments of inertia

Static friction

Kinematics of particles

Kinetic friction

Newton’s second law for particles

Work-energy of particles

Impulse-momentum of particles

Kinematics of rigid bodies

Kinematics of mechanisms

Newton’s second law for rigid bodies

Work-energy of rigid bodies

Impulse-momentum of rigid bodies

Free and forced vibrations

Shear and moment diagrams

Stress types (axial, bending, torsion, shear)

Stress transformations

Mohr’s circle

Stress and strain caused by axial loads

Stress and strain caused by bending loads

Stress and strain caused by torsion

Stress and strain caused by shear

Combined loading



Properties, including chemical, electrical, mechanical, physical, and thermal

Stress-strain diagrams

Engineered materials

Ferrous metals

Nonferrous metals

Manufacturing processes

Phase diagrams

Phase transformation, equilibrium, and heat treating

Materials selection

Surface conditions

Corrosion mechanisms and control

Thermal failure

Ductile or brittle behavior


Crack propagation

Fluid properties

Fluid statics

Energy, impulse, and momentum

Internal flow

External flow

Incompressible flow

Compressible flow

Power and efficiency

Performance curves

Scaling laws for fans, pumps, and compressors

Properties of ideal gases and pure substances

Energy transfers

Laws of thermodynamics


Performance of components

Power cycles, thermal efficiency, and enhancements

Refrigeration and heat pump cycles and coefficients of performance

Nonreacting mixtures of gases


Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) processes

Combustion and combustion products




Thermal resistance

Transient processes

Heat exchangers

Boiling and condensation


Block diagrams

System response

Measurement uncertainty

Stress analysis of machine elements

Failure theories and analysis

Deformation and stiffness


Pressure vessels




Power screws

Power transmission

Joining methods


Quality and reliability

Hydraulic components

Pneumatic components

Electromechanical components