Let us help answer the most common questions about the NCEES FE exam.
Yes, starting July 2020 many FE exam topics are to be added or removed. We encourage you to use study prep material that is up to date. Many of the prep textbooks out there are now outdated and include topics that are no longer relevant for the FE exam. Click here to see a detailed list of the exam topic updates.
We believe it's around 10%.
During the exam, you are provided a reference handbook that has all the equations you might need. However, the reference handbook DOES NOT show worked-out example problems. You are not allowed to bring anything into the exam aside from an approved calculator
No. You can revisit problems during the first half of the exam, but once you move onto the second half, you cannot go back to the first half.
Unfortunately, you will have to register with the NCEES and pay a $175 exam fee in order to see and select a date.
Results are based on total number of correct answers. There are NO deductions for wrong answers, so make sure to answer everything. Since exam questions may vary, scores are scaled for difficutly, accordingly. The NCEES does not publish a passing score and claims that no predetermined percentage of examinees pass or fail.
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam costs $175.
Exam results are reported pass/fail. If you did not pass the exam, you will receive a diagnostic report indicating subject areas of relative strength and weakness. The diagnostic report can assist you if you decide to retake the exam. Download a sample diagnostic report (PDF).
You are given 6 hours total.
The FE has an approximate 70% pass rate for first time takers. Adequate prepping will ensure smooth passing. You can find specific pass rates for various exams on the NCEES website.
FE exam results are typically available the Wednesday of the week after you take the FE exam. You will receive an email notification from NCEES with instructions to view your results in your MyNCEES account. Results include information specific to your licensing board regarding how you should proceed based on your performance.
One attempt is allowed per quarter. Quarters are as follows: January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December. And up to three times per 12 month cycle. The cycle starts the month you take the FE for the first time.
The FE exam is a prerequisite exam in order to take the PE exam later on. Passing the PE exam allows you to become a licensed engineer in the US.
You will be provided a 9-page laminated, spiral-bound notebook with grid markers and a marker during the exam. Make sure to try using the marker before your exam starts. If you run out of space, do not spend time trying to erase anything. Raise your hand and request a new notebook.
Your Engineer-in-Training (EIT) or an Engineer Intern (EI) designation is valid in any state, but it's prudent to check with the appropriate state licensing board when moving to make sure there are no issues in the transition.
The 100 problems on FE exam will vary, so the difficulty does vary slightly among examinees. Additionally, there are 10 interspersed problems that don't count towards your score but are trial problems included by the NCEES which can change how difficult the exam feels.
However, the overall exam difficulty doesn't vary based on time of year. The best advice is to schedule it such that you have the most amount of time to prepare thoroughly.
No. You may take any FE exam discipline to get EIT certification, and it does not matter for your PE license. For example, some people who desire to get the environmental PE opt to take the civil FE instead of the environmental FE.
A few different calculators are allowed on the FE. We personally recommend the TI-36x Pro as it is affordable and full of features such derivatives, integrals, vector operations, and more. The FE exam will provide you with a on-the-screen, digital calculator if you need it. We don't recommend you rely on it as typing on it is very slow. We recommend you bring your own NCEES-approved calculator.
The majority of questions are multiple choice. A handful of questions will be point-and-click, drag-and-drop, or fill-in-the-blank. The specific exam topics vary depending on which FE exam you take. In general, the exam is comprehensive and covers the great majority of the classes taken in an engineering undergraduate program. You can find a detailed list of exam topics here.
Yes, you can search on FE Reference Handbook that you are provided during the exam. There's no better example than seeing a video demonstration of this directly from the NCEES here.
Make sure you are using the most up-to-date version of the FE Reference Handbook as it is this version the one you are provided during the actual exam. The Reference Handbook actually changes quite a bit from time to time, so it's worth it to make sure you're using the most up-to-date version of it.
You will take the FE at a Pearson VUE test center computer lab, looking something like this.
No, many questions cannot be answered with the help of the Handbook . The FE Reference Handbook will provide the great majority of the formulas you'll need to do number-crunching FE problems. However, the FE exam stills expects you to recall from memory fundamental engineering theory that is part of the different FE exam topics/categories. We estimate the FE to be roughly 15% theoretical questions that often the Reference Handbook is of little to no help in answering. PrepFE's questions include review for concept-heavy topics as well.
The most time-effective thing you can do is WORK PRACTICE PROBLEMS over and over. Those who have passed the FE exam, academia, and the best test prep providers all suggest this should be your primary focus. A common mistake when prepping is flying through the questions after you get them wrong. If you get a question wrong and end up seeing it again, you should be able to solve that repeated problem from beginning to end without ever looking at the PrepFE solution. Many people look at the solution, agree that it "makes sense" and then move on. Instead, you should rework that problem on your own w/o looking at the solution to see if you truly understand it.
There are a total of 110 questions on the exam