What is the FE Exam?
The Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE Exam) is the first step to receiving a Professional Engineer License (PE License). With this license, the engineer becomes a qualified engineer and eligible to receive exclusive benefits. Some of the benefits are the ability to stamp and seal drawings, own an engineering firm, have access to upper-level engineering management positions, and an increased salary.
When should the exam be taken?
There is no specific requirement to take the exam due to each state’s Board of Education. Students can take the exam during or in the final year of their college career. Although it can be done during, it is strongly recommended to take the exam in the final year. The exam will cover information covered in the examinee’s final year of engineering college.
What is the length and structure of the exam?
The FE Exam is a six hour exam, which can only be taken in a one day setting. The exam is composed of 110 multiple choice questions broken into two sessions: morning and afternoon.
During the morning session, students are required to answer questions that cover general Mathematics, Calculus, and Engineering Statics and Dynamics. The afternoon session is composed of multiple choice questions, which relates to the examinee’s discipline.
It's important to note that the actual exam time is five hours and twenty minutes.
What requirements are necessary to pass the exam?
The requirements to pass are different in each state. Each state’s Board has a specific fee schedule, educational requirements, and licensing guidelines.
To learn more about your state’s requirements, visit the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying’s (NCEES) website.
What is the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)?
NCEES is a non-profit organization that develops, administers, and scores engineering licensure examinations.
Does my discipline require a specific exam?
The FE Exam covers seven engineering disciplines. These include:
Am I required to take the exam?
No, you do not have to take the exam. However, if you decide to become a Professional Engineer, the exam is required to receive a PE License.
Why should I take the exam?
To have a successful engineering career, you must possess a PE License. Obtaining the license will allow you to receive amazing benefits and a great salary.
How do I apply to take the exam?
There isn’t a specific answer to this question. You must apply to your state's association. Each state has different application requirements. You will have to check the requirements of the state here, in which you will be taking the test.
How long should I prepare for the exam?
The FE Exam is offered twice a year, which means it is important for an examinee to pass the first time.
The preparation process depends upon the examinee. Some examinees can cram the night before an exam and pass with flying colors. Other examinees need time to study and will create a study system to help them prepare for the exam.
Throughout your engineering college career, you should be studying the materials necessary to pass the exam. After carefully studying your notes and reviewing the exam, you will be able to pass on your first attempt.
Can I take a practice exam?
Yes. Taking a FE Exam practice test is very valuable and strongly recommended. Working on practice problems will help prepare you for the actual exam.
Can I have my cellphone in the exam room?
The only electronic device allowed during the exam is a calculator. You should not bring your cellphone into the exam room.
Am I allowed to use resources during the exam? If so, what resources can I use?
The FE Exam is a closed book test. You are only allowed to use two straightedge tools (scale, triangle and/or ruler), one calculator, and a reference manual, which is handed out by the test Proctor.
The reference manual contains common equations, unit conversions, and various engineering tables. This is why it is necessary to have a calculator. The calculator must be an approved NCEES model. If it is not, the calculator will not be allowed.
What can I do after I pass the exam?
Once you pass the test, you become an Engineer in Training (EIT) or Engineer Intern (EI) (they are the same thing). You can put these initials at the end of your name. To receive your PE License, you will need work experience. Since you are an EIT, you will be eligible to work under the supervision of a registered Professional Engineer.