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Tips and Tricks for Passing the FE Exam

  • 01 July, 2015

Tips and Tricks for Passing the FE Exam

Passing the FE Exam is an important step in the career of a FE Engineer: it's the first step in obtaining a PE license. You need to be aware of the various nuances of the exam in order to prepare with confidence. Let's take a look at a few guidelines for passing the FE Exam.

Who is the FE Exam for?
The FE Exam is for graduates who are in the final year of their engineering degree or who have just completed their engineering degree.

What type of exam is the FE Exam?
The FE Exam is a computer-based exam that can be taken at any Pearson VUE authorised test centre.

The Exam Format
The FE Exam has 110 multiple-choice questions and is approximately six hours long. You will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before taking the exam. Out of the six hours, eight minutes is devoted to a tutorial and there is one 25-minute break, leaving five hours and twenty minutes of actual test time. You will also need to take a brief survey. The FE Review prepares you to face the multiple-choice format.

Mastering the FE Exam Syllabus
The syllabus for the FE Exams is listed on the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website. The syllabi for the respective engineering disciplines are listed separately for the FE and PE Exams. Reviewing the syllabus ahead of time is a good starting point for exam preparation. The FE Exam Review will also help you to familiarize yourself with the FE Exam syllabus.

Joining a Prep Program
By joining a prep program, you can gain a better understanding of the important topics for the exam. Experienced instructors with both industry and academic experience will be able to guide you on the path to exam success.

Buying the Right Books
Purchasing the right books is essential to prepare for the exam. The FE Review Manual, 3rd Edition, by Michael R. Lindeburg, P.E., is a highly useful book for any engineer preparing for the FE Exam. The FE Exam Review course will recommend other helpful books and resources.

Watch YouTube and Vimeo Videos
There are many interesting and educational videos on topics relevant to FE Exam prep on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. If you're willing to invest a little time in searching for them, viewing these videos can help you get a good idea of the range of subjects covered by the exam or help you gain a deeper understanding of any specific theory of practical topic.

Do a Group Study
Group study will allow you to collaborate with other students and benefit from their knowledge. Every person is gifted differently, and other students may have skills and expertise you lack. What may be a particularly difficult area of study for you may come easily to one of your fellow students, and vice versa. So, collaborate, share knowledge, and help each other out!

Visit Libraries
Visiting libraries will help you get access to additional books and journals that will help you to prepare for the exam. The variety of books in a library will keep you engaged and the quiet atmosphere at the library will help you to concentrate on your studies without distractions.

Connecting with Groups in Social Media
You can connect with engineering groups on social media that freely discuss their knowledge. This type of "social learning" synergizes the knowledge of people from around the world. You can ask questions and get answers from many people in the group, and share pictures, videos, or other resources that have been helpful to you with others.

We hope these guidelines and tips are helpful to you as you begin to prepare for the FE Exam, and we wish you the best of luck!

School of PE offers courses to help Engineers with their PE and FE exam preparations. Know more at

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