What You Need to Know About the FE Exam

If you are planning on becoming a Professional Engineer (PE), then you will need to complete a four-year college degree, gain work experience under the supervision of a PE, and pass two required examinations. Once completed, you will have earned your license, which gives you the credentials to gain the trust of any future client. The first of these tests is called the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, otherwise known as the FE exam.

This six-hour long, 110-question test covers topics including mathematics, chemistry, biology, electrical and computer components, and much more. To pass the FE exam, all candidates must earn a scaled score of 70 or higher. After the examination, it takes approximately 2 months to receive your score. Since passing the test is required for license certification, it’s critical for all candidates to study and prepare for the examination.

What to Expect During the Exam

To register for the test, a $225 registration fee must be paid directly to NCEES. Depending on the licensing board, you may be required to file a separate application, which could potentially entail its own fees. On FE exam day itself, you will have an 8-minute tutorial, a 25-minute break, and a survey following the test. During the exam itself, use of the FE Reference Handbook is permitted as a resource. Now, the FE Exam is switched on to Computer Based Testing (CBT), so there won’t be any restriction for the professionals on location and they can schedule their exam date that best suits their needs.

No other study or resource materials will be permitted in the examination. Though writing tools and scratch paper may not be brought in, mechanical pencils will be issued on site. You are permitted to write in the test booklet itself as scratch paper. All test centers will have an electronic copy of the Handbook, and a physical copy may be purchased as well. The only calculators allowed on the test site include the Casio fx-115, Hewlett-Packard HP 33s and 35s, and the Texas Instruments TI-30X and TI-36x. School of PE offers training on the Casio fx-115ES calculator to ensure you are comfortable with its functions before your exam. The use of any non-permitted calculator will result in the confiscation of the Computer Based Testing (CBT) Exam.

How to Prepare for the FE Exam

Since the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam is critical to earning your license, it’s important to be as prepared as possible for test day. Registering for an FE exam review course allows you to prepare specifically for the examination and get used to the timed structure of the test. Since multiple instructors teach review courses at The School of PE, focus can be placed on each discipline in a logical and progressive manner with a professor who specializes in that area.

Most candidates and people who have passed the FE exam report that preparing through review courses allowed them to feel confident about the rigorous test content. If you are a senior within one year of graduation, a graduate of an Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET) program, or are currently enrolled in an ABET program, then you are eligible to take the FE exam.

The FE exam is offered multiple times throughout the year and may be taken once every two months. Learn more about preparing for test day through our FE Exam Review Course.