The FE exam is typically the first step in the process of getting the PE license. It’s a great way to start your career as an engineer. The exam is given in seven different disciplines. All disciplines have the same procedure and requirements for the exam. Since 2014, the exam has become entirely computer-based. It is offered in Pearson Vue approved testing centers across the country.
The exam consists of 110 questions, given into two sections. The total time of the exam is 5 hours and 20 minutes, plus a 25 minutes break that you can take whenever you want. However, you are not allowed to use the break as extra time to answer the questions.
The two sections have approximately 55 problems classified together depending on the subject, topic, or knowledge area. Issues are not repeated, so if you find a concept in the first section, you won’t find it in the second one. However, you should note that although the questions are grouped according to the topic, they are not adaptive. The questions are not related to each other, and even if you already answered four mathematics questions, you still have to solve the fifth one.
The 110 questions are mostly multiple-choice questions. However, you’ll also find multiple correct items where there might be more than one correct answer. In addition to that, you might also encounter point-and-click, drag-and-drop, and fill-in-the-blanks. These types of questions were introduced recently to the exam by the NCEES.
You might also encounter what’s called “pretest items,” which are questions that are not scored, but they are included by the NCEES to test this viability in the future.
Questions in the FE exam are not divided equally between topics. In fact, you can find exam specifications related to your discipline on the NCEES. It includes the approximate number of questions on each topic. It will help you prepare well and know what to expect on the day of the exam.