How to study for the FE exam

According to the official NCEES website, the FE exam, or the “Fundamentals of Engineering” exam, is a computer-based exam intended for recent graduates and students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree from an EAC/ABET-accredited program as a first step towards becoming a licensed professional engineer. If you are an engineering student, the FE exam might be one of your biggest fears, or at least one of your worries, especially when it comes to how you are supposed to prepare for it and how to manage your time between the large variety of topics while you are doing so.

It might seem like an arduous process to go through, but with the experience accumulated by past graduates who have gone through the exam and passed it, we are going to help you figure out, in a few simple steps, how to study for the FE exam.

1- Pay attention to the numbers:

Before you start planning for your studying schedule, make sure you have gone through the specifications of the exam. You need to pay close attention to the topics that are going to take place in the FE exam,

and most importantly, to the number of questions on each topic.

Knowing the specific topics that you are going to be tested on and the number of questions plays a huge role in saving your time since you will be able to know exactly what to study, which books to use, and what to focus on the most to guarantee the best chances for passing the exam.

2- Go through practice exams:

Practicing on past FE exams might be the best strategy you can follow while studying since they will play an essential role in familiarizing you with the questions, putting what you have learned into the actual test, and helping you have better time management of the exam.

These practice exams are available on the “National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying” website, just keep in mind that the NCEES has introduced some changes on the new exam that became effective on July 1st, 2020, so you should consider those changes while studying.

3- Get used to the reference handbook

The FE reference handbook, provided by the NCESS during the exam, contains the tables and charts, and formulas that the student is going to be using to answer the FE exam questions. However, getting used to how to the handbook while studying means that you will be able to spend less time, during the actual exam, trying to figure out how to use it, and will help you use it more effectively.


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