If you are about to take the FE exam, the question that pops into your mind more often is probably: Is the FE exam hard? The answer to that is not as simple as you may think. Whether the exam is hard or simple truly depends on the examinee, their field of study, their preparation methods, and, most importantly, whether their expectations were realistic or not.
The Fundamentals of Engineering exam is neither easy nor hard because it simply depends on who you ask. You ask. It’s something that you will decide for yourself after taking a look at the exam specifications, practice exams, and prep courses. One thing is for sure; the FE is challenging.
First, the FE exam includes a total of 110 questions/problems, and the most common type of question is multiple-choice. You will also find point-and-click, fill-in-the-blank, and many other types. For many examinees, this variety can be difficult and cause some confusion. However, if you take a look at the exam specifications before the exam and focus on each question, it won’t be an issue.
To complete the 110 questions, you are given exactly 5 hours and 20 minutes, plus a 25 minutes break that you can’t use for additional exam time. It is recommended that you take your break between the two sections to refresh your memory, take a breath, maybe have a snack, and come back to ace the remaining questions. The NCEES has completely switched to a computer-based exam, so you better be comfortable answering questions on a screen. On the day of the exam, you are provided with the FE Reference Handbook, which you can download a copy of during your preparation to take a look at all the equations you might need during the FE exam. However, you should know that you will encounter a lot of theoretical questions that simply test your memory.
The FE exam can be both easy and hard, depending on how you study for it and whether you are mentally prepared for it, which is why you should be focusing on preparation.