Tips for Passing the FE exam after being out of School or College


FE exam

The Fundamentals of Engineering or the FE exam is extremely beneficial for aspiring engineers. You can appear for the exam after completing your bachelor’s degree in engineering through a four year’s course and even after being out of school. Although you can take your time and give the exam whenever you want, fresher’s have the most significant advantage because the topics are fresh in their minds.

But that doesn’t mean that the chances of your passing the FE exam are less if you have taken a career gap. With the right FE exam prep and proper study guide, anyone can pass the FE exam easily. Many students argue that the FE exam is tough, and they can’t clear it in the first attempt. That is a wrong notion. You need to focus on the important aspects of the exam to clear the exam in the first go.

The average pass percentage for the FE exam is around 67%. It shows that if you thoroughly prepare for the exam, you can pass with flying colors. Read the tips given below to ace your exam and for passing the FE exam after being out of School or College:

Understanding of FE exam pattern

  • Earlier the FE exam followed a pen and paper mode. The NCEES changed the examination pattern two years ago to make it a CBT or Computer Based Test. It was a beneficial move because CBT allows you to overview the questions properly to solve them with a solid strategy.
  • In the exam, you have to answer a total of 110 questions. The questions are divided into two sections. One section is a general section having questions from engineering economics, ethics, and general knowledge. The other section consists of questions from your core area.
  • The core area is chosen by you at the time of registration. It depends on which branch you were studying at the time of your graduation. For instance, if you hold a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, your FE exam main subject would be mechanical engineering,
  • Duration of the exam is 6 hours. Although the number seems mind-boggling, it is easy to sail through it. The initial 2 minutes are for reading and signing the nondisclosure agreement. The next 8 minutes are kept for tutorials, and the duration of the exam is 320 minutes.
  • You get intermittent voluntary breaks within the exam. You can take breaks for only up to 25 minutes, and not more than that.

Knowledge of Exam fees:

FE exam is conducted by NCEES throughout the year. The frequent exams make sure that everyone gets plenty of chances to prove their mettle. Although regular exams might make you feel that you have plenty of attempts, you need to think about the fees. NCEES charges $175 for each attempt. So, if you don’t pass the exam in the first go, it can become expensive for you.

Go through the syllabus

On the official website of NCEES, you can find a detailed syllabus for various branches. The common topics like economics, ethics, and mathematics are the same for all the branches. Select your specialization and go through the content to get a fair idea of what you have to study. Don’t waste your time by focusing on topics that are not written in the syllabus. NCEES asks questions from only those areas that you see in the syllabus.

Buy the reference handbook for NCEES FE exam

The official reference handbook given by NCEES has all the theories and formulae at one place. It is the basic book that you need to have with you for effective preparation. The book also features graphs and charts to provide visual aid while learning. Before buying expensive study material, buy the handbook for leverage in the exam.

Don’t waste time on questions

Although the 320 minutes might seem a lot, when you consider the 110 questions, you will realize that you get only 3 minutes per question. That is less time as the questions are complex and lengthy. You cannot afford to waste time by overthinking a particular question. Answer all the questions as there is no negative marking for wrong attempts.

Why should you go for the FE exam?

Engineers need to obtain licenses and registrations before they can start working for the public. A license would show that you possess the relevant skills and qualifications to carry out any public work. Just like you wouldn’t trust a doctor without a license, recruiters, or even the common public won’t believe your skills if you don’t have the required permit. After passing the FE exam, you will be eligible for carrying out engineering works in any public or private sector.

But where should you start your preparations? FE exam has an extensive course that you need to cover with the right planning. To help you with the exam, we have provided a brief FE exam study guide that will make you understand how to pass the exam in the first attempt.

With sheer dedication and hard work, you will be able to pass the FE exam without any trouble. Make sure to practice sample questions before the exam to get a good idea of the type of questions.