The first step in becoming a licensed professional engineer (PE) in the US is the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, also known as the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) exam. The FE exam is a standardized test that is given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). It evaluates the knowledge and abilities of those who have either completed an accredited engineering degree or have obtained comparable training and experience.
Here Are Things To Know About FE Exam:
Purpose of the FE Exam
The FE exam serves a number of essential purposes. Firstly, it is typically a prerequisite for Professional Engineer (PE) licensure, a pivotal step in an engineer’s career. In order to make sure a candidate satisfies the minimal competency needed for engineering practice, it also assesses their basic technical knowledge and problem-solving abilities. Last but not least, the FE test offers a uniform evaluation, enabling consistency in the assessment of engineers from various backgrounds.
FE Exam Types and Discipline-Specific Versions
The FE Civil and the FE Other Disciplines are the two primary types of FE examinations. Structures, transportation, geotechnics, and environmental engineering are among the subjects included in the FE Civil test, which is designed for recent graduates in civil engineering. The FE Other Disciplines exam, on the other hand, evaluates general engineering knowledge and is intended for graduates in a variety of engineering professions, including mechanical, chemical, and electrical.
FE Exam Content and Format
There is a standard format for the FE exam. In addition to possible alternate item types including fill-in-the-blank and point-and-click, the majority of the questions are multiple-choice. There are 110 questions in the exam, plus five pretest questions that are not scored. Candidates have six hours to finish the exam, which is separated into morning (general topics) and afternoon (discipline-specific) sections. Equations and formulas that can be utilized throughout the exam are provided in a reference manual by NCEES. There are no deductions for wrong answers on the FE exam; scores are either pass or fail.
The number of people passing or failing the engineering FE Exam at any given period of time is not disclosed by individual states. However, the NCEES keeps track of these numbers for a single testing session for the entire population. The pass rate for the FE Exam now varies from 40% to 90%, depending on how the data is interpreted. The National Council reports the following in terms of exam specification:
|FE Exam Chemical||546||71%|
|FE Exam Civil Engineering||5701||66%|
|FE Electrical & Computer||1065||66%|
|FE Exam Environmental||830||76%|
|FE Industrial & Systems||216||68%|
|FE Other Disciplines||811||60%|
The FE Exam pass rate based on undergraduate engineering degree was given for individuals who took the FE Other Disciplines during this period:
|Biological (not Bio-Medical)||125||62%|
|Naval Architecture & Marine||31||90%|
The dates for the 2023 FE Exam are:
- January 2023: Monday – Saturday
- February 2023: Monday – Saturday
- March 2023: Monday – Saturday
- April 2023: Monday – Saturday
- May 2023: Monday – Saturday
- June 2023: Monday – Saturday
- July 2023: Monday – Saturday
- August 2023: Monday – Saturday
- September 2023: Monday – Saturday
- October 2023: Monday – Saturday
- November 2023: Monday – Saturday
- December 2023: Monday – Saturday
FE Exam Registration and Administration
Several processes are involved in registering for and taking the FE exam. Applicants need to obtain an NCEES ID and open an NCEES account. They pay the exam fee, pick the exam type, and select the place during registration. Candidates can schedule the exam with Pearson VUE, the exam administrator, after receiving an Authorization to Test (ATT) from NCEES. On exam day, candidates should arrive at the testing center with the necessary identification and materials.
Preparation for the FE Exam
Effective planning is essential for success. It is recommended that candidates go over the official NCEES reference handbook in detail as it can be used during the exam. Exam review courses for the FE are available from engineering organizations and schools. Purchase practice exams from NCEES to get accustomed to the test format and question types. Make a customized study schedule depending on your strengths and weaknesses, making time for a review of important subjects. Work together with others to solve problems and get diverse viewpoints.
Significance of the FE Exam in Engineering
In the field of engineering, the FE test is quite important. Passing the FE exam is often a prerequisite for taking the PE exam, opening doors for career advancement. A PE license makes it easier to advance in your career, get paid more, and get into more important engineering responsibilities. Completing the FE test successfully indicates to peers and employers that one is competent. The FE test is a standardized measure that ensures all PE candidates meet an established competence level.
According to a survey from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), Missouri S&T had the highest number of students and recent graduates who took the exam on Fundamentals of Engineering last year, more than any other school in the country. 586 exam registrations in 2022 were linked to S&T. Montana State University finished third with 455, followed by Texas A&M in second place with 467.
According to NCEES’s official source for engineering and surveying license statistics, Squared (2022), “many schools recognize the value of licensure and encourage their students to take the FE exam during their senior year or soon after graduation.” “Engineering positions at all levels of industry and government increasingly require licensure. Getting on the licensure path early puts engineers in a position to succeed professionally.”