FE Exam GuideWhat is the FE exam?The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is the first step towards becoming a LicensedProfessional Engineer (PE). The exam is designed by the National Council of Examiners forEngineering and Surveying (NCEES) and administered at Pearson VUE test centers as acomputer-based exam. After you pass the FE Exam, you will earn the Engineer in Training (EIT)certification. All architectural engineering students are encouraged to take the FE Exam as thefirst step in obtaining their professional license. More firms and agencies are starting to requireprofessional licensing and having the FE completed puts you on a path to the highly desirablecredential of Professional Engineer.How do you register for the FE exam?To register to take an FE exam in Pennsylvania, visit this page. The FE is offered in sevendisciplines: FE Chemical, FE Civil, FE Electrical and Computer, FE Environmental, FEIndustrial and Systems, FE Mechanical, and FE Other Disciplines. Architectural engineeringstudents would probably be most qualified to take the Other Disciplines exam, but you can takeone of your choosing. Most Penn State AE students previously taking the FE have indicated thatthey take the “FE Other Disciplines.” Penn State AE students who register and successfully passthe FE Exam before they graduate are eligible to receive a 100 award from the Department of
Architectural Engineering. To learn more about this award and apply, please visit AE FE ExamSupport Award.What can you take to an FE exam session?The NCEES Examinee Guide is the official guideline to all policies and procedures for FEexams. Keep in mind that the types of calculators that you may use at the exam is also limited byNCEES and can be found here. Note that effective July 1, 2020, the FE exam specifications willchange. To learn more about the changes, please see Exam Specifications section on NCEESWebsite. Note that due to delays in physically scheduling a time at a test center, especially due tovirus-related restrictions in some locations, the exam specification in place when you take theexam may be different than the one in place when you register. Make sure you always check thelatest exam specification as a part of your preparation process.The only reference material that can be used during the exam is the NCEES FE ReferenceHandbook. You will be provided with an electronic reference handbook during the exam. Afteryou have registered but prior to your exam, you may gain access to the handbook either bypurchasing a hard copy or by downloading a free electronic copy of the NCEES FE ReferenceHandbook by logging in to your MyNCEES account: Common Tasks Useful DocumentsView reference handbooks. A screenshot of this action is provided below.
FE Exam Study MaterialsOther than the NCEES FE Reference Handbook, the FE NCEES website also provides practiceexams that you can purchase. To do so, when you are logged in to your account, click on theExam Prep icon on the left sidebar. If you are taking FE Exam Other Disciplines, FE OtherDisciplines Practice Exam (effective through June 30, 2020) and FE Other Disciplines PracticeExam (effective with exams beginning July 2020) items are the ones you may purchase if youneed study materials to give you extra practice.Other than practice exams, there are several other study materials out there for free or topurchase. Note that although most PSU AE students take the “FE Other Disciplines,” there aresome overlaps between “FE Other Disciplines” and “FE Civil Engineering” or” FE Mechanical
Engineering”. There are sometimes some sections within the civil and mechanical engineeringstudy materials that have more generic reviews on math, science, etc. that may be helpful to you.The Penn State Engineering Library has some resources available on reserve or for check out. Toaccess, log in to your PSU My Library Account and search for “FE Exam Other Disciplines,”“FE Exam Civil,” or “FE Exam ME.”“Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Review” is a free course with self-paced videos onCoursera covering FE topics, particularly those in Civil and Mechanical Engineering. YouTubechannels “Engineering in Training Exam,” “Daily FE Exam,” and “enGENIEer” also offer morethan 100 videos on reviewing some critical concepts of FE exams and tips on how to prepare forthe FE exam. In addition, North Carolina State University's Engineering Online Program hasmade “FE Sample Questions by NCEES” available for free.Lastly, several online/print prep, review, and study materials are available on PPI2PASS, aKaplan Company, for purchase. You may find “FE Other Disciplines Practice Problems” and“FE Other Disciplines Review” items useful.Remember that there are no deductions for wrong answers so at some point fill in every answerbecause you theoretically have a 25% chance even with a guess according to exam prepguidelines. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the contents of the Reference Handbookmanual. How to effectively find formulas is very important as this is the only material you areprovided with during the exam.COVID-19 Testing InformationPlease note that currently you can continue to register for the exam at any time. And, you areencouraged to register as soon as possible because the backlog of physical times available fortaking the test is extensive for a variety of reasons.Officially test centers are open but use of the physical testing facilities for scheduling and takinga test is in the control of local and state officials. For example, in Pennsylvania these decisionsare being made by the Governor on a county-by-county basis and Pearson indicates they willfollow those rules. In other words, even though you hear a test center is open and staffed byPearson personnel, the center may not be open for you to schedule a test.Also, note that currently (as of mid-May, 2020) Pearson is allowing only one person in a testroom at a time and this policy is contributing to the backlog of actual testing days. Due tovarying state and county restrictions, examinees should frequently check the official websitesand should verify test centers are open and check requirements before arriving. For example, inmost cases, test centers will require examinees to provide their own face mask for admittance.Action Item
If you are intending to take the FE exam in the near future, the best course of action is toregister for the exam as soon as possible. You cannot obtain scheduling information or checkthe availability of a test center seat without first registering.Good Luck!Revision date: May 13, 2020