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FE Sample Exams

Updated on September 8, 2018

Starting January, 2014:

At the beginning of 2014, NCEES began a new format for the FE exam. Additionally, examinees must now register with Pearson VUE testing centers.

Exams will no longer be 120 morning questions and 60 afternoon depth questions. The new format is 55 questions in one session, a 25-minute break, and then a second 55-question session. The total time for the 110 questions is 320 minutes. The 5 hours and 20 minutes does not include the 25 minute break.

Registration for the new computer-based format began November 4, 2013.

The PE and SE exams will continue to be offered as pencil and paper examination booklets in April and October of each year. NCEES has posted scheduled dates until 2023 for the PE and SE. So, we can be confident those exams will not go CBT.

How to Study for the FE Exam

The NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering exam can be passed. The requirements are simple: Arrive on-time to the exam with the proper paperwork and identification. Then, answer a sufficient number of questions in the time allotted.

You already know this. Now, here is how you prepare. The best method to prepare for any event is to practice as close to reality as you possibly can. You are preparing to take an 8-hour engineering examination. So, your practice must include taking some 8-hour practice FE exams.

Practice FE sample exams reveal your strengths and weaknesses. They provide a metric to build a study plan.

FE/EIT Sample Examinations, 2nd Ed
FE/EIT Sample Examinations, 2nd Ed

4.5 stars out of a maximum 5 stars on Amazon. That says a lot. People often complain about price, quality, and many other details. Usually, a book with better than a 3.2 average rating is worth the price in the engineering examination review genre. The rating alone tells you this is a good buy. But, buy fast, they run out of stock quickly on this title.


How do you Pass the FE Exam?

A day off, travel, and lunch on the road are all expenses of the FE exam. Additionally, you surely told people at work, and they are excited with you to see you pass. You are making an investment. And, people are watching.

You need to know that you will pass before you even walk in the door. The only way to know that is to take practice exams during your review and preparation period. You will need to purchase some FE Sample Exams.

For more great tips like this, be sure to purchase your copy of Pass the FE like a Pro, by Robert A. Avila, PE.

I captained all the academic competitions in high school. I placed 7th in California for Physics, 2nd in my region for Chemistry, and 10th overall in mathematics. In Pass the FE like a Pro, I share the secrets to learning I've acquired in all those competitions.

Progression of score in practice tests for the engineering exam.
Progression of score in practice tests for the engineering exam. | Source

Interpret the Graph

I want to share three things with you about the graph of my practice exams results.

1. My first score was a dismal 32. However, a blushingly low first practice exam score is nothing to cause concern. The real reason to take this first practice FE exam is to learn:

a. You need to put in the review and study hours.

b. Your strengths and weaknesses must be known to schedule your review.

2. Between my second and third practice exams, my score jumped 28 points. I share how I did that in the book, Pass the FE like a Pro.

3. Though I studied more intensely in the weeks leading to the exam, my score on the 5th practice exam (spaced two weeks apart) actually dropped 2 points. And, in the last 4 weeks, my practice score only increased 4 points from 74 to 78. I have two theories as to the cause:

a. The material to learn is very extensive. If you know 60% of the material, the probability you will know how to solve any particular exam question is also 60%. But, that is true for a sampling of just one. If you take 40 samplings, then the number of questions you will know will range from something like 45 percent to something like 70 percent.

b. The brain-body system fatigues. After a certain point (varies person to person), the chances of correctly solving decreases, and the time per problem increases.

4. Management requires metrics. You need to measure something to extrapolate a future value. So, once you have two tests, you can graph a straight line and estimate your score on your exam date. As you continue to complete and score FE practice exams, you can create a best fit line to predict your exam day score. Just remember that there will be a statistical variation, up or down, in each score.

Must Have FE Practice Exam!

There are two reasons you should purchase this FE sample exam. First, it is provided for sale by the same people who manage the testing process. Their questions should be expected to be most like the actual exam in complexity and difficulty.

The second reason to purchase this exam is to form part of a group of at least two different sources for your practice examinations. Do not rely on just one author or publisher to take a peek into the nature and quality of the FE exam.

Though you need (minimum) two distinctly sourced exams, this NCEES FE practice exam should be one of them.

Hardest Subject on FE Exam?

Which Subject Area are you most Concerned about on the FE Exam?

See results

Which CBT Exam Will You Take?

Which exam will you take?

See results

The Fundamentals

Study Materials for the FE exam cover all the major topics. They are listed in the poll on this page. (Please vote!) Some topics are easier to learn and master than others. First, you have to learn the concepts. Then, you have to learn the application.

Easiest Subtopics

The easiest to learn and to master are ethics and engineering economics. After this, those topics which were studied in both high school and college (at least for science majors) will bring a lot of points with a well planned and executed review. These topics are mathematics, chemistry, probability, and computers.

Some Subtopics are Traditionally Challenging

The other five topics will require more time and attention in review. Engineering mechanics (statics and dynamics), material strength and properties, fluid mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and thermodynamics are more difficult for the average engineering person. If you have already taken and excelled in a course on one of these topics, review there first.

Reviewing topics you know will bring you a lot of points quickly. Reviewing topics you have never covered will also bring you fast points. When you've never covered a topic, even the easy pickings look like tough nuts to crack.

Review FE Practice Exam Results

After taking a Sample FE exam, review every problem. Review the missed problems. Why did you miss it? What equations and variables are involved? Where are these found in the FE Reference Handbook? Also review the answers you got correct. Did you score that question because you know how to answer it correctly? Or, did you guess?

FE Sample Exam Comparison

# of Exams
Reviewer Rating
FE/EIT Sample Examinations
Civil FE Sample Questions & Solutions (NCEES)
Other Disciplines: FE Sample Questions and Answers
The EIT/FE Exam "How to Pass on your First Try"
Other Disciplines: FE Sample Questions and Solutions
Other Disciplines: FE Sample Questions and Solutions

A Mining Engineer major used this book and nothing else to pass. It includes 60 morning problems and answers and 30 afternoon (half of an exam.) Some are easy and some are challenging, just like the actual exam.


Other Disciplines FE Exam

One of the seven options for the FE exam is "Other Disciplines." NCEES developed this exam to meet a necessity. Many colleges and universities' engineering programs do not fit into the other six categories. Their graduates still use the same examination and licensure path, however.

So, NCEES, in conjunction with university representatives, developed the "Other Disciplines" topic for the FE exam. The topics covered on this exam are:

Mathematics (15%)

Engineering Probability and Statistics (7%)

Chemistry (9%)

Computers (7%)

Ethics and Business Practice (7%)

Engineering Economics (8%)

Engineering Mechanics (Statics and Dynamics) (10%)

Strength of Materials (7%)

Material Properties (7%)

Fluid Mechanics (7%)

Electricity and Magnetism (9%)

Thermodynamics (7%)

How to Register for the FE Exam

You will need to register with both your state board and with NCEES. Then, you must schedule with Pearson VUE.

0.1 Download and read the NCEES Examinees Guide. This is actually required before you begin the registration process.

1. Register with NCEES and create a MyNCEES account. Do this at (Link goes directly to registration page.)

2. Wait for confirmation you successfully created a MyNCEES account.

3. Return to and login. Select "Schedule" and then follow the on-screen instructions.

You must login to schedule an exam via your MyNCEES account, not directly via the Pearson VUE site.
You must login to schedule an exam via your MyNCEES account, not directly via the Pearson VUE site. | Source

How to Register for the FE Exam (cont.)

4. Pay $225 to register. (If you fail the first attempt, you pay again, $225.)

5. You might also be required to register with your state board. For example, Florida charges $30 and the application is a downloadable form. California, on the other hand, is one of the states which does not require registration with the state. During the registration process, NCEES will notify you if your state requires registration.

You can execute the registration any time of day or night, even on holidays. But, examination dates are grouped into 2-month segments of each quarter of the year. So, January and February are testing months. But, March is not. Here are the testing windows:

FE Exam Dates

No Testing
Cold, so people are indoors anyway
Follows Xmas, New Year's, parties, traveling
Fair weather for driving; late May good for students
maybe best time for college students
maybe none
Another good time if work/course load not too heavy
follows summer break- might be rusty without study discipline
Mechanical FE Sample Questions and Solutions
Mechanical FE Sample Questions and Solutions

Some who passed say this is a "must have." I agree it is a necessary purchase. You need to know the difficulty level and variability of the types of questions NCEES prepared for you. The best source is, of course, NCEES itself.


Valuable Supplementary Materials

Your most valuable materials will be FE sample exams, your old text books, and materials provided by NCEES. But, you will also benefit from an overall guide. You will need to schedule your time.

Pass the FE Like a Pro contains wisdom from engineers who already passed the FE. It is about preparing for and passing the FE exam.

Want to know how to register for the new CBT exam? The format? Time to answer questions? Best books for review and prep? All those answers and more in this low-priced ebook.
Want to know how to register for the new CBT exam? The format? Time to answer questions? Best books for review and prep? All those answers and more in this low-priced ebook. | Source


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    • Steel Engineer profile imageAUTHOR

      Steel Engineer 

      5 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine


      While the format of the exam administration has changed, the goal of the exam is the same: to test the knowledge and ability of examinees. NCEES determined to create the new exam years ago. The questions you will find on your exam were inserted into the pencil & paper exams of previous years.

      The questions are vetted, scaled, and calibrated by statistical analysis and then by a review board of professional engineers, representatives of the major colleges, and some others.

      So, the questions will be very much like the questions of previous years.

    • tamarawilhite profile image

      Tamara Wilhite 

      5 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      While the schedule has changed, are the questions on the FE exam essentially the same?


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