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How to Use the FE Review Manual for the Civil CBT Exam

Updated on February 21, 2015

How to Study for the FE Exam (CBT Format)

The most popular review book for the FE exam is the FE Review Manual. However, the most recent edition was written for the paper and pencil version. Starting 1 January 2014, all exams are Computer Based Testing (CBT) exams.

This article explains how to use the power of the FE Review Manual to study for the FE exam in the new CBT format.

***Update 20 March 2014***

A new version of the FE prep manual has just been released. The FE Civil Review Manual is now available for sale on Amazon.

Use this link to see the best FE exam study materials (and the best prices): Best FE Exam Study Materials

The best prices for this new book can be found at Amazon.com. See direct link to the right. As you shop, add books to your cart. Afterward, you can delete titles for you which you found better alternatives.

I received an email from the publisher. She says the new FE Civil Review Manual "covers all knowledge areas of the FE Civil exam."

FE Review Manual

The most popular review tool for the FE Exam.
The most popular review tool for the FE Exam. | Source

Buy the FE Review Manual

FE Review Manual: Rapid Preparation for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, 3rd Ed
FE Review Manual: Rapid Preparation for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, 3rd Ed

This is the Fundamentals of Engineering Review Manual. If you don't already have your copy, better go get it! Check 3rd Party sellers for prices. If a good price is available, don't wait. It'll be gone in a day or two. This book is one of the best selling on Amazon. They move quick.

 

Not Everything is Covered

The new format is very different. Before, every type of FE exam had the same morning breadth exam. Now, each FE exam is discipline specific. There are no common "morning" portions. Additionally, the CBT exams include some topics which were not on previous exams. And, the FE Review Manual does not cover all topics on the new CBT FE exam.

Review the table below for a comparison of topics on the former paper and pencil format to the new CBT format. The first column is a topic covered in the pre-2013 or CBT format, or covered in both formats, as most are. The second and third columns show the total number of questions covered in the relevant format. The last column shows the chapter in the FE Review Manual that covers the topic. A hyphen means the topic is not covered.

Old vs New FE Exam Format

Topic
pre-2013 Format
CBT Format
FE Review Manual Chapter
Mathematics; Advanced Engineering Mathematics
25
7-11
III
Engineering Probability & Statistics
16
4-6
III (6-1)
Chemistry
9
 
XI
Computers / Computational Tools
7
4-6
XIV
Ethics and Business Practices
7
4-6
XVI
Engineering Economics
18
4-6
XV
Engineering Mechanics (Statics, Dynamics, and Application)
23
11-17
IV, V, VI
Strength of Materials
7
 
VI, XII
Material Properties
7
 
VI, XII
Engineering of Materials
11
 
XII
Fluid Mechanics
17
4-6
VII
Electricity and Magnetism
21
 
ch 43
Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer
22
 
VIII
Biology
5
 
X
Hydraulics and Hydrologic Systems
-
8-12
ch 24, 25
Structural Analysis
-
6-9
VI
Structural Design
-
6-9
VI
Geotechnical Engineering
-
9-14
-
Transportation Engineering
-
8-12
-
Environmental Engineering
-
6-9
ch 33, 34, 36
Construction
-
4-6
-
Surveying
-
4-6
-
Number of questions in each format, by topic. Morning and Afternoon totals are combined.

CBT Topics not Covered by the FE Review Manual

As you can see in the old vs. new comparison chart above, the following topics are not explicitly covered by the FE Review Manual:

  1. Geotechnical Engineering
  2. Transportation Engineering
  3. Construction
  4. Surveying

To study for these FE exam topics, you will need additional materials. Of course, the highly-reviewed FE Review Manual remains the best tool to prepare for the Fundamentals of Engineering exams.

Analysis of the Table

As the table plainly displays, there is a very big difference between the content in the old format and the content in the new format. The emphasis on the basics has been reduced. The test focus has shifted away from testing the academic rigor and moved toward testing for skills that will be relevant in practice.

Notice there are four topics not covered in the FE Review Manual:

  1. Geotechnical Engineering
  2. Transportation Engineering
  3. Construction
  4. Surveying

You will need to supplement the FERM with other materials. These are 25 to 38 questions out of a total of only 110 questions. Likely, this will be about 31 questions, plus or minus. This is 28% of the entire exam. You can't ignore that. You will need some supplementary materials.

This is what you're working for: An EIT Certificate. Pass the FE, and it's yours.
This is what you're working for: An EIT Certificate. Pass the FE, and it's yours.

How Much Study for the FE Exam?

How Long do you Plan to Study for the FE Exam?

See results

Should you Add "FE" or "EIT" after Your Name?

Once you pass the FE exam (best wishes), you have earned the right to add FE or EIT to your signature. Doing so respects the rigor of the engineering professional process. And, it shows people you are a professional.

Attaining EIT status is an earned right. It looks like this:

John Doe, EIT

Or:

Jane Doe, FE

It is not gender specific. Johns and Daves can use FE. Marys and Marthas can use EIT. It doesn't matter.

Once you have been in practice, or if you've been working in civil engineering for a while, you already know: people play fast and loose with the title of "engineer." There are people working as "Plans Review Engineer" in civil service. Yet, they have no engineering education and have never passed a formal exam. So, it helps the engineering community when legitimate engineering professionals identify themselves.

(Note: Some sites are saying that "FE" is only a title for an exam. They say only EIT is a professional title. However, the title PE and the title EIT are both derived from the abbreviation for professional exams. Now that the "engineer in training" exam has been renamed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, it is only a matter of time before FE becomes official, if it isn't already.)

Best Calculator for the FE exam.

Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator
Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator

This is the top user-rated calculator on the NCEES approved list.

 
This ebook covers how to study for the exam, where to find the best books, how to register for the new CBT exam, how the CBT exam is formatted, how to get discounts, and much more!
This ebook covers how to study for the exam, where to find the best books, how to register for the new CBT exam, how the CBT exam is formatted, how to get discounts, and much more! | Source

Pass the FE like a Pro

This ebook covers how to study for the exam, where to find the best books, how to register for the new CBT exam, how the CBT exam is formatted, how to get discounts, and much more!












New CBT Format

Watch the video below. The speaker reviews the new format for the first 30 minutes. The remaining 28 minutes are questions. The questions are worth hearing. They are the questions most people would ask.

Overview of the new CBT Format for the FE Exam

FE Exam Study Materials

Use the link to see the best FE exam study materials.
Use the link to see the best FE exam study materials. | Source

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