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Will the FE exam topics change after June 2020?

Yes, beginning in July 2020, numerous FE exam topics were added or removed. It's crucial to utilize up-to-date study materials during your exam preparation. Several prep textbooks available are now outdated, containing topics that are no longer pertinent to the FE exam. Click here to view a comprehensive list of the updated exam topics.

Is the FE exam open book or open notes?

The FE exam is neither open book nor open notes. However, you will be provided with an electronic reference handbook during the exam, which contains all the necessary equations, tables, and information you might need to solve the problems. You are not allowed to bring any personal notes or physical reference materials into the exam room. It's essential to familiarize yourself with the provided reference handbook during your exam preparation to efficiently navigate it during the test.

Can you go back to first half of the FE exam?

No, you cannot go back to the first half of the exam once you have completed it and moved on to the second half. The FE exam is divided into two sections, with a scheduled break in between. Once you finish the first section and take the break, you cannot return to review or change your answers in the first half. It is essential to manage your time wisely and review your work within each section before moving on to the next.

How do I find FE exam test dates?

To find available FE exam test dates, you'll need to create an account on the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website ( Once you have an account, you can register for the FE exam and select your preferred testing location. Upon selecting the location, the system will display available test dates and time slots for you to choose from. Keep in mind that the FE exam is offered year-round, but test dates may fill up quickly, so it's recommended to schedule your exam well in advance.

How is the FE Exam Scored?

The FE exam is scored using a criterion-referenced approach, which means that your performance is compared to a predetermined standard rather than the performance of other examinees. The NCEES uses a psychometric statistical method to set the passing score, ensuring that only candidates demonstrating a minimum level of competency pass the exam. The raw score, or the number of correct answers, is then converted to a scaled score ranging from 0 to 100, with a specific passing score determined by NCEES for each exam discipline. The exact passing score is not publicly disclosed, but it generally falls between 60 and 70 correct answers out of the 110 questions on the exam.

How much does the FE Exam Cost?

The FE exam registration fee is $175. This fee is paid directly to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) when you register for the exam on their website ( Please note that this fee is subject to change, and additional fees may apply for rescheduling or changing your exam discipline. It is always a good idea to check the NCEES website for the most current information on exam fees and related costs.

What is the passing score on the FE Exam?

The FE exam does not have a specific "passing grade" in terms of percentage. Instead, it uses a criterion-referenced approach, with a predetermined passing score based on a demonstration of minimum competency. This passing score varies for each exam discipline and is set by the NCEES using a psychometric statistical method.

The raw score (number of correct answers) is converted to a scaled score ranging from 0 to 100. Although the exact passing score is not publicly disclosed, it generally falls between 60 and 70 correct answers out of the 110 questions on the exam. Keep in mind that the passing score may change slightly for each exam administration depending on the difficulty level of the questions.

How long is the FE Exam?

The FE Exam has a total duration of 6 hours, which includes a scheduled 25-minute break. The exam consists of 110 multiple-choice questions divided into two sections. You'll have approximately 2 hours and 55 minutes to complete the first section, followed by the 25-minute break. After the break, you'll have another 2 hours and 40 minutes to finish the second section. It is important to manage your time wisely during the exam, allocating an average of about 3 minutes per question to ensure you have enough time to complete all the questions.

How difficult is the FE Exam?

The difficulty of the FE exam can vary depending on an individual's background, experience, and level of preparation. The exam is designed to test the fundamental engineering knowledge and problem-solving skills of recent engineering graduates or students close to completing their undergraduate degrees. While some candidates may find the exam challenging, it is generally considered manageable with adequate preparation.

To improve your chances of success, it's essential to review all the relevant topics outlined in the NCEES exam specifications, practice with sample questions, and familiarize yourself with the provided reference handbook. With diligent preparation, focused study, and effective time management, many candidates can pass the FE exam on their first attempt.

When do I get my results back?

The FE exam results are typically available within 7-10 days after the exam date. NCEES has transitioned to computer-based testing (CBT), which allows for a quicker evaluation of the exam and faster reporting of the results. You will receive an email notification from NCEES once your results are available. To view your results, log in to your MyNCEES account on the NCEES website ( The results will be reported as either "pass" or "fail," and if you do not pass, you will receive a diagnostic report showing your performance in each of the exam content areas to help you prepare for future attempts.

How many times can I take the FE Exam, and how often?

You can take the FE exam as many times as you need to pass, but there are some restrictions on the frequency of attempts. After your first attempt, you must wait at least three months before retaking the exam. If you do not pass the exam after three attempts, you will be required to wait six months between each subsequent attempt. Additionally, you are limited to a maximum of three attempts within a 12-month period. These rules are in place to ensure candidates have sufficient time to reassess and improve their preparation before retaking the exam.

Why take the FE Exam?

Taking and passing the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam is an important milestone for engineering graduates as it marks the first step toward becoming a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). Some key reasons to take the FE exam include:

1) Career Advancement: Passing the FE exam and obtaining the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) or Engineering Intern (EI) certification demonstrates your commitment to the engineering profession, enhances your credibility, and can improve your job prospects.

2) Path to Licensure: To become a licensed Professional Engineer, you must first pass the FE exam, gain the required work experience under a licensed PE, and then pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.

3) Increased Earning Potential: Earning the EIT or EI certification and eventually becoming a licensed PE can lead to higher salaries, as many employers value the skills and knowledge gained through licensure.

4) Expanded Opportunities: As a licensed PE, you can take on greater responsibilities, such as signing off on engineering plans, working as a consultant, or starting your own engineering firm.

Overall, taking the FE exam is a crucial step in advancing your engineering career and achieving professional recognition within the industry.

Does it matter which FE Exam I take?

No, the FE exam discipline you choose does not impact your EIT certification or PE licensure. For instance, individuals aiming for an Environmental PE license might opt to take the Civil FE exam rather than the Environmental FE. The chosen FE discipline does not restrict your options for obtaining a PE license in your desired field.

What kind of questions are on the FE Exam?

The FE exam consists of 110 multiple-choice questions designed to test your fundamental engineering knowledge and problem-solving skills across various engineering disciplines. The questions are divided into two sections, and the content of the questions is based on the specific discipline of the exam you choose (e.g., civil, mechanical, electrical, etc.).

The exam questions cover a wide range of topics as outlined in the NCEES exam specifications for each discipline. These topics typically include mathematics, engineering sciences, engineering mechanics, materials, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electrical circuits, and discipline-specific subjects.

While some questions may require straightforward calculations or direct application of concepts, others may involve problem-solving or conceptual understanding. To succeed in the exam, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the exam specifications and practice a variety of question types during your preparation.