When to Take FE Exam? [What Is the Right Time]

It is no surprise that the FE exam is a far better investment for engineering students than anything else. If you want to work as a professional engineer, you must pass this exam.

Any student with an engineering degree is eligible to take the FE exam, and they can take it at any time after their senior year. However, many students are still unsure when to take the FE exam.

Most professors recommend taking the exam immediately following graduation. It may not appear to be the most practical solution to many of you, but the reason is simple. A recent graduate is well-versed in various subjects and has recently taken exams.

If you wait a few years before taking this professional exam, you are more likely to forget a few details and will have to study twice as hard as a recent graduate. Trigonometry and chemistry are two examples of such topics. Yes, these are exciting subjects that many engineering students enjoy. But, keep in mind that you’re still a human, and the longer you wait, the harder it will be for you to prepare yourself for taking the FE exam.

Some people still believe that one should gain some field experience before entering this professional stage. Without a doubt, experience is essential. Nonetheless, it frequently consumes so much of your time, energy, and mental capacity that it eliminates many concepts that don’t come in handy while doing the job but are still a part of the exam.

On a lighter note, taking the exam right after graduation or near the end of your senior year would be the best time. You can study for the FE exam without relearning all the core concepts from scratch.

Furthermore, you must understand that as a recent graduate, you might not have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders. If you put off getting your professional engineering license for too long, there is a good chance that life and responsibilities will interfere with your exam preparation. So, we recommend taking the FE exam right after graduation. 

Who Is Eligible to Take the FE Exam?

Eligible to Take the FE Exam

Let’s move on to individuals that are eligible to take the fundamentals engineering exam. Yes, there is a requirement and a minimum eligibility criterion. To be eligible, anyone with a degree in engineering or a closely related field can take the exam. Students in their final year of the ABET can also sit for the exam.

How to Register for the FE Electrical Exam?

Register for the FE Electrical Exam

Now that you have made up your mind regarding the best time to take an exam, let’s dive deeper into understanding the registration process.

Just like any other exam, you need to follow a proper registration procedure for the FE exam too. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES®) is primarily responsible for processing registration applications.

Don’t worry, the process is pretty straightforward.

First, you have to create an account on the MyNCEES website as they are in charge of the exams and license for all engineering practices. You have to register by entering your email ID and picking a username for your profile. Once that is done, set a password for your account.

Once you click on the create my account option, you will receive a confirmation email on the ID you entered before for verification. Follow the instructions in the email to complete the final account creation steps.

Once you log in, you will notice a red and black panel on the left-hand side. Spot the “exams” option and click on it.

The exam icon will now direct you to a page that asks “register for the exam.” Here, you will see a few blanks where you have to enter all the prerequisite details for the examination. Once you complete it, click on the “register for the exam” option.

Now, you must select the module. Many students try to go for the easiest FE exam. Which FE should you take is up to you. Choose the “FE electrical and Computer” option for the FE Electrical Exam.

Next, you have to select the state board where you will be present at the examination. No, if you move to another state, you will not have to retake the exam and undergo the entire process again. It is recognizable in all states.

Now click on the continue option, which will take you to a page with exam preparation material. But don’t rush it, have a look at all your preparation options, and then decide.

Now, enter all your billing details to pay the fee for the exam. The amount is $175. Finally, you can check out by following the instructions on display to schedule an exam at the nearest test center. For step-by-step instructions, you can check out our separate article on how to register for the FE exam

Frequently Asked Questions:

1 - Can I take the FE exam before I graduate?

Yes, a graduate-level student can take the FE exam while in their senior year of graduation. Many might even say that a student can take the FE exam in their first year, but that is not feasible as many topics are not covered for the exam.

2 - When should I start studying for the FE exam?

As with any exam, the best time to start studying for the FE exam is as soon as possible. This will give you the most time to familiarise yourself with the material and to work on any areas that you may be weak in. It is recommended that you begin the preparation at least two to three months before the exam.

3 - How long can you wait to take the FE?

First of all, the FE exam is scheduled after every three months throughout the year. A student can make three tempts within 12 months. Since the FE exam is difficult, before preparing, ask yourself this – should I take the FE exam. If you’re really up for it, only then start preparing. Speaking of preparing, we definitely recommend going through our FE exam preparation tips.


So that’s a wrap. Hopefully, the article must’ve answered your question regarding when to take the FE exam. Just a recap, there is no “right” time to take the exam. The choice is yours. Weigh all the factors you deem necessary to decide when to take the FE exam. After all, it is about your career and your license as an engineer.

Wasim Asghar – P.E, P.ENG, M.ENG

Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas (PE), Florida (PE) and Ontario (P. Eng) with consulting experience in design, commissioning and plant engineering for clients in Energy, Mining and Infrastructure.