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

Taking the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is one of the best decisions an engineering student can make as an investment in their career. The FE exam is a requirement for becoming a professional engineer (PE). Anyone with an engineering degree can take the examination.

However, some students may be thinking about when to take FE exam or have some confusion regarding the exam itself.

The answer to this is quite simple. A final-year engineering student or a fresh graduate should take the FE exam to make the most of the opportunity and add credibility and certification to their professional profile, making them more employable in this sector.

So why should engineering students take the fundamentals of engineering exam before they have a year or two of experience after graduation? Although such an approach is ideally allowed, it may make passing the test more challenging for the individual.

Now that we know the best time to take the FE exam let us explore other avenues of this write-up, which includes the FE exam eligibility and how you can register for the same.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1 - Who is eligible to take the FE exam?

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.

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

Yes, a graduate-level student can take the FE exam 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 still need to be covered.

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

As with any exam, the best time to study for the FE exam is as soon as possible. This will give you the most time to familiarize yourself with the material and work on any areas in which you may be weak. You must begin the preparation at least two to three months before the exam.

4 - How long can you wait to take the FE exam?

First, 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, ask yourself: 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.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Test Date

Taking the FE Exam is a significant milestone for aspiring engineers. To maximize your success, selecting an optimal test date is crucial. You can do this by:

Balancing Commitments and Study Time: It is paramount to assess your current obligations realistically. Upcoming work deadlines, academic commitments, or significant personal events can disrupt your study schedule. Choose a test date that allows for focused preparation without feeling overwhelmed.

Securing Study Materials: The FE Exam demands a thorough preparation. Ensure you have all the necessary study materials – textbooks, practice problems, online resources – well before your chosen test date. Delays in acquiring these materials can disrupt your study plan, potentially requiring adjustments to your schedule.

Alignment with Exam Availability: The FE Exam is offered three times a year (typically January-February, April-May, and July-August). It is essential to consider your study pace and desired completion timeline. Choosing a test date that aligns with your planned study period ensures you’ll be well-prepared on exam day.

Personal Learning Style: Understanding your preferred learning style can help you choose a test date that aligns with your most productive study period. Do you thrive under pressure and benefit from a closer deadline, or do you perform better with a more relaxed, longer study timeframe?Exam Location and Logistics: Factor in the testing center’s location and any logistics involved. Will you need to travel? If so, consider travel time and potential disruptions. Booking your exam date well in advance can give you more options for choosing a convenient testing location.

If you’re seeking a comprehensive resource for your FE Electrical exam preparation, check out our FE Electrical Exam Prep course.

Our proven, on-demand content and live training have successfully helped thousands of students pass their FE exam.

5 Things to Note Before Taking the FE Exams

 But before you dive in, some essential preparations can significantly boost your chances of success. Here’s a breakdown of essential things to know before taking the FE Exam:

1. Know Your Discipline

The FE exam comes in various disciplines, each focusing on a specific engineering field. Choose the exam that aligns with your engineering background and area of interest. Familiarize yourself with the particular exam content outlined by NCEES, but also explore resources from engineering organizations in your discipline. For example, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) offers targeted FE exam prep materials specific to civil engineering [[invalid URL removed]].

2. Develop a Strategic Study Plan

Remember to consider the importance of a structured study plan. Allocate sufficient time for studying, considering your learning style and the time remaining before your exam. Utilize various resources like textbooks, practice problems, and online courses. Aim to understand core concepts, not just memorize formulas.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

There’s no substitute for practice when it comes to the FE exam. Work through practice problems from various sources, simulating the actual exam format. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, improve your time management skills, and build exam-taking confidence. Here are two sources for practice problems:

  • National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Practice Exams: While NCEES doesn’t publish complete practice exams, they offer a helpful practice exam question format and solution guide.
  • Engineering FE Review Courses: Many organizations offer FE review courses that include practice problems and solutions. Look for courses from reputable engineering organizations or test prep companies.

4. Understand the Exam Format

The FE exam is computer-based and consists of two multiple-choice sections with a short break in between. Familiarize yourself with the exam format, question types (including multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and drag-and-drop), and the reference handbook provided during the exam.

5. Exam Day Essentials

A good night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast, and a positive attitude are crucial for exam day. Pack your approved calculator, a valid ID, and any permitted comfort items according to NCEES guidelines.


We hope that through this write-up, you know when to take FE exam and are well-versed in its eligibility and registration process.

We recommend that once you have decided to take the FE exam and have registered for it, you must enrol in an FE prep electrical course to help you not only revise the current engineering fundamentals but also enable you to get a grip on the FE exam pattern and other content that will be covered in the examination.

So, what are you waiting for? Register for the FE prep course right away and start your journey toward taking the FE exam!

Related Reading


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.