Anyone wishing to be licensed as a Professional Engineer (PE) in the United States must take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam as one of the first steps in the licensing process. Registering for the FE exam is more complicated than simply registering to take an exam; Registration requirements vary by state, but there are certain minimum qualifications that anyone taking the exam must meet, such as studying or having a degree from a properly accredited university. Most students are required to apply to their state licensing board for approval to register, but some states waive this requirement. The registration itself occurs online through the website of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.
The qualification process for the FE exam registration begins long before someone can actually take it. To become a licensed professional engineer, a person must generally earn a degree from an engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The first step in qualifying for the FE exam, therefore, is enrolling in an ABET-accredited bachelor’s program. A person can take the FE exam after having successfully completed about three years in that program.
Some non-engineering degrees may qualify someone to apply for the FE exam as well. A four-year degree in engineering technology from an ABET-accredited program or an engineering or science degree that meets certain minimum requirements will generally qualify. Any degree that qualifies a person to take the FE exam must have a minimum amount of work in math and engineering science, such as mechanical and electrical engineering courses.
The FE exam is generally taken during a student’s final year of undergraduate study, although it can also be taken by graduate students and individuals who already have an engineering degree. Many states require students to be within two semesters of graduating with a bachelor’s degree to take the exam. The applicant must submit an application form to their state licensing board in most states. A person can register for the FE exam only after receiving approval from their board. Some states do not require an application for FE exam registration as long as the examinee is an enrolled student or already has a qualifying degree.
FE exam Dates
The FE exam registration is managed online through the website of the National Council of Engineering and Surveying Examiners (NCEES), which also develops the exam. Once a person has received permission to register or has met the minimum requirements, they can go to the NCEES website and complete the registration process and pay the exam fee. The FE exam is administered in April and October of each year. Registration deadlines are mid-February for the April exam and mid-July for the October exam. In states where applicants must apply to take the exam, the application deadline is usually about a month before the registration deadline.
The dates for the 2022 FE Exam:
It is a five and a half hour long exam given in the mornings, every Monday-Saturday throughout the year.
How to prepare for the FE exam?
Passing the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is a critical step in an engineer’s career, as it is typically required prior to taking the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) licensing exam. Preparing for the FE computer-based test (CBT) can be overwhelming, as many of our students report that the FE exam is more difficult than the PE exam. Indeed, many FE examinees have noted studying for the difficult exam for up to 300 hours. To help alleviate stress and maximize study time, we’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you get through your studies and pass your FE Electrical and Computer exam.
Examine the FE Reference Manual
NCEES’s FE Reference Handbook is the only source material permitted for use during the exam. You can download for free from NCEES’ website prior to taking the exam. We recommend reading through the reference manual several times to ensure you understand where everything is located.
It is important to study from a diverse range of study guides and resource material which is why we suggest you a highly sought-after preparation course for the FE exam.
Examine the Exam Requirements and Specifications for the FE
Avoid being that person who arrives at the exam without bringing an ID. Ensure that you have thoroughly read all exam-day requirements, including the registration deadline, required documents, and calculators that are acceptable. Additionally, before initiating to study, review your exam’s specifications, as they detail the proportion of topics addressed on an exam.
Schedule Your Exam Strategically
When scheduling your exam, avoid scheduling it during holiday breaks or other occasions that will keep you from trying to study for extended periods of time. We suggest that you begin studying for the FE exam at least three months prior to the exam date.
How would you know once you’ve mastered a subject completely? By practicing! Whether you’re sitting for the FE Mechanical, FE Electrical, or FE Civil exam, practicing problems is an excellent way to prepare. After having studied a subject, practice 10-15 problems in that given topic area to assess your expertise. If you are able to correctly answer the practice problems, you can verify that you are fully ready for that particular subject. If you are having difficulty with the practice problems, suggest placing aside some additional time to review the subject. Finding a method of practicing for your FE exam that closely resembles the NCEES CBT expertise is possibly the most useful method of practicing problems.
In overview, you must sign up with NCEES and pay the FE examination fee prior to actually scheduling the FE exam. The procedure below outlines how to register for the FE exam and schedule it.
1. Set up an account on MyNCEES, the authority responsible for engineering specialist licensure in the United States.
2. Verify your MyNCEES account by checking your e-mail address.
3. After logging into MyNCEES, click on the ‘exams’ icon in the leftmost column.
4. Select ‘register for an exam.’
5. Complete all preconditions for exam enrollment and then click ‘register for an exam’ at the end of the list.
6. Click on the ‘fundamentals of engineering’ tab, then on the exam you intend to take.
7. Choose the board (state) in which you will be present physically when you sit the exam. If you relocate to some other state, you would not be required to take back the FE exam. Passing the FE exam is recognized on a national level.
8. Enter your billing information in order to pay for the exam enrollment.
9. Complete checkout and follow the on-screen instructions to schedule your exam at the most convenient test center.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register for the FE exam?
You can head to https://account.ncees.org/ and register for the FE exam by providing the required information.
How much does the FE exam cost?
A $175 payable fee is required for the exam.
Who can apply for the FE exam?
Those who have an undergraduate or graduate engineering degree in any program accredited by the EAC of ABET.