Is the FE Exam Multiple Choice?

Is the FE exam multiple choice? This must be the first question popping up in your mind if you are considering taking the FE exam to get a PE license to become a licensed engineer.

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES®) created the fundamentals of engineering (FE) examination to evaluate the technical proficiency considered necessary in the engineering sector.

The FE test can be pretty tough, and being clueless about the question types appearing in the exam will only escalate your worries.

Thus, we will provide detailed information regarding the FE exam in this article to prevent you from falling into that pit of anxiousness. In addition, we will cover pointers like the types of FE exam problems, amount of questions you need to get correct, and if you can skip questions on the FE exam.

So without any further delay, let’s dive right in.

What Types of Questions Are on the FE Exam?

The FE exam comprises conventional multiple-choice questions and alternative item types (AITs). AITs allow evaluating candidates’ technical expertise in ways traditional paper-and-pencil examinations cannot.

AITs include the following 5 sorts of questions:

  1. Multiple-Choice Questions
  2. Multiple Correct Questions
  3. Point and click questions
  4. Drag and drop questions
  5. Fill in the blank questions

Let’s examine each kind of FE exam question in more detail:

1. Multiple-Choice Questions

These questions follow the conventional format in which there are four potential options, but just one of them is accurate.

Students typically feel most at ease answering questions of this nature. This is because most of the exams, tests, and quizzes you had to take during your engineering education were mainly MCQ-style. A few instances of standardized exams that are chiefly in MCQ style include the SAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, etc.

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2. Multiple Correct Questions

There are several valid answers to these problems, and you must select each one that applies. You won’t gain points for the question if you leave out even one correct option.

3. Point and Click Questions

In these questions, you will be provided with certain details, and then you must locate a particular object on an image to answer. Then, just click on the region to select it.

Relative to the multiple-choice questions you usually dealt with during your academic life, this type of question is rare. Therefore it’s crucial to take your time and ensure you’re correctly pointing to and selecting the correct answers.

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4. Drag and Drop Questions

You are presented with a visual and instructed to carry out a specific task, almost like point-and-click problems. Afterward, you must move the picture’s elements to match, categorize, arrange, or label.

5. Fill in the Blank Questions

As the name implies, you are given a question with a blank space, and you are expected to fill in that space with the correct answer.

As the term suggests, you are provided with a problem and an empty space, and you are required to fill in that area with the right response.

Since these questions tend to be deceptive, remember to pay close attention to them, especially when entering figures, as decimal spaces are critical. Additionally, avoid spelling out numerals, such as three, and instead express them in numerical forms, like 3.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that a handful of test problems will surface on your examination, but they won’t be scored and won’t impact your FE exam passing score. This purpose is for NCEES® to verify the viability of the updated FE exam problems and answers for future exams.

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Can You Skip Questions on the FE?

Yes, the FE exam does allow you to skip questions. If you feel a question is consuming a lot of time, or if after 15 seconds you get blank and don’t understand where to start, just flag it and proceed to the ones you are more sure about. Doing this will minimize the risk of running out of time and spending too much time on questions that appear tricky to respond to. Then, once you have answered every viable question, go back to the problems marked and begin answering them one at a moment.


The NCEES® solely awards points for correct responses; it does not consider or penalize wrong or vacant answers.


It’s always a good idea to venture a guess on a FE test question you don’t have any idea about.

To tell you more:

Every time you predict an answer, you have a 25% possibility of increasing your overall score!

But it is also crucial to plan ahead and not take anything easy. We recommend looking at the FE exam study tips to boost your odds of passing the exam.

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.

FE Exam Pass Rate

There’s no single answer because the FE exam uses a scaled scoring system. Here’s how it works:

Scaled Scoring – A Balancing Act:  Unlike some exams with a set pass mark, the FE exam utilizes a scaled scoring system. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) doesn’t reveal the exact number of correct answers needed to pass. Instead, they consider the overall difficulty of the specific exam form you took and how other test-takers performed on the same form. This ensures fairness even if exam difficulty varies slightly between administrations.

Targeting the Passing Zone:  Based on historical data and general estimates, scoring between 60-70% on the scaled score translates to answering correctly around 66-77 questions on the 110-question exam (with some variation depending on exam difficulty).

Let’s explore a scenario (remember, this is an estimate):

Imagine an FE exam form with a slightly higher difficulty level. In this scenario, to achieve a scaled score within the passing range (60-70%), you might need to answer correctly closer to 70% of the questions, translating to roughly 77 (70% of 110).

Focus on Mastery, Not Minimums: While the 60-70% range provides a target, it shouldn’t be your sole focus. The key is to prioritize understanding the core engineering concepts thoroughly. Utilize NCEES practice exams and reputable prep materials to assess your comprehension and identify areas for improvement. By mastering the material and practicing effectively, you’ll be well-positioned to achieve a scaled score within the passing range regardless of slight variations in exam difficulty.

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How Many Questions Do You Need to Get Right on the FE?

The NCEES® does not indicate how many questions you must solve correctly to clear the exam. Instead, the NCEES® explains that statistical psychometric techniques define a passing score without specifying what constitutes a FE exam passing rate.

It is because:

No two examinees sitting right beside each other get the same FE exam. Plus, the exam not only differs because of the sequential variance.

In fact:

The CBT system uses a linear-on-the-fly (LOFT) algorithm to pick each testee’s exam questions from its database randomly. This helps to avoid cheating to a greater extent.


Each exam has a comparable degree of difficulty and contains the same number of questions.


According to statistics and the opinions of most students, you’ll need to correctly answer 50–60% of the 110 problems to ace the FE exam.

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Although dealing with the FE test problems can be daunting, clearing the examination is not unachievable. With diligent studying and a solid mentality, you may ace the FE Electrical exam and chase your dream of becoming a licensed professional engineer. Remember that the secret to achieving success is perseverance and steadfast hard work. Thus, concentrate on your studies and prepare adequately for the FE examination rather than worrying.

We hope this article helped you answer your question: Is the FE exam multiple choice?

If you are interested in reading more informative engineering articles, we suggest you navigate our blog section.


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.