Is Your Undergraduate Degree Preparing You for the FE Exam

Perhaps you’ve always had the desire to become an engineer. You are in college now, and you’re preparing yourself to become one finally.

But to become an engineer, you don’t just have to pass college, but you also need to pass the FE exam.

You may have heard that the FE exam is hard and this is true. There are many topics on the FE exam that are considered hard.

Before you attempt the FE exam, you must ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your undergraduate degree preparing you for the FE exam?
  • Will your university help you to reap the fruit of your dedication and hard work?
  • Do you even have the option to take the FE exam before graduation?

If you don’t have answers to these questions, don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we will be telling you if your university provides you with enough knowledge to pass the FE exam or not.

Furthermore, we will also discuss why you should take the FE exam and if you can take it before graduation.

Let’s get started.

Is Your College Helping You Prepare for the FE Exam?

Is Your College Helping You Prepare for the FE Exam

Your undergraduate engineering courses cover a wide range of crucial concepts, methods, and practical information. So, it is natural to expect to be taught the basics of engineering and the essential knowledge to take and pass the FE exam throughout those four years of college.


Unfortunately, the majority of universities fall short of this expectation, and here’s why:

1. As we all know, the FE exam is an extensive six-hour-long examination comprising 110 problems. Not all students possess the inborn capability to take and pass this physically and mentally exhausting exam. That’s why universities must mentally prepare their students for an examination like this. They should also guide them regarding how to study for the FE exam. However, numerous universities do not offer FE exam classes or study resources.

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However, we were able to find only a handful of universities that fulfill this requirement:

2. Another reason why your university isn’t helping you adequately prepare for the FE exam is that they do not encourage students to appear for the FE examination before completing their undergraduate degrees. Consequently, this can adversely affect your chances of passing as the fundamental information you gained while earning your engineering degree diminishes over time.

3. Lastly, it is about pushing the students, and convincing them to take the FE exam as early as possible. Colleges should be responsible for the well-being of their students and mentor them to make better life decisions. Simply offering some sort of benefit to the students like free course material or scholarship can encourage them to take the FE before graduating.

Sadly, several universities do not offer any financial rewards to students who attempt and pass the FE exam before their graduation, except for the ones mentioned below:

These universities award students $100 upon successfully taking and passing the FE exam during their undergraduate degree.

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Why Take the FE Exam?

Why Take the FE Exam

It is crucial to take the FE exam because it is the stepping stone to gaining your P.E license and becoming a Professional Engineer (P.E).

Here’s a list of benefits you can get by taking and passing the FE exam and qualifying as a Professional Engineer:

  1. Higher employment prospect
  2. Better income
  3. Boosts your resume
  4. Higher level of competency

1. Higher Employment Prospect

Taking and passing the FE exam brings up a plethora of employment prospects. It demonstrates to hiring managers that you are concerned about your profession and dedicated to progress on the journey of becoming a Professional Engineer (P.E). It will also give you an edge over other job applicants who applies for the same position but have not taken and passed the FE exam.

2. Better Income

Taking and passing the FE exam leads you to gain the PE license, which increases your income potential. You will be promoted and awarded a pay raise of approximately $2,000 to $5,000 per year almost instantly after becoming a licensed Professional Engineer. This can also direct you to establish your own engineering consulting company, which is another opportunity to enhance your income significantly.

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3. Boosts Your Resume

Taking the FE exam and passing it helps give your resume some extra heft, no matter if your GPA was exceptional or not. It demonstrates that, as an EIT, you have the drive and ambition essential to commit yourself to your career progression path.

4. Higher Level of Competency

Every company desires to hire someone with high moral values, current credentials, and professional competence. Taking and passing the FE exam shows employers that you are on your track to attaining all of these objectives.

We’ve written a separate blog about the benefits of passing the FE exam. You can give it a read if you want more clarity and in-depth information.

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.

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Bridging the Gap Between Academic Preparation and the FE Exam 

While a bachelor’s degree in engineering equips graduates with a strong foundation in theoretical principles, the FE Exam emphasizes applying those principles to solve practical engineering problems. This section explores strategies for bridging this gap and enhancing your preparedness for the FE Exam.

Understanding the Divide

Engineering curricula often prioritize in-depth exploration of theoretical concepts. The FE Exam, however, delves deeper into assessing a candidate’s ability to apply that knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Strategies to Close the Gap

  1. Focus on Application: Supplement your studies with resources that showcase practical applications of engineering fundamentals. Explore online tutorials, textbooks with practice problems focused on real-world scenarios, or specific FE Exam preparatory materials emphasizing applied problem-solving.
  2. Seek Real-World Examples: Look beyond theoretical exercises. Internship experiences or projects that allow you to apply your knowledge in a real-world setting actively can significantly enhance your understanding and problem-solving skills. This hands-on experience can dramatically improve your ability to translate theoretical knowledge into practical applications, aligning your skills more closely with the FE Exam format.
  3. Connect with Professionals: Network with practicing engineers or mentors. Their insights can bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application encountered on the FE Exam. Ask them how the FE Exam knowledge translates to everyday engineering work. Understanding how these concepts are used in the field strengthens your understanding and exam preparation.

Additional Considerations

Statistics reveal that only around 60% of recent engineering graduates pass the FE Exam on their first attempt. This highlights the importance of actively bridging the gap between academic foundations and the practical demands of the FE Exam.

Can I Take the FE Exam Before I Graduate?

The FE exam is a thorough assessment of the expertise and experience gained during undergraduate engineering studies.


You can take the FE exam before your graduation.

But is it the best time to take the FE exam?

The FE exam is encouraged by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES®) as an examination for undergraduates. It states that the FE exam is intended for recent graduates and individuals nearing completion of an undergraduate engineering degree from an EAC/ABET(Engineering Accreditation Commission/Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology)-accredited institution.

Teachers and engineers in the profession also strongly advise candidates to take the FE exam during their final semester of college.

It is because:

Undergraduate candidates are more likely to get better results than many graduate students in the FE exam. The information and knowledge necessary to pass the FE examination will be fresh in their minds since they study it daily in classrooms. They better understand the different concepts taught in mathematics, physics, and engineering courses that are essential within the engineering field.

You can read our blog to learn more about how taking the FE exam while still in college can benefit students.

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Taking and passing the FE exam can be the first step for undergraduate students to make their dreams of becoming an engineer and securing an entry-level job come true. That’s why it is always essential for undergraduate candidates to expect that their ABET-accredited university will provide them with the knowledge to help them pass the FE exam.

We hope we have provided enough information to help you answer: Is your undergraduate degree preparing you for the FE exam? Don’t forget to visit our blog section for more informative and interesting articles.


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.