Taking the FE Exam While You’re Still In College

The FE exam stands for “Fundamentals of Engineering Exam.” It is mandatory for engineering students to take this exam as it will help them in creating an incredible future by becoming professional engineers or PE. The best part of the FE exam is that you can easily take it from your preferred state or region as it is a computer-based test.

Most college students don’t think about the FE exam until their junior or senior year, but there are benefits to taking it while you’re still in school. In this post, we discuss some of those benefits and offer tips on how to study for the FE exam while you’re still in college. So if you’re thinking about becoming a Licensed Professional Engineer (PE), read on!

Best Time to Take the FE Exam

The best time to take the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam depends upon everyone’s personal situation. That said, it is good to take the FE exam once you are graduated or experienced enough but it is not necessary. Probably, it will be more beneficial for you if you take the FE exam while you are still in college.

The chances of college students performing more efficiently than many graduated candidates are higher in the FE exam. It is because the knowledge that is required to pass the FE exam would be fresh in college students’ minds as they are regularly learning it by attending classes in colleges. This better understanding increases their chances of scoring better.

Another reason why it is best to take the FE exam while students are still in college is that they’ll ample chances to retake the exam if they fail. You can take the FE exam up to three times a year, giving you plenty of time to pass and graduate. Most students prefer to take the exam in the latter half of their junior year. That said, as a senior, you will have covered more material while still in school.

Why Taking the FE Exam While Still in College Is Recommended?

Many students think that they will only get good results if they take at least a year for the FE (fundamentals of engineering) exam preparation after graduation. However, the longer a student waits to take the FE exam, the harder it gets for them to score good marks in it.

So, delaying the FE exam isn’t a good idea.

To get better results, it is advised to take the FE exam while you are in your last year or as soon as you graduate.

According to research by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES®), taking the FE exam while you’re still in college increases the likelihood of passing that exam. There are some colleges where passing the FE exam is compulsory for students to obtain their graduate degrees.

All in all, it is better to take and pass this test as early as possible.

Format and Timing of the FE Exam

Every year, the FE exam is given during the months of January to February, April to May, July to August, and November to October.

The FE (fundamentals of engineering) exam is basically a comprehensive test of all the information and knowledge that students have gathered during their undergraduate studies in engineering. This exam consists of 110 multiple choice questions, which candidates have to complete in the given time of six hours.

During the given six hours, candidates get a tutorial video to watch, break time, and also a short survey at the end of the exam. This way, the actual time to complete the FE exam becomes 5 hours and 20 minutes.

The FE Exam Registration Procedure

Students can easily get themselves registered for the FE exam. All they need to register is to visit the NCEES® website and log in to their accounts. After that, click the “Register” button and follow the instructions that appear on the screen. You can check out the detailed registration process in our separate guide.

Cost and Passing Ratio of the Exam

The cost of the FE exam is $175, which is directly payable to NCEES® during the process of registration. You can check out the complete detail here.

As for the FE exam passing rates, they vary based on different disciplines. For example, FE Civil and FE Chemical both have different pass rates. You can check out the pass rates for different FE disciplines here.

Benefits of Taking the FE Exam

Following are the few benefits of taking the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination:

  1. More career opportunities
  2. Increased chances of being hired
  3. Higher salary
  4. Recognition and status
  5. Raise your profile within the company and outside
  6. Gain confidence to take on bigger challenges


This wraps up our short blog on why you should take the FE exam while you’re still in college.

If you are still in college, it is not too late to start studying for the FE Exam. In fact, starting early may give you a better chance of passing the exam on your first try. The best way to prepare for the exam is to find an FE review course that fits your needs and budget.

Don’t forget to practice solving problems using the NCEES handbook so you can become comfortable with the format of the test questions. And lastly, don’t stress out! The FE Exam is definitely challenging, but if you put in enough effort, you will be able to pass it.

Are you ready to get started?


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.