6 Most Important Items to Bring to the FE Exam [Checklist]

If you are prepared for the most important exam in your life, which leads you towards the journey of starting your career as a licensed professional engineer, then this article is for you. 

We understand that the stress must be immense right now, and all you can think about is what to bring to the exam.

Also, you might be worried about not knowing the FE exam rules. So many years of hard work and relentless dedication, yet it may feel like all of it will slip through if you miss the exam guidelines regarding what is permitted and what is prohibited. 

Well, no need to panic, we’ve got you covered. We have rounded up a list of the 6 most important items to bring to the FE exam. Just go through our FE exam checklist and we promise you that you won’t forget anything at the last moment.  In this article, we’ll also tell you what is prohibited to bring to the FE exam.

What to Bring to the NCEES® FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) Exam

Consider the following checklist before going to the FE exam venue:

  1. Be on time
  2. Bring Proper Identification to the NCEES® FE Exam
  3. Bring Your NCEES® Examination Appointment Confirmation Letter to the FE Exam
  4. Come with Earplugs to the FE Exam to avoid noises
  5. Bring the NCEES®-approved calculators to FE Exam
  6. Bring a clear/transparent plastic bag

1. Be on time

Be on time

The preparation for the FE Electrical exam goes on for months. During the time you prepare, you may stay up late at night and go to bed at odd times. This can mess up your sleep cycle. Also, because the FE exam can be challenging, stress might keep you up.

Since passing the exam depends heavily on time management, appearing at the examination venue on time is key. So, have a good night’s sleep before the NCEES® exam day, eat well, and rest. 

The more well-rested your mind is, the better your recall will be during the exam. As the FE exam rules are stringent, being late may lead you to become unable to participate in it.

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2. Bring Proper Identification to the NCEES® FE Exam

Bring Proper Identification Card

It is imperative to bring all the necessary documentation that is required on NCEES® exam day. The requirements are clearly stated in the FE exam rules handbook.

Be sure to check on all the needs before leaving for the venue and take good care of them upon reaching the venue. You will be asked for the proper identification documents, so be sure to have them on you when asked for.

3. Bring Your NCEES® Examination Appointment Confirmation Letter to the FE Exam

Appointment Confirmation Letter

The appointment letter you received is also an important document you have to bring on the NCEES® exam day. The FE exam rules clearly state it. Please read the handbook thoroughly before the exam. It will ensure that you do not forget any documents or identification cards you may need on the exam day.

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4. Come with Earplugs to the FE Exam to avoid noises

Come with Earplugs to the FE Exam

There will be noises and distractions that may happen during the exam from time to time. So instead of having to sit through them and having to fight for the focus intermittently, get a pair of comfortable earplugs.

These will help block out the noise and help you be wholly focused on the task at hand. The FE exam rules allow for the use of earplugs, and they need to be shown before entering the exam. 

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5. Bring the NCEES®-Approved Calculators to FE Exam

Bring the NCEES-approved calculators to FE Exam

As per the FE exam rules, there is a specific type of calculator allowed for use during the FE or PE exam. The violation of this rule will lead you to become ineligible to take the exam. Be sure to read the handbook and get the calculator that meets the criterion.

6. Bring a Clear/Transparent Plastic Bag

Bring a clear-transparent plastic bag

A clear bag or a box for your stationery is required. Find one entirely transparent and made of durable material as it will hold a lot of the stuff that you’ll need on NCEES® exam day.

What Should You Not Bring to the FE Exam

  1. Don’t Bring Cell Phones: Please refrain from bringing your mobile phone to the exam; it will be an immediate cause for disqualification and may even lead to being permanently banned. Mobile phones are strictly not allowed due to their use for cheating exams; this is mentioned in the handbook, so if you are not sure what to bring to the FE exam, read it carefully.
  2. Dressing Code: Wear clothes that do not have extra space for carrying materials; no need to attract unwanted attention to yourself. Do not bring any additional material to the exam for your assistance, and you can get banned or disqualified due to cheating.
  3. No Stationery: You will not need to bring your stationery; bring your calculator on the NCEES® exam day. These requirements are mentioned clearly in the FE exam rules, and be sure to read the handbook thoroughly.
  4. No Food: You are not allowed to chew gum throughout the exam, but you will be given a break between parts 1 and 2 which NCEES®enables test takers to exit the facility for a break.

Allowed vs. Prohibited Items for the FE Exam  

Being prepared for the FE Exam goes beyond studying the material. Arriving at the testing center with the right equipment is crucial for a successful test day. While the excitement (and maybe a few nerves) are understandable, knowing precisely what you can and cannot bring can significantly reduce pre-exam anxiety.

Here’s a breakdown of essential information to ensure you pack smart for the FE Exam:

Allowed Items

Imagine your exam day workspace. Think pencils, erasers, and a sharpener for making notes and calculations. These essential writing tools are your allies on exam day. Additionally, a silent, non-digital watch allows you to keep track of time during the exam (check with the NCEES guidelines for any specific restrictions on watches).

Prohibited Items

This section is equally important. Electronic devices like phones, calculators not approved by NCEES, and study materials must be left outside the exam room. These items are strictly prohibited, and bringing them could result in disqualification from the exam.

Here’s why these restrictions are in place: The FE Exam assesses your understanding of the fundamental engineering principles, not your ability to find information during the test. The NCEES ensures a fair and standardized evaluation for all test-takers by maintaining a secure testing environment.

Keeping it Clear

To avoid confusion on exam day, create two separate sections in your bag – one for allowed items and another strictly for prohibited items you’ll leave behind. Double-checking this ensures you’re well-prepared and focused on your exam performance.

Being organized and aware of these simple guidelines will contribute to a smooth and successful FE Exam experience.

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Do You Need to Bring Writing Materials to the NCEES® FE Exam?

The writing materials will be given to you. Make sure to test out all the materials before the commencement of the exam. You will be given a bound notebook, a marker, and a scratchpad.

There will be no need to bring your own writing materials. Everything you will or would need during the exam will be provided, except for a calculator. Make sure you bring your calculator with you on the NCEES® exam day. Make sure it fits the criteria given in the handbook.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1 - Can you bring snacks to the FE exam?

It is good to bring some food or snacks for yourself, and these edibles will be kept outside the testing area. So, make sure you get edibles that will last longer and not go wrong during the time between the exam and the breaks. The breaks are long enough to munch on some goodies before going back to work.

2 - What can I use on the FE Exam?

The only reference material that you will be allowed to have access to is the NCEES® reference book. This reference book can be purchased before to prepare better how to use it and get comfortable with it.

3 - Can you bring a cheat sheet to the FE exam?

You definitely cannot bring a cheat sheet to the FE exam. Refrain from taking such steps as they will most definitely result in disqualification or lifelong banning. Focus on working hard and developing yourself before taking the NCEES® exam, and this is the start of your career to focus on building a good one. Read the handbook for more details about what to bring to the FE exam.

4 - Do you get an equation sheet on the FE?

You will be given the latest version of the NCEES® reference book, and this will have the equation sheets in it. There is no need to bring your equation sheets; the equations sheets provided during the FE exam are also available through the NCEES® website. A good move would be to practice using them before going to the exam.

5 - Do you get scratch paper on the FE exam?

The writing materials given during the exam include a bound notebook, scratch paper, and a marker. So, rest easy; all the writing materials and equation sheets you will require will be provided to you by the NCEES®.

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Taking the FE exam can be a headache if you haven’t prepared well. So, cut all the distractions from your life and study hard before booking the exam. Every student will prepare for the exam differently, but on the exam day, all will be tested equally.

The materials provided by the NCEES® are beneficial, so make sure you have a good grip on them before the exam day. Lastly, you must read the handbook to be better informed about what to bring on the FE exam day.

In case you’re looking for actionable advice to ace the exam, check out our tips to pass the FE exam.


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.