Which FE Exam Topics are considered the hardest?

Hmm, this is a tough and potentially controversial question. Different candidates have different strengths and weaknesses and a topic that’s extremely difficult for one candidate may be easy for another.

However, there is generally some general consensus among students. Certain FE topics are generally considered more difficult than others by most students.

To help you figure out the hardest FE exam topics so you can prepare better, we’ve shortlisted a few topics from the FE Electrical and Computer Exam that are commonly reported as difficult by our students.

Let’s get started.

Hardest FE Exam Topics

Following are the hardest FE exam topics you should know:

  1. Communications
  2. Computer Topics
  3. Control Systems
  4. Probability and Statistics
  5. Linear Systems
  6. Signal Processing

1. Communications

The Communications topic is usually considered the hardest of the FE exams because it covers a lot of material and requires a strong understanding of basic concepts. The topics covered in Communications include:

  • Basic communication theory
  • Signal analysis
  • Modulation and demodulation
  • Channel coding
  • Error correction
  • Data compression
  • Multiplexing
  • Telecommunications systems

These are just some of the topics that are covered in Communications.

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2. Computer Topics

The questions in the computer topics section are often very specific and can be difficult to understand if you don’t have a strong background in the subject.

NCEES® FE Reference Handbook will be the only reference material allowed during the exam. It will be visible to the left of your computer screen for reference. You should spend some time going through all sections of the reference handbook to achieve a good grasp of where the relevant information is located.

In the FE Exam, every minute counts. And you’ll certainly thank yourself if you can save a few minutes by knowing exactly where to find what you’re looking for during the real exam.

Note: To learn the art of how to answer the hardest question, enroll in my FREE Webinar now!

3. Control Systems

There are many reasons why Control Systems are considered the hardest topic on the FE exam. First, the material can be very theoretical and difficult to grasp. Second, the problems on the exam are often very challenging, requiring a deep understanding of the concepts. Third, there is a lot of material to cover, and it can be difficult to know what is important and what is not. Overall, Control Systems is a difficult topic, but it is possible to do well on the exam if you are prepared and have a good understanding of the concepts.

4. Probability and Statistics

Statistics questions in particular were reported by students to be more challenging than other topics. Probability and Statistics are considered the hardest FE exam topic by students for a variety of reasons. First, probability is a fundamental concept in statistics, and many students find it difficult to understand. Second, the statistical methods used to calculate probabilities can be complex, and students often struggle to grasp the underlying theory. Finally, probability and statistics are used to make inferences about populations, which can be difficult to understand and apply. As a result, students who take the Probability and Statistics FE exam often find it to be the most challenging and frustrating of all the topics covered on the exam.

5. Linear Systems

Linear Systems is considered the hardest FE exam topic by students for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, Linear Systems is a highly theoretical topic, with a large number of difficult calculations required to solve problems. Secondly, the topic is often not well-covered in the standard engineering curriculum, so students often feel underprepared when they encounter it on the exam. Finally, Linear Systems problems can be very time-consuming to solve, meaning that students often run out of time before they are able to finish all the questions on the exam. All of these factors combine to make Linear Systems a difficult and challenging topic for students, and one that is often considered the hardest FE exam topic. Laplace Transform questions in particular on test day have consistently been discussed by most students as difficult.

6. Signal Processing

Questions on the Convolution lessons, in particular, are often reported by a number of students as difficult. Again, we’d like to reiterate that this is by no means an objective list of difficulties. It is simply a compilation of the opinions of the majority of our students.

The best way to prepare for the FE exam for difficult topics is to effectively learn the concepts behind them and actively practice as many questions as you can. Study For FE has in-depth lectures that are remarkably designed to teach and solidify your concepts in addition to Study Guides, online quizzes, and exam simulations that are incredible resources for practice.

Is the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Hard?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask. Some people find the exam to be relatively easy, while others find it to be quite challenging. There is no right or wrong answer, as everyone has a different level of experience and knowledge. We have a separate blog on how hard the FE exam is. Consider reading that for more clarity.

However, if you are well-prepared and have a good understanding of the material, you should be able to do well on the exam.

Which Is the Easiest FE Exam to Pass?

The FE is available in seven different disciplines, therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the difficulty of each FE exam depends on the individual test-takers background and preparation. However, some students find that the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) exam is one of the easier exams to pass. This may be due to the fact that ECE covers a broad range of topics, making it easier to find resources and study materials. In addition, the ECE exam is offered in a computer-based format, making the exam convenient to take.


The hardest FE exam topics are those that have the most calculations and require the most theory. These topics can be difficult to remember, so it is important to use mnemonic devices and practice problems as much as possible. You should also familiarize yourself with the equations that will be used on the exam. Finally, don’t forget to take breaks and relax! Studying for a long time without any breaks can actually lead to decreased performance. The best way to prepare for these hard FE Exam Topics is by using mnemonic devices, practicing problems, and familiarizing yourself with equations. Remember to take breaks and relax; you don’t want to burn out before test day! We hope this article has helped.

Wasim Asghar – P.E, P.ENG, M.ENG

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.

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