Ideally, we all want to pass every test in first attempt whether it is driving license (failed three times to before I got driver’s license) or PE license for obvious reasons. However, failures are encountered along the way before reaching goals by every successful individual or company. The important thing to remember is that, with every attempt you are actually getting closer to the finish line. Hopefully very soon you will find that the time and efforts spent were worth your while in the long run.
If you’ve done well in school will definitely help you in reviewing key knowledge areas much faster than others who struggled in core courses. To fully capitalize on past performance, practice as many questions as you can in order to gain complete proficiency in solving problems on FE exam.
It may also help to prepare some exam sections in groups of 3 or 4 in order to make use of synergies between them. For instance, following sections can be looked as individual blocks:
- Block # 1 – Math, Probability and Statistics, Engineering Economics, Ethics
- Block # 2 – Properties of Electrical Materials, Engineering Sciences
- Block # 3 – Circuit Analysis, Electronics, Linear Systems
- Block # 4 – Power, Electromagnetics
- Block # 5 – Signal Processing, Communications
- Block # 6 -Computer Networks, Computer Systems, Software Development
You can observe that Block # 1 carries the largest weight on exam as an individual aggregate. As such, my recommendation would be to invest proportional efforts in that area.
ECE is a very diverse engineering discipline (which is part of the challenge in preparing for FE exam) but for us to pass this exam, we have to stay as close to average in each section as possible while trying for perfect scores in areas of strength. To do so, I suggest categorizing each FE section into one of following areas:
- High Competency
- Moderate Competency
- Low Competency
One general strategy can involve adopting a priority based approach as suggested below:
- Priority # 1 – Try to convert Moderate Competency areas into High Competency areas
- Priority # 2 –Try to convert Low Competency areas into Moderate Competency areas while maintaining/improving competency in areas of strength
I hope you will find all or at least some of the abovementioned recommendations relevant and helpful.
To put things in perspective, it is worth noting that an average engineering career spans 30 – 40 years therefore in grand scheme of things minor setbacks like a couple of FE exam failures should be treated nothing more than a hiccup.