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PE Exam Prep: The Comprehensive Guide to Preparing for the PE Power Exam
Preparing for the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam is daunting. Planning to prepare for the exam is the first challenge faced by candidates. There’s no secret formula out there: all attendees must abide by a set of rules and outlines to prepare for the exam.
In this article, we illustrate a comprehensive guide on how to prepare for the PE exam, expert tips, recommendations, as well as resource material to help you secure a passing position. It should be made clear that examinees likely to slack and skip steps stated here run the risk of slimming their chances of success. As exam day approaches close, you may be tempted to multitask. While this may be a good strategy, failure to maintain concentration and focus.
Appearing for the PE exam requires passing the NCEES® Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Once cleared, a candidate will be considered an Engineering in Training (EIT) or Engineering Intern (EI). It requires you to start preparing three months in advance, averaging up to 100-120 hours. If your exam is due in April, you should start studying in January.
It is key to start preparing using the official NCEES® practice exam and then take on each solution in detail. An indication of good preparation is the ability to solve each problem. Give yourself three months and keep in mind that your professional license hinges on this particular exam.
How to Prepare for PE Exam
Here are some key steps to keep in mind:
It is advisable to keep the following points in mind for PE exam prep:
Scour the structure and content of the PE test you are undertaking
Use diverse study material
Practice self-discipline and harness good studying habits
Focus on creating a study plan because self-discipline can take you long to accomplish your goal here. Try to maintain your concentration on the subject, and be consistent with following your study plan. It is good to tackle tricky questions. Let some critical thinking sessions push your boundaries of analytical thinking. To ensure you are ready to take on the exam, practice answering some practice questions and tests.
1- Download the NCEES® PE Reference Handbook
As you prepare, your first instinct will have you searching for the best study material. Without a doubt, the NCEES PE Reference Handbook is the way to go. All successful candidates throughout the history of the fundamentals of engineering exam have been restored to the NCEES® handbook.
You can obtain the free Reference handbook from NCEES®. You must look for the revised version of the reference handbook. You will spend the first few days learning how to navigate through the book as it is important to learn the key outlines.
The handbook singlehandedly provides the highest online learning experience, which other source material may not provide. The practice questions in the handbook are up to date and abide by the updated structure of questions. The problems brought up in the exam are always updating and improving to suit today’s dynamic engineering world, so beginning with the NCEES® reference book is viable.
2- Use effective exam preparation resources
We highly recommend the PE Exam course prepared by Wasim Asghar, the single most promising study material that will boost your analytical skills. Wasim Asghar is an internationally recognized professional engineer based in Texas, Florida, and Ontario. He has amassed sound consulting experience in design, commission, and plant engineering projects in the energy, infrastructure, and mining sectors.
If you struggle to prepare for the PE exam or find yourself unable to answer most practice tests, then this course is right for you. It is specifically designed to cover the NCEES® PE exam specifications. The best part is that you can access and study for it at your own pace and comfort level. The course offers the utmost flexibility as it can be accessed and studied anytime and anywhere.
The course brings more than 50 lectures and quizzes that set you in motion to take on the exam. You can find yourself grasping the concepts with ease using a wide array of theoretical questions, quizzes, and solution-based examples.
This course will help you develop key competencies in solving many problems brought up in the exam.
Each section comprises a topic overview, important facts, and tips related to the exam. By reading the overview at the beginning, you will gain the necessary theoretical knowledge on what to expect. The tips and recommendations will give you a precise look at what you are dealing with.
The course offers theoretical concepts which are provided in a manner making it easier to remember the small, important details. The strategic division, of course, opens into lectures that will help you develop a firm grip on the necessary concepts and theories. Almost every complicated section is simplified and presented less intimidatingly and is fun to learn.
It is noted that some time-consuming PE exam questions have a larger weightage. Practicing these becomes a key step that ensures your success. But getting the correct answer is not the only important aspect here. Managing time is equally important. By the end of this course, you will be able to reach the correct answer in the given time, as the resource material will throw across a heap of time-stamped practice questions.
While you may find yourself at the back of endless theoretical concepts, it is still important to take some time to attempt quizzes. Testing yourself from time to time is important because it will give you a complete framework of where you are standing. Attempting quizzes will help you tackle problems and get used to the exam environment.
You have come this far, which means that you have previously attempted exams and tests like GMAT, GRE, SAT, etc. One thing appearing in standardized tests taught us the importance of a proper schedule and preparation plan. This course also brings a detailed preparation plan with practice problems, quizzes, references, and theories.
3- Create a study schedule for the PE Exam course
Get acquainted with the PE Exam planner developed by Wasim Asghar. It is specifically designed to help you stick to a daily routine and schedule.
Many students have utilized this exam planner and its linked resources. You may have an academic background because this planner is impartial and designed to suit candidates on all levels of preparation and skillset.
The planner includes:
A four-month exam preparation schedule
this is all you need to get started. The four-month schedule brings you from level 1 to level 10. But you must stick to the plan without cutting some slack.
Practice exercises to get you familiar with questions
these are queries that reflect the actual exam questions, and practicing them will help you think analytically while attempting each question.
A preparation strategy
every major exam requires a strategy, and this one is created by an expert who has had a stellar success run so far.
A free hour-long webinar
it is normal to have questions, queries, and willingness to explore topics in more detail, which is why this hour-long webinar gives students a chance to bring it together at once.
4- Make sure to cover every Topic in Detail and Practice Problems
It goes without saying but missing out on any topic puts you at risk. Experts highly advise that you cover every topic in detail, and each exam’s practice questions must also be covered comprehensively to help you maximize preparation levels.
In addition, attempting these questions would boost your confidence to eventually appear in the exam.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can retake the exam once throughout every 2 month-period, and up to three times a year.
Every student varies in how much they need to study. However, based on our research at Study For FE, the average passing student studies around 200-400 hours, which is usually distributed as around 3-4 hours a day for 3 months. You can take a look at our blog for more details.
- It is the first step to PE Licensure, which allows you to become a licensed engineer in the US and can greatly enhance your career prospects.
- Certain jobs either require completion or reward completion of the FE Exam with improved salaries.
- The sooner you take the exam, the easier and more beneficial it’ll be.
The FE Exam has 110 questions that need to be completed in under 5 hours and 20 minutes. Although that content itself is not widely considered to be difficult, the broad scope of topics can make the exam quite challenging. Additionally, the sooner you take the exam, the easier it will be to pass.
As of January 2021, the passing rate for the FE Electrical and Computer Exam was 72%. This, however is a percentile scoring system which means that 72% of the people that took the exam on that date passed. As a guideline to aid your preparation for FE examination, you should roughly aim to get at least 65-70 questions out of the 110 correct to be in a safe position for passing.
- An NCEES Approved Calculator.
- Locker Key (Food and drink can be stored in lockers outside the testing room, locker is accessible during breaks)
- Face Mask during Covid-19
If you live in the US, you can refer to this list below for your state’s engineering board’s website:
District of Columbia: www.pearsonvue.com/dc/engineers
New Hampshire: www.nh.gov/jtboard/home.htm
New Jersey: www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/nonmedical/pels.htm
New Mexico: www.sblpes.state.nm.us
New York: www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pels/
North Carolina: www.ncbels.org
North Dakota: www.ndpelsboard.org
Rhode Island: www.bdp.state.ri.us
South Carolina: www.llr.state.sc.us/pol/engineers
South Dakota: www.dlr.sd.gov/bdcomm/btp/engineers.aspx
West Virgina: www.wvpebd.org
Depending on the state you live in, you may have to visit the state board’s website and fill out a form to receive the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) certification.
- 110 questions to be solved in 5 hours and 20 minutes. Around 55 in the first section, followed by a 25 minute break and then around 55 in the second section.
- You can go back to a previous question only within the current section. Once you’re in section 2, you cannot go back to section 1.
- The only reference material you have access to during the exam is the NCEES FE Reference Handbook that will appear on the left side of the screen.
- The only items you can bring to the testing room is an ID, an NCEES approved calculator, locker key, and a face mask.
A number of changes were made to the FE Electrical and Computer Exam sections:
- Mathematics: Added ordinary differential equations
- Probability and Statistics: Removed point and confidence intervals, removed conditional probability.
- Engineering Economics and Ethics: Added safety topics
- Properties of Electrical Materials: Removed mechanical and chemical topics. Added semiconductor materials.
- Engineering Sciences: Section Removed
- Linear Systems: Removed 2-port theory
- Signal processing: Removed convolution, difference equations, Z-transforms
- Electronics: Removed Solid-state fundamentals
- Electromagnetics: Removed electromagnetic compatibility
- Control Systems: Removed root locus and state variables
- Computer Networks: Added network intrusion detection and prevention
- Digital Systems: Removed data path/controller design
- Computer Systems: Removed architecture
- Software: Removed software design methods
- Engineering Economics, Circuit Analysis, Power Systems, Communications: No changes