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Engineering Fundamentals

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Fundamentals of Engineering Review

Tips for Passing FE exam

The following tips for passing the FE exam are from Professional Publications. See their web site for additional resources.

  • Make sure you are familiar with the reference manual. Even though you cannot use your own copy during the exam, using it to solve practice problems or take practice exams will help you to become familiar with it and save time during the actual exam. The exam is very fast-paced and you will have little time to look up information.
  • Time management is important. Solve practice problems so you can become familiar with averaging 2 minutes per solution. Focus on the areas that you are strong in.
  • Choose which calculator you will use now, and start practicing using it.
  • Many of the problems on the FE exam will include extraneous information that is not necessary to solve the problem. It will be important to remain focused on the information that is relevant. Underlining relevant information in the problem statement is a great way to remain focused and not become distracted by irrelevant content.
  • The questions you see on the exam generally do not include units with the associated answer choices. You are more likely to see answers such as 20, 40, 60, and 80, rather than 20 MHz, 40 MHz, etc. Read the problem statement carefully to ensure that you know what units to solve for. Some of the answers are logical distractors and are only included to determine if you are paying attention.
  • The NCEES FE Supplied-Reference Handbook is the only reference you can use during the exam. It will be provided for you at the exam, and it is important to use everything the Handbook gives you, including the index. For example, if you are working problems in the General portion of the exam and you encounter a problem on electrical circuits, you should not only turn to "Electrical Circuits" in the General section of the Handbook for a formula, but you should also check for help in the Electrical Engineering section. These discipline-specific sections are a great source of information, but many examinees forget to look in these areas for help.
  • Consider reverse engineering the problems, by substituting in the answers and seeing which one works. Consider a math problem like x3/4=8, solve for x; rather than solve for x, substitute in the answers and see which one works.
  • Begin with the subject areas you know best. This will give you more time, and will build your confidence. Do pay strict attention to the answer sheet with this method. You do not want to mismatch ovals and answers.
  • When all else fails, guess! Try to eliminate, though, some choices you know to be wrong.
    • In thermodynamics, check for signs of heat transfer and work.
    • In fluid mechanics, check for signs of pressure readings.
    • In statics check for direction of forces and compression/tension units.
  • Use the final 10 minutes before the end of each four-hour session to check that you've correctly filled in the bubbles on your answer sheet. Since unanswered problems count as incorrect answers, you should also use this time to guess at any remaining unanswered problems.