Frequently Asked Questions about the FE CBT Exam

On January 2014, the NCEES has changed the format of the FE to Computer Based Testing (CBT)

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions:

  1. What is the EIT/FE?
  2. Who creates the EIT/FE?
  3. When is the EIT/FE given?
  4. When should I register for the EIT/FE?
  5. How do I register?
  6. How much does it cost to take the EIT/FE?
  7. How long does it take to get my scores back?
  8. What is a good score on the EIT/FE?
  9. When should I start preparing for the EIT/FE?
  10. How much math do I need before I can start preparing for the EIT/FE?
  11. How do I choose my EIT/FE afternoon discipline?
  12. How are Excel Test Courses different from other courses?
  13. Who teaches the Excel Test Courses?
  14. What calculator may I use for my FE exam?
  15. What does Computer Based Testing (CBT) mean for the FE exam?
  16.  How will the exam itself change?
  17. What if I need to retake the exam?
  18. When can I register or take the Excel Test Prep FE Course?

 

  1. What is the EIT/FE?

    The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is the first step in getting your Engineering license. Once you pass the test, you are known as an Engineering Intern (EI) or Engineer-in-Training (EIT). The FE exam is an assessment tool, split into a morning and afternoon session. The morning session generally covers the first five semesters of engineering coursework. The afternoon session gives you a choice between a general exam and a discipline-specific exam. The FE is a closed book exam; however, students are given a Supplied-Reference Handbook containing reference formulas and tables that you are not expected to have memorized.

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  2. Who creates the EIT/FE?

    The FE exam is regulated by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) for all licensing boards. Find information specific to the licensing board in your area at https://ncees.org/

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  3. When is the EIT/FE given?

    The exam can be taken within four two-month testing windows throughout the year:
    Jan-Feb
    Apr-May
    Jul-Aug
    Oct-Nov

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  4. When should I register for the EIT/FE?

    Register for the FE online. You must register at least 1 full business day before the exam. Note: If you may only cancel at least 48 hours before the exam.

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  5. How do I register?

    Contact your state's licensing board for details about exam registration. (https://ncees.org/)

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  6. How much does it cost to take the EIT/FE?

    A fee of $225 is payable to NCEES at registration. Some states may require examinees to fill out a separate application, which may result in an additional application fee.
    Contact your licensing board for more information.

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  7. How long does it take to get my scores back?

    You will be contacted by your licensing board with your scores within 12 weeks of the test date. The exam is scored on a pass/fail basis.

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  8. What is a good score on the EIT/FE?

    These pass rates represent October 2013 FE candidates who attended EAC/ABET-accredited engineering programs.

    Exam Module First-time takers (%) Repeat takers (%)
    Chemical 80 48
    Civil 75 34
    Electrical 66 18
    Environmental 82 47
    Industrial 64 44
    Mechanical 80 47
    Other Disciplines 70 32

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  9. When should I start preparing for the EIT/FE?

    Most students take the FE exam the last semester of their final year, or shortly after graduation, while the technical information they studied is still fresh and they are still in 'test mode'.

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  10. How much math do I need before I can start preparing for the EIT/FE?

    The FE exam is structured as follows:

    MORNING SESSION (120 questions in 12 topic areas)

    • Mathematics
    • Engineering Probability and Statistics
    • Chemistry
    • Computers
    • Ethics and Business Practices
    • Engineering Economics
    • Statics
    • Dynamics
    • Strength of Materials
    • Material Properties
    • Fluid Mechanics
    • Electricity and Magnetism
    • Thermodynamics

    AFTERNOON SESSION IN OTHER/GENERAL ENGINEERING (60 questions in 9 topic areas)

    • Advanced Engineering Mathematics
    • Engineering Probability and Statistics
    • Biology
    • Engineering Economics
    • Application of Engineering Mechanics
    • Engineering of Materials
    • Fluids
    • Electricity and Magnetism
    • Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer

    See http://www.ncees.org/exams/fundamentals/fe_exam_specs.pdf for specific subject matter covered in each topic.

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  11. How do I choose my EIT/FE afternoon discipline?
    Excel Test prepares for the "Civil," "Mechanical," and "Other Disciplines" exam. All others are recommended to prepare for the "Other Disciplines" exam. 

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  12. How are Excel Test Courses different from other courses?
    We understand that many of our students have been out of school for many years and are no longer used to studying theoretical topics. Our course is not a college course, which is designed to cover mostly theory. Our comprehensive course is focused only on topics that are on the exam and test-taking strategies specific to the exam. Our courses are also taught by highly qualified, expert instructors.
    Thanks to our many tips, techniques, and shortcuts taught in class, students are able to solve problems on the exam well within the time limit. As a result of the quality of our course, we can offer the Guarantee of Passing.

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  13. Who teaches the Excel Test courses?
    Our instructors come from the industry and academia and are highly qualified in their specialized fields. Each course is taught by several instructors who have taught EIT/FE courses for many years at various companies including: British Petroleum (BP), Fluor, Sirrine, Lummus, Texas Instruments, Foster Wheeler, Utility Engineering, City

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  14. What calculator may I use for my FE exam?

    Following is a list of the ONLY calculators that will be allowed in the testing room for 2008 exams:

    • Hewlett Packard - HP 33s or HP35S
    • Casio - All FX 115 models. Any Casio calculator must contain FX-115 in its model name.
    • Texas Instruments - TI 30X or TI 36X. Any Texas Instruments calculator must contain either TI-30X or TI-36X in its model name.

    Each year, NCEES will review the approved calculator list and announce updates by November 15.

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  15. What does Computer Based Testing (CBT) mean for the FE exam?
    This transition will include the following major changes:
    The FE will no longer be administered on paper. Instead, candidates will take the exam on a computer at an NCEES testing location.
    The exam can be taken any time within four 2-month windows throughout the year. Registration will be open year round.
    The number of questions will be reduced from 180 to 110.
    The removal of common breadth morning session.
    This test will be linear, not adaptive; the difficulty level will not adjust based on the number of correct responses. For questions that require writing, examinees will be provided with a reuseable notepad when working out problems.

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  16. How will the exam itself change?
    The general morning breadth section will be removed. The exam will still consist of a morning and afternoon section split by a 25 minutes break; however, both session will be discipline-specific.
    The number of questions has also been reduced from 180 to 110.

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  17. What if I need to retake the exam?
    NCEES allows examinees to take the exam once during each two-month period and up to three times per year. However, policies may differ with licensing boards from state to state.
    Contact your licensing board for more information.

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  18. When can I register/take the Excel Test Prep FE Course?
    We have a series of prep courses starting for the April-May testing window. Please check our schedules and register here.
    We offer FE preparation for FE Civil, FE Mechanical and FE Other Disciplines Exams only. Students from another discipline (such as Electrical, Chemical, etc) are recommended to take our FE Other Discplines prep.

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For More Information:

Click here for NCEES's official page on the CBT transition.

Click here for NCEES's FAQ page.

View the FE exam specifications