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How difficult is the FE exam?

OogleyBayOogleyBay Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited May 2013 in Engineering Majors
I'm an electrical engineering major taking the exam on April 13th. I started casually studying about two weeks ago (looking over the reference book and a few review books before bed). But this week I started seriously studying (actually dedicating time everyday to study). But to be honest I'm nervous as heck. I'm not too worried about the afternoon part. I'm going to have to go over power systems pretty seriously but other than that I feel fine. But I feel like there is so much stuff that I've forgotten that's going to be in the morning section. I really don't remember a thing from statistics or chemistry. I took statistics in Spring 2010 and I took chemistry in Fall 2008. Also I've never taken a class over thermodynamics or statics outside of a few chapters from Physics I and II. And that was back in 2009 (Spring then Fall).

So basically I'm just wondering if there is anyone else who was in my situation who can give me some encouragement. Specifically fellow electrical engineering majors.
Post edited by OogleyBay on

Replies to: How difficult is the FE exam?

  • NeoDymiumNeoDymium Registered User Posts: 2,304 Senior Member
    Take a practice exam. That should clear up a lot of the uncertainty.
  • maikaimaikai Registered User Posts: 403 Member
    I agree. Take a practice exam and see how you do.

    I didn't take the FE until more than twenty years after school. I thought there was no need for it in electrical engineering. I was right, but later in life I had my eye on a side job which required a PE. I highly recommend you take it in your senior year or soon after graduating, before the info goes away. I had to study hard, every night, for more than 4 months before I felt confident to take it. Again, that was >20 years after graduating. I'll bet, as a recent student, all you need is a month. April 13th might be fine, but I think you'll need to "hit the books" seriously from now until then.

    You may be better putting it off until the Fall. If you fail, you won't be able to take the test until next April... I think. If I remember correctly, you don't get the pass/fail until it's too late to register for the next test.

    I used a review book by Lindeburg. It was VERY good. I found the questions on the actual test to be easier than his practice tests. I blew through the test with confidence. I passed on the first try and knew I passed as soon as I finished.

    Some of the compound questions in part two are kind of funny. Each question builds on the answer of the one before it, so get an early one wrong and you're dead. There was one where they put a current through a solution and asked how much of each gas would be made. Then they said it was in a sealed half dome capsule and asked for the pressure after so many minutes. Then said the half dome was held down by 12 bolts, and asked for the stress on a bolt. Then finally asked how long can the current run before bolt failure. I skipped the last step until I finished the rest of the test.

    Remember these are multiple choice questions, so the only way to spoof you is to give "common mistake" or "partial answer" type questions. Don't short cut. You'll need to calculate everything as if it's not a multi-choice... and check your work... to be sure you don't get spoofed.

    And also remember the test is timed, so you need to be comfortable enough with the equations not to have to look up most of them. And there is a timing strategy. Questions that will take some time, like figuring out when the bolt will fail, need to be put aside so you can answer quicker questions. If you have time, go back.

    Even though I am an electrical engineer, I opt'ed for the "general" test in the afternoon. I was told by a few sources it was easier. I can't tell you it was, having not taken the electrical section, but it wasn't bad.

    Get the Lindeburg review book.
  • OogleyBayOogleyBay Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Has anybody taken the EE afternoon session?

    I'm also going through the Lindeburg book and that's what's making me nervous. I know everyone says that this book is alot more difficult than the real exam. But I can't shake the fact that I won't be ready for certain parts.

    How many hours do most people study per week? I usually study about 12 but I'm thinking about bumping that up to 15 (I'm only taking 6 hours my this semester).
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Registered User Posts: 6,608 Senior Member
    My girlfriend took the EE FE exam a few years ago (just got her PE last year) and said it wasn't too difficult. I think she took a review class at a local college (that may or may not have been worthwhile), and did a little bit of studying. Most of her studying was learning where formulas were in the booklet they give you and how to use her new calculator that would work on the exam. I think I taught her some basic thermo because I figured there'd be some low hanging fruit there for her.

    On the day of the exam, her car broke down, she was the last person in the door before the proctor locked it, there was a leaky ceiling, she forgot her calculator in the broken down car (a mile away from the testing center), and she still passed. If you were a strong student in undergrad I don't think the FE is much of an obstacle.
  • maikaimaikai Registered User Posts: 403 Member
    I can't imagine anyone passing the FE I took if they didn't have a calculator. She must be fantastic with numbers! I mean gifted... like a savant.

    Most of the morning test was applying formulas and a lot of the wrong answers are common mistake results. So if you made a common mistake, you'd see a matching answer. :-\ Taking a test like that without a calculator... unimaginable for me.

    I can't speak for the afternoon EE portion, as I took the general. But things just got worse, calculator wise, in the afternoon.

    I do agree one needs to be very familiar with the formula booklet and the calculator (only several models are allowed).
  • OogleyBayOogleyBay Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Woo! Found out I passed today! Just got the e-mail. I'm so excited. I just have to send in my transcript to prove I graduated and I'll get my EIT status.

    The exam was really difficult. I'm not allowed to get into specifics. However the hardest part is simply enduring it. If there is an afternoon session for your major I strongly recommend taking that instead of the general exam. Also take it when you're still in school or soon after graduating.
  • dhrushantdhrushant Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    hi guys as of now the format of FE has been changed. Either you can take specific discipline or genera. Im confuse to choose either of them..which would be easy???
  • NooshNoosh Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Hello Guys, I have Master of Construction Engineering and my Bachelor is in Architecture. I have registered for the FE Civil, however I am still not sure if I should take the Civil, or the other disciplines. Also, as far as I see, there is no certain date for the FE exam, I am wondering how much time I need to be prepared for the exam (it is almost 2 years since my graduation).
This discussion has been closed.