One of the first steps to becoming a professional licensed engineer (PE) is to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Provided by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), the FE is designed for recent undergraduate students or students who are close to finishing their undergraduate engineering degrees from an EAC/ABET-accredited program.


The Exam Process


So how do you get started? Most accredited universities and colleges will have resources to help you prepare up until the day of the exam, whether you’ve taken a certified FE-prep class at your school or are utilizing the guidance of an advisor or professor. You do not have to apply for approval to take the exam or provide any documents beforehand. All you have to do is create an account at to register and pick a testing day and center location based on your zip code.


How can you prepare for a successful exam?


Exam Tips:


●        Study, study, study. We recommend studying at least one month before the exam, though many people find their exam experiences more successful if they begin studying sooner. There are various resources you can utilize in and out of the classroom to help you study, such as designated books and handbooks for your specific exam, possible FE classes (if your university offers them), and online practice tests.

●        Space out your time accordingly. Your testing slot is 6 hours long, which includes several minutes of prep time and an optional 25-minute lunch break. With the lunch break included, the NCEES gives you about 5 hours and 20 minutes to complete the two-part exam. Calculate this out, and you have just under three minutes for each question. Knowing how much time you have to answer each question (to finish the test on time) will help you pace yourself better

●        Know both measuring systems. Both the Mechanical FE exam and the Electrical and Computer FE exam use both the International System of Units (SI) and the U.S. Customary System (USCS). Your classes should have educated you in both, but it’s still best to brush up on your conversion skills.

●        Utilize your allowed resources. No matter the type of FE exam you plan to take, the NCEES will provide you with an official Reference Handbook to use during your exam. Be sure you have completely familiarized yourself with the charts, formulas, tables, and other reference information so you can successfully navigate it during the exam. Knowing where to look in the handbook could mean the difference between a “pass” or “fail” grade.


The FE exam is important because once you take your FE, you can then begin to acquire the work experience under Gausman and Moore’s professional engineers to eventually obtain your Professional Engineering (PE) license. Gausman and Moore offers Engineer in Training (EIT) career positions for recent graduates who have passed their FE exams and require four years of progressive engineering experience under one of our licensed PEs. To learn more about our EIT positions in either our Minnesota or California offices, contact us today.