FE EXAM PREP

2020 FE EXAM – 4 FIRST STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE TO PASS YOUR FE EXAM

1) Download the NCEES Reference Handbook and NOTE down exam specifications for your discipline.

Download the latest FE Reference handbook from the NCEES website (https://ncees.org/). You will need to create an account to download the Handbook. After you create an account, go to your dashboard and go under Useful Documents à View reference handbooks à  FE Reference Handbook 10.0.1 (effective July 1, 2020). Make sure you use the latest Handbook 10.0.1! This will be the only reference resource you are given on test day. You will only have access to the PDF on exam day therefore it is recommended that you get accustomed to using the PDF copy when preparing by doing practice questions and taking a practice FE exam.

In the FE Handbook there will be an “Appendix: FE Exam Specifications”. This will list the all the topics you are expected to know with corresponding subtopics and the number of expected questions you might receive on the actual FE exam. You will have 6 hours to complete the exam that contains 110 questions. The 6 hours is a countdown which includes a tutorial and an optional break you may take after you finish the morning section.

Here is a free excel sheet showing all the 2020 FE Exam Specifications for some common disciplines:

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Sign up to receive FE Exam prep content directly to your inbox every week!

We don’t spam! We only send quality FE Exam Prep material and tips.

Get a FREE 2021 FE Exam topic checklist directly into your inbox.

Sign up to receive FE Exam prep content directly to your inbox every week!

We don’t spam! We only send quality FE Exam Prep material and tips.

Get a FREE 2021 FE Exam topic checklist directly into your inbox.

Sign up to receive FE Exam prep content directly to your inbox every week!

We don’t spam! We only send quality FE Exam Prep material and tips.

2) Purchase the latest 2020 FE Practice Exam and get an NCEES approved calculator.

You can purchase the latest 2020 FE Practice Exam available on the NCEES website. Under your dashboard go to Common Tasks –> Exams –> Purchase a practice exam. This exam is a good practice exam since it is created by the same organization creating the actual FE exam. The wording and question style will be very similar to what you may see on the actual FE exam. Any typos and mistakes for this practice exam has been updated by the NCEES in the following PDF.

Get a NCEES approved calculator from the list below.

  • Casio: All fx-115 and fx-991 models (Any Casio calculator must have “fx-115” or “fx-991” in its model name.)
  • Hewlett Packard: The HP 33s and HP 35s models, but no othersTexas
  • Texas Instruments: All TI-30X and TI-36X models (Any Texas Instruments calculator must have “TI-30X” or “TI-36X” in its model name.)

We recommend you get the Texas instrument TI36X Pro since it allows you to solve matrices, vector operations, linear systems of equations, interpolation, definite derivatives and integrals, binomial and normal distribution, solver for a single variable (solver function – very handy!), and linear regression analysis!

3) Use FREE or PAID resources that are updated for the 2020 FE Exam.

Many resources and books are outdated and miss a lot of important topics listed in the NCEES specifications. The FE Exam is constantly updated therefore certain books and exam prep courses will need to be updated as well.

Here is a list of FREE and PAID resources and courses you can use to help you prepare for the FE Exam:

FREE COURSES AND VIDEOS

FREE – COURSERA COURSE

  • FE CIVIL AND FE MECHANICAL ONLY
  • DOES NOT COVER ALL TOPICS

FREE – Gregory Michaelson – Marshall University YouTube Videos

  • FE CIVIL ONLY

FREE – DIRECTHUB – YouTube Videos

  • FE CIVIL
  • FE MECHANICAL
  • FE ENVIRONMENTAL
  • UPDATED FOR 2020 FE EXAM TOPICS

FREE – enGENIEer – YouTube Videos

  • FE CIVIL
  • FE MECHANICAL (MORNING SECTION)

FREE – Fluid Mechanics – Guldiken- YouTube Videos

  • FE FLUID MECHANICS TOPICS ONLY
  • UPDATED FOR 2020 FE EXAM TOPICS

PAID PRACTICE QUESTIONS

PAID – PrepFE – Practice Questions

  • FE CIVIL
  • FE MECHANICAL
  • FE ELECTRICAL
  • FE OTHER DISCIPLINES
  • UPDATED FOR 2020 FE EXAM TOPICS

PAID – PPEHQ – Practice Questions

  • FE CIVIL
  • FE MECHANICAL
  • UPDATED FOR 2020 FE EXAM TOPICS

PAID COURSES

PAID – enGENIEer – EXAM PREP COURSE

  • FE CIVIL/FE MECHANICAL MORNING SECTION ONLY
  • UPDATED FOR 2020 FE EXAM TOPICS

PAID – SCHOOL OF PE – EXAM PREP COURSE

  • ALL FE DISCIPLINES
  • UPDATED FOR 2020 FE EXAM TOPICS

PAID – PPI – EXAM PREP COURSE

  • ALL FE DISCIPLINES
  • UPDATED FOR 2020 FE EXAM TOPICS

PAID – PREPINEER – EXAM PREP COURSE

  • FE OTHER DISCIPLINES ONLY
  • UPDATED FOR 2020 FE EXAM TOPICS

PAID – CIVIL ENGINEERING ACADEMY – EXAM PREP COURSE

  • FE CIVIL ONLY
  • UPDATED FOR 2020 FE EXAM TOPICS

4) Prepare mentally by committing to a study schedule – start studying on a consistent basis.

At this point you should have all the following materials/resources:

  • FE Reference Handbook (PDF Version)
  • 2020 NCEES Practice Exam (Optional but recommended)
  • NCEES approved calculator (TI-36X Pro is recommended)
  • List of specifications you need to study for your specific discipline
  • Course/books/practice questions you will use to study.

If you have all the resources listed above – you are ready to start studying!

Whether you are a planner or someone who relies on their mental capacity to complete tasks, it is crucial that you develop a study schedule adapted to your lifestyle needs. Consistency is the key here. Try to develop a consistent study plan that you FEEL like you can stick to. For example, you may feel like the first month you only want to study 2 times a week to get into the hang of things, that is totally ok! Over time, you will build more and more confidence and possibly increase your study time as you get accustomed to studying for the FE exam. Again, the goal here is to be consistent, you will have ups and downs but aim to be on average with the study schedule you set for yourself.

As you do FE exam practice questions make sure you refer to the PDF Reference Handbook to extract any relevant equations from the reference handbook instead of outside resources. You will need to effectively and quickly extract any relevant equation or concept provided in the reference handbook on exam day so doing this as you practice will help you prepare.

You should at least take THREE practice exams before your exam day. We recommend to take a practice exams covering:

  • Morning Section Practice Exam (50 Questions) – Aim to finish within 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Afternoon Section Practice Exam (60 Questions) – Aim to finish within 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Full (Morning+Afternoon) Practice Exam – Aim to finish within 5 hours & 20 minutes.

We recommend you initially take the 2 separate morning and afternoon practice exams separately especially if you are just starting to study for the FE. It can be extremly, extremly exhausting to take a full practice exam within your first month. You have to try to avoid getting burnt out – so please listen to your body and physical response.

So just take a practice morning exam after you have covered the majority of the morning topics. See how you do and use the practice exam as feedback to further gauge your studies on areas you really struggle with. Repeat the same process for the afternoon and full practice exams as well.

Conclusion

We believe the toughness aspect behind passing the FE exam is KNOWING HOW TO GET STARTED. Many people feel overwhelmed and just don’t know where to begin – given how the NCEES lists a crazy amount of topics they expect you to know for the FE. But you will not need to know every single topic – some conceputal topics can be simply glanced over by doing a quick google search and watching a youtube video.

What is crucial though is for you to know what topics you need to study and focus on, how to apply the equations in the FE Reference Handbook, how to use your calculator functions, effectively using the LATEST FE EXAM prep courses and material, and having the right mindset with the persistence and consistency to to stick to a study schedule.

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