Fundamentals of Engineering Exam


Fundamentalsof Engineering Exam

Fundamentalsof Engineering Exam

F.E.(General and Specific Ideas)

Overseen by the NCEES through the year, the FE() is one of the principal and thefirst exam that engineers need to pass to get certification asQualified Engineers in the US (National Council of Examiners forEngineering and Surveying [NCEES], 2015). However, passing the examdoes not guarantee one to become a Professional Engineer, as oneneeds to pass PE (Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam) tobecome a professional. The exam assesses almost everything one haslearned in college. According to NCEES (2015), the FE is a six-hourexamination but before 2015, the exam had a morning and an afternoonperiod that separated units by discipline. Those who pass the F.E.examination become engineer interns. To take the exam, one needs tohave a degree in course or field related to engineering or presentlyregistered in the final year of an ABET recognized engineeringprogram. The NCEES administers the exam through the months ofNovember, January, February, April, May, July, August, and October.

Althoughthe foremost objective of the exam is to overtly characterize oneselfas an engineer, one has a chance to work as a specialist. Inaddition, one has to take the exam in order to attain the requisitecertified and academic capability to practice in the engineeringprofession as well as obtain the liberty to practice in other states.One can practice as an engineer but passing the exam is the only wayto practice as a professional as well as bid for governmentcontracts, own an engineering firm, stamp and seal designs, andadvertises services to the public. Before taking the exam in moststates, one must first apply to the state’s board forauthorization. Upon the board notifying one of the approval, one cango ahead, register online with NCEES, and reserve a set for the exam.From 2014, NCEES offers the exam via CBT (Computer Based Testing)only.

Today, the exam covers areas of chemical,computer, civil, industrial, environmental, and mechanicalengineering over a period of 6 hours and has 110 questions (NCEES,2015). Although the exam has a period of 6 hours, the exact time toanswer the questions is 5 hours and 20 minutes with the remainingtime covering a non-disclosure agreement and a break of 25 minutes.However, prior to 2014, the NCEES divided the examination in twoperiods: morning and afternoon sessions each covering a period of 4hours. The morning period, taken by all examinees covered generalengineering modules while the afternoon period covered module ordiscipline-specific questions. However, starting from 2015, the boardchanged the content of the exam to make it exclusivelydiscipline-detailed. One requires a scale of 70 to pass theassessment after which a segment of prior exam questions is given onsucceeding exams. Subsequently, the board uses a statisticalexploration of the questions to associate a new test to the standardtest, which makes all tests equal in simplicity or difficulty. NCEES(2015) asserts that one has to pay $225 as the exam fee during theregistration process to the NCEES board but in some states, one hasto pay extra fee as licensing fee or approval to register with NCEES.

of David Howell

David Howell is the Deputy Director (ExecutiveDirector) of Accrediting for the TBPE (Texas Board of ProfessionalEngineers) (November 2013 – Current). Howell studied in Universityof Texas where he obtained a Degree of Mechanical Engineering (BSc.).Before, joining Texas Board of Professional Engineering, he workedextensively in the discipline of environmental engineering. Today, heoversees the appraisal of all P.E. requests, EIT renewals andcertifications, and firm registration in Texas. In addition, as thedirector of the board, Howell coordinates the P.E. exams for roughly6,900 examinees every year. Howell works with the Executive Directorand staff to plan and directs the agency’s activities and trackissues relating to oversight and management. He represents the agencyin conferences, oversees outreach programs, coordinates the agencyreporting, make presentations on behalf of the agency, develop andpropose changes to the rules of the board. Furthermore, hecoordinates the agency quality management and improvement processes,serve on task forces on improvements, track legislative issues, andserve as a subordinate member of NCEES.

Howell served as the Director of Licensing between2005 and 2013 for TBPE where he developed policies relating tolicensing, managed staff, developed rules requisite to improvelicensure procedures, and monitored performance measurements. From1989 to 2005, he operated as a manager for Texas Commission onEnvironment Quality where he managed resources and staff, monitoredlegislative activities, managed Remediation Fund, evaluated designs,and implemented programs. He has also worked as an Assistant DeputyDirector for Texas Commission on Environmental Quality between 2001and 2002 as well as a Permit Engineer in the same commission between1989 and 1999. has served as a 24 years in multiple disciplines ofpractice and experience in the field of engineering as well asmanagement in regulatory and technical capacity with both large andsmall agencies across Texas. He has successfully applied innovativetechnical and supervisory programs. Howell has over 19 years’experience in managing staff issues, programs, budgets, andperformance managements in several agencies as well as over 10 years’experience in environmental and engineering design evaluations.


National Council of Examiners for Engineering andSurveying (2015). F.E. Exam retrieved on 23 October 2015 from