Fundamentals of Engineering exam
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, also referred to as the Engineer in Training (EIT) exam, and formerly in some states as the Engineering Intern (EI) exam, is the first of two examinations that engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

s must pass in order to be licensed as a Professional Engineer
Professional Engineer
Regulation of the engineering profession is established by various jurisdictions of the world to protect the safety, well-being and other interests of the general public, and to define the licensure process through which an engineer becomes authorized to provide professional services to the...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The exam is open to anyone with a degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

 in engineering or a related field, or currently enrolled in the last year of an ABET
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
ABET, Inc., formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, is a non-profit organization that accredits post-secondary education programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology...

-accredited engineering degree program. Some state licensure boards permit students to take it prior to their final year, and numerous states allow those who have never attended an approved program to take the exam if they have a state-determined number of years of work experience in engineering. A selection of states allow those with ABET-accredited "Engineering Technology" or "TAC" degrees to take the examination. The state of Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 has no admission pre-requisites for the FE. The exam is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying is a national non-profit organization composed of engineering and land surveying licensing boards representing all U.S. states and territories...



The exam is eight hours long altogether, split into two four-hour sessions with a 60 minute lunch break in between. This accounts for the time required to collect the morning exam. Morning admission typically begins around 7:15 A.M. Failure to appear before the doors are closed (around 7:40 A.M.) will result in the student being turned away from the testing site. It typically takes 20 minutes for the proctors to pass out the materials and go over the exam procedures, so that the morning session begins at 8:00 A.M. Similar procedures are followed in the afternoon session, with admission starting around 1:15 P.M. and ending around 1:30 P.M.; the test itself begins between 1:30 and 1:45 P.M.

The morning session is a 120-question general exam for which all examinees must sit, while the afternoon session consists of 60 questions and is more discipline-oriented. For this second half, examinees choose one of the following seven tests: chemical engineering
Chemical engineering
Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with physical science , and life sciences with mathematics and economics, to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms...

, civil engineering
Civil engineering
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

, environmental engineering
Environmental engineering
Environmental engineering is the application of science and engineering principles to improve the natural environment , to provide healthy water, air, and land for human habitation and for other organisms, and to remediate polluted sites...

, electrical engineering
Electrical engineering
Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...

, mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the...

, industrial engineering
Industrial engineering
Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering dealing with the optimization of complex processes or systems. It is concerned with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, analysis...

, or other disciplines (similar in content to the morning exam, but far more detailed). Prior to April 2010, the other disciplines test was called the general test, but it was renamed to better reflect who should take it. As of the October 2010 exam, the choice of afternoon exam is required to be made when registering. Prior to this, at the start of the afternoon session, examinees were given a booklet containing all seven exams and could decide at that time which one to take.

The topics covered by the general exam are covered in the courses taken by engineering undergraduates, and include (as of 2011):
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering Probability and Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Computers
  • Ethics and Business Practices
  • Engineering Economics
  • Engineering Mechanics (Statics and Dynamics)
  • Strength of Materials
  • Material Properties
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Thermodynamics
  • Biology

A scaled score of 70 is required to pass the exam. This does not mean one needs to answer 70% of the answers correctly to pass, however. A portion of previous exam questions are then given on subsequent exams. After the exam, a statistical analysis of these questions is used to equate the new test to the benchmark test. This makes all of the tests more or less equal in difficulty.

Those who pass the exam are designated Engineer In Training
Engineer In Training
The term "Engineer-In-Training" is a professional designation from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying used in the United States to designate a person certified by the State as having:...

 or given an equivalent designation, such as Engineer Intern, by their state's licensure board for engineers, and are partway through the certification process. After completing an apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

 (the length of which is set by state law and based on the type of degree received), an EIT may qualify to take the Professional Engineer (PE) exam. Certification is awarded upon successful completion of the PE exam. The standard time of apprenticeship under a Professional Engineer
Professional Engineer
Regulation of the engineering profession is established by various jurisdictions of the world to protect the safety, well-being and other interests of the general public, and to define the licensure process through which an engineer becomes authorized to provide professional services to the...

 is 4 years of work experience for graduates of an ABET-accredited engineering program.

Taking the exam

Writing tools and scratch paper may not be brought to the testing site. Mechanical pencils are issued to all examinees, and the test booklet may be used as scratch paper for working problems. No calculators are allowed except for those specifically approved by NCEES and listed below; these models have no programming or communications capabilities which could allow people to cheat. The only reference material that may be used is a handbook which is issued to examinees in the morning; it must be left in the room after each session. For study purposes, this handbook may be obtained by downloading from the NCEES website or by purchasing a hard copy. However, examinees may not bring their own copies to the test site; they must use the ones issued to them by the proctors and may not write in them.

Calculator policy

NCEES allows only the following calculators to be used on the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam:
  • Casio
    is a multinational electronic devices manufacturing company founded in 1946, with its headquarters in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Casio is best known for its electronic products, such as calculators, audio equipment, PDAs, cameras, musical instruments, and watches...

     fx-115 (all models)
  • Hewlett-Packard
    Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA that provides products, technologies, softwares, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including...

     HP 33s
    HP 33s
    The Hewlett-Packard Co. markets the hp 33s calculator. Main features:* RPN or traditional semi-algebraic , user selectable* Two-line LCD display...

     and HP 35s
    HP 35s
    The HP 35s Scientific Calculator is, as of 2007, the latest in Hewlett-Packard's long line of non-graphing scientific and programmable calculators...

  • Texas Instruments
    Texas Instruments
    Texas Instruments Inc. , widely known as TI, is an American company based in Dallas, Texas, United States, which develops and commercializes semiconductor and computer technology...

    The TI-30 was a scientific calculator manufactured by Texas Instruments, the first model of which was introduced in 1976. While the original TI-30 left production in 1983 after several design revisions, TI maintains the TI-30 designation as a branding for its low and mid-range scientific...

     and TI-36X (all models)

The calculator must clearly display its model number so that exam proctors can quickly identify the calculator and approve for use during the exam. The list of allowed calculators is revised each November. It is crucial that any examinee check the NCEES website to verify their calculator is acceptable. Absolutely no other calculators are allowed. Using a non-permitted calculator after the exam has begun will result in the examinee having his or her exam confiscated immediately and the exam will not be scored. All selected models, depending on student background (HPs are Reverse Polish Notation
Reverse Polish notation
Reverse Polish notation is a mathematical notation wherein every operator follows all of its operands, in contrast to Polish notation, which puts the operator in the prefix position. It is also known as Postfix notation and is parenthesis-free as long as operator arities are fixed...

) are efficient in solving problems.

U.S. Patent Office

Passage of the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, coupled with graduation with any bachelor's degree or equivalent experience, satisfies the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's technical requirements for sitting for its registration examination
USPTO registration examination
In order to be registered as a patent agent or patent attorney in the United States, one must pass the United States Patent and Trademark Office registration examination, officially called the Examination for Registration to Practice in Patent Cases Before the United States Patent and Trademark...

 to become either a registered patent attorney
Patent attorney
A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition...

or patent agent. The typical way the technical requirements are satisfied is by possessing a bachelor's degree in a specified technical area or amassing a certain number of undergraduate credit hours in a designated technical area.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.