The information below, including exam specifications, pertains to the October 2013 FE exam. Beginning in January 2014, the FE and FS exams will be offered year-round as computer-based exams at Pearson VUE testing centers. Learn more here.
The FE exam is typically the first step in the process leading to the P.E. license. It is designed for students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree. The exam lasts 8 hours and is administered in April and October.
FE exam specifications and afternoon modules
The FE exam contains 180 multiple-choice questions and is split into a morning session (120 questions) and an afternoon session (60 questions).
The morning session is the same for everyone. For the afternoon session, you will be asked during registration to select the module (options are listed below) that best corresponds to your undergraduate degree.
The FE is a closed-book exam. You will be provided with an FE Supplied-Reference Handbook at your seat on exam day.
Scoring and reporting
NCEES typically releases exam results to the licensing boards 8–10 weeks after the exam. Depending on your state, you will be notified of your exam result online through your My NCEES account or via postal mail from your state licensing board.
FE pass rates
These pass rates represent April 2013 FE candidates who attended EAC/ABET-accredited engineering programs.
|Exam Module||First-time takers (%)||Repeat takers (%)|
Other Disciplines module breakdown by examinee degree*
|Examinees’ college/university degree discipline||First-time takers (%)||Repeat takers (%)|
|Engineering Physics/Engineering Science||73||33|
|Geological and Geophysical||62||47|
|Mining and Mineral||66||46|
|Naval Architecture and Marine||94||75|
*Only EAC/ABET degrees with more than 50 examinees are reported.
NCEES offers free institutions reports that break down the performance of students and graduates from their programs, comparing results on specific content areas to national averages. Many engineering departments use these reports to assess program outcomes.