FE Exam Pass Rates – It’s Never Been Easy!

Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is the initial step that you need to take in order get your EIT certification. And taking it as soon as possible is the best way that you can do to increase your chances of passing the exam. It seems like you want to know your chances of success, so I decided to share the latest FE exam pass rates. I hope that this will help you determine on what engineering discipline you ought to take.


Reasons to Take the FE Exam

There are plenty of reasons on why you should take the FE exam.

Improves Your Resume

Having an EIT certificate can definitely improve your resume. In today's world where applying for a job is really competitive, you have to find a way to make yourself stand out. And passing the FE exam increases your chances of landing a job. I am not saying that it is the sole reason of being employed but it can be a determining factor if you have a lot of competition.

I already shared this on one my articles but I will tell it again. Before I landed my first engineering job here in California, I was working in an architectural company for three years. While working, I studied for the FE exam when I get home. Fortunately, I was able to pass my FE civil exam for the first time and had the EIT certificate on my belt.

This certification paved my way to be hired as an engineering assistant. I was skeptical why the City Engineer has chosen me but later on he said that it is because I am the only one who has the EIT certificate.

FE Exam Pass Rates

Shows that You Prepare for the Long Term

When applying for a job, your employer also sees to it if you think for the long term. Sometimes, they will ask you "Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?".

This question can be answered in correlation to your EIT certificate. You can say that since you passed the FE exam, you are working on getting your PE license. This will give an impression that you are not working just for a short period but you are also looking forward for other opportunities in the future.

First Step to Become a PE

Another obvious reason on why you should take the FE exam is because it is a requirement if you want to become a licensed professional engineer. Aside from the engineering related working experience, you should also pass the test.

If it happens that you don't have any intention of getting your PE license as of now, I still recommend that you take the FE exam. The sooner you get it the better because almost all of your engineering courses are still fresh in your mind.

FE Exam Pass Rates

Before we jump into the water, the first thing that we usually do is to ask how deep is it. That is also the same with the FE exam. It is smart to determine your chances of passing by looking at the pass rates from the previous years.

For the various engineering disciplines, there are also different pass rates for each of them. The table below is from the official website of NCEES. The pass rates below is based on the examinees who took the exam for the first time, attended to an ABET accredited engineering program and also took the test within 12 months of graduation.



Pass Rate



Last Updated

FE Chemical





July 2019

FE Civil





July 2019

FE Electrical & Computer





July 2019

FE Environmental





July 2019

FE Industrial & Systems





July 2019

FE Mechanical





July 2019

FE Other Disciplines





July 2019

If we base the difficulty of the exam on the pass rate, then the most difficult will be the Industrial and Systems. This is followed by Civil, Electrical and Computer, Chemical, Mechanical, Others and Environmental.

But I must tell you that you shouldn't be discouraged if the pass rate of your chosen discipline is low. This doesn't define your success on the FE exam. I recommend that you choose the discipline that you are comfortable with and you have mastered during college. In this way, it will not be that challenging when you review and prepare for the exam.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Now that you already learned about the pass rates for the various types of FE exam, I assume that you already decided on what engineering discipline you will take.

After that, the next step is to prepare for your test. When studying, it would greatly benefit you if you work smarter and not harder. Let me give some helpful tips on how you can maximize your time of preparation.

Follow the Exam Specifications

For every discipline, there is an exam specification identified for each one of them. This a good thing since you don't have to spend much time in studying all the engineering subjects. All you need to do is focus on the outline. There are also number of questions included in each topic so you will have an idea on what topic you should focus on. This will help you in scheduling and assigning the necessary time to study.

Create a Study Schedule

Having a study schedule is a crucial factor that determines your success. I know that it seems easy to just set your mind to study each day but I tell you, it will be challenging. This is because there are plenty of temptations and distractions in your every day life. There is the TV, computer, cellphone and radio.

If you have set a schedule wherein you identify the topic that you will work on a specific day then this will remind you to study. You will also be able to keep track of your progress. Let me tell you again, create a study schedule.

Walk the Talk

Your assignment today is to start preparing for your FE exam. Instead of just talking about your plans, start doing and implementing it. It is easy to share your plans but the actual work of executing is not that simple. It requires persistence, patience and determination. I know that it sound cliche but you should start walk the talk.

If ever you have questions or concerns, feel free to comment on the comment box below. Also, please share your personal experience, tips and hacks on how to pass the FE exam.

John Rico

John Rico is an Engineer-in-Training Professional that works his way up to become a Licensed Professional Engineer.

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