FE Exam Prep Course – Is It Worth It or Not?
Preparing for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is not an easy task. It requires good study schedule, correct review materials, and relative support from your family and friends. For some people it is just easy to self review and study engineering concepts but others have a hard time doing it by themselves. If you are thinking of enrolling in a FE exam prep course, I highly recommend that you read this article. I hope that this can help you decide if purchasing one is worth it or not.
Reasons To Take FE Prep Course
If you Need Help in Studying Every Topic
For every engineering discipline, there is a specified exam specification for each of them. It includes more or less 18 topics with 4 to 15 sub topics. Prep courses aim to cover all the topics and provide relative information for all of them. It also gives excellent advice and tactics on how you can tackle different problems.
If you Need a Study Schedule
Most examinees have different priorities and responsibilities. Some work from 9 to 5 and others still continue their education by pursuing masters degree. With that being said, preparing for the FE exam requires a flexible schedule. Prep courses are made to adjust your study schedule with your day to day life. This will help you if you are busy and have plenty of things on your plate.
If you have Different Learning Preference
There are two types of ways on how to access information. You can choose from Live Online or OnDemand courses. Live online is like a virtual classroom wherein there is teacher and students. You have to join the class at a specific time and you can communicate with them during the whole lecture.
On the other hand, OnDemand courses are prerecorded videos and tutorials. You can freely access the course at your own convenient time. But then, there will be no teacher or instructor during your review.
If you want Comprehensive Review Materials
Prep course offers various studying materials such as print outs, power point presentation and even recorded video teachings. So if you prefer reading the concepts or listening to video tutorial, it will be readily available for you. They also provide assignments that you can complete at the comfort of your home.
If you want In-depth Support
One outstanding advantage of taking prep course is having enough support and guidance throughout your review period. Most prep course provides support in different methods such as answers from live instructor, response through email and discussion in forums. Basically, they will provide guidance until you pass the FE exam and will help you keep track of your progress.
Qualities of A Good Prep Course
Offers Comprehensive Review Course
When choosing a prep course, you should consider the completeness of the topics that it covers. Since there are various types of disciplines, you should make sure that the material focuses on the specific type of exam that you have chosen. Some prep courses are too general so double check if they are specialized.
You should also consider their ways of delivering the materials. This can be through live classes, on-demand video, handouts and even practice sample problems.
Guarantees Money Back Option
Personally, I prefer a prep course that gives money back guarantee. This proves that the provider is confident on the material that they are offering. Plus this goes to your advantage because if ever you are not satisfied with your purchase, you can freely return it to them.
Accessible at Anytime
Accessibility is another factor that you should consider. Having a prep course that is available at anytime is needed if you have a busy schedule. Some people may have a 9 to 5 job and others may have other priorities so if you can access the courses at your own time and pace, it would be a great option. One good example of accessibility is the replay option of live lectures.
Above Average Support
It is also important to consider the support that the course is offering. You should make sure that the provider can respond to your question at the soonest possible time. So if ever you are stuck in a question, you can freely contact them to ask for support and guidance. This support can be in a form one-on-one help, questions during the live course and forums that you can post your question.
Best FE Exam Prep Course
There are plenty of FE exam prep course online. Most of them have been in this type of field for quite some time. Listed below are some of the best prep course that you can consider if you decide to enroll in one.
1. PPI's FE Prep Course
- Offers in-depth explanation and sample problems of all the topics listed on the exam specifications.
- Contains more or less 70 hours of lecture and information
- Provides reference materials, homework and comprehensive class notes
- Gives an option to repeat the OnDemand course for free if you fail the exam
PPI aims to guide examinees throughout their review period until they pass the test. They offer various review materials, lectures, problem solving samples, exam hacks and tips. Homework is also given to supplement the concepts that you have learned during the lecture. Basically, PPI hones the examinees to be prepared for the exam day.
Their Live Online courses are scheduled within a three-month period thus gives the examinees ample of time to refresh the engineering lessons and concepts that they have learned during college. PPI also makes sure that their materials are updated frequently based on NCEES exam specifications.
In this prep course, it is recommended to spend 15 - 20 hours per week. Based on their website, there are two schedule options. You can choose between Monday & Wednesday and Tuesday & Thursday.
Some tasks that you will encounter are attending lectures, completing assignments, taking quick tests and familiarizing the functions of your calculator.
Types of Courses
PPI offers two types of program that will coincide with your availability and learning preference. Both of them will allow you to watch lectures and problem solving demonstration at your own pace and schedule. You can also download the presentation slides that you can use when reviewing. Aside from that, tips will be given about the Casio FX-115 ES Plus calculator.
- There are several schedule choices throughout the year.
- You can communicate with the instructor and class on the discussion forums.
- Support and feedback will be provided by the instructor.
- Homework will be graded by the instructor.
- Recordings of live classes are available if you want to go over the topics
- This course can be assessed in three ways - monthly, for 3 months and for a year.
- Access the course materials at your own schedule
There are several payment options for the PPI prep course. The FE Live Online Course is worth $1,000 which includes live lectures, problem solving, support and access to forum. There are also bundle and group discounts so make sure that you inquire about it if you want to save some cash.
2. School of PE Prep Course
- Offers practice problems that stimulates the actual FE exam.
- Provides user-friendly student learning center which gives you access to download notes and allows you to ask questions to the instructors.
- Gives 72-hour comprehensive exam preparation
School of PE FE exam prep course is intended to help its students to pass the exam. They offer refresher classes that restores the engineering concepts that you have learned when you were in college. There are also workshop sessions that aims to provide FE exam practice problems that can aid in honing your solving skills.
The Live online prep course is offered four times a year. It is available from January to March, May to June, July to September and October to December. This gives the examinees the flexibility on when they want to prepare for the exam.
Types of Courses
Like other prep course, they also offer two learning formats. On both types of format, you are able to access the learning center wherein you can watch lecture videos and download review materials.
- This format is like the traditional classroom environment where an instructor leads the class while the students listen and interact. The only difference is that you can conveniently attend classes at home.
- Gives immediate access to lecture videos and materials that you can use to study.
- There are several options on how you can acquire the prep course. You can choose between 4, 6 or 8 months or monthly subscriptions.
There are four types of payment options. The first one is the 30-Day OnDemand Preview which is free. This is what I like about this prep course because it gives you the chance to test the waters. If you feel that this is not for you then you are not charged for your first month of trial.
Second is the OnDemand monthly subscription. This is appropriate for those people who doesn't want to commit for long period. It costs $290 per month. Next is the 4/6/8 Month OnDemand which costs for $990, $1190 and $1,390 respectively.
The last one is the live online course which is worth $1,290.
3. Excel Test FE Prep Course
- Offers Fundamentals of Engineering - Computer Based Test preparation for FE Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical. On the other hand, they recommend students from different discipline to take the FE Other Discipline prep course.
Excel Test Prep Course is designed to help examinees become familiar with the problems that are of the same kind given on the exam. It focuses on the concepts and practice problems that will prepare you for the test.
The live course is offered on different days of the week. Typically, classes are available on Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 4pm. You just have to choose your preferred date and time.
Types of Courses
- It has a program that gives complete instruction for the exam.
- Since it is online, you can participate on the class even if you are at home. You will be able to ask questions and go over the topic just like you are on a classroom.
- You need a reliable computer or laptop with high speed internet to access the courses.
- If you missed the class online, you can also watch the recorded video of the lecture.
- They will give you review notes and materials for your convenience.
- Offers the same course materials as the Live Online
- Gives you the convenience of accessing the recorded classes wherever you want
- You can replay the classes multiple times for a period of 4 months.
For both the live online and ondemand course, the cost of joining is $999 if you register at least a week before the start date. After that period, the fee will be $1,099.
FE exam prep course is a good option if you want in-depth guidance and support while preparing for the test. Since it offers various ways on how you can access the lectures and materials, it will definitely suit your schedule and learning preference.
Personally, I don't recommend having a prep course for FE exam because it costs too much money. But if you really need the help because you were out of class for long years or you have difficulty in studying on your own, then you can consider this.
If you have questions or concerns, feel free to let me know. Also, if you have other FE exam prep course suggestions, please share on the comment box below.