FE Exam Review Materials: Quality is Better than Quantity
Gaining your EIT certification is not an easy job. There are a lot of steps that need to be taken care of. It requires hard work and consistency when preparing for the exam. You should also make sure that you have good study materials and resources that can help you in covering the exam topics. That's why in this article, I will present all the FE Exam review materials that I personally used and helped me pass the exam.
Before we proceed with the review materials, you should first determine the engineering discipline that you want to focus on. Most of the review materials that you can use have specific version based on the disciplines listed below.
- FE Chemical
- FE Civil
- FE Electric & Computer
- FE Environmental
- FE Industrial & Systems
- FE Mechanical
- FE Others
There are plenty of books and resources that you can utilize when preparing for the exam. If you do a quick search on google, you will find various of materials that seems to be all relevant. But let me tell you that not all of them are helpful. You might get tempted to purchase every reviewer that you see but you should remember that quality is better than quantity.
Personally, I only used three materials during my review for my FE exam. These include the FE reference handbook, FE Civil review manual, and FE Civil practice exam. I will go over each material and try to give some relevant tips that you can also incorporate in your study plan.
By the way, all these materials have their own counterpart for other disciplines. So for example, if you are taking the FE Mechanical exam, just choose the correct version of the book or reviewer.
FE Reference Handbook - NCEES
Among all the FE reference materials, this handbook is the most important one. It's because it is the only material that you can open on the test. By the way, an electronic version will be provided by the testing center during the exam.
Personally, this is the material that I spent much of my time when studying. Whenever I solve a practice problem, I use the handbook to find the formula needed.
Steps to Download the free FE Reference Handbook
1. Login to your MyNCEES account. If you haven't created an account, go first to ncees.org and create one.
2. After logging in, hover to the 'Useful Documents' section and click 'Reference Handbooks'.
3. Click on the FE Reference Handbook 9.5.
4. If you prefer a hard copy, you can print this document from the website. Just make sure that you don't reproduce and distribute it on any way. You can also buy one on their website. Based on the last time I checked, it costs $13.95.
Let me walk you through the contents of this handbook. Basically, it contains charts, formulas, tables and equations that are valuable in solving the problems.
When solving problems, it is important to make sure that all your units are consistent. Most of the time, the reason why you don't get the correct answer is because of unit inconsistency. So, the conversion factors in the handbook will be handy when answering the problems.
Another significant part of the handbook is the index. This will tremendously assist you when finding the formula or table that you need. Since your only given more or less 5 minutes to solve each problem during the exam, it will definitely save you time.
Other Tips on Using the FE Reference Handbook
If you are using the electronic version, you can click the Ctrl+F option to find keywords on the handbook. Although it may consume more time because it will show all the related keywords inside the handbook.
FE Civil Review Manual - Michael R. Lindeburg, PE
The only reviewer that I used to prepare for the exam is the FE Civil Review Manual by Michael R. Lindeburg, PE. Actually, I found it online when I was searching for the best reviewer to use for the exam. I think I bought it for less than $100 during that time. By the way, you can also choose a different version of the manual based on your discipline.
Aside from the hard copy, you can access several free online features at ppi2pass.com/feprepupdate. If you can see at the front of your book it says go to feprep.com but recently they already changed the link.
Some online features are:
- Electronic version of the manual
- Annotate contents
- Answer the diagnostic exam in an interactive option
- Establish a study schedule based on its chapters
- Submit suspected errors
- View known changes
- Receive updates on the book
After you go to the new link, fill up your information on the form provided on the page. In the comment box, include the registration number indicated on your book. Also, attach the receipt of purchase on the 'attach files'. If you bought it online, take a screenshot of your purchase order. After you submit, their customer support will contact you later on.
Make sure that you go over the introduction. It will explain all the necessary things that you need to know before starting to use the book. It will also go over the exam structure, duration, registering for the exam, do's & don't's and what items you can bring during the exam.
Giving some time to read this part is crucial in order to better understand the process. I recommend that you don't skip it.
The manual will also provide a sample study schedule that you can utilize and change based on your own preference. By the way, I created a step by step guide on how you can create your own study schedule. Feel free to take a look at it later on.
Other Tips on Using the FE Review Manual
What I like about it is that it explains all the topics included on the FE exam specifications. This ensures that you will be able to cover all the things that you need to study. In each chapter, it provides diagnostic test that you can take before proceeding to the review proper. The test will help you determine if that specific topic is your strength or weakness.
When going through the sample problems, make sure that you incorporate the FE reference handbook when looking for the formulas needed. In this way, you will be trained in utilizing the handbook.
FE Civil Practice Exam - NCEES
The last material that I used is the FE Civil Practice Exam. I bought it on the NCEES website for less than $30. Just like the review manual, it is also offered in different versions based on your discipline. By the way, I recommend that you buy this material 2 - 3 weeks before your test date.
What I like about this practice exam is that it stimulates the level of difficulty of the actual problems on the FE exam. Basically, it will help you determine if you are already prepared for the big day.
When taking the practice test, I suggest that you do it with a time limit. This will help you imagine the feeling of being on the test proper. It will also test your agility in solving the problems. Also, use the electronic version of the reference handbook when looking for the formulas or tables needed.
After taking the practice exam, you will be able to learn the topics that you still need to work on.
Aside from the materials above that I personally used, I also listed other resources that other FE exam passers recommend in order to pass the exam.
FE Review Manual: Rapid Preparation for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam
This manual is the general version of the FE review manual by Michael Lindeburg. Basically, it is a summary of all the topics included on the exam specifications. It includes step-by-step solutions on how to solve problems. It also has an index that contains various terms to help you in referencing.
If you are not satisfied with the explanation of topics on the discipline-specific review manual, then you can opt to have this one.
FE Practice Problems
Another material that is recommended by other exam takers is the FE Practice Problems. It is also offered in different discipline versions.
This is a good resource if you are not contented with the problems presented in the review manual. It contains more than 400 problems that can aid you in understanding the exam topics. There are also solutions that explains the process of obtaining the answer.
Start Studying for the FE Exam
Studying for the FE exam is a crucial factor that determines the result of your test. That's why you should definitely take some time in choosing the best materials and resources that you can use on your study schedule.
I recommend that you only use 2 - 3 materials in order to have a better understanding of the topics that you need to work on. This will also give you focus of mind during your preparation for the FE exam.
If ever you have questions or concerns, please let me know in the comment box below so that I can help you. Also, feel free to share your own personal favorite review material that helped you pass the FE exam.