FE Exam Study Schedule – My Personal Study Plan to Pass the EIT Exam

Thinking of preparing for the FE exam feels like a tedious job. You have to study the various topics on the exam specifications. You also have to familiarize yourself in using the reference handbook as well mastering the calculator. It seems like there are plenty of things to do and accomplish. On the other hand, having a good FE exam study schedule can help you organize your thoughts when preparing for the test. So I decided to breakdown all the components of a study plan that you can use as a blueprint when taking the exam.

More...

​Advantages of Having a Study Schedule

  •  Keeps your review on track
  • Lists all the topics that needs to be covered
  • Gives a timeline that you can follow
  • Better and improved study habit
  • Helps you avoid procrastination
  • Enhanced Productivity
  • Helps to avoid stress
  • Gives a clear action plan
FE Exam Study Schedule

Elements of a Good Study Plan

​Having a study plan is not enough to pass the exam. You should make sure that the plan you are using is effective and coincides with your current situation.

Here is the list of elements of a successful study plan.

1. Personalized

Although there are a lot of study plans online that you can use, it is important to revise it based on your own personal capabilities. I recommend that you just use them as a guide or a source of idea. You should consider your strengths and weaknesses when creating your study plan. In this way, it will be an effective tool when you prepare for the exam.

2. Adaptable

Among the other elements, having an adaptable study plan is crucial in determining your success. As time pass by, your priorities change and your plan should be susceptible to these changes.

For example, if you are already confident with one engineering topic, then you can proceed with the next item that you feel that you are weak. Even if it is not specified on your timeline, you should adapt to these changes and adjust your plan.

3. Straightforward

When choosing a study material, you should only choose 1 - 2 resources. Since there are a lot of books and reviewers available, it is better to have something that is straightforward. Having multiple reviewers will only make you overwhelmed. Using a specific number of books will help you focus and understand the topics better.

Sample Study Schedule

​I provided a sample study schedule that you can use as guide. I used this when I prepared for my FE exam last September 2016. Although I took the FE Civil, you can still apply this to your chosen discipline. Feel free to utilize this study plan and incorporate it in your own.

At the latter part of this article, I will guide you through creating your own study schedule. I will also outline the steps that you can take to bring your plan into life.

Goals

  • To finish all the problems in FE Civil Review Manual
  • Familiarize the FE Reference Handbook
  • Get a 90% Passing Score from the FE Civil Practice Exam

Strengths

  • Mathematics
  • Engineering Economics
  • Statics
  • Dynamics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Hydraulics
  • Structural Analysis
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Construction

Weaknesses

  • Probability & Statistics
  • Computational Tools
  • Ethics & Professional Practice
  • Materials
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Structural Design
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Surveying

Timeline

​Day Number

​​Date

​​Weekday

​​Chapter Number

Subject

1

5/25/16

Wednesday

Introduction

Introduction; Units

​2

​​5/26/16

Thursday

1

Analytic Geom & Trigo

​3

​​5/27/16

Friday

2

Albegra

​4

​​5/28/16

Saturday

3

Calculus

​5

​​5/29/16

Sunday

4

Differential Eq & Trans

​6

​​5/30/16

Monday

5

Probability & Statistics

​7

​​5/31/16

Tuesday

none

Rest

​8

​​​6/1/16

Wednesday

6

Fluid Properties

​9

​​​​6/2/16

Thursday

7

Fluid Statics

​10

​​​​6/3/16

Friday

8

Fluid Measurement 

​11

​​​​6/4/16

Saturday

9

Hydrology

​12

​​​​6/5/16

Sunday

10

Hydraulics

​13

​​​​6/6/16

Monday

11

Groundwater

​14

​​​​6/7/16

Tuesday

none

Rest

​15

​​​​6/8/16

Wednesday

12

Water Quality

​16

​​​​6/9/16

Thursday

13

Water Supply 

​17

​​​​6/10/16

Friday

14

Wastewater Collection 

​18

​​​​6/11/16

Saturday

15

Activated Sludge 

​19

​​​​6/12/16

Sunday

16

Air Quality

​20

​​​​6/13/16

Monday

17

Soil Testing

​21

​​​​6/14/16

Tuesday

none

Rest

​22

​​​​6/15/16

Wednesday

18

Foundations

​23

​​​​6/16/16

Thursday

19

Rigid Retaining Walls

​24

​​​​6/17/16

Friday

20

Excavations

​25

​​​​6/18/16

Saturday

21

Forces & Moments

​26

​​​​6/19/16

Sunday

22

Trusses

​27

​​​​6/20/16

Monday

23

Pulleys & Cables

​28

​​​​6/21/16

Tuesday

none

Rest

​29

​​​​6/22/16

Wednesday

25

Indeterminate Statics

​30

​​​​6/23/16

Thursday

26

Kinematics

​31

​​​​6/24/16

Friday

27

Kinetics

​32

​​​​6/25/16

Saturday

28

Rotational Motion

​33

​​​​6/26/16

Sunday

29

Energy & Work

​34

​​​​6/27/16

Monday

30

Stresses & Strains

​35

​​​​6/28/16

Tuesday

none

Rest

​36

​​​​6/29/16

Wednesday

31

Thermal

​37

​​​​6/30/16

Thursday

32

Beams

​38

​​7/1/16

Friday

33

Columns

​39

​​​7/2/16

Saturday

34

Material Testing

​40

​​​7/3/16

Sunday

35

Engineering Materials

​41

​​​7/4/16

Monday

36

Struct Des: Materials

​42

​​​7/5/16

Tuesday

none

Rest

​43

​​​7/6/16

Wednesday

37

Rein Concrete: Beams

​44

​​​7/7/16

Thursday

38

RC : Columns

​45

​​​7/8/16

Friday

39

RC: Slabs

​46

​​​7/9/16

Saturday

40

RC: Walls

​47

​​​7/10/16

Sunday

41

RC: Footings

​48

​​​7/11/16

Monday

42

Structural Steel: Beams

​49

​​​7/12/16

Tuesday

none

Rest

​50

​​​7/13/16

Wednesday

43

Struc Steel: Columns

​51

​​​7/14/16

Thursday

44

SS: Tension Members

​52

​​​7/15/16

Friday

45

SS: Beam-Columns

​53

​​​7/16/16

Saturday

46

SS: Connectors

​54

​​​7/17/16

Sunday

47

Transportation Planning

​55

​​​7/18/16

Monday

48

Plane Surveying

​56

​​​7/19/16

Tuesday

none

Rest

​57

​​​7/20/16

Wednesday

49

Geometric Design

​58

​​​7/21/16

Thursday

50

Earthwork

​59

​​​7/22/16

Friday

51

Pavement Design

​60

​​​7/23/16

Saturday

52

Traffic Safety

​61

​​​7/24/16

Sunday

53

Construction Mgmt

​62

​​​7/25/16

Monday

54

 Project Methods

​63

​​​7/26/16

Tuesday

none

Rest

​64

​​​7/27/16

Wednesday

55

Const Documents

​65

​​​7/28/16

Thursday

56

Const Operations 

​66

​​​7/29/16

Friday

57

Construction Safety

​67

​​​7/30/16

Saturday

58

Computer Software

​68

​​​7/31/16

Sunday

59

Engineering Economics

​69

​​​​8/1/16

Monday

60

Professional Practice

​70

8/2/16

Tuesday

none

Rest

​71

8/3/16

Wednesday

61

Ethics

​72

8/4/16

Thursday

62

Licensure

​73

8/5/16

Friday

none

Practice Examination

​74

8/6/16

Saturday

none

Review Weak Points

​75

8/7/16

Sunday

none

Review Weak Points

​76

8/8/16

Monday

none

Review Weak Points

​77

8/9/16

Tuesday

none

Review Weak Points

​78

8/10/16

Wednesday

none

Retake Prac Exam

​79

8/11/16

Thursday

none

Rest

​80

8/12/16

Friday

none

Rest

​81

8/13/16

Saturday

none

FE Examination

Tips in Using the Study Schedule

Always use the FE Reference Handbook

During the FE exam, the only material that you can use is the FE Reference Handbook. By the way, the exam center will provide an electronic version of the handbook.

With this reason, I recommend that you master and familiarize yourself in using the material. When solving practice problems, always use the handbook when looking for the formula needed. In this way, you will find it easier to use it. Utilize the index at the back of the handbook. It will save you time when finding the required formulas.

During your review, you can download the latest FE Reference handbook from the NCEES website for free. I suggest that you opt to that option so you can save money. If you prefer a hard copy, you can borrow from your library. On the other hand, if you want to have a brand new one, then you can purchase it on the NCEES website.

FE Exam Study Guide

Solve At least 5 Problems a Day

The number one task that you need to do in order to pass the FE exam is to solve as many problems as possible. This will help you comprehend the various topics and will give you an idea on what are your weaknesses and strengths.

I know that it is tempting to just read the reviewer and memorize the solution for each problem. But let me tell you, it doesn't work well that way. Solving the problem on paper using a pen or pencil is still the most effective way of understanding the problem given. It will train your mind to solve the problem in the shortest possible time.

It seems like 5 problems a day is not a good amount of practice, but in the long run solving at least 5 problems will come a long way. This is best suited for those people who also work from 9 to 5 on weekdays. So, when you arrive at home, you can spend 1 - 2 hours in studying.

For those who have more time during the day, feel free to increase the number of problems that you should solve.

Steps on Solving a Problem

This is just a sample way on how I solve a specific practice problem. Feel free to use it or incorporate on your own solving tactics.

1. Read the problem - TWICE.

2. Determine the required.

3. List all the data given.

4. Search for keywords on the problem and use it to find the formula.

5. Use the FE Reference handbook and go over the index at the back.

6. Look for the page number of the keyword.

7. Write down the formula.

8. Incorporate all the given data and find a way to solve for the required.

9. If you can't get the correct answer, look at the solution on the reviewer.

10. Study the solution and try to solve again the problem on your own.

Plan Your Time

Since you already have your study schedule, you should be able to plan your time accordingly. For example, if you have Algebra scheduled for a specific day then you should make sure to follow it.

If you run out of time during the day and you still didn't finish a topic, then don't be too hard on yourself. Feel free to adjust your schedule based on your current standing. But make sure that you still have ample of time to cover all the remaining topics before your exam.

On the other hand, if you only have few days left to study, then you should be strict with the time limits that you indicated in your schedule. Even though you don't finish studying a certain topic on its specified time, move on to the next one. In this way, you will be able to cover more topics that you need to work on.

Create Your Own Study Schedule

Step 1: Set Your Goals

The first step that you need to do when creating your own study schedule is to set your goals. As you determine your goals, make sure that they are realistic and achievable. Also, ensure that you write it down on a piece of paper. Research say that writing down your goals gives better results compared to just saying it or making a note on your laptop or cellphone. I recommend that you write at least 3 realistic goals.

Step 2: Take a Diagnostic Test

After setting your goals, the second step is to take a diagnostic test. If you are using the FE Review Manual, there is a specified test at the start of each chapter. If you don't have the review manual then you can also search some free diagnostic tests online. Just type the keyword (ex. Mathematics) on search engines, and find an exam that covers the topic.

This preliminary test will determine your strengths and weaknesses in which you will use on Step 3.

Step 3: Determine Your Strengths & Weaknesses

Now that you already took a diagnostic test, it is time to write down your strengths and weaknesses. In this part, be honest on yourself. Make sure that you tally your score for each topic. See below for the metrics that I use.

Weakness - 50% or below

Strength - 60% or up

Personally, I believe in this metric because it pushes you to do better and not settle for mediocrity. So if you get 50% or below correct answers then it should be considered as weakness. But if you get 60% and up then it is a strength. For example, if you got 5 correct answers out of 10, distinguish that topic as a weakness.

Step 4: Create a Timeline

The fourth step is to create a timeline. This will give you a specific schedule that you need to follow throughout your review period. I provided a sample timeline above. Feel free to use it.

Just feel up the information needed in each column including the Day Number, Date, Weekday, Chapter Number and Subject.

Day Number

Start with '1' going to the final number of days. Typically, you can schedule your review within 3 - 4 months.

Date

Let's say you plan to study for 3 months. So from your exam date, count 90 days backwards. That will be your review start date.

Weekday

Just put the corresponding day.

Chapter Number

If you are using the FE Review Manual, you will be able to see the chapter numbers on the table of contents.

Subject

This can also be found from the table of contents. By the way, if you notice on my sample schedule above, I put rest day every after 6 days. This depends on your own preference. You can also put 2 rest days after a work week of studying. Feel free to input the rest days based on your preference

Step 5: Track your Progress

Having a study schedule will not be effective if you don't track your progress. So every rest day, I suggest that you look into your schedule and determine if you are still on the right path. This will ensure that you can make precautionary measures if you go behind from your schedule.

This step will also remind you of your remaining tasks. It will reinforce your focus and help you attain your goals.

On the other hand, if you are ahead of your schedule, then use that time to go over your weak points. In this way, no time will be wasted.

Step 6: Achieve Your Goal

After tracking your progress, the last step would be achieving your goals. If you feel that you are already exhausted or you feel overwhelmed, you should definitely pause and have some rest.

By the way, you should remember that taking a rest day is important to keep your energy and motivation during your review period. Just like cars, you have to take a break if you are already overheated.

Studying is Different for Everyone

You maybe thinking right now that preparing for the FE exam takes a lot of time and requires effort and hard work. Let me tell you, you are right. But this can be minimized by having a good study schedule.

As you create your own study schedule, you should remember that studying is different for everyone. We have different weaknesses and strengths so you should incorporate your own study habits on your plan.

By the way, if you are not confident in studying on your own, there are also review classes that you can attend. I will discuss about review classes on another post.

The study plan presented in here is just a guide that you can use to gain some idea. I hope that this can help you in preparing for the FE exam.

If you have questions, feel free to comment below so that I can help you. Also, feel free to share your own study schedule and plan as you study for the FE exam.

John Rico
 

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

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: