NCEES FE Exam Dates – When Can You Take the Exam?
Scheduling your Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is a major step that determines your willingness to get your EIT certification. Once you paid for the registration fee, you are already obliged to take it no matter what. But before you decide on your test date, it seems like you want to first know the NCEES FE exam dates. So I decided to create this article and try to explain the recent changes on the testing schedule.
Exam Specifications - Overview
Like what I always say on my articles, Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is the initial step that you need to complete in order to start your journey of becoming a professional licensed engineer. Some people take it during their senior year in college and some sit in after they graduate.
Actually, there are also those people who are trying to take the exam even after years of working experience in the engineering field. I must say that there is no general rule on when you should take the exam. The important thing is you are working on it.
Last 2014, FE exam was converted to computer-based test (CBT). This means that there will be no paper and pencil needed. From 180 questions, it was narrowed down to 110 questions. You will need to answer the first 55 questions before proceeding to the next set of 55.
The first 2 minutes is about the Nondisclosure agreement, followed by an 8-minute tutorial. By the way, you have an option to take 25 minutes before in between of these two sets. So you only have 5 hours and 20 minutes left to finish the exam.
The general breadth morning section was already eliminated. Basically, you will only take discipline specific exam based on your chosen field. Some disciplines include the following:
- FE Chemical
- FE Civil
- FE Electrical and Computer
- FE Environmentak
- FE Industrial and Systems
- FE Mechanical
- FE Others
If you go to the official NCEES website, you will be able to check the exam specifications per discipline. In the page, you will see the list of knowledge that is specific to your chosen engineering field. Subtopics are also listed in each major topic.
For example, for Mathematics, you need to study about Analytic geometry, Calculus, Roots of equations and Vector analysis. The number of questions per topic is also indicated on the list.
I recommend that you first go through this section before choosing the discipline that you want to take. In this way, you will know what to expect during the test.
FE Exam Dates - All Year Round
I remember reading on FE Review Manual that the exam is administered eight months of the year. And it mentioned that there are no exams on March, June, September or December. I am not sure if this information is still true. If ever you know if this is still the case, please let me know on the comment box below.
Nevertheless, as what I have mentioned above, NCEES already converted all the FE exam to computer-based test. Because of this, FE exam can be taken all year round. This benefits most examinees since it offers flexibility when scheduling your test date.
If you want to know the exact schedule or dates, I will not be able to provide that information. You will not be able to see the schedule until you pay the registration fee. I believe it is worth $175.
On the other hand, I am sure that you are given one year to schedule your exam after registering and paying the fee. So you have plenty of time to decide on what date you want to sit in for the test.
How Many Times Can You Take the FE Exam?
Even though the test can be taken all year round, you are only given limited chances to take it per period of time. NCEES only allows the examinees to take the FE exam once during any two-month period and only three times in a 12-month period. So if you took your exam on April, you can't retake it until June.
Personally, I like this limit on retaking because it allows the examinee to study and prepare for the next one. I think two months is already enough to go over the topics that you are weak. So I suggest that you determine your weak points based on your diagnostic report if ever you opt to take it again.
Know Your Test Center Locations
Since the FE exam is already done on a computer, the test can be taken through testing centers. Pearson VUE is the official partner of NCEES and they are the one who manages and operates the exam.
If you want to know the closest location, just got to the Test Center Search on Pearson Vue Website. Type your zip code or location and they will provide the lists of location based on how far it is from you. This is certainly helpful when choosing your test location.
Register When You're Ready
Taking the FE exam shouldn't be a race or contest. You should take it at your own comfortable pace. It may seem that you should take the test after graduation or the soonest possible time but this is not always the case. I suggest that you dictate your own schedule and register if you are prepared and ready.
Remember, you have one year after you register to decide on when you want to take the exam. I suggest that you sit in after 3 to 4 months of preparation and review. If possible try going for 6 months. It just depends on if you are already comfortable to take it.
If you want to learn more about registering for the FE exam, feel free to check out my article about it. I provided a step-by-step guide on how you can successfully do it.
If ever you have questions or concerns, just leave a message on the comment box below and I will respond as soon as possible. Also, please share you own personal experience, tips, hacks and advice about scheduling your FE exam.