The Format and Scoring of the FE Exam
The exam consists of two sessions: a morning session and an afternoon session. The morning session contains 120 problems, each of which is worth one point, meaning that the total possible points for the morning session are 120. The afternoon session contains 60 problems, each of which is worth two points. Thus, a maximum possible score of 120 points is possible for the afternoon session. Both the morning and afternoon sessions have equal weight in the overall exam score. A predetermined passing percentage is not established ahead of time and will vary on an annual basis depending on the difficulty level of the questions.
The morning session lasts four hours and covers general engineering subjects. This is followed by a one-hour break and then the afternoon session. The afternoon sessions lasts four hours and covers discipline-specific engineering subjects. The morning session contains questions of approximately the following proportions: 19 math, 8 probability, 11 chemistry, 8 computer, 8 ethics, 10 economics, 6 statics, 7 dynamics, 8 material strength, 8 material properties, 8 fluids, 11 electricity, and 8 thermodynamics Security+ certification.
The afternoon session contains questions of approximately the following proportions: 6 math, 5 probability, 6 economics, 8 material strength, 7 material properties, 9 fluids, 7 electricity, 9 thermodynamics, and 3 biology.
One unique feature of the FE exam is that test-takers are given the NCEES Reference Handbook to use while taking the exam. This handbook outlines all the major formulas and equations that are covered on the test. Therefore, the test administrators do not expect students to memorize formulas for the test. Instead, the comprehension of major concepts is the ultimate goal. After registering for the exam, test-takers will receive in the mail a copy of the NCEES handbook. When studying for the exam, test-takers are strongly encouraged to use a highlighter on the equations that appear most often on the FE exam.