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Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam

This guide provides information about preparing for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.

Exam Rules and Requirements

The NCEES FE Reference Handbook is the only reference material that can be used during the exam. You will be provided with an electronic reference handbook during the exam. For access prior to your exam, you may either purchase a hard copy or download a free electronic copy (You must log in to your MyNCEES account to download).

Only certain calculators are allowed (2020 list):

  • Casio: All fx-115 and fx-991 models (Any Casio calculator must have “fx-115” or “fx-991” in its model name.)
  • Hewlett Packard: The HP 33s and HP 35s models, but no others
  • Texas Instruments: All TI-30X and TI-36X models (Any Texas Instruments calculator must have “TI-30X” or “TI-36X” in its model name.)

Check the NCEES site for the most current list of approved calculators. 

Note:  Some Penn State Libraries have calculators available for loan, including some of these models.

Exam questions

The FE exam includes traditional multiple-choice questions as well as alternative item types (AITs). AITs include but are not limited to the following:

  • Multiple correct—allows examinees to select multiple answers
  • Point and click—requires examinees to click on part of a graphic to answer
  • Drag and drop—requires examinees to click on and drag items to match, sort, rank, or label
  • Fill in the blank—provides a space for examinees to enter a response to the question

There are 110 questions in all.

Exam results are based on the total number of correct answers that you selected. There are no deductions for wrong answers.