Fundamentals of Engineering exam

Fundamentals of Engineering exam

In the United States, the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (also known as the FE exam) is the first of two examinations engineers must pass in order to be certified as a Professional Engineer. Other short terms for the exam include EIT, which comes from the former official name for the exam, Engineer In Training, and EI, which comes from Engineer Intern, another former name used in some states. It is open to anyone who has a degree in engineering or a related field, or is in their last year of an ABET-accredited engineering degree program. Some state licensure boards permit students to take it prior to their final year, and numerous states allow those who have never attended an approved program to take the exam if they have a state-determined number of years of work experience in engineering. Michigan allows anyone in the last years of an ABET accredited Engineering program to take the exam, according to ELSES - Michigan Exam Registration. The exam is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). A selection of states allow those with ABET accredited Engineering "Technology" or "TAC" degrees to take the examination.

The exam is eight hours long altogether, split into two four-hour sessions with a 30 minute lunch break in between. However, one hour passes between when time is called for the morning session to end until admission starts for the afternoon session. This accounts for the time required to collect the morning exam. Morning admission typically begins around 7:15 A.M.CDT . Students are encouraged to arrive at the testing location as close as possible to this time. Failure to appear before the doors are closed (around 7:45 A.M. CDT) will result in the student being turned away from the testing site. It typically takes 20-30 minutes for the proctors to pass out the materials and go over the exam procedures, so that the morning session begins shortly after 8:00 A.M. CDT Similar procedures are followed in the afternoon session, with admission starting around 12:15 P.M. CDT and ending around 12:45 P.M. CDT; the test itself begins shortly after 1:00 P.M.CDT

The morning session is a 120-question general exam for which all examinees must sit, while the afternoon session consists of 60 questions and is more discipline-oriented. For this second half, examinees choose one of the following seven tests: chemical engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, or general engineering (similar in content to the morning exam, but far more detailed). The choice does not have to be made in advance, but rather on the day of the test.

Writing tools and scratch paper may not be brought to the testing site. Mechanical pencils are issued to all examinees, and the test booklet may be used as scratch paper for working problems. No calculators are allowed except for those specifically approved by NCEES and listed below; these models have no programming or communications capabilities which could allow people to cheat. The only reference material that may be used is a handbook which is issued to examinees in the morning; it must be left in the room after each session. For study purposes, this handbook may be obtained by downloading from the NCEES Web site or by purchasing a hard copy. However, examinees may not bring their own copies to the test site; they must use the ones issued to them by the proctors and may not write in them.

The topics covered by the general exam are covered in the courses taken by engineering undergraduates, and include (as of 2007):

* Mathematics
* Chemistry
* Computers
* Statics
* Dynamics
* Strength of materials
* Material science
* Electrical circuits
* Thermodynamics
* Fluid mechanics
* Engineering economics
* Engineering Management
* Ethics
* Environmental Engineering
* Biology (Afternoon only; general discipline)

A scaled score of 70 is required to pass the exam. This does not mean one needs to answer 70% of the answers correctly to pass, however. A portion of previous exam questions are then given on subsequent exams. After the exam, a statistical analysis of these questions is used to equate the new test to the benchmark test. This makes all of the tests more or less equal in difficulty.

Those who pass the exam are designated Engineer In Training or given an equivalent designation, such as Engineer Intern, by their state's licensure board for engineers, and are partway through the certification process. After completing an apprenticeship (the length of which is set by state law and based on the type of degree received) an EIT may qualify to take the Professional Engineer (PE) exam. Certification is awarded upon successful completion of the PE exam. The standard time of apprenticeship under a Professional Engineer is 5 years of work experience for graduates of an ABET-accredited engineering program.

The exam is colloquially referred to by engineers and engineering students as the Ironman, due to FE representing Iron on the Periodic Table of the Elements.

Calculator Policy

In order to prevent an examinee from gaining an unfair advantage, NCEES allows only the following calculators to be used on the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam [http://www.ncees.org/exams/calculators/#policy]
* Casio fx-115
* Hewlett Packard HP 33s and HP 35s
* Texas Instruments TI-30X and TI-36xThe calculator must clearly display its model number so that exam proctors can quickly identify the calculator is approved for use during the exam.The list of allowed calculators is revised each November. It is crucial that any examinee check the NCEES website to verify their calculator is acceptable. Absolutely no other calculators are allowed. Using a non-permitted calculator after the exam has begun will result in the examinee having his or her exam confiscated immediately and the exam will not be scored. All selected models, depending on student background (HPs are Reverse Polish Notation) are efficient in solving problems.

U.S. Patent Office

Passage of the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, coupled with graduation with any bachelor's degree, satisfies the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's technical requirements for sitting for its registration examination to become either a registered patent attorney or patent agent. The typical way the technical requirements are satisfied is by possessing a bachelor's degree in a specified technical area or amassing a certain number of undergraduate credit hours in a designated technical area.

External links

* [http://www.ncees.org Official NCEES website]
* [http://www.ncees.org/licensure/licensing_boards/ State Licensing Boards]
* [http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/olia/oed/roster/index.html U.S. Patent and Trademark Office]
* [http://www.ncees.org/exams/calculators/ NCEES Calculator Policy]


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