In this post (and video above), I talk about the 3 most common mistakes people make during the FE Exam and how you can avoid making the same mistakes. Thinking about what you shouldn’t be doing can give you a better idea of what you need to be doing during the exam.
Here Are the 3 Most Common Mistakes That People Make During the FE Exam:
- Do not try to answer any questions that you are unclear on during your first pass through the exam. Time is your biggest barrier to passing the FE exam and every second counts. Therefore, when you go through your exam during your first pass, answer only the questions that you feel 100% confident about. If there is any doubt in your mind that you can answer a question correctly, skip it and come back to it on your second pass. You must get as many questions right as possible, there is no time to waste. A lot of people go through the exam one problem after the next regardless of the difficulty level or their knowledge related to the questions. The problem with this approach is that if you spend 10 minutes on a problem and then get it wrong, doing so may prevent you from answering other questions that you could easily get right, simply because you didn’t have enough time to get to them. This is a HUGE mistake that many people make, but you can avoid it by nailing the easy problems first and coming back to the harder ones later on.
- Another mistake people make is they finish early, with time to spare, and so they just hand in their exams. Don’t end early on either half of the exam, go back and double or triple check problems. Let’s say you finish the first half of the exam early, don’t just submit it, and move on, because you can’t go back once you do. Go back through the problems, and double-check your answers, especially problems that you struggled with. You may be able to find a mistake in one or two problems when you go back over them, and this could be the difference between passing and failing the exam. You can use that extra time to double-check or re-calculate some answers that you were on the fence about.
- While time is a factor, DO NOT rush through the exam. By taking practice exams, before exam day, in a timed environment, you should get more comfortable knowing how much time you can spend on each problem, so you don’t rush through the problems and make mistakes. Again, one mistake is all it can take to move you from pass to fail.
So, tackle the easy questions first, all the way through, and don’t submit the exam early. Use the extra time to double-check your answers, and don’t go so fast that you are rushing your work.
The bottom line here is that your exam day approach and execution is just as important as studying the technical materials for the months prior to the exam. So, please treat it as such.
I hope you found this week’s article helpful. In upcoming videos, I will share some more studying strategies and also cover some more problems including engineering economics practice problems.
We publish videos weekly on our Pass the FE Exam YouTube Channel. Be sure to visit our page here and click the subscribe button as you’ll get expert tips and tricks each week – to ensure your best success – that you can’t get anywhere else. Believe me, you won’t want to miss a single video.
Lastly, I encourage you to ask questions in the comments of the videos or here on this page and I’ll read and respond to them in future videos. So, if there’s a specific topic you want me to cover or answer, we have you covered.
I’ll see you next week.
Anthony Fasano, P.E.
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success