How long should I study for the FE Exam is a question asked by many engineers and the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. That is why, in this article (and video above) I am going to explain how long I believe you should study for the FE Exam.
So let’s think about the length of study required to pass the FE exam.
Here Are 3 Things To Consider:
1. At What Stage in Your Life Are You Taking the Exam
While attempting this exam for the first time, it is a huge factor related to how long you will need to study. If you are a college student currently finishing up your engineering degree, a lot of the concepts on the exam will be fresh in your mind, not all of them, but quite a lot of them. The concepts that aren’t fresh can be easily learned as you are in study, or educational mode in your life right now.
However, if you are more than a few years removed from graduating college, then you will probably require more study time, maybe significantly more, because the concepts on the exam won’t be fresh in your mind, but also because you’re not used to studying for exams as you haven’t done it for a while.
2. What Type of Test Taker Are You?
You should consider the type of test taker that you are. We can all think of those engineering students that we knew in college that could go out partying until 3 am in the morning the night before their advanced structural engineering exam, and then aced the exam. However, we also know people (like me) who need to put in a lot of effort to do well on exams. Which person are you? This is a very important consideration when determining how much time you will need to study for the FE Exam.
3. Talk to Others
Do some research on past examinees. Talk to people who took and passed or failed the exam and ask about their study time and habits. I’ve done this for you. I have spoken with a good amount of engineers on this topic, and most engineers say that they studied for 3 to 6 months leading up to the FE exam, for roughly 3 to 5 hours per week. Yes, there have been a few that said they studied only for a month, but they were in the minority.
Let me leave you with one last thought. Passing this exam is a critical step in your engineering career, and therefore I would air on the side of studying too much rather than too less. Believe me, you don’t want to take this exam twice.
I hope you found this week’s article helpful. In upcoming articles I will answer more FE Exam questions and run through more practice problems.
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And I encourage you to ask questions in the comments that I’ll read and respond to in future videos. So if there’s a specific topic you want me to cover or a question you want answered, Pass the FE Exam will have you covered.
I’ll see you next week.
Anthony Fasano, P.E.
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success