In this article, (and video above), I delve into the details of the approved calculators for the year 2023. If you’re gearing up to take this crucial step towards professional licensure, you’ll definitely want to pay close attention.
Taking the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is a significant milestone for any aspiring engineer, and one of the key tools you’ll rely on during the exam is your calculator. Trust me, it’s not just any calculator; it’s your trusty sidekick for tackling those complex engineering problems. Before the big day, it’s essential to become best friends with your calculator. I’m talking about knowing it inside out! Here are some operations you should be confident with:
- Vector operations
- Matrix operations
- Using complex numbers
- Solving logarithms
- Solving permutations
- Solving integrals and derivatives
- Storing and recalling variables
- Converting between polar and rectangular numbers
- Switching between degrees and radians
- Solving systems of linear equations
- Understanding the time value of money
Digital Calculator Option
For those of you taking computer-based exams, the NCEES has introduced a digital calculator. It’s modeled after the TI-30X IIS Scientific Calculator and can be accessed on the same computer as the exam. While it’s a great backup, remember it might be a bit slower than a handheld calculator. Plus, you’ll have to switch back and forth between the exam and the calculator, which can be time-consuming. Avoid this hassle by ensuring your handheld calculator is charged and ready to go the night before the exam.
Approved Calculator Models
The NCEES keeps a close eye on these, updating the list annually. Here are the only 3 approved calculators that you can use for the 2023 exams:
The NCEES approves all fx-115 and fx-991 models for use on its exams. So, any Casio calculator you pick must have ‘fx-115’ or ‘fx-991’ in its model name. Here are a couple of approved models:
* Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator
* Casio fx-991EX Engineering/Scientific Calculator
If you’re an HP fan, there are only two approved models you can bring:
* HP 33s Scientific Calculator
* HP 35s Scientific Calculator
Texas Instruments enthusiasts, you’re in luck! The NCEES approves all TI-30X and TI-36X models for use on its exams. Just remember that any Texas Instruments calculator you choose must have ‘TI-30X’ or ‘TI-36X’ in its model name. The two most popular options are:
* TI-30X IIS Scientific Calculator (Remember, it’s also available digitally on the exam)
* TI-36X Pro Scientific Calculator
Make sure to get your hands on one of these approved calculators and become best friends with it before the FE exam. Remember, preparation is key to success.
This Episode Is Brought to You by PPI
PPI has helped engineers achieve their licensing goals since 1975. Passing the FE and PE exams can open doors to career advancement and new opportunities. Check out PPI’s wide range of prep options, including Live Online courses, OnDemand courses, and digital study tools to help prepare you to pass your licensing exam here.
In upcoming articles, I will answer more FE Exam questions and run through more practice problems. We publish videos bi-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 – 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