In this article (and video above), I explain the mysteries behind the FE exam scoring process and share some invaluable tips to help you pass the FE exam.
1. A Scaled Scoring System
Let me begin by shedding some light on the distinctive FE exam scoring process. What sets this exam apart is its a scaled scoring system, which only considers correct answers. This scaling accounts for varying difficulty levels across different exam versions, ensuring a fair assessment for all candidates. This also means that you should NEVER LEAVE A QUESTION BLANK. Only correct answers help you, but wrong answers don’t hurt you, so at a minimum, just guess the ones you didn’t answer before the end of the exam.
2. The Essence of Psychometric Methods
The FE exam encompasses various question types, each aimed at assessing different skills. These include aptitude, quantitative reasoning, mechanical and logical reasoning, and inductive reasoning questions. Understanding these different types of questions can significantly aid in your preparation.
3. Understanding the Fluctuating Pass Rates
Exam pass rates are a crucial aspect to understand. In 2023, for example, rates varied from 51% to 69% across different engineering disciplines. It’s important to recognize that these rates are dynamic and do not necessarily indicate the difficulty level of each discipline.
4. Your FE Exam Results
Post-exam, candidates receive a straightforward pass or fail outcome. For those who don’t pass, a diagnostic report is provided, which is a valuable tool for identifying areas of improvement for future attempts.
5. The Diagnostic Report
The diagnostic report is an essential resource for re-takers. It details your performance in each subject, allowing you to pinpoint where you need to focus your study efforts.
6. The Passing Score
Aiming for the passing score, typically around 70%, requires an understanding that this figure is subject to change. The focus should be on comprehensive preparation rather than on the fluctuating passing score. In other words, focus on preparing and doing lots of practice problems NOT trying to get a 70.
In closing, don’t be intimidated by the statistical aspects of the FE exam. Whether it’s your first attempt or a subsequent one, the key lies in diligent practice and thorough understanding of the NCEES® reference guidebook.
Remember, while the exam is challenging, it’s far from impossible. Use the resources provided by NCEES® effectively, and focus on your weak areas for a better chance at success.
This Episode Is Brought to You by PPI, A Kaplan Company:
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 the 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