Skip to content.

FE Exam

The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam is the first step towards obtaining registration as a Professional Engineer (PE). Becoming a PE is essential for those seeking employment in Power Systems Engineering. In other electrical engineering or computer engineering specialties, being registered as a PE is typically not required, but pasing the FE Exam demonstrates to prospective employers that the candidate has the knowledge and the skills to practice engineering.  After passing the FE Exam, an engineering graduate can be registered as an Engineer in Training (EIT). After four years of professional practice as an engineer and passing the PE Exam, and engineer is eligible to become a PE.

When should the FE Exam be taken: The best time for an undergraduate student to take the FE Exam is in the senior year, especially in the semester prior to graduation. By then, an undergraduate student will have completed the necessary coursework that is included in the FE Exam. The FE Exam is computer-based and is offered most of the business days during the year in a test center in South Fargo.

Preparation for the FE Exam: I recommend the book FE Electrical and Computer Review Manual by Michael R. Lindeburg.

This book reviews the material for the FE Exam and has several sample problems per topic. It also has recommendations on study schedule that you may find useful. This review book also has a companion book with practice problems. However, you may find the problems provided in the book adequate for the preparation. The topics included in the FE Exam in Electrical and Computer Engineering are:

In the preparation for the FE Exam, I also recommend downloading the latest version of the FE Exam Handbook in PDF format from the web page of the NCEES: You will have to create an account at NCEES, which is free. It is very helpful to use this handbook as a reference in PDF format in a computer while solving the practice problems, since the PDF file of this handbook is the only reference that is allowed to be used on the computer screen during the computer-based FE Exam.

FE Exam approved calculator

      Casio: All fx-115 and fx-991 models (Any Casio calculator must have “fx-115” or “fx-991” in its model name.)

      Hewlett Packard: The HP 33s and HP 35s models, but no others

      Texas Instruments: All TI-30X and TI-36X models (Any Texas Instruments calculator must have “TI-30X” or “TI-36X” in its model name.)

I recommend the use of the Casio calculators, since they have a feature that allows equations to be displayed in the same way in which we write them on the paper. They are also very easy to work with complex numbers for phasor analysis. It is also important to study the manual that can be downloaded in PDF format, so that one can make use of the full potential of this calculator.

How to initiate the process to schedule the FE Exam: Before you can take the FE Exam to become an EIT, you will need to apply for an EIT license at the North Dakota Board of Professional Engineers. You can also prepare and send the application to the Minnesota Board of PE or to the Board of another state in which you are planning to reside and practice engineering. Note that there is a process to transfer a license to another State, if you wish to do so in the future. In North Dakota, you can find the necessary forms and instructions in the web page Once the ND Board of PE approves your application to take the FE Exam, you can sign up for the FE Exam at the NCEES web page:

If you are already an EIT with at least four years of professional experience: Being an EIT with at least four years of professional experience as an engineer, you are eligible to become registered as a PE after passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam in your ECE specialty ( There are three different PE Exams in the ECE specialties: PE Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering, PE Electrical and Computer: Electronics, Controls, and Communications, PE Electrical and Computer: Power. To prepare for the PE Electrical and Computer: Electronics, Controls, and Communications exam, I recommend the book Electronics, Controls, and Communications Reference Manual by John A. Camara.

The COE at NDSU also has information about the FE Exam posted in the following web page:

Disclosure: Dr. Lima has no financial interests on the commercial products recommended above. The recommendations are based only on his own professional experience using those products.

This Web page represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of North Dakota State University.
NDSU is not responsible or liable for its contents.