Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Pass the FE Exam

I studied for my EIT exam in 2004 using  a heavy book from Great Lakes Press, with an FE practice exam in the back. I also ordered a copy of the NCEES supplied reference handbook. Now I know there are many great tools available. I could have saved a lot of time if I'd had better materials.Want to know how to pass the FE exam? Easy. Take several practice exams. Take one immediately. Then, take more periodically. Adjust your study emphasis based upon the results of the most recent exam and the overall trend in your performance.

Taking practice exams became a fun tool. As I studied, I found taking short quizzes to actually be fun- I could see my progress quickly and easily. I also realized how effective it was to learn. Because of the elevated mental intensity of  testing myself, I remembered what I had worked much better compared to the time I spent working problems sitting in coffee shops (lots of conversations and goings on.) Additionally, I reviewed each problem I missed on my quizzes. Practice FE exams provided the carefully worked solution to each question. So, there was a triple benefit: Increased time efficiency because of increased focus, immediate feedback, and instant explanation of missed problems.

I used my FE Exam booklet from NCEES during my practice quizzes as well as my practice exams, which I took every second week. 

Top 10 FE Review Materials

How do Practice Exams Compare to the Actual FE Exam?

When I arrived at the actual test, I did very well on the morning session. The actual questions seemed a bit easier than those I worked in review book. In the afternoon, the tables were turned. It seemed the questions were a bit tougher, and took a bit longer to work. However, because of the effectiveness of the time I invested, I was able to locate many problems I knew how to work at first glance. I finished, and went back to those I skipped. I completed all the questions. I walked away feeling very good about my performance.

And, a few months later, I received my passing notice from BPELS- passed!

There is a better comprehensive FE review book than the Great Lakes Press book I used. The FE Review Manual is by far the most popular.

Suggested Reading:
PE Exam Tips (works just as well for FE exam)
PE Exam Checklist (yep, again, works for FE, too.)
Pass the FE like a Pro (covers a wealth of information about the CBT FE exam format, and unique information to help you pass the FE exam.)

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