There is no shortage of engineers in the United States wanting to gain a professional engineering license. The struggle with FE exam prep is it is easy to get overwhelmed if not done right. After all the hard work you put in, you surely want to come out of it with a license in your hands. If it was easy, every engineer would be a PE.
When an engineer considers taking the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, they give their all to the prep. They do everything they can, from studying every possible guide to taking FE civil practice exams. If they study and apply themselves, then why do they fail the test? What mistakes are they making along the way?
The most common mistake that they make is not considering the mistakes that have been made by others. Over the years, engineers have tried and failed to pass the exam. Many of the reasons have become a common pattern over time. Once you identify these and work on them, you are already eliminating a handful of factors.
Here are the five of most common reasons why you might not pass the FE civil exam:
- Being Stuck on an Unclear Question
When you have 8 hours to answer 80 questions, you cannot afford to waste a lot of time on a single question. When the exam starts, be on the go straightaway. If you feel you are getting stuck on a question and it could take time, skip it. Remember, do not quit on it, just get done with the answers you are confident about first.
Doing this will ensure that you have enough right answers under your belt to go ahead and focus on the problems you skipped. During the initial hours, it will seem like you have a lot of time and you could spend that comfortably on a tough question. But in reality, time sneaks up on you before you even realize it. Therefore, the topics you are more comfortable doing must be completed first and quickly to leave enough time for other problems.
- Letting Your Confidence Get the Best of You
Yes, you might be a class topper or a very dedicated engineer. But when you decide to take the FE and PE exam, the journey begins from zero. Do not get too caught up in your confidence. Having a great understanding of the most difficult engineering concepts might give you an edge, but it doesn’t guarantee you passing the FE exam. Study each topic carefully, go through the NCEES reference book, and start fresh.
A lot of candidates work hard to be professional engineer license holders. You need to work even harder to beat your competition. No exam can be passed without dedication to studying . It’s good to have faith in your abilities, but know that you can also face similar challenges as others are. Be honest with your FE exam prep.
- Trying Too Hard to be Perfect
Staying humble during the preparation process is important if you want to be successful. Accept the fact that you aren’t perfect and neither are other candidates. There will be some areas that might seem tough to work on, but there also will be some concepts you will feel comfortable with. Do not seek perfection, try to improve as much as you can instead.
Many engineers think that they have to cover every concept in the book. Sometimes, trying to learn everything can end up affecting your preparation. Rather than trying to learn everything even a little bit, focus on completing some concepts entirely. Know your abilities, focus on your strengths as they are enough to help you pass the civil FE exam. Do not try to be better than others by trying to complete all topics, try to be better than yourself and enhance your skills.
- Solving Most Questions Manually
Have you checked the NCEES FE civil exam guidelines? If yes, you would know that you are allowed to carry a calculator into the exam along with your reference books. A lot of candidates make the mistake of trying to solve a majority of questions manually, which isn’t the smartest choice. When you are permitted to take the calculator with you, make sure you exploit it.
Do your research well and buy the best calculator there is. It should be the latest one with all the required features. Keep in mind that your chosen calculator has to be NCEES-approved. Using a calculator not only saves you valuable time but also allows you to reduce basic errors in numbers. You can recheck your answers quickly on a calculator once you are done.
- Taking the Need for a FE Review Course and Practice Exam Lightly
FE exam prep for each individual is a different journey. But a FE review course and FE civil practice exams are two common factors that must be included. Without enrolling in a quality FE course or solving enough practice exams, your preparation is incomplete. And the sooner you understand that, the better. Yes, you can learn the courses at home and think you are ready. However, with industry experts giving you insight, you could learn valuable lessons.
As far as your practice exams are concerned, when you solve them at home, you make it easier for yourself to solve the real test. Practice exams allow you to identify knowledge gaps in your preparation that you otherwise won’t know about. On top of that, you get to improve upon your time management skills too. With each practice problem you solve, you will get better at managing your time.
This information is more than necessary to help you prepare effectively and efficiently for your FE exam. If you have dreamt of becoming a PE license holder someday, believe in yourself and make the most of your preparation. You can find quality and affordable review courses and practice exams at Civil Engineering Academy to help your chances to pass the exam even stronger. The sooner you start to prepare, the more beneficial it will be for you.
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