FE Practice Test Questions

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The FE test, formally known as the Fundamentals of Engineering examinations, is a battery of challenging and comprehensive assessments for men and women looking to enter various rewarding fields of engineering. Developed by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying in consultation with a team of expert test administrators, the most common of the exams are for chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, industrial, and mechanical engineering.

An FE test consists of 180 multiple-choice questions. It is administered over two sessions, a 120-question morning session and a 60-question afternoon session.  Each session lasts four hours. The content of the test depends on the specialty area.

For instance, the morning session of the chemical exam covers the following subjects: mathematics (15 percent of the test); engineering probability and statistics (7 percent); chemistry (9 percent); computers (7 percent); ethics and business practices (7 percent); engineering economics (8 percent); statics and dynamics (10 percent); strength of materials (7 percent); material properties (7 percent); fluid mechanics (7 percent); electricity and magnetism (9 percent); and thermodynamics (7 percent).

The afternoon session of this FE test addresses chemistry (10 percent); material and energy balances (15 percent); chemical engineering thermodynamics (10 percent); fluid dynamics (10 percent); heat transfer (10 percent); mass transfer (10 percent); chemical reaction engineering (10 percent); process design and economic optimization (10 percent); computer usage in chemical engineering (5 percent); process control (5 percent); and safety, health, and the environment (5 percent).

The FE test score results are released eight to 10 weeks after the exam. Scores are released to the licensing jurisdiction rather than to the candidate.

Practice Questions

1. An engineer recommends that a certain component should be used in a product. The component is economical should be used in a product. The component is economical and performs well in the application. After production begins, the supplier of the component sends a gift to the engineer for making the selection. What should the engineer do?

A. Keep the gift since the gift was not requested and didn’t affect the selection decision
B. If the gift is expensive, it should be returned to the supplier
C. Regardless of price of the gift, the gift should be given to charity
D. Keep the gift unless it is cash, which should be split evenly with the customer

2. A bond promises 10% annually compounded interest. About how many years until the original investment is doubled?

A. 3
B. 5
C. 7
D. 9

3. An example of a high level structured computer language is:

A. Windows ®
B. Machine Language
C. Assembly
D. Fortran

4. A theoretical concept of new type of computer based on fluidic components uses a base three system instead of a base two binary system used by traditional computer components. The fluidic computer allows values of -1, 0, and 1 or 0, 1, and 2 If 255 is the highest number that can be transmitted with eight binary lines. What is the largest number that can be transmitted with eight lines in “trinary”?

A. 8
B. 255
C. 6560
D. 6561

5. You want to attach a light emitting diode (LED) to a nine volt battery but the current in the LED needs to be limited to 002 amps so it won’t burn up. Assuming there is no voltage drop across the LED (i.e. the LED has no resistance), what resistor, in measured in Ohms, should you place in series with the LED?

A. 002
B. 018
C. 9
D. 450


1. Answer 1: B – minor gifts such as pens, calendars, or novelty items can be accepted by engineers but anything of material value should be returned with a note of thanks but due to an apparent conflict of interest, the gift cannot be accepted.

2. Answer: The equation for the future value of money given a present value of money, an interest rate, and a term of investment is (1+i)n. Since we want to double our money, the equation is 2=(1+0.1)n where n is the number of years. Taking the log of both sides and solving for n yields 7.27 years.

3. Answer: D – Windows ® is an operating system that provides the user of a graphical user interface to execute programs. Machine Language is a central process unit level language and requires no interpretation to execute – this is the lowest level computer language. Assembly is a compiler program that converts a low level computer language into machine language. Fortran is one of dozens of high level structured computer languages that include “C”, Basic, ADA, and Lisp.

4. Answer: The largest number that can be represented in any base, is the base raised to the power of the number of digits minus one. You subtract one because zero is an acceptable value. For example, in base ten with three digits, the largest number allowed is 999 which is 10-1 or 999. From the binary electronic computer example, the maximum number is 255 or 2-1. For the theoretical fluidic computer, the maximum number is 6560 or 3-1.

5. Answer: Rearranging Ohm’s Law, Voltage is equal to Current times resistance, to solve for resistance yields Voltage divided by Current. The resistance needed is 9V divided by 0.02Amps or 450 Ohms.

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Engineering Salary

When people think of jobs in engineering, most refer to the tasks that involve building aircraft. Aerospace engineers have one of the more visible types of engineering jobs because the profession is intriguing and get lots of media attention. An aerospace engineer may be involved in the design and analysis of spacecraft, satellites, missiles, and rockets. They may also be involved in developing models and simulators to test their designs. But, not all aerospace engineers work on outer space projects. Many aerospace engineers develop technologies that involve designing objects that move or come in contact with air or liquids, such as golf balls, high-speed trains, ships, deep-sea vessels, race cars, and tall buildings. In these cases, the aerospace engineer uses science, math, and technology to understand the effects and impacts air and liquid have on objects. The aerospace engineer helps design commercial airlines, military jets, and helicopters. So, the aerospace engineer is important to the most innovative types of machinery from airplanes to ships to aircraft to trains. Some aerospace engineers specialize in aerodynamics, acoustics, propulsion, or thermodynamics.

This field of engineering is ever changing and rapidly advancing. It requires high credentials and intense study to get a job. Many colleges and universities offer bachelor, master, and PhD programs; most schools offer a focus on aerospace engineering through their mechanical engineering departments. This is because a typical aerospace engineering degree requires work in engineering design and computer technology as well as math and physical and life sciences. A few schools offer specialized programs in aeronautical or astronautical engineering.

According to U.S. News, in 2012, the top five aerospace engineering schools were the following:
  • California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Stanford University in Stanford, California
  • Georgian Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia
  • University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan
When comparing schools, there are a few things to consider;
  • Graduate enrollment data-It will be important to see how many people actually graduate from the engineering program. If the numbers are low, you can bet that the program is more rigorous and competitive.
  • Tuition-Cost will vary; however, the average is about $35,000 per year. Some schools offer discounts for in-state tuition, and some offer grants, internships, and part-time study.
  • Average GRE score-The more competitive schools require higher GRE scores, so compare the schools' requirements.
  • Research expenditures per faculty member-Colleges and universities that spend money on research are usually well regarded and recognized. Students graduating from these research-type schools can take advantage of internships and projects that are innovative, which can prepare them for their first jobs.

In addition, look at the number of full-time faculty, demographics of the student body, and student-faculty ratio.

Aerospace engineers have an enormous amount of job opportunities in many sectors. Jobs within the federal government, private industries, consulting, and research and development are in demand. Due to the need for global communication, national security, and economic need, the demand for this profession will continue to increase. Military projects to design missiles and defense strategies are well funded. There are initiatives for additional space exploration and travel to other planets.

The average aerospace engineering salary is between $56,000 and $116,000 a year. Most jobs offer bonuses and profit sharing. Nearly 89 percent of people in this job are male, and the most popular employers are Northrop Grumman Corporation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Lockheed Martin Corp., General Electric Aviation (GE), and Pratt and Whitney. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is an organization that provides leadership and technical expertise in the industry.

By Lindsay Downs

Last Updated: 04/12/2014

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