Whether you’re closer to the beginning or the end of your engineering education, you should be aware of the FE certification and its importance for your future career. Earning your Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) certification is the last step before entering the professional engineering workforce (even if you eventually want to get your PE license). However, passing the exam is easier said than done— so if you want to be among the 70% of students who pass, you’ll want to study hard.
Fortunately, a lot of the time-consuming work that goes into studying for the FE exam can be avoided by enrolling in a well-made online Fundamentals of Engineering exam review course.
Each of the five FE exam prep courses listed below has something unique to offer and will help you easily pass the exam. However, it’s important to know what each course does before spending any money.
So keep reading to find out which study course will be the best at helping you start your career ASAP!
1. School of PE Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Review
School of PE is able to provide content for students of all learning styles. They do so through a blend of live online and self study content.
School of PE focuses heavily on lecture and testing content to prepare for the FE exam. Lectures can be watched on demand or live with student interaction; each one comes with a set of notes that help reinforce the concepts that you’ve learned as part of the lesson. You can take that knowledge and apply it to the workshop questions written by the same instructors. Based on your performance on these tests and quizzes, School of PE will adjust your study schedule to better suit your needs.
The price for this course varies based on whether you choose on demand or live online. The on demand course is a monthly subscription of $290— but that price can be brought down by purchasing multi-month bundles. Alternatively, you could choose to enroll in the live online course for $1,290; it follows a set schedule and consists of about 80 hours of studying.
School of PE Features
- 80+ Hours of Lecture Content
- Study Hub
- Practice Portal Pro
- Refresher Notes
- Pass Guarantee
- Workshop Problems
School of PE Pros & Cons:
- Multiple Formats: School of PE allows you to take their courses live or on-demand. That way, someone with a busy life can make their own study schedule— and people who want a more guided experience can work with a certified exam instructor and other students.
- Refresher Notes: Each lesson comes with a set of notes prepared by the instructor. These give personal insights into important aspects of the FE exam. Plus, they’re an excellent tool for reinforcing what you’ve learned as you move further along in the study schedule.
- Adaptive Study Plan: School of PE’s on demand courses come with a customized and adaptive study plan. Each student will be asked to fill out a series of questions at the start of the course and a study plan will be generated based on their answers. That plan will then be adjusted automatically based on your performance during the course.
2. PPI2Pass FE Exam Prep Courses
PPI2Pass prepares you for the FE exam through a series of practice tests and self study materials. By the end of this course, you’ll be intimately familiar with the testing process, which will alleviate any pre-exam anxiety you may otherwise have.
PPI2Pass’ courses open with a series of diagnostic exams designed to gauge your knowledge of NCEES exam topics. This data is then used to create a dynamic study schedule consisting of lectures, readings, and tests. Completing these materials fills in the gaps in your knowledge detected by the diagnostic test. You’ll also be asked to complete practice exams after certain milestones in the course. Doing so allows instructors to gauge how well you’re learning and what aspects of your schedule need to be shifted.
Pricing for PPI2Pass’s FE exam prep course is dependent on how long you want access to it. A 3 month course costs $895, while the 5 and 12 month courses cost $1,275 and $2,075 each. These prices are fairly high, but you have the option of paying monthly through Affirm for 0% APR.
- Video Lectures
- Practice Problems Book
- Diagnostic Exams
- Review Manual Web Book
- NCEES Reference Handbook
PPI2Pass Pros & Cons:
- Print Materials: Unlike other courses, PPI2Pass gives you a wealth of print materials. These include reference handbooks, textbooks, a conversion sheet, and practice exams. Taking tests in a physical format makes it much easier to create an authentic testing environment without any distractions from electronic devices.
- Experienced Teachers: Every aspect of this course has been designed by a team of professional engineers. They draw upon their personal and professional experience when creating lessons for you. As a result, each lesson offers a unique look into the day-to-day work of a licensed engineer.
- Price: Unfortunately, all of this comes at a very high cost. Both the on demand and live courses cost over $2,000 for a full year of access. This price is lower if you’re willing to accept a smaller access period— but that can force you to compress your study schedule and in extreme cases cause burnout.
3. Civil Engineering Academy FE Test Prep Courses
Much like School of PE, Civil Engineering Academy focuses heavily on lecture based content. However, they have a key difference in methodology.
Civil Engineering Academy values efficiency and saving time above all else. Their lectures are clear and concise, although they lack certain additional details that extra courses have. Doing so ensures that you’re able to easily fit each lecture into your busy schedule. Plus, it limits the amount of time you need to spend studying before sitting for the FE examination.
As with PPI2Pass, Civil Engineering Academy charges monthly for access to their course. However, this is a much cheaper alternative: one month costs $297, 6 months cost $697, and 12 months cost $897. Each option grants access to everything this course has to offer, so you only have to pay for the length of time you feel is appropriate to prepare for the exam.
Civil Engineering Academy Features
- 300+ Video Practice Problems
- 14 Core Course Modules
- Practical Exams
- Certificate of Completion
- NCEES Reference Handbook
Civil Engineering Academy Pros & Cons:
- Engaging Course Lectures: Most of this course consists of a series of video lectures. Each of these delivers information in an engaging visual format. Plus, each lesson serves to break down difficult concepts into more easily understood parts. Thanks to that, it’s easy to understand everything you need to know for the FE exam.
- Video Practice Problems: This course includes over 300 practice problems, and each one comes with a video answer explanation that walks you through the problem solving process step-by-step. Civil Engineering Academy wants you to understand the exam and its underlying concepts, not just memorize answers!
- No Live Content: It’s a little disappointing to be unable to interact with your teachers during lessons. You can ask them questions via email, but it doesn’t quite have the same impact. If you want some extra help the included private Civil Engineering Academy Facebook group would be a good start.
4. Capstone Learning‘s Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Review Course
Capstone is a firm believer in computer based learning; their whole FE exam prep course takes advantage of modern technology to teach you what you need to know. Each practice exam you take will perfectly mimic the computer-based environment of the FE exam. Plus, each lecture has been designed to use the strengths of computer learning. At any time during a lesson, you can easily pull up handouts, ask questions, or access essential tools and formulas.
Capstone Learning’s FE review course is fairly affordable compared to others on this list. It costs $699 to gain access to the full course. Alternatively, you could choose to just buy the problem sets or a sample exam for $299 and $70 respectively. That’ll ensure that you gain the exam practice you need if you aren’t interested in the lectures.
Capstone Learning Features
- Computer Based Learning
- Tutor Support
- Test Taking Strategies
- Detailed Answer Explanations
- Sample Exams
Capstone Pros & Cons:
- Practice Exams: Capstone’s practice exams mimic the real thing as closely as possible. Completing these will help you develop test taking strategies as you grow comfortable with the test format. And if you set a time limit during exams, you can practice the time management that’s required in the FE exam.
- Collaborative Forum: At any time you can speak with other engineers studying the same thing through a collaborative forum. Doing so will give you insight into test taking strategies that help other people. Additionally, you can ask and answer questions there for some extra practice.
- Civil Engineering Focused: Capstone provides content for most disciplines, but civil engineering is clearly their main focus. Their civil engineering exam content includes a full blown prep course; other disciplines only have practice problems or a few lectures. Luckily, prices match the amount of content on offer, so everything other than civil engineering stays fairly cheap.
5. Udemy FE Review Courses
Udemy differs from the other companies on this list since it doesn’t offer a full blown prep course. Instead, they sell a set of practice exams that mimic the FE exam. Each one is mobile friendly and self paced, so you can take your time working through them. Consequently, that makes the tests very easy to fit into a defined study schedule. Doing so allows you to use them as supplemental materials for the rest of your studying.
If you want these tests, it only costs $149. Paying once grants you lifetime access to both the tests and their answer sheets. This might be enough to help you pass on your second attempt, but the courses listed above are better for helping you pass on the first try.
- 3 Practice Tests
- Mobile Friendly
- Included Answer Sheets
- Repeatable Exams
Udemy Pros & Cons:
- Lifetime Access: All exams purchased from Udemy can be accessed for as long as you like. Thanks to that, these serve as excellent review materials every few months. You can easily check how well your studying is going based on how your scores change over time.
- Mobile Friendly: Udemy’s content can be easily accessed on any device. This is done so you can take your learning on the go. Simply complete a few questions whenever you have free time— this will keep your memory of important FE topics fresh at all times.
- Exams Only: Udemy doesn’t have a full blown prep course; they only offer practice exams. These are great as supplemental materials, but might not prepare you for the FE exam on their own. Consider taking this with another prep course like School of PE.
FE Exam FAQs
Q: How many times can I take the FE exam?
A: According to the NCEES, you can attempt the exam 3 times a year. Obviously, it’s better to only take the exam once and pass on your first try, which is why we recommend using one of our top-rated FE exam review courses to prepare for your exam date.
Q: Is the FE exam open note?
A: Sort of. Although you can’t bring in any outside notes, every test taker is provided with a reference handbook for the exam. You can bring a calculator with you, although this will be checked by a proctor to ensure no cheating programs are included.
Q: How much does the FE exam cost?
A: It costs $175 to register for the FE exam. After you’ve done so, you may select a test date. However, some state licensing boards may require you to pay additional fees before you can start working as a professional engineer.
Q: Is the PE exam harder than the FE exam?
A: Since the FE exam covers a wider range of topics, most test takers consider the FE exam to be harder than the PE exam. You’ll also need to take FE exam and pass it before you can take the PE exam. Know everything about the FE and PE exams before you take them.
Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, YEC.co and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created CrushTheCPAexam.com to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. As Seen On Forbes