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FE ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE EXAM
PART 3: STUDY PROCESS
This section describes the several steps I took while studying for the exam.
Step 1: Get familiar with your calculator. This saves you a lot of time and stress when you take the exam. I just googled “ti36x pro manual” and downloaded the manual from TI’s website. Then, I spent approximately one week reading the manual and playing with the calculator to make sure I knew how to use it.
Step 2: Read FE Review Manual. I read all of the theory from math, statistics, ethics, engineering economics, electrical engineering, and computer science. I also went through all of the practice questions. I didn’t try to solve them; I just looked at a question, checked the answer, and found the necessary formula(s) in the FE Reference Handbook. By doing this, I hoped to:
1. Get an idea of what the exam questions are like
2. Understand the structure of the exam
3. Become familiar with the FE Reference Handbook
Again, for each chapter, I read the theory, looked at a question, checked the answer, and referenced the applicable formula in the FE Reference Handbook. It took me approximately one month to go through the FE Review Manual, and after that month, I knew what to expect from the first part of the exam.
Step 3: Watch videos. As aforementioned, I consulted www.engineeringvideos.org and viewed all of the circuit analysis and signals and systems videos. There are a lot of videos, and I recommend watching all of them. When I watched them, I had the FE Reference Handbook in front of me, and after every video, I reviewed the appropriate formulas. This step took me just over one month (five weeks or so) to complete.
Step 4: Get familiar with the FE Reference Handbook. I learned the following pages by heart:
· page 2 (conversion factors)
· page 18 (mathematics)
· page 33 (engineering probability and statistics)
· page 195 (electrical and computer engineering)
I also tried to remember the main themes of every topic, including shortcuts that can be used often, such as derivatives and indefinite integrals, laplace transforms, fourier transforms, and so on.
Step 5: Revisit FE Review Manual. This time through the book, I did not read the theories; I only worked with the practice questions. Like before, when I tackled a topic, I read the question, checked the answer, and found the necessary formula(s) in the FE Reference Handbook. When I finished a topic, instead of moving on to the next one, I did the section again without looking at the answers. I repeated this process over and over until I knew the answer to a question by simply glancing at it. I did this with all relevant topics from FE Review Manual.
Step 6: When I finished Step 5, I took the NCEES practice test. NCEES allows access to this test up to 90 days before the actual exam. After taking the test, I spent about one week reading over the questions and answers, understanding them, and learning them by heart.
Step 7: At this point, I felt prepared enough to go take the real test. I still had one week before the exam date, and I used this time to relax, review the Exam Day Policy (http://ncees.org/exams/exam-day-policies/), and read the FE Reference Handbook every so often.
● Step 1 – 1 week
● Step 2 – 4 weeks
● Step 3 – 5 weeks
● Step 4 – 1 week
● Step 5 – 3 weeks
● Step 6 – 1 week
● Step 7 – 1 week
My complete preparation process took 16 weeks, or approximately four months.