Beginner’s Guide to Passing the FE Civil Exam On the First Attempt

For a civil engineer in the United States, the journey to take your career to new heights of success begins with the FE Civil exam. Passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam is the first of a two-step challenge that helps an engineer earn a PE license. The Professional Engineer license allows an engineer to work on major projects, earn a higher salary than their peers, and gain more fame in the industry.

If not all, a majority of civil engineers dream of passing the FE and then the PE Civil exam for licensure. In case you are one of them, make sure you don’t think way ahead and take one step at a time. Start by focusing solely on the FE Civil exam and how you are going to prepare for it. Try to pass the FE Civil exam on the first attempt only and give yourself a chance to get closer to the PE license as soon as possible.

However, passing the FE Civil exam on the first attempt is easier said than done. You must learn the basic tips and tricks on how you can shape your preparation for the same. Find out everything you need to know about the FE exam prep to pass the exam on the first try below:

Understand the Value of the FE Exam

If you want to pass the FE Civil exam on the first try, make sure you first understand how crucial this exam is. Your preparation begins with accepting that this isn’t like any other exam you have ever taken. It is challenging, it is prominent, and it requires more effort than usual. Make sure when you start your preparation, you start from scratch and give it the respect it deserves.

Don’t get overconfident and take this exam lightly. Remember many engineers attempt to pass this exam every year and fail to do so. Some of them even fail this exam after a couple of tries. So you must prepare with utter sincerity for 3 or 4 months to pass the FE Civil exam. Trust your skills and knowledge but don’t skip anything thinking that you know the concept already.

Practice Exams Helps Pass the FE Exam on the First Attempt

Practice tests are going to play a vital role if you want to pass the FE exam on the first attempt. When you take this exam for the first time, you might not know about the format, how to go about solving the questions, and how to manage your time. These things can ultimately decrease your chance of passing the FE exam.

On the other hand, when you solve a couple of practice exams at home, you get a fair idea of the main exam. You can test what you have learned so far, you can identify your strong and weak zones too. When you solve practice tests at home, you will realize how you should pace yourself during the exam to complete it on time. This is a great way to prepare you for the FE Civil exam.

Start Your Preparation on Time

After you register for the FE Civil exam, keep in mind you must have at least 4 to 5 months in hand for studying. Apply for the exam only when you have nothing else important coming up for the next few months. It will ensure that you spend your time preparing and have no unnecessary distractions along the way.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you have ample time to prepare and delay studying. This is not the exam that you can pass by studying for a month. Only when you plan your preparation and spend specific hours every day studying can you finish the course on time and start solving FE exam practice papers.

Make the Most of the FE Review Course

A FE and PE review course are two basic elements of your preparation for these exams. To pass the FE Civil exam on the first attempt you cannot ignore the significance of the FE review course. When you enroll in a reliable review course, you not only cover the course completely but also gain valuable knowledge about the exam.
Learning about the FE exam from experts who have given this test before helps you prepare better. They will have crucial tips for you from their experience that lets you strengthen your preparation. Don’t join the first course you find. Take some time and choose a well-reputed and established FE review course provider.

Rest Your Mind and Body Before the Exam

Yes, this exam can be quite overwhelming and you might feel the need to study up to the last second on the exam day. But you shouldn’t! If you want to pass this exam on the first try, you need a fresh mind and body in the exam room. Do not exhaust yourself by studying until late hours or early morning. All the preparation you could do should be done two days before the exam.

The day before the exam, all you have to do is rest and relax. Do not tire out your brain buried in books all day. Instead, go out with friends, listen to music, or just sit back and chill at home. This is crucial because you will feel ready and refreshed when you enter the exam hall the next day and can work on the paper with a lighter head. Not allowing your mind to rest will significantly decrease your chances of passing the FE exam on the first attempt.


Are you going to register for the FE Civil exam soon? The above-mentioned points are some of the main tips and tricks that will increase your chances of passing the FE Civil exam on the first attempt. In case you are looking to enroll in a reliable FE review course, check out Civil Engineering Academy. Here you can prepare expertly for the FE and the PE Civil exam. Find NCEES-based practice tests and more study resources there that help you prepare effectively.