Welcome EIT/FE Students,
To those of you unfamiliar with the EIT/FE exam this website should provide enough information and answers to most all of your questions so that you may proceed confidently in the right direction. To give you a quick overview, passing this exam grants you initial licensure as an “Engineer-In-Training” or Junior Engineer” as some may call it and sets you on a path to get your full license as a ‘Professional Engineer’. Once you pass the EIT exam you then proceed to work as an “Engineer-in-Training” under the supervision of a Professional Engineer(PE) up until you are qualified to take the PE Exam. Once you pass the PE Exam you can then title yourself as a ‘P.E.’ just like doctors have their own credentials. Below is a list of frequently answered questions and responses which hopefully satiates your curiosity on the subject of the EIT/FE and Engineering Licensure in general.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it required for me to take the EIT/FE Exam?
Not Necessarily. A vast number of Civil, Aerospace, and Architectural Engineers require full licensure (PE) in order to sign-off and approve Engineering and other Construction Design Drawings. However, not every position in engineering requires a license per say but obviously it is strongly preferred. Furthermore, you CANNOT get your PE License without first passing the EIT/FE Exam and being registered as an “Engineer-In-Training”.
Why should I take the EIT/FE Exam?
It should be somewhat obvious that this is a big plus to put on your resume and separates you from other candidates. Having ‘P.E.’ in your title gives you a lot more credibility and again opens up a few more job opportunities and makes you a more competitive engineering candidate. Furthermore, a number of state employees who work in the general realm of engineering earn a higher salary if they are EIT/PE certified. Nonetheless, the sooner you pass the EIT/FE Exam, the sooner you can get your PE License, and the sooner more career opportunities can open up for you.
When should I take the EIT/FE Exam?
The State of California requires EIT applicants to have completed at least three years postsecondary (college level) engineering education or three years engineering work experience, or a combination of the two that total at least three years. There are 5 core engineering subjects on the exam: Statics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Fluids, and Circuits. Most engineering students have these completed by the middle of their junior year. Consequently, most engineering students take the exam while they are a junior or senior. Of course you still may take it as a graduate but it’s best to take it when the material is fresh in your mind.
How often is the exam offered?
Traditionally it’s offered twice a year in April and October.
Where do I take the exam?
Fortunately, for students enrolled at Cal Poly the exam has been offered on campus the last few years and will be offered on campus again this April.
What are all the steps I must take to register?
As of October 2012 all the registration for the exam itself (not the EIT License itself) is done through NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying). Essentially this council develops, administers, and scores the examinations used for engineering and surveying licensure in the United States. NCEES website: ncees.org or to register you can go directly to: http://ncees.org/exams/state-pages/california-exam-registration/. Once you have passed the EIT/FE exam you then send in an EIT application to the State of California Board of Professional Engineers. You may download that form from this website: http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/eit_lsitapp.shtml (click the blue link at the bottom of the page titled “Certification Application Form”).
What are the costs involved to get my EIT?
Currently, the exam fee set by the NCEES is $125. Again, once you pass the EIT/FE exam you have to submit the EIT application which has a $50 fee itself.
What is the scope of the exam?
The exam consists of two 4-hour portions. The first portion ‘AM Exam’ is 120 multiple choice questions and the second portion ‘PM Exam’ is 60 multiple choice questions. Everyone takes the same AM Exam which covers a broad range of subjects. For the AM Portion everyone takes a ‘General’ exam, in which the questions are based on a wide variety of subjects. For the PM portion, students may elect to elect to take a second general exam, or to take an exam specific to their major.
Are Calculators permitted, if so, which ones?
Calculators are definitely permitted but only a select few. Acceptable calculators are the Texas Instruments TI-30X and TI-36X models, the Hewlett Packard HP 33-S and HP 35-S models, and Casio FX-115 models.
What are the pass rates?
The pass rates are usually pretty high, estimated to be at or above 50% for all applicants in the State of California. It’s hard to get concrete figures since they are not so publicly published. According to the NCEES website the national average for ABET accredited Engineering programs varies from 63-81% with Mechanical, Chemical, and Environmental majors being on the higher end and Electrical, Civil, and Industrial majors being on the lower end. Apparently Mechanical Engineering students have a heavy advantage since all of the subjects on the general exam are directly in their curriculum. What may seem odd is that the pass rate for repeat takers is much lower and varies from 20-42%. So if you didn’t pass the exam the first time around do strongly consider enrolling in a review course.
How is the exam scored?
The exam results are simply reported pass/fail. If you pass the exam you do not get details of your performance or scoring. If you do not pass the exam, you will receive a diagnostic report indicating subject areas of relative strength and weakness.
When do I get the results?
According to NCEES, they typically release scores 8–10 weeks after the exam date. Usually students get notification by e-mail first.
EIT/FE Review Seminar
The EIT/FE Review Seminar is designed for Cal Poly students and graduates of all disciplines. The seminar consists of a minimum of 8 sessions over a span of 11 weeks preceding the actual exam. Sessions will be held every Saturday in two 3-hour blocks separated by a 1-hour lunch break. This is the traditional format of the seminar which is offered throughout the state. The seminar will cover a wide variety of topics including Physics, Statics, Dynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Chemistry, and Electrical Circuits. Additional subjects may be covered upon popular request. The seminar will prepare students for both the AM and PM General Sections but will focus first on the AM exam. By the end of the seminar everyone who has religiously attended the sessions should be well on their way to passing the EIT/FE Exam.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you cover every subject on the EIT/FE Exam?
Just about every subject is covered that you will be tested on. There are some offhand topics that may be included on the test but altogether they do not constitute more than approximately 5% of the questions. Ultimately there is no guarantee of the distribution of the topics covered on the exam.
Will there be additional sessions?
Yes – there always have been additional sessions either during Spring Break or the 2 weeks preceding the exam. The day, time, and topics covered in the additional sessions will be based on popular demand.
What is the pass rate of students who have completed the seminar?
Thus far 100% ! Everyone who has endured to the end has passed the exam. This is not so surprising since the pass rate for first time applicants is relatively high. Nonetheless, since a practice exam is administered at the end of the course, each student’s progress is carefully diagnosed and we can practically ensure success.
How much does the seminar cost?
The total cost of the seminar including a minimum of 8 sessions and all additional sessions is $175. Otherwise, attending individual sessions will be offered at $30/session. Please contact us for the course schedule.
Do we need to acquire any study guides or material for the course?
That is entirely up to you. Some students have felt more comfortable having a review manual while others have found it unnecessary. Many examples will be taken from the Lindberg 2nd edition (formal title: FE Review Manual: Rapid Preparation for the General Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (F E Review Manual), 2nd ed. (Paperback)). There is a newer and older edition but they are much the same. In the past, many students have purchased this manual from Amazon, but there may be other vendors. The 'cheaper', thinner, more abridged versions such as Barron's or the other ones in the bookstores are not recommended since they do not cover any subject in enough depth that would actually aid in your preparation.
Secondly, you may obtain a copy of the equation manual that you will be using on the test. This can either be downloaded free of charge or purchased as a booklet for a minimal charge.
How do I sufficiently prepare myself for the exam?
Attend every session! That is the key. The seminar will thoroughly cover just about everything on the exam and will enable you to maximize your score in every subject. As is with every course, do take good notes and review all of them before the practice exam. After you take the practice exam, concentrate on areas that you did not score well on. Preparation for this exam is just like that for any other exam.