Exam Content


NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination


Effective Beginning with the April 2009 Examinations

The FE examination is an 8-hour supplied-reference examination: 120 questions in the 4-hour morning session and 60 questions in the 4-hour afternoon session.

Examinees work all questions in the morning session and all questions in the afternoon module.

• The FE examination uses both the International System of Units (SI) and the US Customary System (USCS).

MORNING Session (120 questions in 12 topic areas)

Topic Area Approximate

Percentage of AM Test Content

I. Mathematics 15%

A. Analytic geometry

B. Integral calculus

C. Matrix operations

D. Roots of equations

E. Vector analysis

F. Differential equations

G. Differential calculus

II. Engineering Probability and Statistics 7%

A. Measures of central tendencies and dispersions (e.g., mean, mode, standard deviation)

B. Probability distributions (e.g., discrete, continuous, normal, binomial)

C. Conditional probabilities

D. Estimation (e.g., point, confidence intervals) for a single mean

E. Regression and curve fitting

F. Expected value (weighted average) in decision-making

G. Hypothesis testing

III. Chemistry 9%

A. Nomenclature

B. Oxidation and reduction

C. Periodic table

D. States of matter

E. Acids and bases

F. Equations (e.g., stoichiometry)

G. Equilibrium

H. Metals and nonmetals

IV. Computers 7%

A. Terminology (e.g., memory types, CPU, baud rates, Internet)

B. Spreadsheets (e.g., addresses, interpretation, "what if," copying formulas)

C. Structured programming (e.g., assignment statements, loops and branches, function calls)


V. Ethics and Business Practices 7%

A. Code of ethics (professional and technical societies)

B. Agreements and contracts

C. Ethical versus legal

D. Professional liability

E. Public protection issues (e.g., licensing boards)

VI. Engineering Economics 8%

A. Discounted cash flow (e.g., equivalence, PW, equivalent annual FW, rate of return)

B. Cost (e.g., incremental, average, sunk, estimating)

C. Analyses (e.g., breakeven, benefit-cost)

D. Uncertainty (e.g., expected value and risk)

VII. Engineering Mechanics (Statics and Dynamics) 10%

A. Statics

1. Resultants of force systems

2. Concurrent force systems

3. Equilibrium of rigid bodies

4. Frames and trusses

5. Centroid of area

6. Area moments of inertia

7. Friction

B. Dynamics

1. Linear motion (e.g., force, mass, acceleration, momentum)

2. Angular motion (e.g., torque, inertia, acceleration, momentum)

3. Mass moments of inertia

4. Impulse and momentum applied to: a. particles

b. rigid bodies

5. Work, energy, and power as applied to:

a. particles

b. rigid bodies

6. Friction

VIII. Strength of Materials 7%

A. Shear and moment diagrams

B. Stress types (e.g., normal, shear, bending, torsion)

C. Stress strain caused by:

1. axial loads

2. bending loads

3. torsion

4. shear

D. Deformations (e.g., axial, bending, torsion)

E. Combined stresses

F. Columns

G. Indeterminant analysis

H. Plastic versus elastic deformation 3

IX. Material Properties 7%

A. Properties

1. chemical

2. electrical

3. mechanical

4. physical B. Corrosion mechanisms and control

C. Materials

1. engineered materials

2. ferrous metals

3. nonferrous metals

X. Fluid Mechanics 7%

A. Flow measurement

B. Fluid properties

C. Fluid statics

D. Energy, impulse, and momentum equations

E. Pipe and other internal flow

XI. Electricity and Magnetism 9%

A. Charge, energy, current, voltage, power

B. Work done in moving a charge in an electric field (relationship between voltage and work)

C. Force between charges

D. Current and voltage laws (Kirchhoff, Ohm)

E. Equivalent circuits (series, parallel)

F. Capacitance and inductance

G. Reactance and impedance, susceptance and admittance

H. AC circuits

I. Basic complex algebra

XII. Thermodynamics 7%

A. Thermodynamic laws (e.g., 1st Law, 2nd Law)

B. Energy, heat, and work

C. Availability and reversibility

D. Cycles

E. Ideal gases

F. Mixture of gases

G. Phase changes

H. Heat transfer

I. Properties of:

1. enthalpy

2. entropy


AFTERNOON Session (60 questions in 8 topic areas)

Topic Area Approximate Percentage of PM Test Content

I. Mechanical Design and Analysis 15%

A. Stress analysis (e.g., combined stresses, torsion, normal, shear)

B. Failure theories (e.g., static, dynamic, buckling)

C. Failure analysis (e.g., creep, fatigue, fracture, buckling)

D. Deformation and stiffness

E. Components (e.g., springs, pressure vessels, beams, piping, bearings, columns, power screws)

F. Power transmission (e.g., belts, chains, clutches, gears, shafts, brakes, axles)

G. Joining (e.g., threaded fasteners, rivets, welds, adhesives)

H. Manufacturability (e.g., fits, tolerances, process capability)

I. Quality and reliability

J. Mechanical systems (e.g., hydraulic, pneumatic, electro-hybrid)

II. Kinematics, Dynamics, and Vibrations 15%

A. Kinematics of mechanisms

B. Dynamics of mechanisms

C. Rigid body dynamics

D. Natural frequency and resonance

E. Balancing of rotating and reciprocating equipment

F. Forced vibrations (e.g., isolation, force transmission, support motion)

III. Materials and Processing 10%

A. Mechanical and thermal properties (e.g., stress/strain relationships, ductility, endurance, conductivity, thermal expansion)

B. Manufacturing processes (e.g., forming, machining, bending, casting, joining, heat treating)

C. Thermal processing (e.g., phase transformations, equilibria)

D. Materials selection (e.g., metals, composites, ceramics, plastics, bio-materials)

E. Surface conditions (e.g., corrosion, degradation, coatings, finishes)

F. Testing (e.g., tensile, compression, hardness)

IV. Measurements, Instrumentation, and Controls 10%

A. Mathematical fundamentals (e.g., Laplace transforms, differential equations)

B. System descriptions (e.g., block diagrams, ladder logic, transfer functions)

C. Sensors and signal conditioning (e.g., strain, pressure, flow, force, velocity, displacement, temperature)

D. Data collection and processing (e.g., sampling theory, uncertainty, digital/analog, data transmission rates)

E. Dynamic responses (e.g., overshoot/time constant, poles and zeros, stability)


V. Thermodynamics and Energy Conversion Processes 15%

A. Ideal and real gases

B. Reversibility/irreversibility

C. Thermodynamic equilibrium

D. Psychrometrics

E. Performance of components

F. Cycles and processes (e.g., Otto, Diesel, Brayton, Rankine)

G. Combustion and combustion products

H. Energy storage

I. Cogeneration and regeneration/reheat

VI. Fluid Mechanics and Fluid Machinery 15%

A. Fluid statics

B. Incompressible flow

C. Fluid transport systems (e.g., pipes, ducts, series/parallel operations)

D. Fluid machines: incompressible (e.g., turbines, pumps, hydraulic motors)

E. Compressible flow

F. Fluid machines: compressible (e.g., turbines, compressors, fans)

G. Operating characteristics (e.g., fan laws, performance curves, efficiencies, work/power equations)

H. Lift/drag

I. Impulse/momentum

VII. Heat Transfer 10%

A. Conduction

B. Convection

C. Radiation

D. Composite walls and insulation

E. Transient and periodic processes

F. Heat exchangers

G. Boiling and condensation heat transfer

VIII. Refrigeration and HVAC 10%

A. Cycles

B. Heating and cooling loads (e.g., degree day data, sensible heat, latent heat)

C. Psychrometric charts

D. Coefficient of performance

E. Components (e.g., compressors, condensers, evaporators, expansion valve)