Author Topic: Handbook Question  (Read 1078 times)


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Handbook Question
« on: May 07, 2018, 12:01:13 PM »
One thing that I noticed is that the books only review the general section of the FE reference handbook (i.e. From Units, Ethics, Safety to Engineering Economics, and some portion of the Electrical and Computer Engineering). The book does not review discipline specific section, such as chemical engineering/environmental/Industrial system engineering. For the Other Discipline FE Exam, does it mean that we will not be tested on those discipline specific section, so I will not need to know those sections of the handbook?

Also after doing the Diagnostic Problems in the Review Manual, it just feels like I maybe just using 50% of the handbook at most. Some of the formulas are just way too complicated to show up on a 3min question. Is my impression wrong? or do I need to know to the handbook inside and out (like I have been told...)? The FE reference handbook contains way too much information and complicated formulas for the difficulty of the FE exam. Am I wrong to think so?



  • Guest
Re: Handbook Question
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 12:02:08 PM »
I didn't take the "Other Discipline" exam, I took the electrical exam, so I'm afraid I can't answer your question regarding what you should focus your study on; however, the reference manual you will use during the CBT is a searchable PDF, so if you get stuck, that's helpful. You should also have the exam specifications that you downloaded from NCEES's website, which will tell you what you need to focus your attention on for the exam.

Having said all that - the less you have to use your reference manual, the better off you'll be. You have 3 minutes per question - that's not a lot of time, so the material covered will not ask you a gross amount of "deep" questions, but you will get stumped on some questions and I recommend skipping those and coming back to it later.

Regarding the complexity of the formulae versus the length of time per question: I think the best way to look at this is like this - It probably won't show up, but if you're prepared sufficiently enough to understand where they come from then what you will be asked will feel like a rudimentary arithmetic test.

Here's the strategy I used for my FE exam:

I shot for a minimum score of 55% as a "passing" result. It's improbable that anyone would score a 100%, so I broke my exam specifications into three categories - A, B, and C categories.

"A" Category: These were my strongest subjects. I would accept no less than a 75% pass rate on these subjects. I spent a lot of my preparation time studying this material and making sure that I knew these subjects inside and out. I included 9 subjects in this category. Using the exam specifications, I took the worst-case scenario and assumed that I would be asked the fewest number of questions in the range given in the specifications. This resulted in my seeing approximately 50 questions, which equates to 45.5% of the exam. If I accept no less than 75% pass rate, then I would get 34.1% of my "A" Category questions correct.

"B" Category: These are subjects that I was somewhat comfortable with. I would accept no less than a 60% pass rate on these subjects. I spent a little more time on these subjects than my "A" Category subjects, but not to a point that I knew it inside and out...just enough to ensure that I could get the minimum 60% pass rate. I included 5 subjects in this category. I also assumed the worst-case scenario and assumed I would, again, see the fewest number of questions in the range given in the specifications. This resulted in 31 questions, which equates to 28.2% of total questions. If I accept no less than 60% pass rate, then I would get 16.9% of my Category "B" questions correct.

"C" Category: These are my weakest subjects. If I didn't retain it from college, I doubt very seriously that I'm going to cram that information in my head leading up to this exam. I completely ignored these subjects, knowing that a pure guess on these subjects would net a 25% chance of guessing correctly. There is an art to guessing - you can eliminate some wrong answers, which will greatly improve your odds. I included 4 subjects in this category and, again, assumed the worst-case and assumed that they would ask me the most questions from these subjects. This resulted in 30 questions, which equates to 27.3% of the total questions. If I purely guessed, and accepted a 25% probability of getting the right answer, that means I'd get 6.8% of these questions correct.

Adding them up: 34.1% + 16.9% + 6.8% = 57.8% = SUCCESS!


  • Guest
Re: Handbook Question
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 12:03:40 PM »
Dude, you are over thinking this.

I really don't see your dilemma.  Review the exam specs and know those topic sections of the FE Reference Handbook inside and out.

FastTrack Guru

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 275
    • View Profile
Re: Handbook Question
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 12:04:59 PM »
Be smart,  play the percentages.

Don't have to know the handbook inside and out. Only need to use the most common sections to be sufficient and leave the rare/complicated ones out.