Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The FE Exam

On October 26, I need everyone in the world to be saying a prayer for me. I will be taking the FE exam. FE stands for Fundamentals of Engineering and if I pass it, I will officially be an Engineering Intern. Right after graduation this May, I can take the PE exam, and then with 4 years of experience I will be a Professional Engineer. When I am a PE, I can put my stamp on engineering drawings. As an engineering intern, I can work on those drawings. Eventually I want to take the SE exam and become a licensed Structural Engineer.

Needless to say, the FE is a big step in my career path.  It’s an 8 hour test (as is the PE; the SE is 16 hours long), given in two 4 hour blocks. The morning block is general engineering and the afternoon block is discipline specific, which for me is Civil.

Fortunately, I don’t have to memorize 800 formulas before I go in. I have a 200 page exam book to use with necessary formulas.

The breakdown of the test, and how I feel on each topic are as follows:

Morning Session:
Mathematics – 15%
                -Math isn’t the worst. It’s the basis of everything I do. The trouble could be in remembering exactly how to integrate some formula. I seem to forget that quite often.

Engineering Probability and Statistics – 7%
                -All I remember are bell curves which are standard deviation. Or something like that.

Chemistry – 9%
                -Oh, crap. Mass balances and… concentration maybe?

Computers – 7%
                -I use one every day, but how am I supposed to answer questions about them? The exam book says I need to know terminology, programming, and if analysis. All of that sounds like a piece of cake.

Ethics and Business Practices – 7%
                -What I remember of this is do whatever your client asks as long as its safe.

Engineering Economics – 8%
                -Oh I crushed this class. I got a 96% on the first test, a 98% on the second and didn’t have to take the final. Cash flows are my plaything.

Engineering Mechanics (Statics and Dynamics) – 10%
                -Ok, statics (analysis of loads on systems that don’t move) is my bread and butter. Dynamics is the bane of my existence. It is the hardest I have ever worked to barely pass a class. I got a 25% on the first test. Granted, the class average was 27%.

Strength of Materials – 7%
                -Also my bread and butter. I can kill it in this class. The only thing I need to seriously review is torque.

Material Properties – 7%
                -Chalk this one up as a loss.

Fluid Mechanics – 7%
                -I think this I could do this one. I know Bernoulli’s equation and the energy equation. Dr. Dennett has really helped me understand what I never learned in this class.

Electricity and Magnetism – 9%
                -I think this is why I’m taking circuits right now?

Thermodynamics – 7%
                -0º is cold. 500º is hot. I don’t think that’s what they’re testing though.

Afternoon Session:
Surveying – 11%
                - I had a week long module in my capstone design class a couple weeks ago, and the one day we did something, we stood out in a field with a stick and a GPS device that did all the work for us.

Hydraulics and Hydrologic Systems – 12%
                -Pipe networks, water things, dams, I think I have this down fairly well. More or less I’ve learned if the units check out, you’re doing something right.

Soil Mechanics and Foundations – 15%
                -I do not like soil mechanics or foundations. I don’t like dirt. I don’t like solving mud equations.

Environmental Engineering – 12%
                -We reviewed these problems on Monday, and if the units check out, I’m doing it right.

Transportation – 12%
                -This class was evil. I thought I was a genius all the way up until I took the test, and then I felt like a moron. Chalk this up as a loss.

Structrual Analysis – 10%
                -Oh once again my bread and butter. I should probably review virtual work and deflection, but I am not worried about this.

Structural Design -10%
                -Unfortunately I missed the review session for this tonight, but if I look at the codes and the handouts, I should be familiar enough with it to do well.

Construction Management – 10%
                -What the… I’ve never taken this class. Uh cranes, lift things. Concrete pourers, pour concrete. Build!

Materials – 8%
                -I did fairly well in this class, I liked playing with asphalt and concrete. In fact they should make this section a lab section, because that was fun.

Well, I hope I pass. I’m putting my lucky toonie in my pocket to better my chances. 

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