I’ve been always wanting to dispel the myths about taking the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination and what better time could I get that now! The scoring process itself is a bit confusing and has a lot of myths and tall tales attached to it. Let’s burst them all!
However, if you’re planning to take an FE exam and have done at least a bit of research on the pattern of the exam then you’ll know that NCEES does not publish the score that is needed to pass the exam. Of course, there’s a pass or fail system here but NCEES’s mention a scaled score, psychometric statistical methods, subject-matter experts, etc can probably make you get lost while learning your subject.
Moreover, if this isn’t enough, the myths around will definitely play a major role in scaring you and letting you dive into confusion further. So, without any further ado, let’s have a look at the NCEES scoring process.
NCEES Scoring Process
As a student studying in a university, you’re most likely to be familiar with a grading curve that would swiftly correlate the students’ performances with the test difficulty. However, these rough estimates aren’t followed by computer-based testing.
The NCEES cannot publish one passing score here because each test taken is different. So, there’s no scope of comparisons. However, it is estimated that the ball would be in your court if you answer more than half the questions correctly, which is somewhere between 55-65 questions.
Now you’ll have a question as to how would they grade different exams and consider passing or failing?
You will pass the FE exam if you use psychometric testing methods to let them know that you are competent in your field and can exceed a minimally-accepted knowledge in your field.
Psychometric testing methods? What is it about?
Psychometric Testing Methods
These methods and techniques would be used by you in almost all the questions in the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination that would include:
Aptitude Testing Questions
These questions will be having just one answer correct but you’ll be exposed to many such questions in the exam to introduce a time crunch.
Numerical Reasoning Questions
These questions would make you use data as a tool to solve problems and thus will test your mathematical ability.
Mechanical & Logical Reasoning Questions
These questions are particularly introduced in your exam to test your basic engineering and intellectual concepts such as logical rules and pattern recognition.
Inductive Reasoning Questions
These are the tricky ones wherein a student is made to generate confusion as these questions come with all correct options but you need to wisely select the option that is most appropriate or the most correct amongst the rest.
If you have researched well about the FE exam, you would have already known about these types of questions. But most people walk on the wrong path and dive into the field of inductive reasoning or numerical reasoning.
This is totally not the motive behind the FE exam. This is a unique exam with a unique way of presenting questions to you that would just test your basic engineering ability or you may call it brain-boosting ability. You don’t need to dive into separate fields like these to excel at such topics.
By choosing these wrong tracks, there’s a high chance of you not focusing on the important topics of your exam, particularly Mathematics. There are many concepts in Mathematics that you would need to cover which are very basic, to be honest.
But what you need is the formulae, equations, and the method to arrive at the right answer. You need to spend maximum time on your course subjects rather than taking an entire course on numerical reasoning while preparing for the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination.
Now that you know that you’ll be assigned different questions altogether, don’t be under the influence that if your friend’s paper went bad and so did yours, you’ll be graded rightfully. There’s no concept of comparisons here, more precisely, no percentile involved like many other competitive exams.
Just a simple basis of passing or failing that is based on your basic knowledge in your subject of interest and a few sections of logical reasoning (pretty easy questions for engineers who know their subject well along with Mathematics).