Recently, we had a question come through where a student was pondering whether to switch from their major discipline (civil, mechanical, electrical etc) to the General/General FE Exam, now called the Other Disciplines FE Exam.
This engineering student had attempted the FE Exam multiple times but hadn’t any luck with the Civil Engineering exam and was considering switching to the General (Other Disciplines FE Exam) for their next attempt.
They came to Prepineer seeking guidance on this situation and wanted to get some outside opinions and experiences.
So with that, here is what we advised:
Engineering Student Question: Has anyone switched from their major discipline (civil, mechanical, electrical etc) to the General/General FE Exam?
Prepineer Response: I have. I am a mechanical background and took the “General Exam”.
This is definitely a personal decision, but here’s my experience sprinkled with 2 cents.
It will all come down to what your current/near current goals are. If you are taking the FE exam this month and plan to take the PE in October, then sticking with your discipline is probably the move to go with. I say this because regardless of what discipline exam you take for the FE, when it comes down to the PE, you are going to have to go with your major discipline, or whatever you want to get licensed as.
Because of that, you will be studying next month (sticking to my theoretical situation that you are taking the FE this month) for the PE exam, which will include subjects that are on your discipline specific FE spec. This makes sense because then you aren’t studying subjects now for the general that aren’t going to be on your PE in October…but are studying subjects that will be on the PE at some level…provides streamlining your studies IMO.
Now on the other hand, if you just want to “get past” the FE Exam, which was my goal…then going for the general, or now called the “Other” disciplines might be the way you want to go. My reasoning of going this route was because after looking at the specs, I seen that there were a bunch of subjects that I didn’t necessarily feel solid on (ie electrical) but knew that the “depth” that a general exam would go in to any of these subjects would be nominal…I knew enough about each subject (or could at least teach myself) to get past them.
It was def a risk, but after looking at the mechanical spec, I knew that the subjects would have more depth to them, and even if I did take the class in college, it was either a) long ago b) I was most likely asleep c) I chose to forget it with 40 ounces of freedom…putting me in a position where I would have to relearn anyways.
Again, my goal was to just “get past” the exam and worry about the PE when I arrived at that bridge of life.
Hope that helps anyone who is in this same situation, trying to decided whether going discipline specific FE Exam versus going with the Other disciplines FE Exam.
Always with Love, from Prepineer.