Examinee Study Tips for the FE Other Disciplines Exam

September 23, 2020
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We asked Daniel Bridges, who passed the FE Other Disciplines exam, some questions to help you study more efficiently.

About Daniel: Daniel Bridges took and passed the FE Other Disciplines exam in August 2017. He is currently employed as an engineer in the fire protection field and plans to take the PE Fire Protection exam in the future when he is eligible.

Daniel's education was a bit different from most who have taken the FE exam. He graduated in late 2014 with a B.S. in Physical Sciences with most of his classes being engineering courses. He needed to apply through his state in order to be approved to sit for the FE exam since his degree is not an accredited engineering degree.

Q: What do you know now about studying for the exam that you wish you had known when you initially began studying?

A: After taking the exam, I realized that the actual exam questions were quite a bit easier than some of the review material I came across. I also realized I had spent time trying to learn a few subjects for the exam that didn't come up.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of your studying experience and how did you work to overcome it?

A: Honestly, the hardest part was committing to the exam and signing up to take it. It took me over two years after graduating to finally stop procrastinating and sign up for the exam. I had a long conversation with my significant other about our future and my career, which was enough to push me to sign up for the exam. Aside from that, it was also difficult to find study time between work, social life, and other priorities. I adjusted my schedule to help fit study time in as best as I could, and would try and do at least a small amount of review every day in the three months leading up to the exam.

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Q: What are some tricks you have discovered that have made a difference in your studies?

A: The best way for me to study was to go somewhere away from home such as the library, the mall, or a coffee shop in order to focus. I associate my apartment with relaxing and found it really hard to study there. I would pack up my things and just go somewhere else. It took extra time to do that, but I felt not having the distractions was well worth it.

Q: What study materials were most useful for you?

A: I used the FE Other Disciplines Review Manual by Michael R. Lindeburg as a starting point and then used practice problems from a few different sources.

Q: What advice would you give to an examinee who feels overwhelmed by the studying/testing process?

A: The hardest part for me was just signing up. I think once you commit to the exam it is fairly easy to pass. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to sign up immediately after graduation.

Q: Was there any content on the exam that surprised you?

A: There were definitely questions and subjects on the exam that I never came across during my review time. I took my best guess and moved on. My time was better spent focusing on subjects that I spent time studying for.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the exam?

A: I was unsure how I would handle the length of the exam (six hours) since I haven't really taken a long exam in years. However, once I was in the test room, time flew by because I was so focused on the exam.

Also, I was unable to study the final week leading up to the exam due to being very busy at work. I was a bit worried because I felt I still had some things to review and was a bit shaky on some subjects. However, looking back I am glad I was able to take a break from studying that week. I would have likely been very overwhelmed going into the exam had I tried to study on top of all of the extra work I was already doing that week. In the end, I didn't need that additional study time, and I was not mentally burnt out on exam day.

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