My Experience of Preparing for a Final Exams in Fundamentals of Engineering

FE exams

Hello, my name is Patric! I’m a 32-year-old student in engineering, currently preparing for a final exam in FE. During our FE course, we’ve learned a lot about:

  • electrical circuits
  • mathematics 
  • fluid mechanics and chemistry
  • mechanics of materials
  • statics and dynamics

My favourite part was thermodynamics. To me, it’s a “pure” science, in the same way math is. 

I plan on taking the computer-based exam and now I am snowed under all sorts of revision  preparing for exam. Perhaps to you, an FE exam seems easy, but for me, as a 32-year-old student in engineering, managing an exam for engineering students can feel like a daunting task. With work, family, and other responsibilities, finding the time and energy to study can be a challenge. However, with a bit of planning and dedication, it’s definitely possible to succeed. And here’s what I do.

A Good Schedule is Essential

How to study for an exam? What are you supposed to do when preparing for a final exam?

Above all, it’s important to create a study schedule that works with your daily routine. When you’re around my age, you should always consider the presence of family and your job. Without a schedule, there’s a risk that you can burn out by not contacting your family. Obviously, your loved ones won’t like the whole scenario either. Ancient Stoics once said that it’s not that our lives are short, but that our attitudes to spending time are destructive. A good schedule can give you time to study for exams and, simultaneously, have some time to spend with your kids or partner.

In my case, I have decided to dedicate four hours after my classes to studying every day. This has allowed me to have 2-3 hours of contact with my family despite the hardcore schedule.

Exams are hard, but our days are long enough to have time for everything. And what about tools? It doesn’t matter much; I personally use Google Calendar for the final exam schedule. Focus on the task rather than the tools!

High-quality Strategy: Pay Attention to Discipline

Having a good strategy for final exam preparation is also essential. I have two major pieces of advice here. 

  • Firstly, it’s essential to be as proactive in classes as possible. 

My instructors are often willing to answer all of my questions. We have some post-class meetings with the instructors too. Whenever I have a batch of several vital questions, I go to my teachers and speak with them to clarify everything. The more effort you exert during the study year, the less time will be necessary for the exam.

For example, I asked my instructor to explain how an internal combustion engine worked as if I were five years old. Now, I know how to answer that question without major challenges because I understand the simple explanation for it.

In the final engineering exams, you will see a lot of stuff from the midterm exam. The secret to preparing for exams is that you have to do it all the time and not at the last minute. 

  • Secondly, when it comes to studying for the final exam, it’s important to focus on the most vital topics

One can’t memorize everything, regrettably.

Exams like FE have ‘trial’ versions that you can use to test your knowledge. Look at their composition: cover your weak points and spend less time studying what you know well.

For me, electric circuits are a problem, and I target them all the time. I’m showing better results on the trial exams now. Instructors say that my chances of passing it are high! Prepare for exams in a smart way to succeed.

Finding a Study Group or Partner

Jack, my friend in the course, shares the final exam schedule with me, and we often help each other with information. A common thing I do with him is target different topics. Jack prepares some final exam tips on one theme, and I do it on another. We then double-check the data to prevent errors and prepare using each other’s information. I have saved a lot of time by working on the final exam in this way! This can be a great way to stay motivated and on track, as well as to get different perspectives on the engineering exams material.

Ideally, find a group or partner who is also preparing for the same exam so that you can work together towards your shared goal. I have managed to do exactly that. 

Source – Giphy

Don’t Forget about Relaxation

The thing that helps me maintain good mental health during my preparation for the final exam is the Jacobson muscle relaxation method. I apply pressure to the different parts of my body to allow the tension that I have in the muscles to decrease. Many people don’t even realize how tense they become during their everyday work! Before going to sleep, I do some exercises on YouTube to decrease my stress this way.

This experience is meditation-like, and I recommend it to every person who wants to prevent significant problems with mental health that may befall people who are preparing for final exams. Remember: in addition to studying with others, it’s also important to take breaks and find ways to prevent negative emotions from disrupting you. I have my own methods, but for you, this may mean taking a walk, practicing yoga, or taking a few deep breaths to clear your mind. 

Ask for Help when Necessary

Finally, don’t forget to ask for help if you need it. Whether it’s from a professor, a tutor, or a fellow student, there’s no shame in seeking assistance when you’re struggling with a particular topic or concept before the final exams. By reaching out for help early on, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and improve your chances of success. As mentioned before, I always communicate with professors while studying for exams. Another good option is to target some professional forums; many people may be willing to provide you with interesting books or even direct answers that point you towards relevant solutions.

Preparing for a final exam is difficult, so there’s no shame in asking for outside assistance sometimes.


In conclusion, preparing for a final exam in engineering as a 32-year-old student can be challenging, but it’s certainly achievable. How to study for the exams? By creating a study schedule that works for you, focusing on key topics, engaging in self-care, studying with others, and seeking help when needed, you can be well-prepared and confident when heading into the exam. I know that I will pass my exams because my attitude is positive. Good luck!

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Patric Johnson
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Patric is a 4th year student and Assistant Engineer. Besides studying and working, he’s juggling the responsibilities of being a parent and a husband. But he always finds time for the games of his favorite baseball team, the Texas Longhorns.
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