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Report
FE Review
Computational Tools
April 8, 2014
Matthew C. Valenti, Ph.D., P.E.
Lane Dept. Comp. Sci. & Elect. Eng.
Outline
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Introduction
Overview of Computational Tools Section
Spreadsheet Computations
Structured Programming
Exam Tips
Outline
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Introduction
Overview of Computational Tools Section
Spreadsheet Computations
Structured Programming
Exam Tips
About Me…
• B.S.E.E., Virginia Tech, 1992.
• Electronics Engineer, U.S. Naval Research Lab,
1992-1995.
• M.S.E.E., Johns Hopkins, 1995.
• Ph.D., Virginia Tech, 1999.
• Assistant Professor, WVU, 1999-2005.
• Associate Professor, WVU, 2005-2010.
• Full Professor, WVU, 2010-present.
• Passed FE Exam, Oct. 2010.
• Passed PE Exam, Oct. 2011.
Outline
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Introduction
Overview of Computational Tools Section
Spreadsheet Computations
Structured Programming
Exam Tips
Do I Need to Know Today’s Topic?
• Each discipline has its own exam
• Some of the disciplines require computer knowledge
– Civil (4-6 questions)
– Mechanical (3-5 questions)
– Chemical (4-6 questions)
Outline
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Introduction
Overview of Computational Tools Section
Spreadsheet Computations
Structured Programming
Exam Tips
What is a Spreadsheet?
Relative Addressing
Absolute Addressing
Question #1
In a typical spreadsheet, the reference H$8 is typed
into cell T5. If this reference is copied into cell AA8,
which cell will it refer to?
(a) AA5
(b) O8
(c) O11
(d) T8
K. Whitehead, “999 Nonquantitative Problems for FE Examination Review,” PPI, 1997
Question #1
In a typical spreadsheet, the reference H$8 is typed
into cell T5. If this reference is copied into cell AA8,
which cell will it refer to?
(a) AA5
(b) O8
(c) O11
H I J K L M N O
(d) T8
T U V W X Y Z AA
The answer is (b)
K. Whitehead, “999 Nonquantitative Problems for FE Examination Review,” PPI, 1997
Question #2
K. Whitehead, “999 Nonquantitative Problems for FE Examination Review,” PPI, 1997
Question #2
K. Whitehead, “999 Nonquantitative Problems for FE Examination Review,” PPI, 1997
Question #3
“Fundamentals of Engineering FE/EIT Exam Preparation, 18th edition,” Kaplan, 2008.
Question #3
“Fundamentals of Engineering FE/EIT Exam Preparation, 18th edition,” Kaplan, 2008.
Question #4
“Fundamentals of Engineering FE/EIT Exam Preparation, 18th edition,” Kaplan, 2008.
Question #4
2
3
4
16
“Fundamentals of Engineering FE/EIT Exam Preparation, 18th edition,” Kaplan, 2008.
Question #5
“Fundamentals of Engineering FE/EIT Exam Preparation, 18th edition,” Kaplan, 2008.
Question #5
Question #6
“FE Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, 2nd Edition,” Barron’s, 2008.
Question #6
“FE Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, 2nd Edition,” Barron’s, 2008.
Question #7
A partial spreadsheet is shown below:
“FE Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, 2nd Edition,” Barron’s, 2008.
Question #7
Question #7
The answer is (D) 4
Question #8
“FE Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, 2nd Edition,” Barron’s, 2008.
Question #8
Question #9
“FE Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, 2nd Edition,” Barron’s, 2008.
Question #9
Outline
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Introduction
Overview of Computational Tools Section
Spreadsheet Computations
Structured Programming
Exam Tips
Structured Programming
• You will be given several lines of pseudocode, and
asked to determine the final values of variables.
– Syntax similar to Matlab or Fortran.
• Need to understand logic for branching and looping.
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IF/THEN
DO/WHILE
DO/UNTIL
FOR
GOTO (outdated)
• Could be asked about generic programming concepts.
Question #10
• A computer structured programming segment contains the following
program segment. What is the value of Y after the segment is executed?
Y = 4
B = 4
Y = 3*B – 6
IF Y > B THEN Y = B – 2
IF Y < B THEN Y = Y + 2
IF Y = B THEN Y = B + 2
(a) 2
(b) 6
(c) 8
(d) 12
M.R. Lindeburg, “FE Review Manual, 2nd Edition,” PPI, 2006.
Question #10
• A computer structured programming segment contains the following
program segment. What is the value of Y after the segment is executed?
Y = 4
B = 4
Y = 3*B – 6 
IF Y > B THEN Y
IF Y < B THEN Y
IF Y = B THEN Y
Y
=
=
=
=
B
Y
B
3(4) –
– 2 
+ 2 
+ 2 
6 = 6
TRUE, SO Y = B-2 = 4-2 = 2
TRUE, SO Y = Y+2 = 2+2 = 4
TRUE, SO Y = B+2 = 4+2 = 6
(a) 2
(b) 6
(c) 8
(d) 12
M.R. Lindeburg, “FE Review Manual, 2nd Edition,” PPI, 2006.
Question #11
M.R. Lindeburg, “FE Review Manual, 2nd Edition,” PPI, 2006.
Question #11
M.R. Lindeburg, “FE Review Manual, 2nd Edition,” PPI, 2006.
Question #12
M.R. Lindeburg, “FE Review Manual, 2nd Edition,” PPI, 2006.
Question #12
M.R. Lindeburg, “FE Review Manual, 2nd Edition,” PPI, 2006.
Question #13
“Fundamentals of Engineering FE/EIT Exam Preparation, 18th edition,” Kaplan, 2008.
Question #13
“Fundamentals of Engineering FE/EIT Exam Preparation, 18th edition,” Kaplan, 2008.
Question #14
K. Whitehead, “999 Nonquantitative Problems for FE Examination Review,” PPI, 1997
Question #14
RESULT = TRUE
implies A.AND.B = TRUE
which requires that both
A and B be TRUE.
So A must be TRUE.
Question #15
• The following code segment is an example of
what programming technique?
b = cube(a)
cube(a)
{
b= a*a*a
return b
}
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
branching
function call
looping
subroutine
M.R. Lindeburg, “FE/EIT Sample Examinations, 2nd Edition,” PPI, 2010.
Question #15
• The following code segment is an example of
what programming technique?
b = cube(a)
cube(a)
{
b= a*a*a
return b
}
(a) branching
(b) function call
(c) looping
(d) subroutine
M.R. Lindeburg, “FE/EIT Sample Examinations, 2nd Edition,” PPI, 2010.
Outline
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Introduction
Overview of Computational Tools Section
Spreadsheet Computations
Structured Programming
Exam Tips
It’s a Marathon
• The exam is long:
– 6 hours total.
– Includes tutorial and 25 minute scheduled break.
– 5 hours and 20 minutes exam time (320 minutes).
• Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint.
– Develop your test stamina through practice.
– Get good night’s sleep: Don’t cram!
– Eat big breakfast. Bring a few snacks & a drink.
• Manage your time effectively.
– 110 questions  2.9 minutes/question
– Should use all of your available time.
Know the Handbook
• You will be given electronic access to the
“Supplied Handbook”.
• Know where to find things in the Handbook.
– Use the it when preparing/studying.
– The index can be helpful.
– the pdf is searchable, so practice doing keyword
searches.
Know Your Calculator
• Your calculator must be on the “approved list”.
– I recommend the Casio FX 115
• Take advantage of its advanced features.
– Integration, derivatives.
– Matrix/vector operations.
– Finding roots.
• Practice with your calculator.
– You can’t bring the instruction manual with you.
• There is an electronic backup calculator.
– TI-30XS
Passing Scores
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NCEES does not release its minimum passing scores.
Your score will be psychometrically adjusted.
Passing scores have been between 50-70% in the past.
No penalty for guessing.
– Make sure to respond to every question.
– Suppose you only get 1/3 of the problems correct, and
guess on the rest. If 1/4 of those guesses are correct, what
will your overall score be?
Passing Scores
•
•
•
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NCEES does not release its minimum passing scores.
Your score will be psychometrically adjusted.
Passing scores have been between 50-70% in the past.
No penalty for guessing.
– Make sure to respond to every question.
– Suppose you only get 1/3 of the problems correct, and
guess on the rest. If 1/4 of those guesses are correct, what
will your overall score be?
æ 1 ö æ 2 öæ 1 ö 1
ç ÷ + ç ÷ç ÷ =
è 3 ø è 3 øè 4 ø 2
No Matter Your Discipline, You Can Get 1/3 Right!
Time Management
• Work the Exam in Three Passes.
1. Ones you know for sure, and can solve quickly.
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Spend first 80 minutes answering the easiest 40 questions.
Per question: 2 minutes.
2. Ones you can likely solve, but will take time.
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Spend 160 minutes answering 40 more questions.
Per question: 4 minutes.
Take your break an hour into this stage.
3. Ones you don’t know. Just guess.
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Last 80 minutes can be for guessing, checking easy
answers, and attempting the very difficulty problems.
Should hopefully only have 30 such questions
Passing Rates
Conclusion
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Approach the exam as if it were a marathon.
Know the Reference Manual.
Know your calculator.
Answer the easy questions first.
The computational tools section is one of the easiest.
You can pass!

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