Ryan Chartrand

SAN LUIS OBISPO – The grueling eight-hour exam known as the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) or Engineer in Training (EIT) exam struck expectedly on April 21, claiming the social-lives of thousands of engineering students from throughout the state of California.

The duration of the FE/EIT was from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and test center locations required many students to travel as far as 250 miles each direction before and after the test. Ironically, the $100 fee for the exam was about as much or more than a wild Friday and Saturday night at the bars would have cost. Additional fiscal damage was caused by required calculators, gas money, lodging, parking fees, review sessions, and in large part absurd quantities of energy drinks.

The exam itself was two four-hour sessions. The morning session covered the general engineering knowledge expected of an accredited four-year engineering degree, with an emphasis on guessing correct answers out of thin air and bullshitting. The afternoon session covered material specific to different engineering disciplines, but with a common concentration on advanced techniques of bullshitting. The state average on the test is typically 45 percent to 50 percent, which is bullshit.

“The test hit at an 180 question intensity,” said academic disaster analyst Levi Brockman. “With nearly 6,000 students hit by this exam, that’s a net examination force of 1.08 million scantron bubbles. That’s going to excite a past-future anti-fun shockwave extending well into Friday and Sunday, effectively wiping out social-lives all weekend.”

Kent Coolie, a seventh year Cal Poly student who managed to have some fun during the exam, commented on his survival methods.

“I spent most of the exam envisioning all the scantron bubbles as power pellets on a Pac-Man grid and drawing in ghosts and labyrinth walls. There was this 220-page reference book we were repeatedly told not to mark in – I created a lewd flip-cartoon of Mr. and Mrs. Pac-Man with drawings in the bottom right corners. They’re in for a big surprise when they flip through my booklet to check for markings!”

Added Coolie, more seriously: “I’m certain at least 100 percent or more of my answers were wrong. Is anyone out there hiring animators or video game testers?”

Trevor Tong is a Cal Poly student who went to every review session and spent a month preparing for the FE/EIT and realized in the closing seconds of the test that he had mistakenly bubbled in his answer for question number 2 in the answer row for question number 3, and that the error had propagated throughout his entire answer sheet.

“Oh shit,” Tong Said.

Aftereffects are expected in approximately 13 weeks, as test takers will begin receiving their results in the mail. Many to all of the FE/EIT candidates will learn for certain that their time and money were completely wasted, and that they will have to subject themselves to the number two pencil and scantron misery all over again in October.

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