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McEngr

SE TEST RECAP- APRIL 2012

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After taking the tests Friday and Saturday, I have been haunted by a few problems that I feel I missed. However, these were only 2 problems on the morning of the gravity exam. Also, the afternoon exam was fairly straight forward for the gravity on Friday. The easiest of the whole 2-day process was the morning lateral. I finished with 45 minutes left and double checked all my problems. The problems that slowed me down were the AASHTO problems.

I don't want to jinx(sp?) myself, but if I had to guess, I would say that the lateral exam was very straight forward and I stand a very solid chance of passing. The gravity exam had a few problems in the morning that I was not expecting. For whatever reason, I still have a lack of confidence in masonry design and I likely will get a "needs improvement" on the gravity afternoon portion.

If anyone out there is like me, be confident in the basic structural analysis stuff. Those types of problems still give me trouble after 12 years of experience (sad).

Good luck to everyone and I hope that you are successful in passing.

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I found the vertical day to be more mentally fatiguing than lateral, dont know why. Lateral day i finished each section a little earlier and had time to at least review my work.

I thought Lateral afternoon problems were tricky/unusual and one of them was downright poorly worded.

I feel good about it but you never know, I have friends that felt good about the tests then found out they did not pass. :/

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This wait is going to kill me. I have so much riding on the outcome of this test...

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I only took the Lateral portion this time as I passed the Vertical portion last October. I actually had a hard time with the morning but felt good with the afternoon. I am hoping that it balances it out. I finished all 4 problems in the afternoon expect for part A on the last problem due to lack of time. For whatever reason I lost my rhythm in the morning exam and after that found it hard to concentrate. I dont think I did horrible but the results could go either way. Like I said I am banking on the afternoon portion carrying me through.

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This wait is going to kill me. I have so much riding on the outcome of this test...

See you after the 4th of July, pal. LOL.

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I didn't take the test. I will take the first half this October. I'm going through the SERM page by page right now with appropriate code books.

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I knew a guy he took SE Fri and Sat last Nov 11 in April he took PE Civil/Struc. I told him, you cant pass the SE. Lol.

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POSTS DELETED.

Edited by kevo_55
Not that vague at all.

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I would expect to see the results around the first of June, as I heard back from NCEES in the fall before Christmas and the exam was at the end of October. The results took so long to get last April because NCEES had to decide on a cut score which took a month longer than normal. I only took the Vertical portion this go around, and felt is if it was very fair. I worked up until the time limit on both morning and afternoon but I felt great leaving the test venue.

I barely missed out on passing both modules in the fall, so I decided to take them one at a time for my second attempt. If you can go this route, I would recommend it since you can narrow down your study material. I feel as if this helped me tremendously this test session because there were some topics that I probably would have skipped for time's sake that were on the exam.

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I took both exams for the first time after not cracking a book open until 5 days to the exam. When I cracked open SERM that day, it basically told me I was screwed in the first few pages.

I don't really have a good sense of what percentage of multiple choice/written combo one needs to pass and how the afternoon exams are graded. I felt like the vertical exam, both the morning and afternoon parts were more difficult than the lateral counterparts. In the morning part of vertical, I had to guess around 7-8 questions and had to get a little creative on two of the afternoon questions. The lateral exam was much better, I thought I was sure about 90% of the questions and thought the afternoon exam went well.

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I would expect to see the results around the first of June, as I heard back from NCEES in the fall before Christmas and the exam was at the end of October. The results took so long to get last April because NCEES had to decide on a cut score which took a month longer than normal.

Interesting. My friend who took the first revised test April 2011 said he got his result by July 4th, so that corroborates with what you are saying. That would be cool to find out sooner.

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Thought it was tough but fair. Tough especially on time, especially in the afternoons.

Best advice for the afternoons that I got pre-exam, in retrospect now that I've taken it: you don't have time to "learn" anything. Need to be able to immediately know what your general path is to the solution and crank it out FAST. That will eat up all your time. If you need to learn anything, you'll end up like someone I know who wasn't even able to get to 1 question because the other 3 took up all her time.

Best references, for me at least: SERM for vertical and the SEAOC 3 Vol seismic design set for lateral. Both in terms of being by far the most used go-to ref during the exam, and in terms of the preparation it provided in studying beforehand. Was able to finish both morning sessions about an hour early each, leaving plenty of time to go back and double/triple check. I owe this speed to having the fundamentals down pat due to studying these references THOROUGHLY.

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Well said, Dakota. Glad you had success (hopefully). I realize that I missed a few things now that the dust is settling. I think the most useful references for me was the SERM bridge chapter, PCA NOTES, AISC 341 SDM, and SEAOC Vol I. I still feel like the AISC Example problems and the PCA Notes do a better job than the SERM. I also feel like the SERM doesn't do justice to out-of-plane masonry/concrete walls or shearwalls due to seismic loads. The wood lateral stuff is poorly covered in the SERM too.

I went through all the SEAOC Vol III stuff but found the PCA Notes and AISC SDM more thorough and better organized.

I'm still frustrated that one of the afternoon problems was exactly like an example I had, yet I forgot to reference it. That was a part (letter) of 4 of one problem out of the 4. Hopefully, that's still enough to pass. I think I got at least 35 morning questions correct for the lateral. If I had to guess, I got 28 or so correct on the morning gravity (much tougher than the lateral).

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Thought it was tough but fair. Tough especially on time, especially in the afternoons.

Best advice for the afternoons that I got pre-exam, in retrospect now that I've taken it: you don't have time to "learn" anything. Need to be able to immediately know what your general path is to the solution and crank it out FAST. That will eat up all your time. If you need to learn anything, you'll end up like someone I know who wasn't even able to get to 1 question because the other 3 took up all her time.

Best references, for me at least: SERM for vertical and the SEAOC 3 Vol seismic design set for lateral. Both in terms of being by far the most used go-to ref during the exam, and in terms of the preparation it provided in studying beforehand. Was able to finish both morning sessions about an hour early each, leaving plenty of time to go back and double/triple check. I owe this speed to having the fundamentals down pat due to studying these references THOROUGHLY.

That's what I'm doing now, going through SERM page by page and refreshing my basics.

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