houkah26

Survey Questions on Law/Acts?

6 posts in this topic

I was wondering if anyone might be able to tell me if there are a lot questions on the the law/rules/acts for the surveying exam?  

I know they list the Professional Engineers Act, the Board Rules, and the Subdivision Map Act on the reference list, so I suppose they are fair game.  Also, there's the Professional Land Surveyors Act which one of my books mentioned as a reference but isn't listed on the BPELSG site.  Should I really bother printing those out and attempting to "study" them?  I'm terrible at reading and retaining information, and nothing is more boring and mind numbing then reading things which are written in legal speak.  I have the Paul Cuomo book and Mansour's book.  Mansour's doesn't even provide anything on the laws/acts and Cuomo covers it briefly.  Cuomo's book also says that you wouldn't be tested on the Subdivision Map Act because boundary surveying is beyond the authority of registered civil engineers, but that seems to contradict the board listing it as a reference.  The subdivision map act is super long (~100 pages) and I feel reading it or printing it out might yield little benefit, but would love to hear other's opinions.

Is there a strategy for studying these types of questions?  They come up once in a while in the two practice exams I have, and they often stump me, especially questions about the the laws regarding specific types of boundaries and maps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There will be some law/rules/acts questions but I wouldn't say a lot. 

You should know the basics in the PE Act, Board Rules, and SMA.  You should have already read and understood the PE Act and Board Rules when you took the take-home exam!  Right??  Don't worry about the PLS Act. 

With the PE Act and Board Rules, you'll generally want to have a clear understanding of which Surveying / Engineering Surveying services a Civil Engineer can and can not perform. 

With the SMA, have a basic understanding of the purpose of the book, how/why land is subdivided, and the basic instruments used for land divisions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice, that'll help me hone in on what to focus on.  I finally read the test plan which people seem to refer to as the syllabus (I think?) and that also helped answer my own question, as I had only been looking at the reference list, which isn't all that helpful.  It seems like I took that the take home test ages ago with how far in advance you have to register to take the test, back in October maybe?   Also, you don't have the CTRL-F function during the test, although if you did that would be the biggest help in the world.  

I've noticed questions regarding what a Civil Engineer can and can't do as far as surveying pop up several times on the practice exams, so I think I have a decent grasp on that part at least.  I was just tripped up on some very specific SMA questions and another one regarding the required survey process when owners of two adjacent properties wish to permanently alter a common boundary.  Very specific ones like that seem like you'd have to really know those acts or spend a really long time combing through them which you just don't have.   I'm also still stuck in the student thought process of wanting to get 90% of the questions right, but need to convince myself to just let certain questions slide knowing I only need ~60%.  Hopefully I get enough trig/calculation questions right so that I can miss some random knowledge questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, houkah26 said:

Thanks for the advice, that'll help me hone in on what to focus on.  I finally read the test plan which people seem to refer to as the syllabus (I think?) and that also helped answer my own question, as I had only been looking at the reference list, which isn't all that helpful.  It seems like I took that the take home test ages ago with how far in advance you have to register to take the test, back in October maybe?   Also, you don't have the CTRL-F function during the test, although if you did that would be the biggest help in the world.  

I've noticed questions regarding what a Civil Engineer can and can't do as far as surveying pop up several times on the practice exams, so I think I have a decent grasp on that part at least.  I was just tripped up on some very specific SMA questions and another one regarding the required survey process when owners of two adjacent properties wish to permanently alter a common boundary.  Very specific ones like that seem like you'd have to really know those acts or spend a really long time combing through them which you just don't have.   I'm also still stuck in the student thought process of wanting to get 90% of the questions right, but need to convince myself to just let certain questions slide knowing I only need ~60%.  Hopefully I get enough trig/calculation questions right so that I can miss some random knowledge questions.

For that scenario (two adjacent owners wanting to alter a common property line, really all you should need to know is what legal instrument would be used to perform this (Lot Line Adjustment (LLA)) and who would be the one to prepare the Legal and Plat for the LLA (a PLS).  Make sure you are familiar with the names/purposes of all common land division instruments:  Tract Map, Parcel Map, LLA, Easement Deeds, Parcel Merger, Offer of Dedication, etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Candidates taking the California Civil - Survey Engineering exam should refer to the published test plan to have an idea on what will be tested on the exam: 

http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/plan_civsurvey.pdf

If there is content related to SMA, it will only be as that state law applies to the practice of civil engineering (i.e., design improvement plans, etc.).  While ptatohed is being helpful (as always), the topics he mentioned in his last post are outside the authority of the licensed civil engineer and candidates will not be tested on anything that is outside the statutory authority.  Stay within the test plan parameters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/18/2017 at 2:00 PM, CAPLS said:

Candidates taking the California Civil - Survey Engineering exam should refer to the published test plan to have an idea on what will be tested on the exam: 

http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/plan_civsurvey.pdf

If there is content related to SMA, it will only be as that state law applies to the practice of civil engineering (i.e., design improvement plans, etc.).  While ptatohed is being helpful (as always), the topics he mentioned in his last post are outside the authority of the licensed civil engineer and candidates will not be tested on anything that is outside the statutory authority.  Stay within the test plan parameters.

Thank you for clarifying the matter.  I wish my study books did a better job at doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now