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Engineering, surveying April 2011


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#1 simpatique

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:07 AM

I wonder what are the feedback on the surveying exam. 50 questions this time around and obviously I did not have enough time to finish 30 of them. I have yet to see the feedback on the subject

#2 ptatohed

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:25 AM

QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 12:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wonder what are the feedback on the surveying exam. 50 questions this time around and obviously I did not have enough time to finish 30 of them. I have yet to see the feedback on the subject



Why would it be obvious that you didn't have enough time to finish 30?

#3 simpatique

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:50 AM

listen you jack ass ! Unless you have a constructive thing to say , I suggest you keep it to yourslef . You know nothing about me so maybe you should sustain from making ass- umptions and stick to what you know ~


#4 kevo_55

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:31 PM

QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 04:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
listen you jack ass ! Unless you have a constructive thing to say , I suggest you keep it to yourslef . You know nothing about me so maybe you should sustain from making ass- umptions and stick to what you know ~

Calm down simpatique. This is just a message board.

The surveying exam historically a fast paced exam. When I took it I also felt like they did not give you enough time to answer the questions.

The rule on this exam is that you must know the material so well that you won't even have to think on how to solve a problem. Even then, you'll still have to guess on a few at the end.


#5 sac_engineer

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 03:17 PM

I don't believe anyone is truly prepared for the seismic and surveying exams due to the pace that you must answer the questions. You have 3 minutes per question and that goes by quickly. There's no time to relax. Also, those exams are taken the day after the PE exam where you have 6 minutes a question and that's intense on its own.

However, the reassuring thing about the exam is that you really need about 33 correct answers and you have a strong chance of passing. I knew that having 40 correct answers would guarantee a pass, so I kept that in mind when taking the exam.

#6 Ambrug20

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 03:42 PM

QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 04:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
listen you jack ass ! Unless you have a constructive thing to say , I suggest you keep it to yourslef . You know nothing about me so maybe you should sustain from making ass- umptions and stick to what you know ~


Why are you so rude, simpatique?! I took PE 3 times, and last time, thinking to be prepared very well, didn't know some of the answers. It doesn't make me to be that rude to these who said that this past test was easy. It was too hard for me. You have to keep your temper to yourself, it just a discussion board. dancingnaughty.gif

#7 opoya84

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:28 PM

I understand your frustrations simpa but try not to let it get the best of you. I too feel the exam was extremely difficult and I feel a lot of us are in the same boat. It was my first time taking it but the 8 hour and seismic seemed like a breeze in comparison. The crazy thing was that I focused on survey more than all of the other exams and that's the one I felt the most uncomfortable about.

Looking back, with all of the problems and books I read to prepare for survey, I feel that about 20-25% of that exam was just plain un-preparable. I feel you have to kinda adjust mid exam and roll with the punches. I just tried to keep my speed up and pick the questions I knew I could answer in 2 mins or less then go back to the long ones.

In the end I feel confident on about 25 of the questions and semi confident on about 30 total. I hope that's enough but you never know...

I hope you and everyone in here did well and I wish you guys the best!!




#8 simpatique

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:06 PM

QUOTE (sac_engineer @ Apr 12 2011, 08:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't believe anyone is truly prepared for the seismic and surveying exams due to the pace that you must answer the questions. You have 3 minutes per question and that goes by quickly. There's no time to relax. Also, those exams are taken the day after the PE exam where you have 6 minutes a question and that's intense on its own.

However, the reassuring thing about the exam is that you really need about 33 correct answers and you have a strong chance of passing. I knew that having 40 correct answers would guarantee a pass, so I kept that in mind when taking the exam.


on the surveying , this time around it was less than 3 min. per question. I apologize for my transgression but I felt that I was being attacked . Hence , my initial reply

#9 simpatique

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:12 PM

I agree wit you completely , 25 % of the test was unpreparable . Thank you for the encouraging words , it was exactly what I was looking for on here.

#10 simpatique

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:28 PM

QUOTE (Tanya @ Apr 12 2011, 08:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 04:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
listen you jack ass ! Unless you have a constructive thing to say , I suggest you keep it to yourslef . You know nothing about me so maybe you should sustain from making ass- umptions and stick to what you know ~


Why are you so rude, simpatique?! I took PE 3 times, and last time, thinking to be prepared very well, didn't know some of the answers. It doesn't make me to be that rude to these who said that this past test was easy. It was too hard for me. You have to keep your temper to yourself, it just a discussion board. Hdancingnaughty:

hey, I was being attacked. I studied hard for the test . I really did not appreciate someone I do not know questioning my competence . I am sure you would not like it either.


#11 simpatique

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:36 PM

Is that 33/50 when you have a good chance of passing ? Because the last two times I've taken the exam the total numbers of questions were 46 questions.

#12 sac_engineer

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 12:05 AM

QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 02:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is that 33/50 when you have a good chance of passing ? Because the last two times I've taken the exam the total numbers of questions were 46 questions.


There should be 50 questions in both the seismic and surveying exams. 50 questions in 2.5 hours is 3 minutes per question.

Can someone else concur?



#13 opoya84

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:07 AM

does anyone know how many questions you usually need to get right to pass??

#14 Glen_PE

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:05 AM

QUOTE (sac_engineer @ Apr 12 2011, 05:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 02:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is that 33/50 when you have a good chance of passing ? Because the last two times I've taken the exam the total numbers of questions were 46 questions.


There should be 50 questions in both the seismic and surveying exams. 50 questions in 2.5 hours is 3 minutes per question.

Can someone else concur?


There are 50 questions on both, but they always end up throwing out a few questions every test cycle. They may be unsolvable, or something along those lines.

#15 ptatohed

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 08:09 AM

QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 02:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Tanya @ Apr 12 2011, 08:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 04:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
listen you jack ass ! Unless you have a constructive thing to say , I suggest you keep it to yourslef . You know nothing about me so maybe you should sustain from making ass- umptions and stick to what you know ~


Why are you so rude, simpatique?! I took PE 3 times, and last time, thinking to be prepared very well, didn't know some of the answers. It doesn't make me to be that rude to these who said that this past test was easy. It was too hard for me. You have to keep your temper to yourself, it just a discussion board. Hdancingnaughty:

hey, I was being attacked. I studied hard for the test . I really did not appreciate someone I do not know questioning my competence . I am sure you would not like it either.



I was not attacking you at all. You said it was obvious that you only got to 30. I was merely pointing out that, no, it is not obvious to us unless you tell us. How would we know you only got to 30 unless you tell us? There is still a good chance you did o.k. No one can get to all 50 given the time restraints. When I passed, I "felt good" about 32 of the 50, "felt o.k." about another 9 or so and guessed the rest. If you look at the historic passing score (back when the state used to post them), the passing score was about a 60%. Good luck.


#16 ptatohed

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 08:10 AM

QUOTE (sac_engineer @ Apr 12 2011, 05:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 02:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is that 33/50 when you have a good chance of passing ? Because the last two times I've taken the exam the total numbers of questions were 46 questions.


There should be 50 questions in both the seismic and surveying exams. 50 questions in 2.5 hours is 3 minutes per question.

Can someone else concur?



There are 50 questions on the CA Survey and the CA Seismic.

#17 lucky101

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 02:48 PM

It was an intense test. My target was to get at least 45 questions right. But that did not happen. Some problems that I left to work at the end did not get done. I guessed 7 questions. I hope I passed but only God knows.
However, the CA board should change the name of the test from Engineering Surveying to " California Transportation and Land Development Engineering Test". Please Board stop misleading and misrepresenting about the test!!!!

#18 dlumdum

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 04:45 PM

QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 10:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
listen you jack ass ! Unless you have a constructive thing to say , I suggest you keep it to yourslef . You know nothing about me so maybe you should sustain from making ass- umptions and stick to what you know ~

Simpa,
Relax B,
almost all people who attempt surveying have problems dealing with the exam..
i don't know if you noticed or what but the questions from circles,vertical and horizontal anlong with some other chapterslike area and volume, topography and horizontal distance measurements were almost the same what we have got in Mnasour and reza's work book. i hope you pass this time( i hope to pass this time too...) but worst come scenario say you don't pass i would say stick with mansour and reza.....best......

#19 EnvEngineer

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:33 PM

This was a tough survey exam, no two ways about it, once again I think I did good but no way to tell. I really had a hard time understanding some of the questions and that hurt me time wise. Seemel like more calculation problems this test as well so time was a real issue.

Good luck everyone.

#20 dastuff

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 06:26 PM

QUOTE (opoya84 @ Apr 12 2011, 08:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
does anyone know how many questions you usually need to get right to pass??


If memory serves, in past years I've heard that you need to get somewhere in the order of 60% of the questions right to pass and that the pass rate is around 40%.


#21 EnvEngineer

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:06 PM

In october the pass rate was 40% but they dont publish the cut score any longer, the last cut score is shown below

Tested2592 Passed1143 Pass %44.10%F ailed1449 Fail %55.90% Cutscore30 Possible46 (April 2009) 69%

Tested2555 Pass833 Pass %32.60% Fail1722 Fail %67.40% Cutscore183 Possible294 (Oct 2008) 62%

So you need 31 to 35 correct,

















#22 simpatique

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:08 AM

QUOTE (lucky101 @ Apr 13 2011, 07:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It was an intense test. My target was to get at least 45 questions right. But that did not happen. Some problems that I left to work at the end did not get done. I guessed 7 questions. I hope I passed but only God knows.
However, the CA board should change the name of the test from Engineering Surveying to " California Transportation and Land Development Engineering Test". Please Board stop misleading and misrepresenting about the test!!!!

i agree !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#23 simpatique

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:13 AM

QUOTE (ptatohed @ Apr 13 2011, 01:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 02:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Tanya @ Apr 12 2011, 08:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (simpatique @ Apr 12 2011, 04:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
listen you jack ass ! Unless you have a constructive thing to say , I suggest you keep it to yourslef . You know nothing about me so maybe you should sustain from making ass- umptions and stick to what you know ~


Why are you so rude, simpatique?! I took PE 3 times, and last time, thinking to be prepared very well, didn't know some of the answers. It doesn't make me to be that rude to these who said that this past test was easy. It was too hard for me. You have to keep your temper to yourself, it just a discussion board. Hdancingnaughty:

hey, I was being attacked. I studied hard for the test . I really did not appreciate someone I do not know questioning my competence . I am sure you would not like it either.



I was not attacking you at all. You said it was obvious that you only got to 30. I was merely pointing out that, no, it is not obvious to us unless you tell us. How would we know you only got to 30 unless you tell us? There is still a good chance you did o.k. No one can get to all 50 given the time restraints. When I passed, I "felt good" about 32 of the 50, "felt o.k." about another 9 or so and guessed the rest. If you look at the historic passing score (back when the state used to post them), the passing score was about a 60%. Good luck.


sorry i missread you

#24 simpatique

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:29 AM

QUOTE (EnvEngineer @ Apr 13 2011, 02:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In october the pass rate was 40% but they dont publish the cut score any longer, the last cut score is shown below

Tested2592 Passed1143 Pass %44.10%F ailed1449 Fail %55.90% Cutscore30 Possible46 (April 2009) 69%

Tested2555 Pass833 Pass %32.60% Fail1722 Fail %67.40% Cutscore183 Possible294 (Oct 2008) 62%

So you need 31 to 35 correct,


I spent 4 hours a day for the last 6months on the surveying alone .. I ve attended the semianr and worked all the problems of Reza's book .. I solved all Cuomo and most of the surveying practice tests available on the market . I also solved all the problems on Crawford both books and Kavanagh .... I even downloaded books fom england . I dont know what m0re I could be done more ??

#25 simpatique

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:35 AM


I spent 4 hours a day for the last 6months on the surveying alone .. I ve attended 4 weekends seminar of Reza and worked all problems of his book ( most of the surveying problems the exam come from his book in one form or another ) .. I also solved all Cuomo and Lew and most of the surveying practice tests available on the market . Finally , I solved all the problems on Crawford both books and Kavanagh .... I even downloaded books fom england . I dont know what m0re I could have done to be more prepared . Quantum physics ?

Edited by simpatique, 14 April 2011 - 03:02 AM.


#26 simpatique

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:38 AM

QUOTE (EnvEngineer @ Apr 13 2011, 10:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This was a tough survey exam, no two ways about it, once again I think I did good but no way to tell. I really had a hard time understanding some of the questions and that hurt me time wise. Seemel like more calculation problems this test as well so time was a real issue.

Good luck everyone.


specially the surveying law part ... Next time I am going to bring my attorney to decode theses questions

#27 simpatique

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:45 AM

Finally , I work as engineer for Caltrans ... Just in case they blame my lack of knowledge on my lack experience !

Edited by simpatique, 14 April 2011 - 02:46 AM.


#28 dastuff

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 03:03 AM

QUOTE (EnvEngineer @ Apr 13 2011, 02:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In october the pass rate was 40% but they dont publish the cut score any longer, the last cut score is shown below

Tested2592 Passed1143 Pass %44.10%F ailed1449 Fail %55.90% Cutscore30 Possible46 (April 2009) 69%

Tested2555 Pass833 Pass %32.60% Fail1722 Fail %67.40% Cutscore183 Possible294 (Oct 2008) 62%

So you need 31 to 35 correct,


This question is asked often so I thought it would be interesting to compile old pass rates and see what the averages are (I did from 2000 to 2010).

I did that here: PE Pass Rates

To sum it up, the average % you had to get correct (back when they posted results) was 51% for seismic and 58% for surveying. The average pass rates for the two were 39% for seismic and 38% for surveying.

#29 simpatique

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 09:38 AM

QUOTE (dastuff @ Apr 13 2011, 08:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (EnvEngineer @ Apr 13 2011, 02:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In october the pass rate was 40% but they dont publish the cut score any longer, the last cut score is shown below

Tested2592 Passed1143 Pass %44.10%F ailed1449 Fail %55.90% Cutscore30 Possible46 (April 2009) 69%

Tested2555 Pass833 Pass %32.60% Fail1722 Fail %67.40% Cutscore183 Possible294 (Oct 2008) 62%

So you need 31 to 35 correct,


This question is asked often so I thought it would be interesting to compile old pass rates and see what the averages are (I did from 2000 to 2010).

I did that here: PE Pass Rates

To sum it up, the average % you had to get correct (back when they posted results) was 51% for seismic and 58% for surveying. The average pass rates for the two were 39% for seismic and 38% for surveying.


thanks for the info .I guess it is up to luck for now

#30 simpatique

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 09:38 AM

QUOTE (dastuff @ Apr 13 2011, 08:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (EnvEngineer @ Apr 13 2011, 02:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In october the pass rate was 40% but they dont publish the cut score any longer, the last cut score is shown below

Tested2592 Passed1143 Pass %44.10%F ailed1449 Fail %55.90% Cutscore30 Possible46 (April 2009) 69%

Tested2555 Pass833 Pass %32.60% Fail1722 Fail %67.40% Cutscore183 Possible294 (Oct 2008) 62%

So you need 31 to 35 correct,


This question is asked often so I thought it would be interesting to compile old pass rates and see what the averages are (I did from 2000 to 2010).

I did that here: PE Pass Rates

To sum it up, the average % you had to get correct (back when they posted results) was 51% for seismic and 58% for surveying. The average pass rates for the two were 39% for seismic and 38% for surveying.


thanks for the info .I guess it is up to luck for now

#31 TESTY

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:38 PM

I had to take the Surveying test twice, passed the second time. Both times there seemed to be a problem that you couldn't get the correct answer. I think it was one of those "control" problems they throw out. Anyway, its real easy to spend too much time on 'em. I also found surveying really easy to make "dumb" mistakes, meaning you know how to do the problem, you just, for example wrote NE instead of SE etc. Everybody I've talk to ran out of time and had to guess 5-10 problems, which can make your passing score up to luck, you could need a few correct guesses to get over 33 correct.

#32 htoresk

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 05:35 PM

in reality, there is no course available to really prepare you for the Ca. surveying boards. You need to really know the material by heart, even thought is an open book examination we have no time to look for any references.
The board could pre-evaluate the questions for correct technical writing, even though the questions may make perfect sence to the ones whom prepare and submit the question, in may not make any sence to the next person in line.
so the board would really help us all by reviewing the questions for correct technical writing and clarity. After all I presume the board would be concernned mostly to ensure that we are competent in the application of surveying, not how well I may be able to understand the person whom contributes to the pool of questions for the examination in the first place.
no offence to anybody, but this is my humble opinion and evaluation of an examination that should not be that difficult in the first place, because surveying is relatively a simple and straigth forward subject matter. As an engineer working in several roadway projects, we hire professional surveyors to layout our control points and do most of the surveying work, so I do not think that in reality I would find myself doing any surveying other that checking on elevations and other minor questions that construction workers may have in the field, or being able to comunicate effectively with the surveyors doing the actual work.
good luck to all.

Edited by htoresk, 05 November 2011 - 05:41 PM.


#33 ptatohed

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:44 PM

in reality, there is no course available to really prepare you for the Ca. surveying boards. You need to really know the material by heart, even thought is an open book examination we have no time to look for any references.
The board could pre-evaluate the questions for correct technical writing, even though the questions may make perfect sence to the ones whom prepare and submit the question, in may not make any sence to the next person in line.
so the board would really help us all by reviewing the questions for correct technical writing and clarity. After all I presume the board would be concernned mostly to ensure that we are competent in the application of surveying, not how well I may be able to understand the person whom contributes to the pool of questions for the examination in the first place.
no offence to anybody, but this is my humble opinion and evaluation of an examination that should not be that difficult in the first place, because surveying is relatively a simple and straigth forward subject matter. As an engineer working in several roadway projects, we hire professional surveyors to layout our control points and do most of the surveying work, so I do not think that in reality I would find myself doing any surveying other that checking on elevations and other minor questions that construction workers may have in the field, or being able to comunicate effectively with the surveyors doing the actual work.
good luck to all.


Not sure why you bumped this 6 month old thread. ?

I agree, you need to know (most of) the exam material/concepts by heart.

I didn't know there was a problem with the technical writing of the CA-Survey exam questions. I didn't notice a problem. I haven't heard anyone else say this.

I'm a little torn on your third point (that knowing Surveying shouldn't be a requirement for PE licensure). [In fact I feel this way 100% about the CA-Seismic but that could be another thread all by itself]. But Surveying is a little different. It is the foundation for any civil project. Maybe some of it doesn't play a daily role for an office CE but there is a lot of it that does. For the most part, much of what we need to study to pass the CA-Survey is (in my opinion) core concepts any engineer should know anyway.




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