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So, how'd you guys do (Oct 2011 CA-Seismic)?


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#1 ptatohed

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 09:28 PM

I posted this on the "dead forum" (only because it re-opened first) but with 60+ views and no replies, I think I'd rather place it here:
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This was my 3rd time taking it but my first time seriously studying for it. I have been studying for and passing one exam at a time (CA-Survey in Oct '10, 8-hour in Apr '11). With the Seismic being my last and final needed exam, I studied very hard this time. I studied 6 days a week for 4 months totaling more 100s of hours than I care to think about.


In general, I thought it was a totally fair test. Completely doable. It's just that even 50 easy to medium level problems in 2.5 hours is near impossible. Time was definitely the enemy. I know everyone says this about the Survey and Seismic exams so I know my feelings are normal.

I felt really good about 27 questions and did some educated and random guessing on the remainder (due to time). Historically, a 55%+/- is needed to pass so I am hoping I made at least that.

I hope you guys did well. :)

#2 sac_engineer

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:39 PM

Ptatohed - Glad to hear you felt good about the exam. You're exactly right in that time is the enemy and it's amazing how little 2.5 minutes can be while solving a problem. I'm the type that takes about a minute to make sure I understand the question before proceeding, especially during the PE exam.

If you felt good on at least 30 questions, then you've done well.

#3 K=1.0

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 06:39 AM

I finished half hour earlier with one or two problem not 100% sure. Of course, my background is structural engineering. I think the exam is tough for people with no structure background.

#4 ptatohed

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:53 PM

Thanks sac.


I finished half hour earlier with one or two problem not 100% sure. Of course, my background is structural engineering. I think the exam is tough for people with no structure background.



Wow, you're the man K! Yeah, I have no background in Structural so I really struggled with this material. I am a roadway/grading/drainage guy and, before I started studying for the CA-Seismic, I hadn't seen 90%+ of the topics in Hiner's manual. There was no Seismic coursework requirement when I went to SDSU either. Did you take the Survey and 8-hour too? How'd you do?

#5 YMZ PE

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 07:43 AM

Definitely felt like time was the enemy. Especially since this year it was the very first exam so my time management suuuuucked! I wish I had timed myself while going through the Hiner multiple choice problems so I had a better idea of how long different types of problems take.

#6 PE_Water

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 12:59 AM

I did not do well:( . I only did like 33 questions and remaining all wild guesses...Also, in that 33 not sure how many will be correct...:(. What I observed is Hiner's class/notes is not enough for the exam. I put 90% of my effort while preparing but I was going through only Hiner's material and did all the problems atleast 2times and still during the exam all my study didn't help me much...:(. While preparing i thought seismic is easier than survey and while taking the exam i felt opposite ...:). Overall a big disappointment ..:(

#7 EnvEngineer

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 11:05 PM

I do wish all of you luck, and hope you pass. I took the seismic twice and the survey 3x, after passing I really had nightmares about studying for the test. I was so worked up because I could not figure how I could pass.. Study is great but the time thing is the issue and lucky for me I managed to get past it on the 3rd go around. All I can suggest if you dont pass focus on getting through the entire test, I skipped the big hard questions and had time to go back and look at a few but still left the bigger ones undone. (ps this was april) the interesting thing is there were about 8 pretty easy survey questions at the end so I think this worked in my favor, good luck everyone and try not to think of the test, there is time for that after the results are posted.

#8 ptatohed

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 09:57 AM

Passed! Sooooooo stoked. :D

#9 K=1.0

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 07:57 PM

Passed! Sooooooo stoked. :D


Congratulation! So am I @my first try :). Like Seismic, I finished Survey half-hour early too. But it is sad that I am still unemployed. :(

If you want to do well in Survey, I think you should not bring more than the formula sheets you've prepared into the exam room. And most likely, you don't need to open that for most the time because you should remember most basic formulas. You should get a textbook to understand the materials first and then do practice exams to the extent that you know to solve problems by just half-reading the problem statements.

Get a right calculator! Casio is the one I recommended because it is so convenient to input angle in degree,minute,second directly and convert easily between both formats. That increased my speed significantly.

Good luck for all the future PEs!

#10 simpatique

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 09:53 PM

I also live in socal but did not receive the results for surveying yet ! . I wonder why couldnt they send the letters on 27th instead of 30th so everyone can receive there results before the new year .. NOw id have to wait till the 3th ( monday is a holiday ) to find out that i failed !

#11 simpatique

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 09:55 PM

TOO BAD YOU ARE STILL UNEMPLOYED ..... gOT MILK ??

#12 PsychoNumber1

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 12:49 AM

I did not do well:( . I only did like 33 questions and remaining all wild guesses...Also, in that 33 not sure how many will be correct...:(. What I observed is Hiner's class/notes is not enough for the exam. I put 90% of my effort while preparing but I was going through only Hiner's material and did all the problems atleast 2times and still during the exam all my study didn't help me much...:(. While preparing i thought seismic is easier than survey and while taking the exam i felt opposite ...:). Overall a big disappointment ..:(


I thought hiner was enough. That's all I used to study both times I took the exam. The difference between the two attempts was that I actually understood the question and knew how to solve them the second time around. The first time through I made an attempt and would check the solution, see what they did and try to remember not to make that mistake again. I have zero prior knowledge. There's a lot of extra information in his notes that you don't serif you're just reading the text and waiting for a call out or reference to the figures. There are equations and things like that on graphs that aren't easily noticed. That's how I felt reading it the second time anyway. So this past time through all I had was my calculator and my hiner book, nothing else.

#13 simpatique

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 04:02 AM

Thanks to Hiner seismic was a breeze .

#14 DASmith

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:18 PM

I used Hiner and the PPI books for review. The PPI practice exams were close enough to the real test that I had a good idea of how to manage my time, and I used Hiner as the main reference manual during the exam, since it is well laid out. I felt like throwing up after the seismic exam, but found out that I passed both seismic and surveying on the first try!

#15 noghre111

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:38 PM

I just recieved the results of CA PE exam. I took Mansour's review course for the 8hr and surveying and passed **BOTH**!! but i did not pass seismic. I want to take a review course in seismic and am debating between Mansour's course or Heiner's. I'm debating because Mansour will let you attend lectures or webinars, he would even let you borrow his DVD's if you can't attend a session (he also has a 300 problem book that he gives out). at the same time, I've heard MANY good reviews on Heiner's course.

I need help deciding between the two courses as their classes will start soon!

#16 PsychoNumber1

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:57 PM

I just recieved the results of CA PE exam. I took Mansour's review course for the 8hr and surveying and passed **BOTH**!! but i did not pass seismic. I want to take a review course in seismic and am debating between Mansour's course or Heiner's. I'm debating because Mansour will let you attend lectures or webinars, he would even let you borrow his DVD's if you can't attend a session (he also has a 300 problem book that he gives out). at the same time, I've heard MANY good reviews on Heiner's course.

I need help deciding between the two courses as their classes will start soon!


for hiner you don't have to attend in person, he has a web version. the book you buy for that course has good problems in it as well. i didn't take either course.

#17 noghre111

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:29 PM


I just recieved the results of CA PE exam. I took Mansour's review course for the 8hr and surveying and passed **BOTH**!! but i did not pass seismic. I want to take a review course in seismic and am debating between Mansour's course or Heiner's. I'm debating because Mansour will let you attend lectures or webinars, he would even let you borrow his DVD's if you can't attend a session (he also has a 300 problem book that he gives out). at the same time, I've heard MANY good reviews on Heiner's course.

I need help deciding between the two courses as their classes will start soon!


for hiner you don't have to attend in person, he has a web version. the book you buy for that course has good problems in it as well. i didn't take either course.



Which one is better?

#18 PsychoNumber1

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 05:06 PM

i can't answer that since i only used the hiner book and didn't take either course.

#19 ptatohed

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 07:33 PM



I just recieved the results of CA PE exam. I took Mansour's review course for the 8hr and surveying and passed **BOTH**!! but i did not pass seismic. I want to take a review course in seismic and am debating between Mansour's course or Heiner's. I'm debating because Mansour will let you attend lectures or webinars, he would even let you borrow his DVD's if you can't attend a session (he also has a 300 problem book that he gives out). at the same time, I've heard MANY good reviews on Heiner's course.

I need help deciding between the two courses as their classes will start soon!


for hiner you don't have to attend in person, he has a web version. the book you buy for that course has good problems in it as well. i didn't take either course.



Which one is better?


Hiner, hands down. Too many errors in the Mansour books.

#20 noghre111

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 08:21 PM




I just recieved the results of CA PE exam. I took Mansour's review course for the 8hr and surveying and passed **BOTH**!! but i did not pass seismic. I want to take a review course in seismic and am debating between Mansour's course or Heiner's. I'm debating because Mansour will let you attend lectures or webinars, he would even let you borrow his DVD's if you can't attend a session (he also has a 300 problem book that he gives out). at the same time, I've heard MANY good reviews on Heiner's course.

I need help deciding between the two courses as their classes will start soon!


for hiner you don't have to attend in person, he has a web version. the book you buy for that course has good problems in it as well. i didn't take either course.



Which one is better?


Hiner, hands down. Too many errors in the Mansour books.


I take your suggestion. thank you!




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