Welcome to the post October 2018 PE post-exam wait period. A.K.A “Welcome to the Suck”. If you thought studying for the exam and taking the exam was the hard part, well you were wrong. Waiting for the exam results is the worst part of this whole process.
A few years ago @Dexman PE PMP wrote a famous post ( http://engineerboards.com/topic/21356-feel-good-about-how-you-did-on-the-exam/ ) outlining the stages of the post-exam emotional roller-coaster. I’ve reproduced his immortal words (italics) and added a few new insights and advice below. Phase 0 (Emotional Hangover) This happens immediately after the conclusion of the exam. You spend the next few days bouncing between phases 1-5, either individually or at the same time. You are Heisenberg's test result, simultaneously convinced that you passed and failed at the same time. You'll find yourself suddenly with a lot of free time and no idea what to spend it on (hint: spam thread here or burn off the stress at the gym). You'll be looking at which PE stamps to order, and which PE study classes to take for the next exam. After a few days your brain will slow down and you settle into...
Phase 1 (CALM) This stage will last a few days. You are mostly recovered from the mental marathon of the exam and post-exam emotional roller coaster. The full weight of what has just happened hasn’t really set in and you are probably a bit relaxed thinking that the worst is over.
Phase 2 (SECOND-GUESSING) will start to set in over the next few days. You will start to forget small (but important) pieces of the exam and forget how you answered the question, but will remember just enough so that you keep trying to re-calculate the answers in your head. You will slowly begin to convince yourself that you got it wrong. Phase 3 (WORRY) will follow within a few weeks. At this point, you've convinced yourself that you've missed a few problems, but you *should* still be ok. Phase 4 (DOUBT) After worrying for about a month (we're now within 2-3 weeks of results at this point), you'll jump into full blown doubt. You are now certain that you missed way too many questions to stand a chance at passing.
Phase 5 (ANGER) Once you've lost hope of passing, you'll move into Phase 5 (anger) over the fact that it's taken way too damn long to grade a simple scantron and the guys at NCEES are morons for taking so long. I mean, really, 6-8 weeks to feed a scantron into a f*ing machine, COME ON!! Another source of anger stems from all of the "Not this shit again" and "Don't try to calc it because it's worthless" responses to all of your cut-score and release date posts.
BTW, want a sanity check of why it takes so long to “just score a scantron”? look here:
Phase 6 (RESULTS) Finally, you'll hit Phase 6 (results). Each person reacts differently at this point whether they passed or not, how many times they've taken it, financial implications, expectations, etc. Regardless of how the results come out, at this point you will find that the CAB of your choice is very welcomed to either celebrate or cry into.
Then there are the sub-phases. These can happen anytime during phases 2, 3, 4, and 5. The order of the sub-phases is arbitrary
Sub-phase A (Trying to calculate the cut-score) you’ll start speculating on the cut score, as if it’s universal for all exams. Maybe discussing a question in a nebulous way and convincing yourself that it will get tossed. You start spouting conspiracy theories that there is a quota for maximum and minimum number of passers (there isn’t), or that NCESS wants you to fail to get more of your money (meh, not really).
The cut score will vary from exam session to exam session and from one engineering discipline to another. The cut score is based on what the minimally competent PE would get for that selection of test problems. Yes, PEs and other SMEs take practice exams with those problems to establish a baseline. It’s futile to try to guess the “cut score”, and even if you could you don’t know your own score anyway, so it really doesn’t matter.
Want a little more elaboration? Look here:
Sub-phase B (trying to figure out how to get results before they come out) You’ll start trying to figure out ways to learn of your results before they come out. This will include searching your state’s PE license lookup or another state website, spam calling and emailing NCEES or the state board, etc.
First: Please be nice to your state board workers! You are taking this test to become a professional, so act like a professional.
NCESS won’t tell you anything beyond “8-10 weeks” until after they released the results. The state boards won’t tell you much more and NCESS usually doesn’t share anything firm with them anyway. The boards will often get surprised with the results too. No state starts updating their license lookup prior to the initial release of results. So don’t bother searching there until at least one state has released first! Some states (Mass, NJ, and a couple others) have other websites like where you can divine a pass/fail, but it won’t happen until other states have already started releasing, and those states tend to release after everyone else too.
Sub-phase C (guessing the release date) This is another favorite pass time. You’ll start looking through old map threads to try to guess the release date. Maybe you’ll look at state board meetings dates and try to cross reference with the past results to figure out when’s this years’ will come out. Multiple posters look at the (lack of) data and come to a “conclusion” that a given date is “it”. The OG’s tell you that the wait will last a little bit longer, but group-think sets in and the vets get mocked for “trolling”. Things get even worse when the “sure thing” date passes without a release.
No one can say with certainty when the results will be released this early after the exam. With that written, we have been following things for a while and we have an idea of when the release will generally happen. Fall results take longer than spring results because of the holidays and time available to schedule cut score meetings.
The vets may not know the exact date ahead of time, but we generally know the signs and can confidently give a “no earlier than” date. This is not the same as a release date. We’ll also know when things are imminent.
Still want to scratch the itch? @Duckdude actually took the time to make a spreadsheet of known release dates for all states for all exams sessions going back for over a decade. And he did it AFTER he got his results back. Great dedication and work on his part! You can browse it here if you are curious.
Sub-phase D (reading the tea leaves) This is a variation on subphases B and C, but warrants its own category. You’ll start scrutinizing every NCEES tweet or facebook post, take screenshots and discuss minor tweaks to the dashboard layout, or get over excited when a state board has called an emergency meeting. You look for any clue or edge to see if you passed/failed or when the results may come out.
Sometimes these signs are legit, often they’re not. The OG’s have been tracking things for years and know how to separate the signal from the noise. For instance @knight1fox3 has been playing close attention to the correlations of getting an exam survey back a week after the exam and a pass/fail score.
Sub-phase E (harassing NCEES and state board employees) The title says it all, it's an aggravated version of subphase B. Don't be a d$%K and try to avoid this subphase. You aren't doing yourself any favors by acting unprofessional.
Sub-phase F5 (spam reloading the NCEES dashboard) During this phase you are continuously reloading the NCEES dashboard and/or refreshing your email.
FWIW, we can confirm that sometimes the examinees' dashboard will update with the result prior to the NCESS email going out. The time difference is anywhere from no-delay to a couple hours. Go ahead and spam F5 the dashboard to blow off steam.
Speaking of blowing off steam, trying the Oct 2018 spam thread:
or any of the other game threads.
And all this leaves out the post-results passed and failed phases, which I’ll post about later.
How does everyone feel about the exam yesterday?