Survey Exam Oct 2010 - CA-Seismic/Survey Exams - Engineer Boards
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Survey Exam Oct 2010

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Thought I'd start a new topic dedicated to Survey Oct 2010 exam.

I took it for the second time, and again time was a big factor, so not sure if I passed. Can't go into specifics about the problems, but maybe this is a good to vent issues, strategies etc. so that we all pass this mother. I think if it was closed book with an extra hour, we'd all pass.

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Thought I'd start a new topic dedicated to Survey Oct 2010 exam.

I took it for the second time, and again time was a big factor, so not sure if I passed. Can't go into specifics about the problems, but maybe this is a good to vent issues, strategies etc. so that we all pass this mother. I think if it was closed book with an extra hour, we'd all pass.

It was my second time as well and I fully agree with you that time was the key in this test as well as the first one. I found most of the problems totally different from the first test and because o that, finding a good strategy will be hard. There are not too many sample tests you can practice on. In fact, I only came across the two in Dr. Mansour's book.

I am not sure what is the Board intention with having such a limited time to solve the questions, which btw, are tricky. I would much rather have a 8h test with more in depth questions but a bit more time, that will demonstrate if you have the knowledge or not in a more realistic way.

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I agree that time was definitely an issue. Although, I was expecting that given what I have always heard. This was my first time. I like to think I passed. I do agree that the problems were not identical to the sample problems most of us study from. But, the main core/crux of the problems were generally shared with our practice problems. I think if you work (and understand) all the sample problems you can, you should be o.k. on the test. Remember to take the test with a good time management strategy decided on prior to the exam. For instance, answer the questions that can quickly be answered with no work and the problems that require little work on the first pass. Mark the other ones as easy, medium, hard on your first pass but move on to the next one. Then go back and one by one work on the problems you marked, in order of easiness. You only need a 60% to pass. You won't get to all of the problems in 2.5 hours so do as many as you can by working them in order of easiest to hardest.

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I agree that time was definitely an issue. Although, I was expecting that given what I have always heard. This was my first time. I like to think I passed. I do agree that the problems were not identical to the sample problems most of us study from. But, the main core/crux of the problems were generally shared with our practice problems. I think if you work (and understand) all the sample problems you can, you should be o.k. on the test. Remember to take the test with a good time management strategy decided on prior to the exam. For instance, answer the questions that can quickly be answered with no work and the problems that require little work on the first pass. Mark the other ones as easy, medium, hard on your first pass but move on to the next one. Then go back and one by one work on the problems you marked, in order of easiness. You only need a 60% to pass. You won't get to all of the problems in 2.5 hours so do as many as you can by working them in order of easiest to hardest.

Just a comment on 60% to pass...That might not be true if you look at the last 5 posted scores (ie when the Board was still publishing the passing score, last published one is April 2009). The scores ranged between 61% and 65.2%. A 5% will mean basically another 3 problems you need to be done right, not insignificant...

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Engineering is not about time, its about applying the best technology to do things right. This test is not engineering, I guess they want some way to filter the applicants and time is what they chose. I did think this test was more on topic, surveying, than in the past. The last test was a trig and geometry exercise.

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I think I passed, but the amount of guessing I did towards the end has me fearful. I told myself to skip over the harder problems, but did not follow that strategy. I know I could solve all of the problems with more time. I think even if I did practice more, It would be still hard to complete all of the problems + go back and check them over again with the amount of time given. I've heard that the bar is raised a bit for the Survey exam vs. Seismic. If I don't pass this time, I'm going to feel like the exam is more of a test for pro Surveyor's and not Engineers. To pay the full exam fee + wait half a year for a skill that is a small part of what your going to do is questionable. If I don't pass, I'm definitely going to just do the same problems over and over again, so I can do them in my sleep.

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I think I passed, but the amount of guessing I did towards the end has me fearful. I told myself to skip over the harder problems, but did not follow that strategy. I know I could solve all of the problems with more time. I think even if I did practice more, It would be still hard to complete all of the problems + go back and check them over again with the amount of time given. I've heard that the bar is raised a bit for the Survey exam vs. Seismic. If I don't pass this time, I'm going to feel like the exam is more of a test for pro Surveyor's and not Engineers. To pay the full exam fee + wait half a year for a skill that is a small part of what your going to do is questionable. If I don't pass, I'm definitely going to just do the same problems over and over again, so I can do them in my sleep.

I work in water treatment so I have zero connection/use/need for surveying. Yet I won't be a civil PE in CA without it, questionable or not. Thinking this way won't lead to anything but more frustration.

Good luck, hope it will work well for you. But if not, doing same problems over and over again won't make you gain too much. I took the test twice so far and they were very different. I am personnaly lost as what else I can do to improve. Maybe voluteer to do some surveying work for somebody, folks that have done some real work in the field don't seem to have a problem with the test.

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I think I passed, but the amount of guessing I did towards the end has me fearful. I told myself to skip over the harder problems, but did not follow that strategy. I know I could solve all of the problems with more time. I think even if I did practice more, It would be still hard to complete all of the problems + go back and check them over again with the amount of time given. I've heard that the bar is raised a bit for the Survey exam vs. Seismic. If I don't pass this time, I'm going to feel like the exam is more of a test for pro Surveyor's and not Engineers. To pay the full exam fee + wait half a year for a skill that is a small part of what your going to do is questionable. If I don't pass, I'm definitely going to just do the same problems over and over again, so I can do them in my sleep.

I work in water treatment so I have zero connection/use/need for surveying. Yet I won't be a civil PE in CA without it, questionable or not. Thinking this way won't lead to anything but more frustration.

Good luck, hope it will work well for you. But if not, doing same problems over and over again won't make you gain too much. I took the test twice so far and they were very different. I am personnaly lost as what else I can do to improve. Maybe voluteer to do some surveying work for somebody, folks that have done some real work in the field don't seem to have a problem with the test.

I agree that we should not take the attitude that the test is unfair, unnecessary etc.. That will lead to frustration, becuase you won't be as motivated to master the material. I disagree however, that practicing the problems over and over, won't lead to success. There is only so much material that they can test you on. I heard that they changed up the problems a lot in Seismic. If I have to take it over again, I am definitely skipping over the longer problems which look different. Its hard though, there were some problems, which looked long, but were actually quite easy. Some of the problems were very different than the Cuomo, 120 prob and Reza's books, but they still had the same concepts- they just twisted up the way they were presented.

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I work with engineers who also have their PLS and they said there were many questions in the Surveying exam that are too difficult to solve in only 3 minutes. There's no such thing as an easy exam when certification is at stake. As with most standardized tests, the administrators are minimizing the number of "curve-busters".

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