CA Seismic Results - APR 2012 - Engineer Boards
Engineer Boards

# CA Seismic Results

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Does anyone know what the break down is for "Proficient, Marginal and Deficient" on the results letter?

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Perhaps a better title might have been 'Survey and Seismic diagnostics'.

shen, I don't think anyone has ever received an official answer for this question. I don't t think we know, mathematically, what the P, M and D mean but we can speculate. Non-mathematically, P means you comfortably answered more questions than needed to pass in that particular category. M means you answered at or around just enough to pass. D means you answered less than needed to pass. Mathematically (and this is pure speculation), let's say a 60% was needed to pass the Survey or Seismic exam - perhaps P means you answered 70%+ of the questions in that category correctly, M might mean you answered 60-70% correctly and D means you answered less than 60%.

But, the point of the report is, if you got a P then study enough to stay brush up before next exam; if you got an M, then concentrate on this area a medium amount; and if you got a D, then place your primary focus here before the next exam.

Good luck.

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Could you fail with ...let's say 2*P + 1* M + 1*D ??

Do you need to be at least M at all subjects ? or overall

Tx

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All questions are weighted equally, so no. You need about a 65% overall to pass (Based on previous cutoff scores) - doesn't matter what the distribution of correct answers gets you there.

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All questions are weighted equally, so no. You need about a 65% overall to pass (Based on previous cutoff scores) - doesn't matter what the distribution of correct answers gets you there.

I thought the same, but was not sure

Thanks for clarification

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All questions are weighted equally, so no. You need about a 65% overall to pass (Based on previous cutoff scores) - doesn't matter what the distribution of correct answers gets you there.

Correct. Actually, I think you'll see the historic cutscore is more like 55% http://www.pels.ca.gov/applicants/exam_statistics.shtml but, you are right, you do not need marginal in every category - just an overall score at/above the cutscore.

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I just got my results in the mail. Failed. Deficient in ALL categories.

This was my second time taking the seismic exam. The first time I took the exam, Oct 2011, I passed the 8-hour and surveying, but failed the seismic exam with 3 marginal categories and 2 deficient. I didn't focus too much on it; I didn't even have an ASCE 7 book. I took it with more or less the intent on taking it again when I would have the opportunity to truly focus on the seismic exam.

For the April 2012 exam, I studied the entire Hiner book and answered all questions in the back of the book, with the exception of a few chapter 8 & 9 questions (Diaphragm Design and Wood). I felt good taking the test and felt confident on roughly 35 answered questions. The remaining 15, I chose randomly .

I'm stunned.

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@envecm27: I feel your pain. My results haven't made it yet but I'm in the same boat: I failed seismic in Oct '11, retook it in April. After focusing on Heiner's and doing all problems, I found April's exam to be tough as hell. Looks like it's much more impoortant to study and understand the Codes. Heiner's should be only a secondary resource, not the Seismic Bible. Good luck next time.

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I studied a lot in Hiner's and all the code's (over 30+ hours)- felt like I didn't have enough time to answer all the questions even though I felt I know how to answer everything. I didn't pass this time either. I need to work faster for next time.

My coworker passed; he's bragging how he only studied for 1 day for the test.

I don't get why there's people like him that can get that lucky? Really? He studied for a day and he can pass? He's average intelligence and then Look at all of us that work so hard....it's not like we're dumb..... i don't get...

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I just got my results in the mail. Failed. Deficient in ALL categories.

This was my second time taking the seismic exam. The first time I took the exam, Oct 2011, I passed the 8-hour and surveying, but failed the seismic exam with 3 marginal categories and 2 deficient. I didn't focus too much on it; I didn't even have an ASCE 7 book. I took it with more or less the intent on taking it again when I would have the opportunity to truly focus on the seismic exam.

For the April 2012 exam, I studied the entire Hiner book and answered all questions in the back of the book, with the exception of a few chapter 8 & 9 questions (Diaphragm Design and Wood). I felt good taking the test and felt confident on roughly 35 answered questions. The remaining 15, I chose randomly .

I'm stunned.

env, no offense but you can't say "except for these 2 chapters". You need to read the whole book and do all the problems at least twice. You'll get it next time. Just put in the study and problem practice time.

@envecm27: I feel your pain. My results haven't made it yet but I'm in the same boat: I failed seismic in Oct '11, retook it in April. After focusing on Heiner's and doing all problems, I found April's exam to be tough as hell. Looks like it's much more impoortant to study and understand the Codes. Heiner's should be only a secondary resource, not the Seismic Bible. Good luck next time.

pe, I disagree. I think you should re-think this. Hiner is THE source and should be your primary go-to on exam day. I think I only used the ASCE-7 to get a few R values and I only used the CBC once for a special inspections questions. Every other question was answered from Hiner (or memory).

I studied a lot in Hiner's and all the code's (over 30+ hours)- felt like I didn't have enough time to answer all the questions even though I felt I know how to answer everything. I didn't pass this time either. I need to work faster for next time.

My coworker passed; he's bragging how he only studied for 1 day for the test.

I don't get why there's people like him that can get that lucky? Really? He studied for a day and he can pass? He's average intelligence and then Look at all of us that work so hard....it's not like we're dumb..... i don't get...

hello, I don't know the real story behind your co-worker (maybe he took the Structure PM which gives him a leg up?), but forget about him. As far as you, dude, 30 hours is not enough. I feel 250 +/- 50 hours are needed for the 8-hr and 200 +/- 50 hours are needed for the Seis/Surv. I failed the Seismic 2 times with almost all Deficients (I didn't study at all because I was studying for/taking/passing the other tests one at a time) so when it came time to pass Seismic (3rd round), I made it my life. I put in probably 200-250 hours. I did Hiner 3 times, I even dabbled in PPI's 345 and 2 practice exams as well as Mansour's and Dr. Ibrahim's books. If Seismic is foreign to you like it is to me, you can do it, you just need to put in the hours. You'll get it next time. Good luck.

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Some people get lucky. Some people are good at guessing multiple choice. Some people are awesome at testing. Don't worry about other people and just focus on you. You WILL pass eventually!

I agree with the others that the Hiner book was my go-to source. Seismic is NOT my strength and I thank Mr. Hiner for the fact that I am a licensed engineer today!

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I looked back at previous results and I received 4 marginal and 1 proficient before so I don't think there's an exact science for it. I do believe the main criteria is having a 40% pass rate. If you review past exam results, the pass rate is right around 40%. It seems they just go through the results and set the cut score at whatever number will give them that outcome. When the test was weighted and they provided your score along with the cutscore, you can see how much the cutscore would vary. One test it was 152, the next 176. My guess is the board figured the 40% would keep a cap on the number of newly licensed engineers. It's not like any of us are going to all of sudden be better at our jobs because we pass. I'm sure envecm27 and hello816 are fully capable engineers, just not "licensed". Not to mention I've worked with a couple PE's that struggle with a Grading Plan. So really it comes down to studying and hoping 60% of the people taking the test do worse than you.

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I looked back at previous results and I received 4 marginal and 1 proficient before so I don't think there's an exact science for it. I do believe the main criteria is having a 40% pass rate. If you review past exam results, the pass rate is right around 40%. It seems they just go through the results and set the cut score at whatever number will give them that outcome. When the test was weighted and they provided your score along with the cutscore, you can see how much the cutscore would vary. One test it was 152, the next 176. My guess is the board figured the 40% would keep a cap on the number of newly licensed engineers. It's not like any of us are going to all of sudden be better at our jobs because we pass. I'm sure envecm27 and hello816 are fully capable engineers, just not "licensed". Not to mention I've worked with a couple PE's that struggle with a Grading Plan. So really it comes down to studying and hoping 60% of the people taking the test do worse than you.

I forget how many categories there are in the diagnostics report but there is no way you failed with all Marginals and one Proficient. There has to be at least one Deficient in there. Right?

And regarding the other stuff you said - these are just words of a recent failee (no offense). Take a week or so to get past the fail letter, form a game plan, put on your Seismic study hat and start hitting it hard. You have 3+ months. Make sure you are one of the 40% next time. You can do it!