Virginia Scores LOWER than NCEES avg! - APR 2013 - Engineer Boards
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Virginia Scores LOWER than NCEES avg!

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I'm waiting to see if my PE application in VA gets approved, but these stats have me a bit shook. VA posts their Professional Board meeting minutes online, here is the June 14 2013 board meeting minutes. Check out page 10:

http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/GetFile.cfm?File=C:%5CTownHall%5Cdocroot%5CMeeting%5C7%5C18729%5CMinutes_DPOR_18729_v2.pdf

It says only 33% of people in VA pass the FE, and 36% pass the PE. This is MUCH LOWER than the passing rates on the NCEES site, where the national average for both exams is more than double what it is in VA. I'm scared. Why is VA so much lower? Should I apply to take the PE elsewhere?

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I'm waiting to see if my PE application in VA gets approved, but these stats have me a bit shook. VA posts their Professional Board meeting minutes online, here is the June 14 2013 board meeting minutes. Check out page 10:

http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/GetFile.cfm?File=C:%5CTownHall%5Cdocroot%5CMeeting%5C7%5C18729%5CMinutes_DPOR_18729_v2.pdf

It says only 33% of people in VA pass the FE, and 36% pass the PE. This is MUCH LOWER than the passing rates on the NCEES site, where the national average for both exams is more than double what it is in VA. I'm scared. Why is VA so much lower? Should I apply to take the PE elsewhere?

The reason maybe due to the environment. I took both the FE & PE in VA and passed the first time on both. I noticed that the tables used to take the exam had holes in them from the bolts that held the legs to the table. I know when taking the FE, I wasted alot of time making sure when coloring in the answer that the hole of the table was not directly beneath the item I was coloring in on the answer paper. I had fear that I was going to punch a hole through the paper. I must of wasted 10 seconds per answer making sure not to punch a hole into the paper when filling in the answer. When I took the PE exam, I came prepared with an over sized reference book to use to lean my answer paper on so it will not come into contact with the surface of the table. There were enough holes on the table top that there was not any safe place to put your paper without needing to move it or verify no holes when coloring in the answer. I would say the holes cost me some time on the FE exam, but for the PE it cost me no time because I came prepared knowing the problem. I took the exams in northern VA. I do not know if they use the same low quality tables at all the exam sites in Virginia. Not sure if this really contributes to lower scores, but I felt it affected me with an annoyance that I did not need. I was stressed enough.

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Interesting. Zeba, I also plan to take the test in NoVA. Where exactly is the exam site? All I can find online is that it is in Fairfax. Is it at a hotel conference room or something? Got an address?

If it is that bad, I may just drive to Richmond.

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i had bad tables in IL too...that is likely a problem many face

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I don't think that you can draw any inferential conclusions based upon the data presented to the Virginia board. As mentioned above, the examination is the same no matter where you sit for it. This is a national examination. Most states use the "NCEES Cut Score" to determine if a candidate passes or fails the examination. I think that the only conclusion that I can draw from the data presented was that many candidates sitting for the examination failed to adequately prepare for such a test.



Interestingly, the geographic demographics of where the candidates in Virginia completed the examination was not provided. Don't know if that illuminates any facts or not? Interestingly, if you review the Texas state website, the data suggests that those who sit for the examination in El Paso, in Far West Texas, perform less successfully than candidates that sit for the examination in other parts of the state of Texas. The data is significant enough to mean something-- what, I am not sure-- don't have enough data to compare.



A point to consider. I would carefully review the NCEES website for the test protocol for your discipline and very familiar and conversant with all of the subjects listed in the protocol. You only want to take this once, not multiple times.



Good Luck.


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Am I reading this right? That only 165 people took the PE? Is this for the whole state? That's crazy. There were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of test takes at just my test center here in CA. Anyway, one thing to keep in mind is states often give one passing % for all test takers while NCEES breaks it up into 1st and repeat takers. 1st time Civil PE takers 70%, repeat 37%. http://ncees.org/exams/pe-exam/ So maybe VA had more repeaters than 1st timers this administration?


Also, with such a small sample size, you're likely to see variation in passing %.


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I took it in Vermont and we had 40 in the whole state taking it.



I wonder if that number includes repeat examinees, who have a significantly lower passing rate than first timers.


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I'm sure this has something to do with the damn Yankees trying to keep the south down :mf_bounce8:


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The Virginia Board was notified and updated their meeting minutes.



In the initial minutes, only repeat takers were shown. The minutes have been revised to include the first-time takers as well.



Here is a link to the revised minutes http://www.townhall.virginia.gov/L/GetFile.cfm?File=C:\TownHall\docroot\Meeting\7\18729\Minutes_DPOR_18729_v3.pdf

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^Thanks Tim!!


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