Jump to content
Engineer Boards

​ ​ ​
ptatohed

Everything you wanted to know about the CA-Survey/Seismic Civil PE Exams

Recommended Posts

On 10/4/2018 at 7:41 PM, vicentv said:

I’m still waiting too. Called the board yesterday and they informed me that a few applicants were delayed and should come out today or tomorrow. Congrats on your upcoming baby! @thebruce44

Have you heard back from the board about the results of the technical review?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took the California civil surveying exam on 9/29/2018 last day of the 3rd quarter and I got my results yesterday and I have to re-take the exam.  

I wish to re-take the exam in the 1st quarter of 2019 ( January 1 - March 31 ); do I have to send my re-examination form now or I have to wait till 1st quarter of 2019?

Thank you 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, vip-eng said:

I took the California civil surveying exam on 9/29/2018 last day of the 3rd quarter and I got my results yesterday and I have to re-take the exam.  

I wish to re-take the exam in the 1st quarter of 2019 ( January 1 - March 31 ); do I have to send my re-examination form now or I have to wait till 1st quarter of 2019?

Thank you 

You need to send in your re-examination form now. You'll get approved for the first quarter of 2019.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, engineeringforfun said:

You need to send in your re-examination form now. You'll get approved for the first quarter of 2019.

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know if its a good feeling after seismic exam if you...

Feel good about 25/55 questions and guess the rest?

I felt good about like 100% on the 25 but the rest I kind of guessed educated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@doubleH do you think my feeling right above is good? I feel like I got answers on half the exam honestly and feel good I was careful for tricks. Then maybe 5 others I was 50-50 and the rest kind of guessed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, 

I'm curious if I will be approved to take the Seismic exam for the January - March period if the check was processed in October 2018?  I already passed the Survey exam and don't see why there would be any extra review for my application, however, the response time has been much longer than in the past (initial app and re-test both this past year for Survey).  I haven't received feedback from the License Evaluators. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/22/2018 at 12:30 AM, AspiringCALPE said:

Hi, 

I'm curious if I will be approved to take the Seismic exam for the January - March period if the check was processed in October 2018?  I already passed the Survey exam and don't see why there would be any extra review for my application, however, the response time has been much longer than in the past (initial app and re-test both this past year for Survey).  I haven't received feedback from the License Evaluators. 

Yes you'll be approved. You'll end up hearing back soon and you'll probably get your authorization to test somewhere towards the end of December. I wouldn't stress too much.

Edited by engineeringforfun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Do you know if I can take the seismic/surveying exams at a Prometric center outside California? Or it has to be in CA?

Thanks a lot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JPMCL said:

Hi,

Do you know if I can take the seismic/surveying exams at a Prometric center outside California? Or it has to be in CA?

Thanks a lot!

It can be outside of California.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello All,

To honor the intent of this particular thread, i figured i would put my 2 cents into the pile. I appreciated reading what books everyone used and how much study time was needed. I have a geotech background which includes some survey field work. 

For the Surveying Exam: 

I used Civil PE Surveying Review (CPESR) from Torossian. I took both his online course and reviewed from his book. I really liked his book and how he covered the topics. The only con to his lectures is he swears by a particular variety of TI calculator (89?), which i found slower than the casio 115 or TI-36 for surveying unit conversions. Torossian is very articulate and easy to understand during the recorded lectures. I also supplemented the lectures by reading  the Survey reference manual from PPI.  This book was good but not great, i would rate it overall second to Torrosian. I studied for a total of 140 hours on this topic. Due to the recent shift in survey exam topics there might be some updating needed in Torossian's book but overall i thought it was nearly perfect. 

During the exam you feel the pressure and definitely cannot answer every question withing the 2.5 hour time frame but i did not feel overwhelmed. I passed this test on the first attempt. 

For the Seismic Exam:

I used Hiner's review manual and his on-demand course. He is articulate and moves pretty slow during the lectures. His book is laid out logically with the first section being the seismic topics, the second section is example problems, third is home work problems then fourth is home work solutions. He also provides some fast reference sheets which are worth their weight in gold for SDS, SD1, Ta and many more. This saved me more than minutes during the exam!! These literally are worth their weight in gold if not more, seriously, I cannot say enough of these quick reference sheets.  His course comes with 1 practice exam and the end of the book, which is very good. He also offers with  purchase of all of his on-demand courses an online timed exam, which is also really good. 

I also bought PPI's seismic reference manual, i read about the first 1/3 of the book before laughing it off. This book is laid out very similar to the CERM, which is a good thing. The downfall of this book is they cover  an almost absurd level of detail. Recall in the CERM the sections covering slugs and international units etc etc.

Since i have 0 hours of actual seismic/structural experience. I decided to purchase PE prepared practice exam for seismic. This exam booklet was used as a practice exam then i would work 10 problems here and there. The benefit to this is you're working problems from a different author, which i think is important. That being said, i really liked this practice exam.

For seismic overall, i studied over 200 hours but remember i had no practical experience on this topic. There was no major preference on calculator for this exam, i liked the casio 115 more because it can record a string of numbers versus the TI-36 which is single line. I also purchased the ASCE 7-10 and IBC. The were a number of questions that force you into the ASCE 7-10 footnotes for a certain chart/table.  So those books were vital, dont skip them.

The prometric front desk lady told me i was packing light, i chuckled and she mentioned some examinee's would take the biggest bankers box they could find. My only thought on that is how do you have time to rifle through so many books on a timed exam. 

I just took the test on Friday, so no results yet but i feel comfortable with how the test went.

Testing Center:

About 2 weeks out from my seismic test day i fell ill with the flu and decided to postpone the test. It cost the $60 as noted on Prometric website. My only concern was I purchased  a 3pm slot because that was all that was left. Since i am an early-bird i was concerned about waiting until the afternoon to test. I called the local testing center the day of my exam and they allowed me test as soon as i could get down  there. The ladies were happy to allow me to take the test early because they had seats available.  So the take away is, if you aren't juiced about the time-slot you can call and see if they can accommodate. Prometric staff was easy to deal with. 

Final recommendations:

Survey: Torossian's review course & manual and then PPI's if you need additional information. No input on practice exams. 

Seismic: Hiner's review course & manual, ASCE 7-10, IBC and PE prepared's practice exam as additional problems. You can skip PPI's review manual and their practice exam is even worse.  

 

I hope this helps. Good luck to everyone fighting the good fight. If i happen not to pass seismic, i will update my thread to adjust hours etc.

 

 

 

Edited by ANorton
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome thread. Thank you.. Congrats on passing the Survey exam and I am pretty sure you will pass the seismic too. since you passed the survey is Torossian's workbook is for sell by any chance?   

Edited by vip-eng

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

This thread is very helpful. I'm working on my application, specifically on the Engagement Record and Reference form. I've read the instructions (https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/gerefinst.shtml), but a couple items aren't clear to me.

For those that have gotten their applications approved, in your opinion, how much information needs to be provided for the qualifying experience portion (Part A)?

There doesn't seem to be much room on the form to provide a detailed amount of information for the tasks and duties/responsibility/engineering decisions. I know the instructions say additional sheets can be added. Do most people add more sheets? If so, is there a particular format the board is looking for? Just copies of page one?

Any guidance is much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, tahopper said:

Hi all,

This thread is very helpful. I'm working on my application, specifically on the Engagement Record and Reference form. I've read the instructions (https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/gerefinst.shtml), but a couple items aren't clear to me.

For those that have gotten their applications approved, in your opinion, how much information needs to be provided for the qualifying experience portion (Part A)?

There doesn't seem to be much room on the form to provide a detailed amount of information for the tasks and duties/responsibility/engineering decisions. I know the instructions say additional sheets can be added. Do most people add more sheets? If so, is there a particular format the board is looking for? Just copies of page one?

Any guidance is much appreciated.

Hello!

I did not provide additional sheets. I only filled out whatever fit in the little boxes. At most, I could only put in 3 bullet points while putting in as much engineering experience as possible. From what I heard, one of my coworkers, who filled out part B of the form, added an extra page to the application form. I think she just typed a paragraph on Microsoft Word, but I don't have the full details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×