Everything you wanted to know about the CA-Survey/Seismic Civil PE Exams - Page 13 - CA-Seismic/Survey Exams - Engineer Boards
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Everything you wanted to know about the CA-Survey/Seismic Civil PE Exams

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18 hours ago, PlanCheckEng PE said:

So I guess the most efficient approach allowing for the most study time would be to schedule the exams at the end of the 1st or 2nd month of the quarter.  That way in the 3rd month you can apply for reexamination and be good to go in the following quarter?

Exactly. I didn't really start studying until I had actually nailed down my test dates, but even though I got my authorization late in the quarter (actually even into the quarter I was authorized), there was still a lot of availability. I should have started studying expecting to take it in the 1 and 2nd month of the quarter. 

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On 12/16/2019 at 1:47 PM, JVip said:

Something I wish I knew before I signed up for my test dates was that you find out your test scores the same time as everybody else who took it that month. Knowing that, I would have taken one test in the first month of the quarter, and the 2nd test in the 2nd, that way by the 3rd month I will have found out if I needed to sign up for reexamination. Now, if I don't pass in the 3rd month, I'll find out my results in the 1st month of the next quarter, meaning I'll have to wait a full 4 months until I can retake... and by then the material won't be fresh anymore. 

How long does the reexamination process take? Does it take as long as the 60 days PE application process timeftame? If it does, it would go through the 2nd quarter correct? 

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Re-filing is basically instant approval upon the Board receiving it, assuming you fill out the refill form properly and your check does not bounce.

Make sure to do it immediately after getting the failed results and you’re good.

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Hi! Apologies as I'm new here. I just passed the PE in Colorado. Anyway I am interested in the California PE. I'm not desperate to take it in the spring as I've basically been studying for year (2 attempts to pass the PE). Anyway I just wanted to know the process to go through to get approved to sit for the exam as far as references, letters of rec, when exams are offered. Basically the who shebang. I basically know nothing about the exam. I also would like some insight on whether it's a good idea to get it. My supervisor did recommend I try to get it if I wanted to as it would really help me move up at some point as our company does a decent amount of work in California and while there's quite a few PEs there not a lot with the CA PE. Although at the same time this might set it up for me basically having to move there. Anyway thanks for any advice!

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@The Running Man, a short answer is to check out the CA BPELSG website, here: https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/appintrope.shtml

That has links to pretty much all of the information you need to fill out the application for licensure as a California Civil PE.

Long story short, you need to fill out the application (and do all the things in the checklist for a complete application) and have it be approved by the CA BPELSG before you will be able to register to take the state-specific seismic and surveying exams. When you pass these exams, you will be a licensed CA PE!

Bear in mind, the quarter status for the state specific exams is worth paying attention to. There are some good posts earlier on this page talking about rationale regarding when to schedule the exams within a quarter.

Also, note that the application can take some time to put together (seeing how it needs reference forms) and the ethics exam isn't hard, but does take some dedicated time. Then the review period seems to take at least 2-3 months, based on people's anecdotal experience on this board.

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1 hour ago, leggo PE said:

@The Running Man, a short answer is to check out the CA BPELSG website, here: https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/appintrope.shtml

That has links to pretty much all of the information you need to fill out the application for licensure as a California Civil PE.

Long story short, you need to fill out the application (and do all the things in the checklist for a complete application) and have it be approved by the CA BPELSG before you will be able to register to take the state-specific seismic and surveying exams. When you pass these exams, you will be a licensed CA PE!

Bear in mind, the quarter status for the state specific exams is worth paying attention to. There are some good posts earlier on this page talking about rationale regarding when to schedule the exams within a quarter.

Also, note that the application can take some time to put together (seeing how it needs reference forms) and the ethics exam isn't hard, but does take some dedicated time. Then the review period seems to take at least 2-3 months, based on people's anecdotal experience on this board.

This. Only thing I can add is that you will need to request the fingerprint cards and get fingerprinted at your local police station. If you order these cards in advance you can send them in along with your application.

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Could any of you clarify whether or not I need the Engagement Record Reference Form?  I have a complete and up to date NCEES record which has been transferred to the board already.

FWIW I already have PE and SE licenses in other states and am applying by comity.

I did fill out the Engagement Summary of References which is Section 2 of the Professional Civil Engineer Application.  My question is whether or not I need the additional forms for each reference despite also submitting the NCEES record which holds the same info.  I've been under the impression that those submitting NCEES Records only need to do Section 2 of the application but not the separate reference forms.  This is in line with the last bullet point in Section 2 which states, "COMITY APPLICANTS: You must complete this page even if you are submitting an NCEES Council Record. Failure to complete this page may cause your application to be deemed incomplete."

Edited by structard

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Apologies if this has already been talked about in a different thread but does anyone know the timeline for scheduling the tests? About two weeks ago I received an email from the board saying I was approved to test in Q1 2020 and to keep any eye out for instructions on how to schedule the tests.  I was hoping to take surveying on 1/13/20 and chalked up not receiving an email on how to schedule the test due to the holidays.  I've diligently checked my spam folder, tried reaching out to the testing center and board and have not heard back yet.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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3 hours ago, PEmonster said:

Apologies if this has already been talked about in a different thread but does anyone know the timeline for scheduling the tests? About two weeks ago I received an email from the board saying I was approved to test in Q1 2020 and to keep any eye out for instructions on how to schedule the tests.  I was hoping to take surveying on 1/13/20 and chalked up not receiving an email on how to schedule the test due to the holidays.  I've diligently checked my spam folder, tried reaching out to the testing center and board and have not heard back yet.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

You should get an ATT email for the authorization to test with your board ID, and then you can register your exam later. If you call them, they even might give your ID before the ATT email. so try ton contact them if you really want to take the exam on that specific date.

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On 12/22/2019 at 6:33 PM, The Running Man said:

Hi! Apologies as I'm new here. I just passed the PE in Colorado. Anyway I am interested in the California PE. I'm not desperate to take it in the spring as I've basically been studying for year (2 attempts to pass the PE). Anyway I just wanted to know the process to go through to get approved to sit for the exam as far as references, letters of rec, when exams are offered. Basically the who shebang. I basically know nothing about the exam. I also would like some insight on whether it's a good idea to get it. My supervisor did recommend I try to get it if I wanted to as it would really help me move up at some point as our company does a decent amount of work in California and while there's quite a few PEs there not a lot with the CA PE. Although at the same time this might set it up for me basically having to move there. Anyway thanks for any advice!

Did you go through all replies under this post? you should be able to get all your questions answered after you review them.

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On 5/26/2015 at 4:20 PM, ptatohed said:

- The CBT testing windows are offered two times per year - one in the spring and one in the fall at or around the NCEES 8-hr exam dates.  The windows for testing are typically about 10 days before the NCEES 8-hr to about 10 days after.  This can be helpful for those taking more than one exam... you can space the CA specific exams from the national exam.  It is planned that, starting in 2018, the CA-Survey and CA-Seismic exams will be offered year-round.  Link to the exam schedule:  http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/exam_schedule.shtml 

This portion of the original post needs to be updated to reflect the latest info.  The testing windows are now quarterly, not two times per year.

The link also needs to be updated to this one: https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/applying_for_ce.shtml

 

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On 1/9/2020 at 2:37 PM, structard said:

This portion of the original post needs to be updated to reflect the latest info.  The testing windows are now quarterly, not two times per year.

The link also needs to be updated to this one: https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/applying_for_ce.shtml

 

I appreciate this a lot structard, I will update, thanks so much.  Anyone else?  

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I apologize if this has been already discussed on here.  Can somebody tell me, based on their experience, what the difference is between the CA Seismic exam and the NCEES 16 Hour SE Lateral component (with the exception of high wind on SE)?  Which is more difficult?  Etc. 

 

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18 hours ago, jmm7200 said:

I apologize if this has been already discussed on here.  Can somebody tell me, based on their experience, what the difference is between the CA Seismic exam and the NCEES 16 Hour SE Lateral component (with the exception of high wind on SE)?  Which is more difficult?  Etc. 

 

I took the NCEES SE in another state several years before moving to CA. The CA seismic exam is a joke compared to the SE. I studied for two hours the night before and passed the CA exam on the first try.  

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19 hours ago, jmm7200 said:

I apologize if this has been already discussed on here.  Can somebody tell me, based on their experience, what the difference is between the CA Seismic exam and the NCEES 16 Hour SE Lateral component (with the exception of high wind on SE)?  Which is more difficult?  Etc. 

 

The California Civil Seismic Principles exam is intended to cover the general structural engineering aspects that all civil engineers are allowed to practice in that state.  There are codes, other than the PE Act in California, which require a licensed structural engineer for the design of public schools and hospitals and for which the California Board relies upon the NCEES 16-hr SE exam to demonstrate that additional expertise.  From my perspective (not a structural engineer), the difference is predominately the height, material, capacity, and purpose of the structures which is the predominate distinction.  A review of the two different test plan specifications should help you a lot in that understanding.

1 hour ago, engdude said:

I took the NCEES SE in another state several years before moving to CA. The CA seismic exam is a joke compared to the SE. I studied for two hours the night before and passed the CA exam on the first try.  

Well, good for you.  There are many with a strong narrow level of structural expertise that likely feel the same way.  Try telling those that have acquired a more broad range of overall civil engineering experience that it is a joke and see where that gets you.

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1 hour ago, CAPLS said:

Well, good for you.  There are many with a strong narrow level of structural expertise that likely feel the same way.  Try telling those that have acquired a more broad range of overall civil engineering experience that it is a joke and see where that gets you.

I didn't say the exam is a joke, I said it is a joke compared to the SE. Big difference. 

 

The poster asked about relative exam difficulty. The SE is an order of magnitude more difficult than the CA seismic exam and I wanted to stress that heavily in my post. 

Edited by engdude

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23 hours ago, engdude said:

I didn't say the exam is a joke, I said it is a joke compared to the SE. Big difference. 

 

The poster asked about relative exam difficulty. The SE is an order of magnitude more difficult than the CA seismic exam and I wanted to stress that heavily in my post. 

I appreciate your attempt at clarifying your previous response.  Just saying, it came off to me as condescending.

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Does anyone have a good recommendation for a glossary to reference for the seismic exam?  For survey, one of the listed references was " Definitions of Surveying & Associated Terms" which I found very helpful during the exam, basically a dictionary of survey terms.  Curious if anyone knew of one similar for seismic.  Thanks in advance.  

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15 hours ago, PEmonster said:

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a glossary to reference for the seismic exam?  For survey, one of the listed references was " Definitions of Surveying & Associated Terms" which I found very helpful during the exam, basically a dictionary of survey terms.  Curious if anyone knew of one similar for seismic.  Thanks in advance.  

The Hiner book has a list of definitions in appendix. I assume you are looking for something more thorough though; in which case idk.

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On a side note I have access to ASCE 7-16 and the 2018 IBC on pdf. However it is crazy long to print these. Does anyone know what sections are relevant to print?  If it is all of them I will just be stuck buying paperback copies for the seismic exam...

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2 hours ago, jmm7200 said:

Thank you.  That is exactly what I needed to know.  I passed the SE and I NEVER want to go through that type of preparation again.  Especially because I am a bridge engineer in a non seismic zone. My company briefly discussed doing work in CA, and I was curious as to what I could be getting myself into.   I already know that the survey exam will be extremely difficult for me.  Thanks again 

I am a structural engineer in California now and do seismic design every day. If you have previously passed the SE but don't do seismic design regularly, I would flip through a practice exam about a month out just to make sure the exam will be easy for you. Maybe spend 1 week getting resources together and refreshing.   

To describe the test content in more detail - Imagine the 3-4 easiest multiple choice questions on the SE - the CA test is basically 55 of those "gimme" SE questions. 

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On 1/24/2020 at 12:25 PM, alec45 said:

The Hiner book has a list of definitions in appendix. I assume you are looking for something more thorough though; in which case idk.

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On a side note I have access to ASCE 7-16 and the 2018 IBC on pdf. However it is crazy long to print these. Does anyone know what sections are relevant to print?  If it is all of them I will just be stuck buying paperback copies for the seismic exam...

How did you get access to the codes in PDF? Are they online somewhere?

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2 hours ago, alec45 said:

Google is amazing, you can search for anything.. Hope they help.

 

Heads up, we don't distribute copyrighted materials on this forum. I've removed the links from my response. Please remove the links from your posting.

Edited by blybrook PE
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I've searched online but can't seem to find the answer - in cases where the IBC and ASCE codes differ, which one governs? For some reason I have it in my head that it's ASCE, but I'm not sure where I got that from...

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3 hours ago, plainjane said:

I've searched online but can't seem to find the answer - in cases where the IBC and ASCE codes differ, which one governs? For some reason I have it in my head that it's ASCE, but I'm not sure where I got that from...

The governing document is the legally adopted building code for the jurisdiction in question.  ASCE 7 may be adopted (in whole or in part) by reference in that code, but I've never seen ASCE 7 as the primary code document.  This applies to any other codes (AISC, ACI, TMS, AISI, etc) that may also be adopted by reference.  As an example, IBC 2015 makes quite a few amendments to ACI 318-14.  

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