Everything you wanted to know about the CA-Survey/Seismic Civil PE Exams - Page 4 - CA-Seismic/Survey Exams - Engineer Boards
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ptatohed

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

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If anyone has suggested changes to post #1, please let me know.  I want to keep it current.  Thanks.

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I'm also curious about the timeline for notification of approval. I just recently submitted my application and am not sure when I'll get my notification of approval.  Is 2 months before the exam cycle opens pretty typical as SoCal said? 

I'm especially curious because I'm not sure if my references pass all the requirements... 2 of my 4 references were at my last job, which I quit before I finished my Master's degree (so the time I worked with them did not count towards my work experience). Only the other 2 references have I worked with since I graduated with my Masters. Any thoughts on this?

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14 hours ago, cal91 said:

I'm also curious about the timeline for notification of approval. I just recently submitted my application and am not sure when I'll get my notification of approval.  Is 2 months before the exam cycle opens pretty typical as SoCal said? 

I'm especially curious because I'm not sure if my references pass all the requirements... 2 of my 4 references were at my last job, which I quit before I finished my Master's degree (so the time I worked with them did not count towards my work experience). Only the other 2 references have I worked with since I graduated with my Masters. Any thoughts on this?

I am no expert but after applying to multiple states for licensure without NCEES record in the past 6 years, I can say that California is the most accommodating of all. Their requirements are not as strict and you can actually talk to live people on the phone who listen and understand. Some other states have robotized people who repeat the same line given to them by their supervisors 10 times before you give up.

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I am a bit confused on the registration deadline for the Seismic and Surveying exams. If I already possess a PE license from another state, I still have to meet the "new" file deadline correct? I was not expecting it to be so early (May 1st for this Fall cycle) and a little annoyed I may have to wait until April 2018 to take these two small exams. I've emailed the board, but wanted to get any personal experiences or a possible work around that others can provide, thanks.

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On 6/6/2017 at 1:32 PM, StandardPractice said:

I am a bit confused on the registration deadline for the Seismic and Surveying exams. If I already possess a PE license from another state, I still have to meet the "new" file deadline correct? I was not expecting it to be so early (May 1st for this Fall cycle) and a little annoyed I may have to wait until April 2018 to take these two small exams. I've emailed the board, but wanted to get any personal experiences or a possible work around that others can provide, thanks.

Yes, the deadlines are super early.  Same thing happened to me late last year with applying to take the exam this past April.  I'll be taking it this October.

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Thank you for this thread it has been very helpful. I just registered to take the PE Breadth and Transportation Depth Exams in October. Is it recommended to register for the CA specific exams at the same time or should that wait until Spring? Or it sounds like 2018 they might be offered year-round so perhaps a bit sooner than that? Does it sound like I am in the right order below for a CA PE license? Lastly, how long after notification of passing the CA specific exams would you be considered licensed (assuming all requirements have been met)?

  1. Graduate with 4-year Civil Engineering degree
  2. Take and pass EIT exam
  3. 2+ years professional work experience
  4. Register for, take, and pass PE breadth and depth exam
  5. Apply to Board (incl. application, 4 references, transcripts, take home exam, application fee)
  6. Register for CA specific exams through BPELSG
  7. Make appointment with Prometric, take, and pass CA specific exams

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14 minutes ago, meaganmg said:

Thank you for this thread it has been very helpful. I just registered to take the PE Breadth and Transportation Depth Exams in October. Is it recommended to register for the CA specific exams at the same time or should that wait until Spring? Or it sounds like 2018 they might be offered year-round so perhaps a bit sooner than that? Does it sound like I am in the right order below for a CA PE license? Lastly, how long after notification of passing the CA specific exams would you be considered licensed (assuming all requirements have been met)?

  1. Graduate with 4-year Civil Engineering degree
  2. Take and pass EIT exam
  3. 2+ years professional work experience
  4. Register for, take, and pass PE breadth and depth exam
  5. Apply to Board (incl. application, 4 references, transcripts, take home exam, application fee)
  6. Register for CA specific exams through BPELSG
  7. Make appointment with Prometric, take, and pass CA specific exams

Hi mmg.  Are you proposing to apply for the NCEES 8hr and the CA exams separately because you prefer to take them during separate administrations, or for another reason?  It's not typical but it is also not unheard of that an applicant can apply for/take/pass all three exams in one administration (or two out of three).  I passed one at a time in three consecutive administrations... what is your plan?  I believe you apply for all three exams with the same application.  Curios why you are separating them?   

After you pass the take-home exam, 8 hr, CA surv/seis, any other requirements, and are notified, you'll see your name in the state's PE License look-up database, typically same week or next, and that is when you are officially a PE.  :) 

Good luck.     

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1 hour ago, ptatohed said:

Hi mmg.  Are you proposing to apply for the NCEES 8hr and the CA exams separately because you prefer to take them during separate administrations, or for another reason?  It's not typical but it is also not unheard of that an applicant can apply for/take/pass all three exams in one administration (or two out of three).  I passed one at a time in three consecutive administrations... what is your plan?  I believe you apply for all three exams with the same application.  Curios why you are separating them?   

After you pass the take-home exam, 8 hr, CA surv/seis, any other requirements, and are notified, you'll see your name in the state's PE License look-up database, typically same week or next, and that is when you are officially a PE.  :) 

Good luck.     

Thank you for the information. I was considering separating them just because it seemed like too much to study for all at once, but if it's not overly-ambitious I am considering taking them all at once to get it over with. That is the part I am trying to decide on.

Regarding the applications, I have only registered for the 8-hour exam with NCEES so far. It is my understanding that with the requirement change you do not HAVE to apply to the Board before taking that piece, correct? But it sounds like I DO HAVE to apply to the Board before taking the CA exams? Just wanting to confirm that as well. Thanks again for your assistance it is greatly appreciated.

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21 minutes ago, meaganmg said:

Thank you for the information. I was considering separating them just because it seemed like too much to study for all at once, but if it's not overly-ambitious I am considering taking them all at once to get it over with. That is the part I am trying to decide on.

Regarding the applications, I have only registered for the 8-hour exam with NCEES so far. It is my understanding that with the requirement change you do not HAVE to apply to the Board before taking that piece, correct? But it sounds like I DO HAVE to apply to the Board before taking the CA exams? Just wanting to confirm that as well. Thanks again for your assistance it is greatly appreciated.

Things have changed a lot since I applied for and took the exams so maybe someone with more recent experience can assist better. But I 'think' you can apply for all three, and then schedule the exams as you wish. 

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20 minutes ago, meaganmg said:

Regarding the applications, I have only registered for the 8-hour exam with NCEES so far. It is my understanding that with the requirement change you do not HAVE to apply to the Board before taking that piece, correct? But it sounds like I DO HAVE to apply to the Board before taking the CA exams? Just wanting to confirm that as well. Thanks again for your assistance it is greatly appreciated.

You are correct, you can register for and take (and pass!) the national PE exam without CA Board approval, but to take the seismic and surveying exams, you must be approved by the CA Board before you can register.

As for studying for all three exams at once, it's certainly doable to study for all three at once and pass all three at once. That being said, if you haven't already submitted your application to the CA Board, I think you're too late to take the seismic and surveying exams this fall. The deadline to apply for new applicants was May 1st, I believe.

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2 hours ago, leggo PE said:

You are correct, you can register for and take (and pass!) the national PE exam without CA Board approval, but to take the seismic and surveying exams, you must be approved by the CA Board before you can register.

As for studying for all three exams at once, it's certainly doable to study for all three at once and pass all three at once. That being said, if you haven't already submitted your application to the CA Board, I think you're too late to take the seismic and surveying exams this fall. The deadline to apply for new applicants was May 1st, I believe.

Ah, okay well that makes the decision much easier :) Looks like I'll stick with taking it next year (fingers crossed they open up year-round testing for CA specific exams so I don't have to wait until April). Thank you all for your time, this has been incredibly helpful!

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17 hours ago, meaganmg said:

Ah, okay well that makes the decision much easier :) Looks like I'll stick with taking it next year (fingers crossed they open up year-round testing for CA specific exams so I don't have to wait until April). Thank you all for your time, this has been incredibly helpful!

Yep, the deadline to apply to the CA BPELSG is far ahead of when you actually take the exam. Make sure you're on top of it come the fall, when it will be time to apply to the Board for the spring (assuming it's not totally switched over to year-round testing by early next year). The deadlines should be on the CA BPELSG website.

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On ‎6‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 10:26 PM, CivilDude said:

Do you know if it is confirmed that the seismic and survey exams will be offered all year in 2018?

Wondering the same thing. Does anyone have insight on this? Also can you apply to the Board at any time? They do not have their deadlines listed for Spring 2018 yet, but I see last year it was around November.

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18 hours ago, meaganmg said:

Wondering the same thing. Does anyone have insight on this? Also can you apply to the Board at any time? They do not have their deadlines listed for Spring 2018 yet, but I see last year it was around November.

Okay they posted the deadlines for Spring today. November 6th final filing date. CA specific exam dates are TBD, which I'm hoping means they will switch to year-round testing for these.

This brings another question. The CA Board app says that you should take and pass the exam prior to applying for licensure. If the Civil Exam is taken this fall on 10/27/17 and the Board app is due 11/6, I'm assuming we won't know by then if it was passed or not?

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As promised for several years now, the California Board still plans on expanding the administration dates for the two California Civil Engineering exams (Seismic Principles and Engineering Surveying) beginning in 2018.  Whether that will commence immediately at the first of the year or a little later is still being determined and is highly dependent upon the finalization of adjusting the item bank to match the new approved test plan.  This is why the Licensing Manager decided to go ahead and publish a "final filing date" just so people weren't left wondering without information coming from the Board.

meaganmg - yes, you are correct that NCEES will not be able to publish exam results by November 6 for a paper-based exam that was simultaneously administered across the entire nation just 10 days prior.  At this time, applications will not be rejected solely for not passing the national PE exam prior to submitting the application to the California Board.

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8 hours ago, CAPLS said:

As promised for several years now, the California Board still plans on expanding the administration dates for the two California Civil Engineering exams (Seismic Principles and Engineering Surveying) beginning in 2018.  Whether that will commence immediately at the first of the year or a little later is still being determined and is highly dependent upon the finalization of adjusting the item bank to match the new approved test plan.  This is why the Licensing Manager decided to go ahead and publish a "final filing date" just so people weren't left wondering without information coming from the Board.

meaganmg - yes, you are correct that NCEES will not be able to publish exam results by November 6 for a paper-based exam that was simultaneously administered across the entire nation just 10 days prior.  At this time, applications will not be rejected solely for not passing the national PE exam prior to submitting the application to the California Board.

Ummmmm..... new test plan? 

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15 hours ago, ptatohed said:

Ummmmm..... new test plan? 

Yep, the Board performs a new occupational analysis every 5-7 years which results in a new test plan.  The new Civil ones for approved last week at the board meeting.  Should go into effect in 2018.  Won't be published yet until after the fall 2017 exams.

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I just started pulling reciprocity paperwork for CA together....so these extra tests are changing in January?

i.e. the EET review courses aren't going to be any good? I was planning on taking the review courses January 2018

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2 hours ago, John QPE said:

I just started pulling reciprocity paperwork for CA together....so these extra tests are changing in January?

i.e. the EET review courses aren't going to be any good? I was planning on taking the review courses January 2018

JQ, I wouldn't worry about them "not being any good".  I'm just guessing but I would suspect the review course material will still be 80-90% applicable.  Let me know if I can help as you are studying.  Survey anyway, I probably forgot most of my Seismic stuff.  ;)  

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Ok, here's a question for our resident experts @ptatohed and @CAPLS. I applied to take the CA seismic and surveying exam in October and I just received a letter from them telling me my application is incomplete due to my work history no being sufficient. I know this is not the case considering I have my PE and SE and have been working 15+ years, so I evidently didn't present that information properly. I'm in the process of getting the required forms filled out, but I wanted to know if this means I can't sit for the October exam? The letter states that I can complete my application by submitting further paperwork within 90 days, but it's unclear if that means they would review and approve me for October. Of course they tell you in the letter to not contact the board in regards to this because all the information I need is provided. I just want to know before I spend the next two months studying for nothing.

Thanks!

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8 hours ago, Ble_PE said:

Ok, here's a question for our resident experts @ptatohed and @CAPLS. I applied to take the CA seismic and surveying exam in October and I just received a letter from them telling me my application is incomplete due to my work history no being sufficient. I know this is not the case considering I have my PE and SE and have been working 15+ years, so I evidently didn't present that information properly. I'm in the process of getting the required forms filled out, but I wanted to know if this means I can't sit for the October exam? The letter states that I can complete my application by submitting further paperwork within 90 days, but it's unclear if that means they would review and approve me for October. Of course they tell you in the letter to not contact the board in regards to this because all the information I need is provided. I just want to know before I spend the next two months studying for nothing.

Thanks!

1.) It wouldn't be studying for nothing.  :P  

2.)  I am not sure about the deadlines so hopefully CAP can answer better than I.  But if they are saying to reply within 90 days, that would be a due date after the Fall '17 exam administration period.  So, I would suspect you have likely missed the Fall '17 exam cycle.  I missed my first intended exam administration too because I forgot to include my transcripts.  Doh.  So, I had to wait 6 months. But back then, it was easy to call and speak to your evaluator.  Sounds like they discourage this now?   

Good luck Ble.

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On ‎8‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 4:44 AM, Ble_PE said:

Ok, here's a question for our resident experts @ptatohed and @CAPLS. I applied to take the CA seismic and surveying exam in October and I just received a letter from them telling me my application is incomplete due to my work history no being sufficient. I know this is not the case considering I have my PE and SE and have been working 15+ years, so I evidently didn't present that information properly. I'm in the process of getting the required forms filled out, but I wanted to know if this means I can't sit for the October exam? The letter states that I can complete my application by submitting further paperwork within 90 days, but it's unclear if that means they would review and approve me for October. Of course they tell you in the letter to not contact the board in regards to this because all the information I need is provided. I just want to know before I spend the next two months studying for nothing.

Thanks!

Well, first thing I would like to the written message where BPELSG told you to not contact the them.  Not because I don't believe you, but because I want to see exactly what the message says.  Please post what that message says or if you're more comfortable email me a copy at ric.moore@dca.ca.gov

Next, I would certainly respond with additional information that clearly answers the deficiencies as soon as you can.  The sooner you respond, the greater chance you have for being approved in time for any exams.

Next, I'm guessing that you are currently licensed in another jurisdiction and one where the P.E. is generic in nature so when you provided paperwork for that license, you didn't have to demonstrate that the experience was discipline specific.  Either that, or you have submitted an NCEES Council Record.  When you apply in California for a license as a Civil Engineer, all qualifying experience must meet the definition of civil engineering as defined in the California laws (PE Act Section 6731).  And that is always what people think is civil engineering.  Feel free to email me your name if you wish me to delve deeper into this.

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