Jump to content
Engineer Boards
snickerd3

The switch to CBT PE has really begun

Recommended Posts

Wow.  So is this only for Chemical?  When will they start phasing in the other disciplines?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went through the other disciplines, it looks like it is just chemical for now.  They probably want to see how it goes.  Chemical isn't exactly a code heavy type so it makes sense it would be the first to make the switch to closed book

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if having 1 reference to learn will make the exams "easier?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, matt267 PE said:

I wonder if having 1 reference to learn will make the exams "easier?"

That's what I was thinking!!  At the very least more equitable since everyone has the same reference to look at no more, if I only remembered that other book that had that info in it

 

The 500+ page reference manual doesn't look half bad.  The kinetics chapter has more info than that of the Lindbergh reference manual. it would be interesting to see how the questions evolve to the closed book style.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

on the other hand it eliminates the ability to pigeon hole problems so for some people this might make it harder.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I"m looking forward to downloading the Environmental and Civil-WRE reference manuals. Looks like they could be a good resource.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, matt267 PE said:

I"m looking forward to downloading the Environmental and Civil-WRE reference manuals. Looks like they could be a good resource.

tru dat and it's free.  When I took the FE we had to buy the reference manual because it wasn't electronically available back then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, snickerd3 said:

 When I took the FE we had to buy the reference manual

same here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any word on when the Civil would be available, or is it only once it goes to CBT? I'm not really sure how I feel about them switching Civil over to CBT. Since Civil is heavy on codes and charts,   I could see frustration kicking in when trying to navigate a computer based reference manual during the exam and trying to locate different sections or flipping back and forth between sections. It seems like it could be a big time waster. I took my LEED AP and GRE at testing centers, and those computers were not the most advanced. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, youngmotivatedengineer said:

Any word on when the Civil would be available, or is it only once it goes to CBT? I'm not really sure how I feel about them switching Civil over to CBT. Since Civil is heavy on codes and charts,   I could see frustration kicking in when trying to navigate a computer based reference manual during the exam and trying to locate different sections or flipping back and forth between sections. It seems like it could be a big time waster. I took my LEED AP and GRE at testing centers, and those computers were not the most advanced. 

not a clue.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked how on the FE CBT,  you would do a quick word search on the FE Reference manual and get to something quick without thumbing through the index.  The one problem I had is this manual kept freezing up and lagging when I was trying to get to something.  I wrote a complaint about it in the survey they send out after taking it.  When I retook it, the person checking me in said that they corrected the problem with the manual. I was too nervous and focused on the test to ask if that was a response to my complaint or if they had a wide spread issue with the freezing.  

CBT test takers will miss out on seeing the crazy amount of books people bring to the test.  It's was kind of entertaining to see people haul in wagons and luggage cases.  One guy brought a shelved cart with all his books stacked on them.  He couldn't go 5 ft without all his books falling off.  I kind of laughed internally.  He ended up being one of the few people who finished up early in the evening - I wonder if he was laughing at the rest of us internally.

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't find where I heard it, but I am pretty sure they are planning to release the PE reference manuals before the switch to CBT so they can be used on the last paper exams and get feedback on anything missing.  Since it's searchable electronically, that will be nice.  I remember thinking the paper FE reference was very disorganized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the chemical ref manual is available to those taking the April test to print out and bind, but there is a huge disclaimer about not limiting your reference to just that for the april test. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, CU07 said:

I can't find where I heard it, but I am pretty sure they are planning to release the PE reference manuals before the switch to CBT so they can be used on the last paper exams and get feedback on anything missing.  Since it's searchable electronically, that will be nice.  I remember thinking the paper FE reference was very disorganized.

That sounds like a bad idea to me. Either the test has to be written as open book or centered around one reference manual. Why would they re-write the paper Civil test for one exam date around the reference manual OR write a reference manual around the paper test? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Won't this equate to dumbing down of the overall exam?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Ken PE 3.0 said:

Won't this equate to dumbing down of the overall exam?

To me it just seems that it's making it more of a standardized test vs. that of an exam where one must gain experience in their respective field. But perhaps they aim to capture that in the ref. manuals (not going to be easy). But why couldn't they just make the exam CBT and still allow it to be open book? 

Either way, it's an easy test anyway. Especially electrical power. ;)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how they can call the exam the "Principles and Practice" exam any more.  You can now take the exam prior to gaining any real engineering experience.  Plus, I don't know how you guys practice, but when I need to know something, I look it up in reference material instead of relying on my memory of said reference.  Switching to "closed book" exams for the PE does not adequately represent what engineering work is really like.  It encourages rote memorization of some facts or applications of certain formulas.  That is fine for the Fundamentals exam, because they are just that...fundamentals.  But the actual practice of engineering is vastly different from engineering school (unless you work only in R&D).  I think they are diluting the profession for profit.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, knight1fox3 said:

To me it just seems that it's making it more of a standardized test vs. that of an exam where one must gain experience in their respective field. But perhaps they aim to capture that in the ref. manuals (not going to be easy). But why couldn't they just make the exam CBT and still allow it to be open book? 

Either way, it's an easy test anyway. Especially electrical power. ;)

The testing centers apparently don't have the space and it avoids differences in opinions btwn centers on what they allow in.

19 minutes ago, wilheldp_PE said:

I don't see how they can call the exam the "Principles and Practice" exam any more.  You can now take the exam prior to gaining any real engineering experience.  Plus, I don't know how you guys practice, but when I need to know something, I look it up in reference material instead of relying on my memory of said reference.  Switching to "closed book" exams for the PE does not adequately represent what engineering work is really like.  It encourages rote memorization of some facts or applications of certain formulas.  That is fine for the Fundamentals exam, because they are just that...fundamentals.  But the actual practice of engineering is vastly different from engineering school (unless you work only in R&D).  I think they are diluting the profession for profit.

THe swtich to CBT is actually more expensive to implement, the only one making more profit is the pearson testing company.  The only gain to NCEES was a theoretically more secure test by switching to CBT.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/2/2017 at 11:46 AM, gpoli111 said:

That sounds like a bad idea to me. Either the test has to be written as open book or centered around one reference manual. Why would they re-write the paper Civil test for one exam date around the reference manual OR write a reference manual around the paper test? 

You misunderstand me.  It's going to be available in advance as an additional reference, not forcing people to take the paper test with only the reference manual.  Like @snickerd3 suggests for ChemEs since theirs is available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, snickerd3 said:

THe swtich to CBT is actually more expensive to implement, the only one making more profit is the pearson testing company.  The only gain to NCEES was a theoretically more secure test by switching to CBT.  

I was talking more about getting more people to pursue licensure, than I was talking about making more money off of each examinee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, knight1fox3 said:

To me it just seems that it's making it more of a standardized test vs. that of an exam where one must gain experience in their respective field. But perhaps they aim to capture that in the ref. manuals (not going to be easy).

This is already essentially how the Civil exam is structured (other PE exams may be different).  Not to undersell the difficulty or make people bad... but I felt like I got an at least an 85% on the AM portion of the civil simply by bringing the CERM into the exam.  Its structured in a way that makes experience irrelevant, and simply encourages someone to mindlessly thumb through a reference manual for the correct section.  I guess I see CBT from the civil side as no different, it's just that you'd have a searchable PDF reference manual instead of a hard copy manual.  I'm sure other disciplines offer different experiences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, smahurin said:

This is already essentially how the Civil exam is structured (other PE exams may be different).  Not to undersell the difficulty or make people bad... but I felt like I got an at least an 85% on the AM portion of the civil simply by bringing the CERM into the exam.  Its structured in a way that makes experience irrelevant, and simply encourages someone to mindlessly thumb through a reference manual for the correct section.  I guess I see CBT from the civil side as no different, it's just that you'd have a searchable PDF reference manual instead of a hard copy manual.  I'm sure other disciplines offer different experiences.

I see your point, but let me ask you this. Would you / do you use the CERM for work? Because on the electrical side (as an example), I use NFPA 70 for work. And my experience with specifying designs that were NFPA 70 compliant helped me to be better prepared for the PE exam. Could someone who didn't have the same industry experience study NFPA 70 to prepare for the exam. Yes, but having that code and working with it in industry is a big help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering how the CBT format will affect the spam thread.  

  • Like 2

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

×