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Mher

Basic Rules and Regulations: Handwritten Notes

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Hi all

I'm taking the Civil-Structural on Oct 26 in California (Pomona) and I wanted to know what the general rules are 

First and foremost: What is the rule regarding handwritten notes (binded in binder). I've seem some conflicting information on this in the forum. Of course the safe path would be to go and photocopy everything, but it's such a massive amount of material, and a lot of it in less than stellar condition meaning it wouldn't scan easily, and I still have a lot of studying to do, so it would be great to avoid it if it's not necessary. If someone could clarify this for me, it would be great. I have very few pages that are just handwritten notes. It's largely printed pages of School of PE and other similar material, with handwritten notes added to it. Nonetheless, I do have handwritten material. 

Are backpacks allowed in the testing room? I'm taking structural, so I have more than a couple of code books to carry. What is the recommendation for carrying them in?

Also, what types of watches are allowed? Would a digital watch be allowed? Does the watch have to be strapped on, or can it be sitting on the table? 

Additionally, are food/energy drinks allowed in the testing room? 

I know the rules regarding calculators

https://ncees.org/exams/calculator/

 

If there are any other important pieces of information to be aware of it would be great to know. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mher

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Hello there!

I am prefacing this by saying that if there's any doubt, call your state board to confirm.

That being said, here's what I know...

-I don't see why a backpack would not be allowed. I used a large suitcase to lug in all my books.
-I'd be careful with a digital watch. My first attempt, I brought in my husband's digital watch.  The proctor told me if I could guarantee that it would not beep, then I would be fine to keep it on - otherwise, if it beeped at any point during the exam, they would have to kick me out. I did not want to mess with that since I had no idea what kind of settings he had on the watch, and checked it in until after the exam was completed.  Read the exam guide, I think they have a list of things not allowed in the exam room.
-Yes, I brought snacks and drinks.  Just be thoughtful of your fellow examinees and try not to bring things too crunchy or loud :)

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I took a rolling suitcase for my codes and references (structural also). you will be able to use whatever you need to carry them in. It's just a matter of where the proctors will have you store your bag/suitcase/crates, next to you, under your table, along the side of the room.

I would suggest a digital clock that you can get for like 5 bucks that just has the time on it. don't wear anything that has any communication capabilities whatsoever. bluetooth included. Some sites have ruled out anything worn on the wrist. You will probably have to have the clock on the floor and not the table. 

Drinks and snacks are generally ok as txjennah said make sure they're quiet, and not messy. Drinks typically also have to stay on the floor to avoid spills. I was terrible at remembering this. 

The notes thing is totally a gamble up to you. I had pencil notes somewhere I'm sure, and I think many people have, but you don't want to be the person who thinks about it, doesn't address it, and then wishes they had. Maybe your last week take time off from straining your brain and make copies to kind of rest and relax. 

good luck :):) 

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Is there anything on your exam authorization that says that notes must be in ink, or nothing written in pencil? If there is then start photo-copying, or writing over it in ink.

The conflicting information you find on these forums is circa 2013 and earlier when a few states prohibited anything written in pencil. However I'm not aware if actually remained a rule anywhere starting in 2014. A few of us still have bad memories of this rule and still warn others accordingly.

Again, check the NCEES exam guide and exam authorization about electronic watches, mechanical watches, and wrist jewelry. Maryland prohibits everything, but most states aren't so crazy about it. If they don't prohibit all wrist-wear, then a cheap mechanical watch is the safest bet. I'm sure you can get something functional for under $15 at a pharmacy or discount store.

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Thanks for all of the information guys, that was hugely helpful. I'll call NCEES and i'll post here whatever response I receive for the benefits of others. I ordered a digital watch from Amazon, but now thinking about, specially given the response by txjennah, the paranoia of a beep might not be worth the benefit. I might just have to leave it at home. 

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Since you just bought watch, it should have instructions.  As long as it isn't a smart watch and is a basic watch with no alarm, thereshouldn't be any beeping.  

You can bring food/snacks as long as it stays on floor. They usually encourage you to bring lunch also so you don't have to chase down food depending on the test location and it's proximity to restaurants. 

Bookbag is allowed but rolling suitcase makes it easier to haul since you will have a good number of books and the weight can add up. Don't worry about feeling like you have too much stuff. Test day you will see other candidates and wonder if they brought every single book they had from college. 

I handwritten notes issue will vary by procter and is a risk you need to decide if you want to take. The problem is that test rules says you can only write in test booklet and nothing else.  If a proctor thinks you are writing in your notes/reference books and all your notes are in pencil, it's nearly impossible to proove which are old notes from when you studied and what they thought you were just writing during the exam. Having photocopied notes or notes written in pen eliminates thi's uncertainty. 

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In NY city only watches were allowed, it was REQUIRED to stay on your wrist, no table top clocks, nor could the watch be taken off and placed on the table.

 

No snacks or drinks were permitted, if brought they had to be checked with the proctor along with your lunch.

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