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Results From October SE?

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Passed both first attempt. Logged over 400 hours study, 2 practice exams, 1000+ worked problems. Total study 3 months. 38 years young with 2-year old. Congrats to all who passed and for those who have not—study hard, commit and you will pass, I know it.

32532D87-B2BF-4CD9-9143-3B1CEAE3CF62.jpeg

E1507A55-5624-46FF-940B-1253471B5799.jpeg

Edited by CAStruc
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45 minutes ago, rickaccused said:

WHO SAYS THAT BULLSHIT CAN'T GET YOU A PASSING GRADE

Edit: That being said, I wrote all of the stuff down that I knew how to do. It's awesome that got me far enough to get the credit on that stupid general analysis problem.

image.png.69f98c796ac4523446e51cbec28b55bb.png

This is the greatest "I Passed!" story I have ever heard.  Congratulations Rick!  

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3 hours ago, TehMightyEngineer said:

I understand what you mean (and agree it should not come down to luck of the draw if you know your stuff), so I offer you (and anyone else considering taking the SE exam) my thoughts; the exam is brutal (a little too much IMO) but it also means that if you pass this you should be respected as an engineer who is on-top of their game. The extreme difficulty adds distinction to someone calling themselves an SE in my mind. I highly doubt there are many license exams in the professional world harder than than the SE exam. I took the exam in a region that doesn't require an SE precisely because of this extreme challenge.

When I finally passed the SE exam I felt that I had learned just as much from studying for the SE exam as I had in college. I also felt that the SE exam had exposed me to many more things that I just hadn't fully learned in daily work. It was what truly allowed me to personally feel confident going out in the world and stating, "I am a structural engineer!"

I know it doesn't help with your immediate goals, but each time you work toward the SE is 6 months of effort to making yourself a better structural engineer. I spent 2 years working on the exam and it was brutal, but when I finally passed it was the sweetest feeling. Think of how many PDH hours or meetings or college courses we take that do nothing for us professionally. This time is not wasted, whether you pass or not.

So, with that, take a break to regroup. Figure out what you need to do differently this time around. Don't just do the same thing over again as it clearly didn't work. Try to mix things up and re-engage yourself so you can get back on the horse 100% motivated. You're so close, it would be a shame to quit now.

For those of you that did not good news this week, see above from TehMightyEngineer. This is THE MOST DIFFICULT of any NCEES exam, so do not beat yourself up if you did not pass. For those that did pass, Congratulations! 

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I'm happy to say that, after about 440 total hours of review, two administrations of the exam, and a year of hell for my family, friends, and lack of ability to travel for work or vacation - I passed both parts of SE buildings exam. 

Thank you to @David Connor, SE for your reaffirmation of how close I came to passing last April. Thank you for the wonderful bridge book which helped me focus those skills for passing the lateral AM exam. Thank you to everyone on these boards who puts it all out there for us to learn from and share experiences, good, bad, happy and sad. If it weren't for the satire and good people here, I think I might have gone insane at some point over the past year. And thank you to PPI instructors who gave so much energy to helping us all learn how to conquer this monster of an exam. 

For anyone who didn't pass, don't quit. Hone those skills and get back out there for another administration! 

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I hadn't realized David was the author of the bridge book. After working that book I wasn't nervous about the AASHTO problems, although I did save them to the end of each morning session ;). I also used an earlier edition of AASHTO and did not seem to be a problem...

Edited by CAStruc
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Dear NCEES,

Roses are red, violets aren’t blue
It’s amazing the pain that you put me through
I pay for your test, I studied so hard
“Unacceptable” you say! My psyche is scarred.
But surely, I think, the next time’s the charm?
Learn from my mistakes, ok what’s the harm?
With each failed attempt, it’s less likely I’ll pass
The tears I have shed, ‘twould surprise you, their mass.
I did what I could, bought your practice exam.
“Accurate practice”…we both know it’s a sham.

But oh well what’s the point, I’ll pay you again.
Each consecutive fail like a kick to the shin.
Don’t worry some say, this is what’s life’s like!
You fall, stand up tall, and get back on the bike.
But this is quite different, I sardonically say
These graders—with my emotions they play
They trick me and fool me in every way
What did I do wrong? No one can tell
Frustration so strong, it could make me yell.

But my dear friends that’s the end of this rhyme
Sorry that reading it took so much time.
NCEES there’s still time, for us to be friends
A simple, succinct and fair way to make amends.
In April when you see my dear test
Just put “acceptable”, let’s agree, it’d be best.

Edited by Nathan55
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Illinois diagnostics are out.  I felt great during the exam.  I'm shocked at how poorly I did.

Despite feeling more comfortable than I did during previous attempts, my scores just aren't improving...

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3 hours ago, TheBigGuy said:

When you eventually pass this exam, it will be crazy to look back and think about what you were able to overcome on your road to SE.

Yes sir. I am thinking of what to do next. The good news is that I did not see any problems that were new to me even if I did not answer them correct, so I don't know what the plan is, but there will be one that will get this slight off to the finish line. I have to.....

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NY is out, I passed bridge lateral and am now an SE!! Doesn't feel real. Take EET, its worth every penny!

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4 hours ago, SE-wishes said:

Sounds like we were comparably close for lateral bldgs.  Such a bummer right? I was 28/40; A,A,U,IR.  That 3rd problem (General Analy) was awful, I kept flipping back and forth trying to get it straight in my mind; I went from Acceptable in the Spring to Unacceptable in the Fall on it, how does that happen?!

Yes, sir, I have to come up with a new plan to tackle this test. Pray that we get it done next time 

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Well, 4 years, 64 exam hours, and about a year of cumulative studying later...I finally passed both exams (5th attempt for VF and 3rd attempt for LF).  I hope this can encourage those of you who aren't in the select few able to pass this thing on the first or second attempt.  Coming into this exam 4 years ago, I had never failed at any test I had taken (1 undergrad and 2 masters degrees included).  But this one is a different animal in every possible way.  It is certainly passable but will take every bit of effort and a little bit of good fortune to make it happen.  To be honest, I felt less confident this time around than past attempts.  In the past, I answered all the questions on both parts and in both exams.  On this one, I know I didn't get to answer half of one of the PM VF problems and incorrectly answers half of one of the LF PM problems.  I answers all the AM problems within the time limit confidently.  The only thing I can think of is that I simply was more accurate with the answers I gave in the morning (70% was the best I had done in the past) and perhaps explained myself better and more clearly in the PM questions with more traceable references (previous best was 1 acceptable and 2 needs improvements).

I will note that I did submit a set of comments to NCEES concerning some specific PM questions I felt were too time consuming for the 4 hour time limit and a question I felt was misleading.  I explained my reasoning and they did respond promptly that they were appreciative of my comments and would consider them when working on a passing score.  I do not know for sure if this helped but it seems reasonable that it may have.   I know some mentioned they missed the window for comments so I would encourage you in future exams to take advantage if you truely have a constructive comment.  Please do not use it to complain or provide unhelpful feedback as that doesn't help NCEES, you, or your peers.

So, to those of you stuck in the cycle of SE Exam failures, I know your pain and know that you can pass this thing still if you are close.  To those of you considering taking this exam, be warned that it will be a bigger sacrifice than you are likely considering and be sure you are in it for the long haul unless you are academically above most of the rest of us.  Congrats of course to all who passed.

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11 hours ago, NCEng45 said:

Well, 4 years, 64 exam hours, and about a year of cumulative studying later...I finally passed both exams (5th attempt for VF and 3rd attempt for LF).  I hope this can encourage those of you who aren't in the select few able to pass this thing on the first or second attempt.  Coming into this exam 4 years ago, I had never failed at any test I had taken (1 undergrad and 2 masters degrees included).  But this one is a different animal in every possible way.  It is certainly passable but will take every bit of effort and a little bit of good fortune to make it happen.  To be honest, I felt less confident this time around than past attempts.  In the past, I answered all the questions on both parts and in both exams.  On this one, I know I didn't get to answer half of one of the PM VF problems and incorrectly answers half of one of the LF PM problems.  I answers all the AM problems within the time limit confidently.  The only thing I can think of is that I simply was more accurate with the answers I gave in the morning (70% was the best I had done in the past) and perhaps explained myself better and more clearly in the PM questions with more traceable references (previous best was 1 acceptable and 2 needs improvements).

I will note that I did submit a set of comments to NCEES concerning some specific PM questions I felt were too time consuming for the 4 hour time limit and a question I felt was misleading.  I explained my reasoning and they did respond promptly that they were appreciative of my comments and would consider them when working on a passing score.  I do not know for sure if this helped but it seems reasonable that it may have.   I know some mentioned they missed the window for comments so I would encourage you in future exams to take advantage if you truely have a constructive comment.  Please do not use it to complain or provide unhelpful feedback as that doesn't help NCEES, you, or your peers.

So, to those of you stuck in the cycle of SE Exam failures, I know your pain and know that you can pass this thing still if you are close.  To those of you considering taking this exam, be warned that it will be a bigger sacrifice than you are likely considering and be sure you are in it for the long haul unless you are academically above most of the rest of us.  Congrats of course to all who passed.

Congrats on passing. Glad to see your hard work paid off. 

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7 minutes ago, kl/r_robots said:

still waiting in MN. this is cruel and unusual punishment for my likely failure!

Apparently it's time consuming for the MN board to upload results for the 10 of us who took it... But maybe that's because 9 of those results will include a diagnostic 🤣. Which likely includes my results. 

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Well, Texas is in... First time and failed both with (2) A, (1) IR, (1) UA... Mornings were both about the same with 21 & 25, Vert & Lat, respectively. I can't say I'm overly surprised, both days were brutal. This April, I'll take only 1 day so that I have some sanity left, and hopefully my stomach will stop churning by then. At the end of the day its very disappointing but I did learn a lot outside of my day-to-day activities. 

Congrats to all who passed.

See you...out there

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17 minutes ago, GTTrekkie said:

Well, Texas is in... First time and failed both with (2) A, (1) IR, (1) UA... Mornings were both about the same with 21 & 25, Vert & Lat, respectively. I can't say I'm overly surprised, both days were brutal. This April, I'll take only 1 day so that I have some sanity left, and hopefully my stomach will stop churning by then. At the end of the day its very disappointing but I did learn a lot outside of my day-to-day activities. 

Congrats to all who passed.

See you...out there

I too am only taking vertical in april. first attempt in WA. Good luck with your studies!

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23 minutes ago, GTTrekkie said:

Well, Texas is in... First time and failed both with (2) A, (1) IR, (1) UA... Mornings were both about the same with 21 & 25, Vert & Lat, respectively. I can't say I'm overly surprised, both days were brutal. This April, I'll take only 1 day so that I have some sanity left, and hopefully my stomach will stop churning by then. At the end of the day its very disappointing but I did learn a lot outside of my day-to-day activities. 

Congrats to all who passed.

See you...out there

Same here! :( I'm super bummed because I knew I was hedging my bets on the Lateral Exam, but felt pretty solid about the Vertical Exam. 

However, I am pretty burnt by a lot of things in my personal life too. So I'm not 100% positive I have the energy to even take 1 of the 2 in April.

That being said, does anyone know how often and at what intervals they change the codes? Having just forked over a bucket of money, I don't want to have to do it again if I wait too long to retake the exams. 

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22 minutes ago, HiroAndJen said:

Same here! :( I'm super bummed because I knew I was hedging my bets on the Lateral Exam, but felt pretty solid about the Vertical Exam. 

However, I am pretty burnt by a lot of things in my personal life too. So I'm not 100% positive I have the energy to even take 1 of the 2 in April.

That being said, does anyone know how often and at what intervals they change the codes? Having just forked over a bucket of money, I don't want to have to do it again if I wait too long to retake the exams. 

Sorry to hear this.  I know how you can be burnt out as I posted above.  Definitely not going to tell you to just work harder and it will happen.  I will be real with you...make sure your priorities are in the order you want them.  If the exam is costing you things that are more important like family, your marriage, your kids, your health, etc, you may want to consider taking some time away and putting first things first.  This was probably my last attempt if it hadn't gone my way due to the strain on family.  I had finally reached a point that I was ok with not passing if that was the Lord's will.  It had been something I idolized and finally I gave it up and realized this wasn't going to complete me as a person.  So, just don't be afraid to take a step away if it is the right time for you.  If you are fine to go forward, take some time to think about specific ways you can improve and create a revised game plan on how you are going to get better.  Doing the same thing will not help.  Don't reinvent things that are working but do change things up if they aren't working.

In terms of the code updates, this is something I was fearful of as well.  For buildings, I know it is mostly based on when NCEES changes to the next IBC.  All the changes to the other codes are based on which versions are adopted by the IBC edition currently used by NCEES.   The IBC update is usually in the same increments as the code updates (every 3 years) but lagging a few years behind.  For instance, it is currently IBC 2015 as of the beginning of 2018.  I know in 2015 they first went from 2009 IBC to 2012 IBC.  Given this pattern, I would expect the change to occur at the beginning of 2021 for the NCEES to adopt the 2018 IBC for its codes.  Don't quote me on this as I am not an expert, but it seems reasonable.  Now, keep in mind, this change will be significant as essentially all of the codes will be revised, including the steel manual and ASCE 7 (which didn't change in the last update).  I hear the ASCE 7-16 is quite a big change and is one reason I was getting desperate to pass soon.

For AASHTO, I am not sure how often but I believe it is as often as they update the code but lagging behind a few years.  I would expect the frequency of updates and the lag distance to be consistent so you can look into when that one may update.  I do not know about future updates but the current version wasn't much different from before and I simply used the help of David Conner's Bridge book to update my older AASHTO version to the new one by swapping out only the sections that were noted as having changed.  I then recopied my hand notes and highlights for those sections only rather than for all the sections.  This prevented me from having to rehilight and renote all of the text.  I am a buildings person so that may be different if you are bridge focused and it may be different if the update is more significant next time.

Hope this helps...

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1 hour ago, kl/r_robots said:

https://ncees.org/engineering/se/

per that webpage, any updates for the upcoming april exam should have been posted in November. hopefully that's the case!

I asked NCEES this a couple weeks and per them they will not be changing the codes for the April 2019 exam.  Hopefully that will also be the case for the October 2019 exam, but I guess they could update then as well.  I do know that when they update to AASHTO 8th edition, it will be a pretty big change for the bridge exam. The changes from the 7th to 8th edition of AASHTO are extensive.

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1 hour ago, NCEng45 said:

Sorry to hear this.  I know how you can be burnt out as I posted above.  Definitely not going to tell you to just work harder and it will happen.  I will be real with you...make sure your priorities are in the order you want them.  If the exam is costing you things that are more important like family, your marriage, your kids, your health, etc, you may want to consider taking some time away and putting first things first.  This was probably my last attempt if it hadn't gone my way due to the strain on family.  I had finally reached a point that I was ok with not passing if that was the Lord's will.  It had been something I idolized and finally I gave it up and realized this wasn't going to complete me as a person.  So, just don't be afraid to take a step away if it is the right time for you.  If you are fine to go forward, take some time to think about specific ways you can improve and create a revised game plan on how you are going to get better.  Doing the same thing will not help.  Don't reinvent things that are working but do change things up if they aren't working.

In terms of the code updates, this is something I was fearful of as well.  For buildings, I know it is mostly based on when NCEES changes to the next IBC.  All the changes to the other codes are based on which versions are adopted by the IBC edition currently used by NCEES.   The IBC update is usually in the same increments as the code updates (every 3 years) but lagging a few years behind.  For instance, it is currently IBC 2015 as of the beginning of 2018.  I know in 2015 they first went from 2009 IBC to 2012 IBC.  Given this pattern, I would expect the change to occur at the beginning of 2021 for the NCEES to adopt the 2018 IBC for its codes.  Don't quote me on this as I am not an expert, but it seems reasonable.  Now, keep in mind, this change will be significant as essentially all of the codes will be revised, including the steel manual and ASCE 7 (which didn't change in the last update).  I hear the ASCE 7-16 is quite a big change and is one reason I was getting desperate to pass soon.

For AASHTO, I am not sure how often but I believe it is as often as they update the code but lagging behind a few years.  I would expect the frequency of updates and the lag distance to be consistent so you can look into when that one may update.  I do not know about future updates but the current version wasn't much different from before and I simply used the help of David Conner's Bridge book to update my older AASHTO version to the new one by swapping out only the sections that were noted as having changed.  I then recopied my hand notes and highlights for those sections only rather than for all the sections.  This prevented me from having to rehilight and renote all of the text.  I am a buildings person so that may be different if you are bridge focused and it may be different if the update is more significant next time.

Hope this helps...

What are some things you did to change your study plan for success? I figure that everyone works the two practice exams (PPI & NCEES) and even still, nearly 70% fail. 

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1 hour ago, Nathan55 said:

What are some things you did to change your study plan for success? I figure that everyone works the two practice exams (PPI & NCEES) and even still, nearly 70% fail. 

Nathan,

I would be happy to provide you with a detailed list of the improvements I have made during my journey.  I will put it together and send it to you.  I suppose it will be difficult to put much detail in a post like this so I may need to send it to you via a private message or email.  If you want me to do that (or if anyone else wants me to as well), let me know.

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