October 2019 Post Exam Wait Period - Welcome to the Suck - Anything about the PE Exam - Engineer Boards
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October 2019 Post Exam Wait Period - Welcome to the Suck

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Welcome to the post October 2019 PE post-exam wait period. Did you think that studying for the exam and taking the exam was the hard part? Well you were wrong! Waiting for the exam results is the worst part of this whole process.

A few years ago @Dexman PE PMP wrote a famous post (http://engineerboards.com/topic/21356-feel-good-about-how-you-did-on-the-exam/) outlining the stages of the post-exam emotional roller-coaster. I’ve reproduced his immortal words (italics) and added a few new insights and advice below.

Phase 0 (Emotional Hangover) This happens immediately after the conclusion of the exam. You spend the next few days bouncing between phases 1-5, either individually or at the same time. You are Heisenberg's test result, simultaneously convinced that you passed and failed at the same time.

You'll find yourself seuddently with a lof of free time an no idea what to do with it. You'll also waiver moment to moment on whether you passed or failed. You'll be looking at which PE stamps to order one minute, and then looking for PE study classes the next. After a few days your brain will slow down and you'll settle into...

Phase 1 (CALM) This stage will last a few days. You may still be recovering from the mental marathon of the exam or the post-exam binge fest. The full weight of what has just happened hasn’t really set in and you are probably a bit relaxed thinking that the worst is over.

Phase 2 (SECOND-GUESSING) will start to set in over the next few days. You will start to forget small (but important) pieces of the exam and forget how you answered the question, but will remember just enough so that you keep trying to re-calculate the answers in your head. You will slowly begin to convince yourself that you got it wrong.

Phase 3 (WORRY) will follow within a few weeks. At this point, you've convinced yourself that you've missed a few problems, but you *should* still be ok.

Phase 4 (DOUBT) After worrying for about a month (we're now within 2-3 weeks of results at this point), you'll jump into full blown doubt. You are now certain that you missed way too many questions to stand a chance at passing.

Phase 5 (ANGER) Once you've lost hope of passing, you'll move into Phase 5 (anger) over the fact that it's taken way too damn long to grade a simple scantron and the guys at NCEES are morons for taking so long. I mean, really, 6-8 weeks to feed a scantron into a f*ing machine, COME ON!! Another source of anger stems from all of the "Not this shit again" and "Don't try to calc it because it's worthless" responses to all of your cut-score and release date posts.

By now your heart will skip a beat every time you get an email notification. And chances are you will snap at the tiniest provocation.

BTW, want a sanity check of why it takes so long to “just score a scantron”? look here:

http://engineerboards.com/topic/29578-ncees-news-update/?page=8&tab=comments#comment-7463208

 

Phase 6 (RESULTS) Finally, you'll hit Phase 6 (results). Each person reacts differently at this point whether they passed or not, how many times they've taken it, financial implications, expectations, etc. Regardless of how the results come out, at this point you will find that the CAB of your choice is very welcomed to either celebrate or cry into.

Then there are obsessive futile “exercises” waiting examinees engage in. These can happen anytime during phases 2, 3, 4, and 5. The order of the exercise is arbitrary

Futile Exercise A (Trying to calculate the cut-score) you’ll start speculating on the cut score, as if it’s universal for all exams. Maybe discussing a question in a nebulous way and convincing yourself that it will get tossed. You start spouting conspiracy theories that there is a quota for maximum and minimum number of passers (there isn’t), or that NCESS wants you to fail to get more of your money (nope).

The cut score will vary from exam session to exam session and from one engineering discipline to another. The cut score is based on what the minimally competent PE would get for that selection of test problems. Yes, PEs and other SMEs take practice exams with those problems to establish a baseline.  It’s futile to try to guess the “cut score”, and even if you could you don’t know your own score anyway, so it really doesn’t matter.

Want a little more elaboration? Look here:

http://engineerboards.com/topic/30365-the-wait-is-killing-me/?do=findComment&comment=7485676

http://engineerboards.com/topic/33494-april-2019-post-exam-wait-period-welcome-to-the-suck/?do=findComment&comment=7553891


 

Futile Exercise B (trying to figure out how to get results before they come out) You’ll start trying to figure out ways to learn of your results before they come out. This will include searching your state’s PE license lookup or another state website, spam calling and emailing NCEES or the state board, etc.

First: Please be nice to your state board workers! You are taking this test to become a professional so act like a professional.

Second: NCESS won’t tell you anything beyond “8-10 weeks” until after they released the results. The state boards won’t give you a different answer because NCESS usually doesn’t share anything firm with them anyway. The boards will often get surprised with the results too. No state starts updating their license lookup prior to the initial release of results. So don’t bother searching there until at least one state has released first! Some states (Mass, NJ, and a couple others) have other websites like CTS or :pcs:where you can divine a pass/fail, but it won’t happen until other states have already started releasing, and those states tend to release after everyone else too.

Oh, and don’t fall for the “try to register for the next exam” trick. It’s not a valid way to determine if you passed or failed. And BTW, getting mailers for PE study courses and/or PDH courses isn’t a sign that you failed or passed either. Nor is getting an invitation to join ASCE or NSPE. It simply means that you’re on someones’ mailing list.

Now that you know about these tricks, I have ZERO pity for you if you still fall for them!

Futile Exercise C (guessing the release date) This is another favorite pass time. You’ll start looking through old map threads to try to guess the release date. Maybe you’ll look at state board meetings dates and try to cross reference with the past results to figure out when’s this years’ will come out. Multiple posters look at the (lack of) data and come to a “conclusion” that a given date is “it”. The OG’s tell you that the wait will last a little bit longer, but group-think sets in and the vets get mocked for “trolling”. Things get even worse when the “sure thing” date passes without a release.

No one can say with certainty when the results will be released this early after the exam. With that written, we have been following things for a while and we have an idea of when the release will generally happen. Fall results take longer than spring results because of the holidays and time available to schedule cut score meetings.

The vets may not know the exact date ahead of time, but we generally know the signs and can confidently give a “no earlier than” date. This is not the same as a release date. We’ll also know when things are imminent.

Still want to scratch the itch? @Duckdude actually took the time to make a spreadsheet of known release dates for all states for all exams sessions going back for over a decade. And he did it AFTER he got his results back. Great dedication and work on his part! You can browse it here if you are curious.

http://engineerboards.com/topic/30629-pe-release-history/

But be warned, scratching an itch usually makes it worse.

Futile Exercise D (reading the tea leaves) This is a variation on futile exercises B and C, but warrants its own category. You’ll start scrutinizing every NCEES tweet or facebook post, take screenshots and discuss minor tweaks to the dashboard layout, or get over excited when a state board has called an emergency meeting. You look for any clue or edge to see if you passed/failed or when the results may come out.

Sometimes these signs are legit, often they’re not. The OG’s have been tracking things for years and know how to separate the signal from the noise. 

Futile Exercise E (harassing NCEES and state board employees) The title says it all, it's an aggravated version of futile exercise B. Don't be a dick. Harassing NCEES so badly that they shut down the online chat function is not an accomplishment to be proud of. You aren't doing yourself any favors by acting unprofessional.

Futile Exercise F5 (spam reloading the NCEES dashboard)) During this phase you are continuously reloading the NCEES dashboard and/or refreshing your email.

You may be tempted to continuously reload the dashboard after about 4-5 weeks. It’s a mediocre way to burn off stress, and a great way to waste internet bandwidth and possibly break your F5 button; but it won’t get you your results before the initial release email goes out.

But after the initial release, we can confirm that sometimes the examinees dashboard will update with the results prior to the NCESS email going out. The time difference is anywhere from no-delay to a couple hours. So after the initial release you can go ahead and spam F5 to relieve the jitters.

 

Speaking of blowing off steam: In the interest of your sanity (and the happiness and security of your friends, family and co-workers) try not dwell too much on the exam. Spend time with friends and family, burn off stress at the gym, find a hobby, or better yet spend some time on the game threads; we could really use some new blood in the EB Mafia game.

Finally you really should post in the

It’s a well-known fact that NCEES won’t release the results until the thread reaches 15k, so start spammin’!

 

 

 

The vets have all experienced this firsthand, sometimes more than once, and we know how much it sucks. And some of us will tease you about it too. It was done to us to help break the tension and we’re carrying on the tradition. There is nothing personal meant or implied in the teases, and we hope you’ll all stick around to aid, distract, and tease the next group.

Good luck, and we all look forward to meeting many new interesting engineers and hope you all stick around to see what a fun and entertaining group we can actually be.

So, how did the exam go last week?

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Over the last few years we’ve noticed that it generally takes a little over a month for NCESS to work through their baseline scoring processes for the paper and pencil tests to release their scores. All of results are released on the same day for the spring and fall exams respectively, regardless of test discipline. The thing that always “delays” the release of the results beyond that period though, is when a new exam is administered in a given test period.  The exam writers have to a have a meeting to discuss the exam results and adjudicate any problematic exam questions, and set standards for future iterations of that exam. There are a lot of PPE exams so there is almost always a new exam being given in a given period. By definition, these exam review meetings occur after the initial scoring has taken place. The exams produced by NCEES, tend to schedule those meetings about 25-30 days after the exam. The exams not produced by NCESS (the less practiced disciplines like Nuke, Fire Prot, Petro, etc) tend to be 30-40+ days after the exam.

There is only one new exam this session: Control Systems. It does not have a cut score meeting listed in the Oct 2019 Licensure Exchange in November. Which implies that the meeting will occur in December.

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It sucks to suck! 😃

At this point, I think I pretty much jumped straight to Phase 1. It's actually kind of nice to not have the exam looming over my head. Part of this might have to do with how well I feel I did. In as objective a way as I can muster, I felt like I had plenty of solid, confident answers to get a passing score. I probably missed a couple of those, but probably also got a handful of the problems I was more questionable on, so I don't feel terribly concerned... At least not yet.

I'm low-key hoping that exam results get released on Friday, the 13th, because that would just be too fitting. However, if I was a betting man, I'd put my money on a day or two before that.

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I'm just going to bake my stress away. since I've been banned from making soup 😭

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40 minutes ago, Will.I.Am said:

so I don't feel terribly concerned... At least not yet.

Give it a few days ;)

40 minutes ago, Will.I.Am said:

I'm low-key hoping that exam results get released on Friday, the 13th, because that would just be too fitting. However, if I was a betting man, I'd put my money on a day or two before that.

1*hpT0qtS1tXl_0CIH72mxnA.gif

 

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My buddy was confident going into the test. Told him that he'll walk out feeling like he failed. 

Called me a 6pm sounding like someone who had a "fun" time

Said the AM Civil was hard. Anyone else feel that way, or did he not study long enough? lol. 

(Obviously don't post any questions related to exam) 

I felt the AM in April was easy. 

Edited by john813

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Thanks for sharing the post! 

I wrote PE Civil Structural. Compared to the other exams, those writing this exam probably had the most reference material to bring in. I was a bit caught off guard that there was a rule there "could not be any hand writing in your reference material". I fortunately did not have any writing in my references but I did not see this a restriction on NCEES page or in my exam authorization released before the exam. Seems strange for an open book exam to restrict handwritten notes ...

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2 minutes ago, A-Aron F said:

 I was a bit caught off guard that there was a rule there "could not be any hand writing in your reference material".

 Seems strange for an open book exam to restrict handwritten notes ...

Some states have extra rules. *cough* maryland *cough*. Usually the "handwritten notes" exclusion applied only to pencil written notes. They wanted an easy means to see if someone wrote test questions into their books as a means of smuggling them out.

Most of those state specific rules went away a few years ago. I kinda surprised to see it come back. Which state were you?

 

7 minutes ago, john813 said:

Called me a 6pm sounding like someone who went to hell and back lol.

Situation Normal.

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Just now, RBHeadge PE said:

Some states have extra rules. *cough* maryland *cough*. Usually the "handwritten notes" exclusion applied only to pencil written notes. They wanted an easy means to see if someone wrote test questions into their books as a means of smuggling them out.

Most of those state specific rules went away a few years ago. I kinda surprised to see it come back. Which state were you?

Canadian writing in Maine. I get the part about writing in test questions; that makes sense. The interpretation I had was even writing in a formula or something would be "grounds for dismissal", which seems excessive. Perhaps the correct interpretation was you could not actively write in the reference material *during* the exam.

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Just now, A-Aron F said:

 Perhaps the correct interpretation was you could not actively write in the reference material *during* the exam.

That's how things were reworded recently. Something to the effect of 'the examinee shall make no marks except on the exam book and answer sheet'

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6 minutes ago, RBHeadge PE said:

That's how things were reworded recently. Something to the effect of 'the examinee shall make no marks except on the exam book and answer sheet'

My poor soul probably could have used another sentence like "previous marks are ok though, dude" 😅

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11 minutes ago, A-Aron F said:

My poor soul probably could have used another sentence like "previous marks are ok though, dude" 😅

Found it:

https://ncees.org/wp-content/uploads/ExamineeGuide_May-2019.pdf on PDF page 30

Quote

Writing on anything other than your exam booklet or answer sheet

So it implies that previous markings are okay. But the issue is that the proctors don't know what is previous and what is new; hence the ink vs pencil mark provision.

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The morning felt ok but the afternoon felt like such a cluster that I suspect I'll be back in 6 months

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I surprisingly feel better now than I did before the exam. The Tuesday and Wednesday before the exam I felt very confident and was just ready to take the exam. Then Thursday rolled around and I was thinking, "do I even really need a PE license?" 😆

Luckily I was able to take the test with a close friend of mine so the morning of, lunch, and evening after we kept each other distracted. We took the Power PE, so after the exam we spontaneously decided to go see The Current War which was fitting.

I still feel pretty confident in my answers, though. I finished my first pass of the morning and afternoon sessions in 1.5 hours, then second and third passes in about 45 minutes each. Then the last hour of just reading over questions making sure I didn't misread a question, or type something in my calculator wrong.

I also went through and marked A, B, or C for questions I feel confident about, felt I made an educated guess, or just plain guessed. Then used A*0.9 + B*0.5 + C*0.25 to calculate a preliminary score. I then spent time working on C's and B's to get them to B's and A's until my score was where I wanted it. I didn't want to go over my original A answers too much, because I didn't want to start second guessing my answers.

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Hello all,

Took the October 2019 PE(WR and Environmental) in Houston. Morning was ok. Afternoon was brutal. Will fail. 

I had the Testmasters Course for Breadth and Depth. Should I stick with them or try SofPE/EET for April 2020 exam.

Thanks

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I'm going to play the odds and tell you that you passed. 

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1 hour ago, Chattaneer said:

I also went through and marked A, B, or C for questions I feel confident about, felt I made an educated guess, or just plain guessed. Then used A*0.9 + B*0.5 + C*0.25 to calculate a preliminary score. I then spent time working on C's and B's to get them to B's and A's until my score was where I wanted it. I didn't want to go over my original A answers too much, because I didn't want to start second guessing my answers.

What was your target score?

11 minutes ago, Sloth_1989 said:

Afternoon was brutal. Will fail. 

I had the Testmasters Course for Breadth and Depth. Should I stick with them or try SofPE/EET for April 2020 exam.

too early for that kind of talk

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Let's see. 

Well, most of the time, I feel pretty good about my performance. I replay some of my greatest hits and mentally high five myself. But then...the dread sets in... I start calculating the number of correct answers and then I question if it's good enough. Then I spiral, get distracted by something shiny, and then I repeat the cycle until bed time. lol

So, that's where I am. I plan to start running again this week so that should burn off at least half of that energy and anxiety. I have wine and books for the other half.

Edited by civilrobot

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21 minutes ago, RBHeadge PE said:

What was your target score?

28.75 for each session, or 28.75 / 40 = 72%.

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1 hour ago, Chattaneer said:

I surprisingly feel better now than I did before the exam. The Tuesday and Wednesday before the exam I felt very confident and was just ready to take the exam. Then Thursday rolled around and I was thinking, "do I even really need a PE license?" 😆

Luckily I was able to take the test with a close friend of mine so the morning of, lunch, and evening after we kept each other distracted. We took the Power PE, so after the exam we spontaneously decided to go see The Current War which was fitting.

I still feel pretty confident in my answers, though. I finished my first pass of the morning and afternoon sessions in 1.5 hours, then second and third passes in about 45 minutes each. Then the last hour of just reading over questions making sure I didn't misread a question, or type something in my calculator wrong.

I also went through and marked A, B, or C for questions I feel confident about, felt I made an educated guess, or just plain guessed. Then used A*0.9 + B*0.5 + C*0.25 to calculate a preliminary score. I then spent time working on C's and B's to get them to B's and A's until my score was where I wanted it. I didn't want to go over my original A answers too much, because I didn't want to start second guessing my answers.

This was my 4th attempt at the PE Power. This afternoon session felt the worst out of all the other times I took it. There was a lot of problems I hadn't seen before.. In any event, as usual, I did whatever I could. I just pray that luck is on my side this time... 😕 . anybody else feel this way for Power PE? 

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5 minutes ago, tmntjmc said:

This was my 4th attempt at the PE Power. This afternoon session felt the worst out of all the other times I took it. There was a lot of problems I hadn't seen before.. In any event, as usual, I did whatever I could. I just pray that luck is on my side this time... 😕 . anybody else feel this way for Power PE? 

What sort of electrical work do you do full-time? 

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2 minutes ago, Chattaneer said:

What sort of electrical work do you do full-time? 

I'm a service planner/ designer for Anaheim Public Utility. It's odd we don't use any codes per say, we reference GO 95. Anyways, yeah I'm pretty bummed about this being my 4th attempt and feeling bad about it.. :( 

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15 minutes ago, tmntjmc said:

This was my 4th attempt at the PE Power. This afternoon session felt the worst out of all the other times I took it. There was a lot of problems I hadn't seen before.. In any event, as usual, I did whatever I could. I just pray that luck is on my side this time... 😕 . anybody else feel this way for Power PE? 

First time taker, and as someone put it in another thread, I feel like I studied for the wrong exam.  I left feeling completely devastated and am fairly certain I failed.  I feel like no amount of studying could prepare you for way the questions were presented and how the answers were given.  

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5 minutes ago, bdhlphcdh said:

First time taker, and as someone put it in another thread, I feel like I studied for the wrong exam.  I left feeling completely devastated and am fairly certain I failed.  I feel like no amount of studying could prepare you for way the questions were presented and how the answers were given.  

That's the worst part about this exam, that you can take all the "guaranteed pass courses" and what not but when it comes down to it, you could have every imaginable reference with you and study for 3 or 4 months and it still won't prepare you for what may be on the exam. I seriously felt that no amount of studying could have prepared me for this exam session. And that's the worst feeling because I feel like I can't do anything to get this thing over with.. It's a punch to the gut every time.. 

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