April'08 investigation pending - APR 2008 - Engineer Boards
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siddus

April'08 investigation pending

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I have taken 8hour, seismic and surveying in califonia this April'08 and was very confident on clearing 8 hour and surveying. With seismic I was on the border probably.

But to my surprise I recieved a letter from board stating that statistically significant commonality of answers between me and some people and they are investigating it. I was asked to give a statement on if I know anyone around me in the exam. They will be intimating me the outcome once investigation is over. (When? no one knows)

Honestly I didnot know anyone in the exam and there was no unethical practice happened in best of my knowledge. OVer that my understanding is that all our question booklets are not in the same format. I am not sure why some one could copy and if so how its possible. I am really frustated and pain. Its really brings heart burn for any honest guy.

I was wondering if anyone is under the same situation ot passed through this problem before. Any inputs and comments are appreciated.

Thanks.

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I have taken 8hour, seismic and surveying in califonia this April'08 and was very confident on clearing 8 hour and surveying. With seismic I was on the border probably.

But to my surprise I recieved a letter from board stating that statistically significant commonality of answers between me and some people and they are investigating it. I was asked to give a statement on if I know anyone around me in the exam. They will be intimating me the outcome once investigation is over. (When? no one knows)

Honestly I didnot know anyone in the exam and there was no unethical practice happened in best of my knowledge. OVer that my understanding is that all our question booklets are not in the same format. I am not sure why some one could copy and if so how its possible. I am really frustated and pain. Its really brings heart burn for any honest guy.

I was wondering if anyone is under the same situation ot passed through this problem before. Any inputs and comments are appreciated.

Thanks.

Wow. Did they tell you which exam is in question? Unless a proctor actually busted somebody cheating, how can they even prove such a thing after the fact? Where I took the test (Pomona) the seats were sufficiently far enough apart and the proctors were such overbearing hawks, I can't imagine anybody getting away with anything untoward. If I were you, I would probably be starting to talk to lawyers familiar with state licensing issues.

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I'm glad that I was sitting with a Civil (I'm Mechanical) so the question of that couldn't come up.

I hope things work out for you.

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statistically significant commonality of answers between me and some people

Not for anything but this is truly an engineering approach to this situation. They didn't say that the investigation is focusing on collaboration/cheating at the exam site. They're saying that the probability of multiple individuals selecting the same answers (both right and wrong) is small enough that if/when it occurs they need to see if this is an actual occurance of a random event or if there was some common factor driving it.

I find it interesting that they go through this type of analysis. Sorry, for your woes siddus. If you've got nothing to hide, then they have nothing to find. Good luck and i hope you pass.

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Good luck to you. Since you are innocent just take a deep breath and wait. But I agree that it can give heart burn.

But back to the interesting statistical similarity, in fact, I would think that people who pass with highest score should have statitical similarity and those fail may not. So there is some confort there. Probably you aced it IMO.

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Maybe a lot of people picked the same wrong answer and they are checking to see if it is a valid question or if there is any ambivalence.

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I have taken 8hour, seismic and surveying in califonia this April'08 and was very confident on clearing 8 hour and surveying. With seismic I was on the border probably.

But to my surprise I recieved a letter from board stating that statistically significant commonality of answers between me and some people and they are investigating it. I was asked to give a statement on if I know anyone around me in the exam. They will be intimating me the outcome once investigation is over. (When? no one knows)

Honestly I didnot know anyone in the exam and there was no unethical practice happened in best of my knowledge. OVer that my understanding is that all our question booklets are not in the same format. I am not sure why some one could copy and if so how its possible. I am really frustated and pain. Its really brings heart burn for any honest guy.

I was wondering if anyone is under the same situation ot passed through this problem before. Any inputs and comments are appreciated.

Thanks.

Oh man, that really has to suck to be perfectly innocent and yet be unlucky enough to get caught up in what must be just a statistical anomaly. They should eventually be forced to admit that improbable things happen every day. The only thing I would worry about if I were you is whether they will ultimately force you, and the others who share in this anomaly, to retake the test in order to remove any doubt of collusion.

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where did you take the exam? I know at pomona, the proctors are all over you like flies on shit. Cheating would be very difficult.

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Oh man, that really has to suck to be perfectly innocent and yet be unlucky enough to get caught up in what must be just a statistical anomaly.

I don't really believe in "coincidences" but they say the only thing worse than lies is statistics. In America we say "where's there smoke, there's fire) - but in Italy they say "dove c'e fumo, c'e carne" (where there's smoke, there's meat... a reference to grilled meat!). I know it's easier said than done, but keep smiling and wait for your vindication!

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Thank you very much guys for your support. All the people who know me really surprised on my situation since they were very confident on my success. It brings me more pleasure when people like you who dont know me are supporting my spirits. A BIG THANK YOU FOR ALL.

Coming to you guys questions,

I took the exam at POMONA. As other friends are mentioning there was no chance that anyone can peek to sides.

They said April 2008 civil engineering exam. My guess is they are pointing towards 8 hour on the assumption that for other two they would have used "special".

I am really wondering how a statistical model which stands on probability theory can be used for the population count we know. Generally statistical models are used when the population is huge and by taking sample with some significance level (here comes probability) they state the PROBABLE truths. Since i have taken couple of courses in statistics I understand reasonably what they are trying to do in this case. Hope they understand that with 40 questions and more than 1500 people writing and with 4 options there is a possibility that atleast couple of people choosing same wrong answer. May be wrong answer is very close to right answer. I am sure there will couple of slippery questions like that always.

I am not sure whether to go lawyers in these matters. I am waiting for positive answer from them. I always believed that there might be delay in justice, but it ultimatly delivers. If I get negative result incase, I sometimes out of anger I feel like sueing them. Then I feel instead of using my resources and energies in that fashion, I can use that anger to take the exam next time and clear it off (which I am confident of after taking this time).

Once again thanks for bringing me the positive energy. I will update you with the board's decision as and when I receive.

Edited by siddus

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I agree that if you didnt do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. Having sat for the test in Cali, I can say that I never felt that anyone was trying to cheat. The proctors were always close by to watch everyone. However, I have seen alot of disorganization which makes it all the harder to test and puts the process in question. Recently, there was a test interupted in the middle of the exam for about 10 minutes because some people had books with staples in the bindings. These books should have been identified and confiscated in the beginning of the test instead of interupting all the test sites. Alot of confusion!! If there is an investigation, there really needs to be a through investigation of not only what you are going through but, the way the test is handled while the test is given, collected, and graded back in the office. This "thoroughness" would confirm that the test is above board.

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Finally justice is delivered. Today I received my Professional Engineer certificate indicating that I cleared their investigation and passes 8 hr, seismic and surveying. I am really happy since this is my first attempt.

Thanks guys for all your support through your posts. They supported me all through these days and kept my spirits.

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Awesome... too bad the state didn't handle the matter a little more delicately - it could have saved you some stress!

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