April 2021 Post Exam Wait Period - Welcome to the Suck

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Nucflash
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Welcome to the April 2021 PE post-exam wait period. Did you think that studying for the exam, seeing it get cancelled in April, studying again, and taking the exam while wearing a face mask in the middle of a global pandemic 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 suddenly with a lot of free time and no idea what to spend it on (pro tip: spam thread here, spend time with family and friends, or burn off the stress at the gym). You'll be looking at which PE stamps to order, and which PE study classes to take for the next exam. After a few days your brain will slow down and you 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.

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.
 

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Nucflash
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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.

NCESS won’t tell you anything beyond “8-10 weeks” until after they released the results. The state boards won’t tell you much more and 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 third-party websites like PCS and CTS 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. Now that you know about it, I have ZERO pity for you if you still fall for this it!

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.

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.

PE Release History

I started to make a spreadsheet of the release dates. While going to previous maps for the dates, I got to the April 2014 forum and found out someone else has done the same thing. I have a much more simpler spreadsheet than the one previously posted in the forum below...
engineerboards.com
engineerboards.com

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.
 

RBHeadge PE

Nucflash
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Feel free to use this thread to ask questions about the process or nonviolently rant about it. But 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; especially the spam thread. It’s a well-known fact that NCEES won’t release the results until the thread reaches 15k, so start spammin’!

Oh, and we could really use some new blood in the EB Mafia game.

engineerboards.com

EB Mafia



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?
 

civilrobot PE etc etc

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I'm in a phase that doesn't exist. I keep thinking I need to study. I keep wanting to go back to studying. It feels weird not studying. I still dream of problems. I dream of exam problems and practice problems. I'm in a weird limbo. I just want to be free.
 

civilrobot PE etc etc

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Actually, I said that I would give it a week and then study for one hour each day. It doesn't say anything about my confidence in my performance. It says something about how I don't want to start from square one if I have to sit for the exam again.
 

NJHHEngineer P.E.

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Actually, I said that I would give it a week and then study for one hour each day. It doesn't say anything about my confidence in my performance. It says something about how I don't want to start from square one if I have to sit for the exam again.

Don't give up that easily...you never know. BUT, regardless of the outcome, my opinion is you should take time off and recharge. Burn out is real. You won't be doing yourself any favors.
 

civilrobot PE etc etc

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Don't give up that easily...you never know. BUT, regardless of the outcome, my opinion is you should take time off and recharge. Burn out is real. You won't be doing yourself any favors.
Thanks! The morning was as expected. I answered a lot of questions and actually had to guess on maybe 3. I finished early but sat with it and reviewed my work multiple times. I actually caught a few mistakes too and corrected them. Thanks for the "finish early fairy dust" @NJHHEngineer !

The afternoon was okay. I forgot to eat my snack at 3 and my brain slowed down by the last 45 minutes. I guessed on 7. It wasn't the exam. It was me. They were doable but it was like I was mentally walking through mud. Thankfully, I was sure to get the problems out of the way that I felt strong in first.
 

jean15paul_PE

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I'm in a phase that doesn't exist. I keep thinking I need to study. I keep wanting to go back to studying. It feels weird not studying. I still dream of problems. I dream of exam problems and practice problems. I'm in a weird limbo. I just want to be free.
7620a49d-39e9-4db9-a96c-89f3d1deb1ae-facebookreact2.jpeg
 

leggo PE

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Hello folks, since the S.E. Exams are technically listed as some version of a P.E. Exam now (queue ‘not a fan’), and I’m waiting on results, it is here I find myself.

I feel like I skipped stage 1 and jumped straight into a mishmash of phases 2-4. It’s quite an interesting mental space to be in.
 
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Actually, I said that I would give it a week and then study for one hour each day. It doesn't say anything about my confidence in my performance. It says something about how I don't want to start from square one if I have to sit for the exam again.
I feel the same way
 

Gen

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I am in a stage where “i don't know” “I am not sure”. Thinking that I should start my review of an hour a day so that I don't forget. I am already anticipating that I failed this test.
 

5 to 9

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3rd time test taker here. It never gets any easier, but the pain does hurt a little less each time...
 

5 to 9

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I am in a stage where “i don't know” “I am not sure”. Thinking that I should start my review of an hour a day so that I don't forget. I am already anticipating that I failed this test.
I feel you. I’m 50/50 on whether or not I passed the exam this time. If I find out that I failed the exam a third time, after investing so much time into studying an even taking an online course where the pass rate is 88%... then I will seriously reconsider my career path
 

vhab49_PE

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I'm in a phase that doesn't exist. I keep thinking I need to study. I keep wanting to go back to studying. It feels weird not studying. I still dream of problems. I dream of exam problems and practice problems. I'm in a weird limbo. I just want to be free.
It feels so wrong to not study. I have one of the afternoon problems stuck in my head.
 

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