CA Civil Surveying Exam - CPESR Prep Course

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Roll_Tide_SE

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Does anyone here have experience with passing the CA Civil Surveying Exam using the CPESR prep course by Kirk Torossian? I am continuing to prepare for my exam on 12/9/22, and I am having more trouble with his practice problems than I anticipated I would. I feel like I understand the concepts well, but I find some of course's practice problems to be either longer than an average question, or the practice question might leave out some information that is key to understanding the intent of the question. This is maybe 40% of the questions I run into. That leads to me spending extra time on a number of problems which is getting to be discouraging.

Does anyone else have experience with this course? Are these review questions simply curved tougher than the typical exam questions?

Thank you,
 

VNGUYEN

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I'm on the same boat. I find myself spending 10, sometimes up to 15 minutes on the trigonometry heavy problems. The non-trig heavy ones go pretty quick. Probably means I really need to work on my trig.
 

dbilyeu

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CPESR questions are horribly written. There is often missing and/or ambiguous information that leads to the problems taking way longer than expected just to find out what is being asked. I don't feel like the answer explanations are clear enough either. Kirk does do a good job of answering additional questions, but that seems like it could be circumvented by having better explanations on the front end. The workbook is ok and is organized in a logical manner. The lectures were decent as well.
 

Roll_Tide_SE

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Have you taken the exam already? If so, did you find the exam questions to be more clearly written? My exam is on Friday.
 

CFLuke

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Have you taken the exam already? If so, did you find the exam questions to be more clearly written? My exam is on Friday.
Yes. I don't recall any ambiguous questions on the exam (sometimes you may need a minute to figure out what it's asking, but it's not ambiguous, just intentionally buried in extraneous information)
 
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i did not pass using CPESR unfortunately. I felt like i had a pretty hard exam and had ambiguous and very lengthy questions and the questions were not as straightforward compared to when i took seismic.
 

stomlin15

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Took the exam last month and just receiving my passing score today. First time taker. The main reason I went with CPESR was their test questions and relevance to the actual exam, which is mentioned in many reviews here and on reddit. I didn't see any question that were missing information and the instructor gave really great explanations. Almost any question I had was already asked and answered in the student questions. Some questions were definitely very tough and I had to really think about it. I will say that CPESR questions are a little harder than the actual exam that I took and I didn’t score that well in early practice exams but got much better after taking many exams. Having gone through that, the actual test was much easier to tackle and to get my timing down. Also agree the lectures and manual were good. I only brought the CPESR manual with me into the exam.

I think the key to this exam is get through the entire course and hit all the questions (maybe many times) and you should be good.
 
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We appreciate the discussion here about our course. Just a few notes about the actual exam and the CPESR practice questions:

The actual exam is not easy and will have problem statements that you will need to really think about. They are made to provide just enough information for you to answer the question. Sometimes more info is given to confuse you. This is one way of measuring your competency as a Civil Engineer; by testing how and when to apply engineering principles and logic. In addition, many questions will be impossible to answer in the average ~2.5 minutes.

Therefore, the purpose of the CPESR practice tests, and the course in general, is to prepare you for the rigors of the actual exam. We provide a range of questions, from easy to nearly impossibly hard, with just enough information to answer the question. No question should have any missing information. Solutions to the questions are also complete and we are available for any further clarification. In addition, we review the practice questions multiple times a year and further add to the questions and solutions.

I’m happy to answer any questions you have. We are only periodically on the Engineer Boards forum so if you have an immediate question, please visit us at our website www.civilpesurveyingreview.com and use the Contact page to easily get in touch with us.

-Kirk Torossian (Instructor)
 
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CAPLS

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We appreciate the discussion here about our course. Just a few notes about the actual exam and the CPESR practice questions:

The actual exam is not easy and will have problem statements that you will need to really think about. They are made to provide just enough information for you to answer the question. Sometimes more info is given to confuse you. This is one way of measuring your competency as a Civil Engineer; by testing how and when to apply engineering principles and logic. In addition, many questions will be impossible to answer in the average ~2.5 minutes.

Therefore, the purpose of the CPESR practice tests, and the course in general, is to prepare you for the rigors of the actual exam. We provide a range of questions, from easy to nearly impossibly hard, with just enough information to answer the question. No question should have any missing information. Solutions to the questions are also complete and we are available for any further clarification. In addition, we review the practice questions multiple times a year and further add to the questions and solutions.

I’m happy to answer any questions you have. We are only periodically on the Engineer Boards forum so if you have an immediate question, please visit us at our website www.civilpesurveyingreview.com and use the Contact page to easily get in touch with us.

-Kirk Torossian (Instructor)
"Sometimes more info is given to confuse you" I don't really think this is what you meant to say. A valid question should not be confusing...to the competent test taker in any sense. I'm going to assume you meant that sometimes other information is given in the question which may parallel real world scenarios and it is up to the competent test taker to weigh the relevance of the given info as to its applicability.
 

juegymcmanny

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"Sometimes more info is given to confuse you" I don't really think this is what you meant to say. A valid question should not be confusing...to the competent test taker in any sense. I'm going to assume you meant that sometimes other information is given in the question which may parallel real world scenarios and it is up to the competent test taker to weigh the relevance of the given info as to its applicability.

"Real world scenario" - In what real world scenario would we have 2.5 minutes to sort through all of the information and determine what is relevant? I think that is where the surveying exam loses its touch with reality and real world applicability.

I understand that it's difficult to test a person on this matter in a good way, however I believe that a computer based test where questions have figures that need to be replicated onto the test takers scratch paper is frustrating given the time constraints of the exam. And add on to that, the nature of the questions often times are long and not well written.

So yes, I think more info is given to confuse the test taker on these exams. My two cents.
 

CAPLS

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"Real world scenario" - In what real world scenario would we have 2.5 minutes to sort through all of the information and determine what is relevant? I think that is where the surveying exam loses its touch with reality and real world applicability.

I understand that it's difficult to test a person on this matter in a good way, however I believe that a computer based test where questions have figures that need to be replicated onto the test takers scratch paper is frustrating given the time constraints of the exam. And add on to that, the nature of the questions often times are long and not well written.

So yes, I think more info is given to confuse the test taker on these exams. My two cents.
Okay, I understand what you are saying. In California, the applicants are required to have real world work experience with education taking a back seat in terms of importance for the criteria needed for licensure. Hence my use of the term "competent" in my previous reply. The surveying tasks which civil engineers are authorized to practice in California is nothing more than what the average instrument person/crew chief would know and use on a daily basis. If the civil engineer applicant has the proper experience, it will be relatively easy to manage.
 
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