Everything you wanted to know about the CA-Survey/Seismic Civil PE Exams

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TrickShotG

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thank you capls

Thank you for the help!  I was really worried that I will need to refile the whole package. It will be a nightmare trying to re-assemble 4 referral letters from my supervisors during this pandemic... 

Just out of curiosity, is what happened to me a rare case? because I couldn't find any instruction on the board website. I thought more people would do the same thing to secure more study time...
What I did to ensure I had enough study time was I just scheduled my exams one month apart in the 3 month window they give you. they give you approval to test for both exams, but then you have the ability to schedule them whenever you want within the next quarter.

I have read here that the optimal timing within the three month window is to take exam 1 in the first month, exam 2 in the second month. That way, when you get your final results in the third month, you still have time to apply for reexamination if needed for the following quarter. That timing has been messed up though during covid times.

 

CAPLS

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thank you capls

Thank you for the help!  I was really worried that I will need to refile the whole package. It will be a nightmare trying to re-assemble 4 referral letters from my supervisors during this pandemic... 

Just out of curiosity, is what happened to me a rare case? because I couldn't find any instruction on the board website. I thought more people would do the same thing to secure more study time...
Not sure how many applicants choose to just pay for one exam with the initial application or not.  But I believe most pay for both initially and then just schedule as they want.  Paying for both will automatically assume you wish to sit for both in the same quarter in which you initially are able to.  So, some may want to space exams out without forfeiting fees.

 

deezol

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Hopefully someone can give me some insight... 

I turned in my application back in 2016, before the 8-hour was decoupled from the two state exams.  I was allowed to register for the 8 hour and two state specific exams.  Due to previous commitments I wasn't able to pass during that period.  Eventually I ended up passing the 8 hour test in April 2018, Seismic in February 2020, and Surveying November.  I'm worried that its been so long since I had sent the Licensure application that I may be missing things required by the Boards.

Has anyone been in this situation?  Is there any additional paperwork needed to file with the board?

 

Aaron241

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@ptatohed, thank you for sharing this. I am taking my exams in January. I had a few q's

1. For survey, I have been going through Quomo and Mansour (as suggested by most people). Would you say that the practice/example problems there are representative of the actual exam?

2. Also, what other advice would you give for preparing for the survey exam (I feel since I work in the structural field every day, I am more adept with the seismic part of the exam and Heiner has been helpful as well)

3. Finally, is there any other material (PPI/school of PE or any other resources) that someone could share with me that they found helpful.

Appreciate any help.

Thanks 

 

ptatohed

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@ptatohed, thank you for sharing this. I am taking my exams in January. I had a few q's

1. For survey, I have been going through Quomo and Mansour (as suggested by most people). Would you say that the practice/example problems there are representative of the actual exam?

2. Also, what other advice would you give for preparing for the survey exam (I feel since I work in the structural field every day, I am more adept with the seismic part of the exam and Heiner has been helpful as well)

3. Finally, is there any other material (PPI/school of PE or any other resources) that someone could share with me that they found helpful.

Appreciate any help.

Thanks 


Hi Aaron,

Sorry for the delay.  I don't come on here as much as I used to. 

I have to admit, as time goes by, I am getting less savvy on what the best study materials are.  But it sounds like you are exactly on the right track.  My advice is what it sounds like you are doing.  Work problems, work problems, work problems.  Use multiple sources.  Even time yourself.  Have trigonometry down pat.  Know your vertical curve and horizontal curve formulas well.  Including knowing how to solve for any variable in the equation.  Ex. in the equation y = e(PVC) + (g1 x X) + [(g2 - g1) / 2L, know how to solve for say, L, given every other value.  Makes sense?  Follow the syllabus to a T.  Practice problems under all syllabus categories and, likewise, don't waste time studying any topics not  listed on the syllabus.      

Search the web for free sample problems.  

Yes, you can assume that sample problems from the reputable authors you listed are close to the actual exam.  I think you'll be fine.

Seismic was my weakness, Survey was my strong point.  Sounds like we are opposite, lol.  Best of luck!  

 

multiDSPLN

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Hi,
I am planning to apply for California Civil PE. I have my PE from another state. I also have an up to date NCEES profile. Does anyone know if I can use my reference letters from my NCEES profile as part of my application or they have to submit CA PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER ENGAGEMENT RECORD AND REFERENCE FORM?
 

dauwerda

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When I called the board and asked this (over a year ago), they told me I could try to use the NCEES Record references but 99% of them are not adequate and it would speed things up to just use their engagement record and reference form.
 

CaliPE

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Hi,
I am planning to apply for California Civil PE. I have my PE from another state. I also have an up to date NCEES profile. Does anyone know if I can use my reference letters from my NCEES profile as part of my application or they have to submit CA PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER ENGAGEMENT RECORD AND REFERENCE FORM?
From the BPELSG website:
Applicants licensed in another state (comity applicants) must meet the same application requirements as all other applicants. This includes submitting all documents described above.
Applicants must provide verification of licensure and exam from the other state by using the verification system available through NCEES. Applicants must login to their NCEES account (or create one) and then follow the directions to request that the verification be sent to California.
Comity applicants may submit NCEES Records (formally known as NCEES Council Records) in lieu of Engagement Record and Reference Forms, but NCEES Records are not required. In the case that the NCEES Record does not provide the information the Board needs to determine if an applicant meets the requirements for licensure in California, the applicant will be asked to provide additional information.
 

Aiden

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Does anyone know how to view the latest PE license on the DCA website?
 

davesgarage

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Hello All,

I think I'm in a bit of a unique situation here. I was approved to take the CA exams for this current quarter (Jan-March 2021) but due to Covid situations I haven't had a chance to set a concrete date to schedule tests until now Feb 22, 2021. I was originally going to take the tests early in the quarter like advised to have a nice buffer to re-apply if needed for next quarter. I am still planning on taking the Surveying test late (I have been doing some inconsistent studying since Jan) in March but won't take the Seismic until Q2...

Is it possible to schedule Surveying in Q1 and Seismic in Q2 right now and not have to pay any re-test fees?

If not, do I proceed to schedule Surveying for late March and, at the same time, apply for re-testing for Q2 for Seismic? (I know they say not to apply for re-testing until you've received your results but in this case I wouldn't have even taken 1 of the tests)

Thank you for your time!
 

CaliPE

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Hello All,

I think I'm in a bit of a unique situation here. I was approved to take the CA exams for this current quarter (Jan-March 2021) but due to Covid situations I haven't had a chance to set a concrete date to schedule tests until now Feb 22, 2021. I was originally going to take the tests early in the quarter like advised to have a nice buffer to re-apply if needed for next quarter. I am still planning on taking the Surveying test late (I have been doing some inconsistent studying since Jan) in March but won't take the Seismic until Q2...

Is it possible to schedule Surveying in Q1 and Seismic in Q2 right now and not have to pay any re-test fees?

If not, do I proceed to schedule Surveying for late March and, at the same time, apply for re-testing for Q2 for Seismic? (I know they say not to apply for re-testing until you've received your results but in this case I wouldn't have even taken 1 of the tests)

Thank you for your time!
Because your eligibility to schedule the exams is for Quarter 1, you cannot schedule your Seismic exam in Quarter 2. I would suggest scheduling/taking both exams in Quarter 1. If you do not sit for your Seismic exam in Quarter 1, you forfeit your exam fees and have to wait until your eligibility expires (i.e., end of March) before you could submit a Re-Examination Form. The earliest you could submit your forms would be April and you would be eligible for Quarter 3.
 

Assistant to the RM

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Hello all - I tried giving this its own thread, but I got an error message from the site, due to "spam or inappropriate content". Possibly new members with zero posts aren't allowed to start new threads? I’ll try to keep it to the point, I’ve already vented elsewhere...

I had a computer issue at my seismic exam at Prometric this morning, in Iowa. Everything went well with check-in, candidate confirmation and the tutorial.

Two of the first four problems had images that tried to load in a small pop-up window, but they timed out and would not even allow me to skip the question. The administrators tried putting me at three different computers, with the same result each time. The administrator called the Prometric helpdesk, who said “this is a known issue” and there was a workaround to try (from their end). The workaround didn’t work, and I was unable to complete the exam. I left the testing center not having taken the exam but with a “helpdesk ticket #” and I was told that Prometric would contact me about rescheduling.

My questions for this board - has anybody had this happen, or is this a “known issue”? I would think if that was the case, there would be other posts about it.
Taking the CA exams in Iowa is not very common, the Prometric folks told me I was the first one since their computers were “upgraded” last fall. I assume the testing centers and computer systems are the same in every state, but if this was a common issue in CA where many people are taking this exam, the “known issue” would be resolved or they would put a hold on scheduling the exam?

Another question, possibly for @CAPLS - I will see if I can get any resolution with Prometric first, if I can get the Seismic exam rescheduled next week (and it works) I think I will be ok. I have the Surveying exam scheduled one month from today, and haven’t started preparing for it yet, but I will attempt to cram it in three weeks. After that there are only three days left in Q1, so I’m not sure what will happen… The tech support that the Prometric administrator had on speakerphone said “California knows about this issue” when I asked, but I’m not sure I believe that. What would be my best course of action if I need to contact the CA board? Would I contact the BPELSG evaluator at the email address listed for my last name, under Application Status? Should I be proactive with this now, or give it a day to see if there is a resolution with Prometric?

The exam/rescheduling fees are the least of my concerns, I can get that handled later. I just want to make sure I don’t get marked as a “no show” for failing to take the exams this quarter.

Thanks in advance for any help/insight anyone can provide.
 

CAPLS

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Yes, reach out to the California Board to let them know this. Computer issues happen from time to time (as it does in any office/home setting), but they do monitor this and want to know so that it is resolved in a satisfactory manner.

[email protected] is an excellent email address to send this too.
916-999-3644 is the Board's General Exam Unit number. Staff monitors voicemail on this line.
 

Assistant to the RM

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Just wanted to post an update to my situation - I got a quick response to my email to [email protected], they have had a few reports of this issue, just in the past week. They are working with Prometric to resolve the issue and will work with me to reschedule once they get it resolved. It didn't sound like it has happened a lot, so I don't want to cause any panic, but at least I know it wasn't just me! I’m also glad to be dealing with BPELSG to resolve this instead of Prometric, who will respond to my inquiry “within 5-7 business days”.

I hope to get an update this week as to when the issue may be resolved and what my rescheduling option(s) may be. At this point I think I’m going to shift my focus to prepare for the surveying exam at the end of the month as originally planned. If I am able to reschedule the seismic exam quickly, I would still feel prepared for it. Otherwise if I can get an extension into Q2 for seismic, I will just need to do a quick refresh at that time.

One thing I thought about over the weekend, I wonder if the board would even allow me to reschedule this quarter if the issue is resolved quickly. I saw four total questions on the exam, two text-only concept questions that I knew the answers to, and two with images that failed to load, but I would’ve known how to solve if the images had loaded. But people who fail the exam early in the quarter aren’t allowed to re-attempt the same quarter, I assume they change the questions quarterly so re-takers aren’t taking the same exam?

I’ll post another update once it’s completely resolved, hope no one else has to go through this!
 

Assistant to the RM

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I am working on my study plan for the surveying exam at the end of next month. I have read through this entire thread, and see that the surveying test plan was changed in 2018. I’m not sure exactly what changed in 2018, but I do have the current test plan from the board’s website.

For study materials, I currently have “Surveying Principles - 2nd Edition (Cuomo), “Civil Surveying Practice Exams (Boniface and Monroe), and “120 Solved Surveying Problems” (Boniface). These look like they came from a PPI package deal, and were loaned to me by a coworker who took the exams ~10 years ago, definitely the old test plan. I do see the board still lists the 2nd Edition Cuomo book in their current reference list.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to whether these older references and practice problems will still suffice? I am also considering an online course, either EET or CPESR. I like the idea of having something that I know is current, and having practice CBT exams included is a definite plus. Just wondering anyone’s thoughts on those older references and practice tests with the current test plan. Even if I supplemented EET or CPESR with the older practice tests, I wouldn’t want to waste my short amount of prep time on irrelevant material. Thanks.
 
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I am working on my study plan for the surveying exam at the end of next month. I have read through this entire thread, and see that the surveying test plan was changed in 2018. I’m not sure exactly what changed in 2018, but I do have the current test plan from the board’s website.

For study materials, I currently have “Surveying Principles - 2nd Edition (Cuomo), “Civil Surveying Practice Exams (Boniface and Monroe), and “120 Solved Surveying Problems” (Boniface). These look like they came from a PPI package deal, and were loaned to me by a coworker who took the exams ~10 years ago, definitely the old test plan. I do see the board still lists the 2nd Edition Cuomo book in their current reference list.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to whether these older references and practice problems will still suffice? I am also considering an online course, either EET or CPESR. I like the idea of having something that I know is current, and having practice CBT exams included is a definite plus. Just wondering anyone’s thoughts on those older references and practice tests with the current test plan. Even if I supplemented EET or CPESR with the older practice tests, I wouldn’t want to waste my short amount of prep time on irrelevant material. Thanks.
In my opinion and personal experience, I would stick with problems and online courses that match the current test plan.
 

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