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

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CAPLS

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I agree on the timing. I got really good at learning how to take that test- not surveying. If it was really important, they should have a practical where you had to do an actual traverse, and calculate something. The logistics of this seem hard however but the process of applying and getting your license is so archaic. I now have my license and see it as a form of hazing- although if you can get through the process does mean that you are detailed enough to design/build something or have enough sense not to if you are unsure. My two cents. An archaic application process to say the least in this era of docusign, paypal, etc.
Don't disagree that application process needs updating. Have you seen this the Board's June 16, 2021 announcement on their website Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists ?

  • ANNOUNCED JUNE 16, 2021 - The Board is excited to introduce the third phase of its new application and licensing portal designed to promote effective connection between the Board and its applicants and license holders. Initial functionality allows for overall application management by applicants for Professional Engineer licenses in the disciplines of agricultural, chemical, control system, electrical, fire protection, industrial, mechanical, metallurgical, nuclear, and petroleum engineering, encompassing the initial user profile creation and application submittal with direct connection with Board staff, through to the issuance of the PE license. The Board looks forward to extending this functionality to include applications for the remaining license types in the near future. Please click on the following URL for more information, Professional Engineer Application - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
 

KevinChez

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I received my Surveying Exam results yesterday (I took the test June 18th) and found out I passed. This was my 4th attempt. What hurt me on the previous tests was the time. This go around I skipped what I didn't know and came back to it. I actually had time to answer all the questions. I didn't know all of them but at least I could attempt them. The previous tests I probably guessed on 20 of them without even having time to read them.
 

rockb78

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I'm curious as to when you sat for the CA Engineering Surveying exam that gave you a reason for thinking the content is archaic and what modern surveying methods are not being tested on? I realize that certain technological tools have evolved to the point of almost not needing a person there, or at best case, just needing someone to personally standby so the equipment is not stolen. But how would the Board test someone on being competent to push a button?

GPS? - Can't test civil engineer applicants on the use of GPS because by its very nature, GPS takes into account the figure and shape of the earth's surface...which is land surveying and outside the scope of the surveying authority given to the civil engineers.

Drones? - this is simply photogrammetry using a vehicle with a remote pilot. Board does not test on software/hardware.

Scanners - just topographic surveying and Board doesn't test on software/hardware.

The laws only allow civil engineers to perform construction staking and topographic surveys. Nothing more. When you remove the technological advances mentioned above, what else is there?

I do agree that error analysis does come into play with all these. Assuming you've passed this exam and now licensed/living in California...why not help write better questions by signing up to work on the exams? Link to do that is Wanted: Expert Consultants to Assist with Examination Development - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists The Board is always looking for more experts to work on the exams.
Hey there,

I sense I may have offended you in my critique and hopefully that is not the case. To answer your question I passed the exam this year.

I think you are sort of proving the point that we have emerging technology and that the traditional forms of testing don't match what a lot of engineers now use. Again, it seems to me that there is a focus on passing a test and making the problems hard, which would be fair if the problems matched what engineers actually do in 2021.

I will certainly consider helping the board.
 

CAPLS

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No, there was no offense taken. Just always trying to fully understand what was stated and offering another perspective. Think it would be great if you have a chance to work on the exam.

And in that vein, something else to consider. When these laws came into effect, it was shortly after/congruent with the law changes which eliminated civil engineers having the full authority to practice land surveying (1982). A lot has changed and in my opinion, it is a greater majority of civil engineers now who do NOT survey than at that time, regardless of the tools used...and maybe the time is upon the professional communities to recognize that and propose to the legislature to eliminate this authority, which would subsequently eliminate the requirement for civil engineer applicants to take the Engineering Surveying exam?
 

singrasj

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Any idea when to expect the results? I took my surveying exam on July 20. Based on my previous experience/attempts, the exam results come before or on the 10th of the Month.
 

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