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

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nart

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Anyone know how long it takes for the board to respond to the retest applications? I was notified I failed seismic on June 10th and the next day put the retest application in the mail. It’s July 3rd today and have not seen a response. I checked the bank and they cashed the check. That must be a good sign.
Oh shoot, really? You have to resubmit the application to retake? Do you need to gather references again?

I don't want to have to go through that again as my application process took forever to get approval. I took the surveying exam 3 weeks ago and didn't do well. This application process is depressing.
 

nart

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I'm pretty sure the "70% pass rate" is related to the Laws and Regulations exam. And NOT the two Civil Seismic Principles or Engineering Surveying exams.

The Laws and Regulations exam is the one the applicant takes, through the Connect system, shortly after submitting the new application.
I have a question related to the Laws and Regulations exam. I submitted my application together with Laws and Regulation as a package in paper format and was approved for the exams. Just finished taking Surveying exam. I did not see anything related to Laws and Regulation exam through the Connect system. Does that mean that I have passed the Laws and Regulations exam?
 

nart

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Something I wish I knew before I signed up for my test dates was that you find out your test scores the same time as everybody else who took it that month. Knowing that, I would have taken one test in the first month of the quarter, and the 2nd test in the 2nd, that way by the 3rd month I will have found out if I needed to sign up for reexamination. Now, if I don't pass in the 3rd month, I'll find out my results in the 1st month of the next quarter, meaning I'll have to wait a full 4 months until I can retake... and by then the material won't be fresh anymore.
If you don't pass in the 3rd month, you would have to resubmit application and it would take a while for approval. Wouldn't this affect your plan of taking one exam in 1st month and another exam in 2nd month?

I am also trying to figure out when would be the best time in each quarter to take the exam. I have seismic scheduled end of 2nd quarter (end of June) and I am considering rescheduling it to end of May. Not sure if anyone recommends this strategy?
 

nart

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i used Hiner's cheatsheet the most during the exam
I bough Hiner's review book from someone else on this forum. However, I don't see there's a cheatsheet. Anyone knows if the cheatsheet is helpful? If it is helpful then I might need to purchase the workbook again straight from Hiner to get the cheatsheet.
 

Knewdles

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Oh shoot, really? You have to resubmit the application to retake? Do you need to gather references again?

I don't want to have to go through that again as my application process took forever to get approval. I took the surveying exam 3 weeks ago and didn't do well. This application process is depressing.
I'm not sure if it's the same process of not passing, but I ended up not taking the seismic exam in the quarter that I initially got approved to take it in. I just had to wait for my original testing quarter to end and pay another fee to test again.

I have a question related to the Laws and Regulations exam. I submitted my application together with Laws and Regulation as a package in paper format and was approved for the exams. Just finished taking Surveying exam. I did not see anything related to Laws and Regulation exam through the Connect system. Does that mean that I have passed the Laws and Regulations exam?
If you submitted the application and R&R exam and then got approved to take the state-specific tests, then that should mean that you passed the R&R.

I bough Hiner's review book from someone else on this forum. However, I don't see there's a cheatsheet. Anyone knows if the cheatsheet is helpful? If it is helpful then I might need to purchase the workbook again straight from Hiner to get the cheatsheet.
I believe Hiner's cheatsheet only comes with the course. I bought the book directly from the website and it did not come with a cheatsheet.
 

CaliPE

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I have a question related to the Laws and Regulations exam. I submitted my application together with Laws and Regulation as a package in paper format and was approved for the exams. Just finished taking Surveying exam. I did not see anything related to Laws and Regulation exam through the Connect system. Does that mean that I have passed the Laws and Regulations exam?
If you submitted a paper application, you will continue as a legacy applicant and will not need to use Connect for anything except scheduling the state exams. If you did not pass the Laws & Rules exam, your Evaluator will notify you.
 

CaliPE

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Oh shoot, really? You have to resubmit the application to retake? Do you need to gather references again?

I don't want to have to go through that again as my application process took forever to get approval. I took the surveying exam 3 weeks ago and didn't do well. This application process is depressing.
If you do not pass one or both of the state exams, you do not need to submit a new application for licensure to receive authorization to test again. You will submit a ReExam Request through the BPELSG Connect system: Re-Examination Information - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.
 

CaliPE

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If you don't pass in the 3rd month, you would have to resubmit application and it would take a while for approval. Wouldn't this affect your plan of taking one exam in 1st month and another exam in 2nd month?

I am also trying to figure out when would be the best time in each quarter to take the exam. I have seismic scheduled end of 2nd quarter (end of June) and I am considering rescheduling it to end of May. Not sure if anyone recommends this strategy?
Results are sent out the month following when you sat for the exam. If you do not pass, you will need to submit a ReExam Request through BPELSG Connect. The testing quarters have remained the same; however, it is now the applicant’s responsibility to log into their BPELSG Connect account and select the quarter they’d like to sit before that quarter is no longer available.

If you take the Seismic Principles exam in June 2022, you will receive your results in July. If you do not pass and log into your BPELSG Connect account in Quarter 3 (July-Sept), you will have the next two quarters available for retesting (i.e., Quarter 4 2022 and Quarter 1 2023). If you take the exam in May 2022, you will receive your results in June and, if you submit a ReExam Request in BPELSG Connect before July 1, will have Quarter 3 and Quarter 4 2022 available for retesting.

All of this info is on the Board website: Re-Examination Information - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists
 

squaretaper LIT AF PE

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Still waiting for my evaluation to be completed and get approval to take the two exams. Mostly anxious because I have a momentary lull at work so this would be the optimal time to study for the seismic and survey exams BEFORE my summer construction craziness starts. Submitted application 3/2/2022, so I know I'm still within the evaluation window. No action needed, just needed to blow off steam here!
Dangit, civil application got flagged for a deficiency - missing transcript. I called prior to submitting my application and was told that I didn't need to since I sent one already for my initial mechanical license and it should be on file. Buuut, since I applied prior to the rollout of the Connect platform, it's sitting in an archive somewhere so it was best to send a transcript again. $11 bucks for a PDF! No action needed, just blowing off steam again. :LOL:
 

CaliPE

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Dangit, civil application got flagged for a deficiency - missing transcript. I called prior to submitting my application and was told that I didn't need to since I sent one already for my initial mechanical license and it should be on file. Buuut, since I applied prior to the rollout of the Connect platform, it's sitting in an archive somewhere so it was best to send a transcript again. $11 bucks for a PDF! No action needed, just blowing off steam again. :LOL:
Another option for those needing to request official transcripts for multiple applications - request that your university/college send an official transcript to your MyNCEES account. State licensing boards can access the transcripts in your MyNCEES account.
 

squaretaper LIT AF PE

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Another option for those needing to request official transcripts for multiple applications - request that your university/college send an official transcript to your MyNCEES account. State licensing boards can access the transcripts in your MyNCEES account.
Dang, NCEES already has all my transcripts. BPELSG didn't give me the option for them to access my transcipts in MyNCEES. Oh well...
 

janenel

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I passed the 8-hr exam (water) back in 2018 and passed the seismic exam in 2021, and I just passed the surveying in 2022. I wonder when will I receive my PE license number? Based on the handout, it says "license numbers are issued every 2 weeks for eligible applicants who have passed the required e"
 

ELB_NJ22

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Dang, NCEES already has all my transcripts. BPELSG didn't give me the option for them to access my transcipts in MyNCEES. Oh well...

When I completed my application with BPELSG online there was a check box in the qualifications section that said "Have you completed a NCEES verification request?" and I requested that NCEES send my record to CA. All of my transcripts, license verifications and references were sent (and received) by BPELSG.
 

CAPLS

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Dang, NCEES already has all my transcripts. BPELSG didn't give me the option for them to access my transcipts in MyNCEES. Oh well...
Note that the only way for the California Board to view your transcripts through the NCEES system is if you have an NCEES Record and if you authorize NCEES to send the Record to the California Board.
 

CAPLS

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Note that the only way for the California Board to view your transcripts through the NCEES system is if you have an NCEES Record and if you authorize NCEES to send the Record to the California Board.
Update: I've recently learned that transcripts are now available in the NCEES system to boards in more ways than just through the Record process. Too many things changing and difficult to keep up.
 

squaretaper LIT AF PE

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Update: I've recently learned that transcripts are now available in the NCEES system to boards in more ways than just through the Record process. Too many things changing and difficult to keep up.
Thank you for the update, it would have been handy to have been given that option when the deficiency was flagged in Connect. The language made it seem like official transcripts from the school was the only option. $11 for a PDF? I want my $11 back! 😅
 

Clover886

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I submitted my application on 02/18/2022 and the application has been under technical review since 05/05. Q2 is almost ending and I want to know if I will be able to receive approval for testing in Q3? I emailed the Board awhile back and did not receive any response.
 

ELB_NJ22

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I am in the same boat, and I suspect it is a crowded boat. I asked if they were considering letting us test while the review is underway, but got no response. We have a large potential project that will probably be lost.

Sigh
 

NorCalEng

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Dangit, civil application got flagged for a deficiency - missing transcript. I called prior to submitting my application and was told that I didn't need to since I sent one already for my initial mechanical license and it should be on file. Buuut, since I applied prior to the rollout of the Connect platform, it's sitting in an archive somewhere so it was best to send a transcript again. $11 bucks for a PDF! No action needed, just blowing off steam again. :LOL:
Thanks for the heads up. Similar situation as you. Because of what you just said, I went ahead and submitted transcripts again. I am not giving them any excuse to push out my application.
 

PassPE

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PASS PE links are updated for 2022 (for Dr. Mansour):

Seismic CBT Course

Surveying CBT Course


I've been meaning to do this for a while now..... I thought a thread like this might be useful for future CA-Survey and CA-Seismic examinees. :)

[COLOR= rgb(0, 0, 205)]If anyone has additional or updated information for this post, please let me know at any time so we can keep this thread current. I'll edit this post #1 as I receive new information.[/COLOR]

Costs:

The application fee to the CA state board, BPELSG, is $125 (for either the initial or re-file application), and then $150 each for surveying and/or seismic (so, $275 for one exam, $425 for two). Prometric is the official CBT site for the surveying exam. Prometric charges $65 each for surveying and seismic. If you want to change your test date within 30 days of your scheduled test, you will be charged $40. (Fees associated with the 8-hr NCEES exam and fingerprinting are separate and not discussed here)

Useful Exam Links and Info:

- Link to the California State Licensing Board, BPELSG, homepage: Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

- Direct link to BPELSG's Survey and Seismic examination information page, including the Test Plans and the state's recommended reference lists: Examination Reference Materials - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

- Link to Prometric's website: Prometric

- Both exams are CBT (computer-based testing). You can take the exam at any Prometric test center (even outside of CA). Your application is submitted to BPELSG and your information is relayed to Prometric. Prometric will send you an Authorization to Test (ATT) form about a month prior to the testing window. You can then go on Prometric's site and sign up for the test(s) (you'll pay Prometric at this time).

- The CBT testing windows are offered two times per year - one in the spring and one in the fall at or around the NCEES 8-hr exam dates. The windows for testing are typically about 10 days before the NCEES 8-hr to about 10 days after. This can be helpful for those taking more than one exam... you can space the CA specific exams from the national exam. It is planned that, starting in 2018, the CA-Survey and CA-Seismic exams will be offered year-round. Link to the exam schedule: http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/applicants/exam_schedule.shtml

- Both exams must be passed, separately, in addition to the separate NCEES 8-hr exam, in order to be licensed as a Civil PE in California. You may pass one at a time, you do not need to pass all at once.

- Each exam has 55 multiple choice questions of equal weight.

- Each exam is 2.5 hours long.

- You are not limited to the same calculator list required for the NCEES PE exams, for these state exams. Pretty much any calculator without a "QWERTY" keyboard is allowed. TI-89, HP-48, etc. See 'The Board's Current Calculator Policy' here: Calculator Policies for National and State-Specific Examinations - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

- The exams are open book / open notes (however, I believe you are limited to whatever can fit in one box).

- Historically, about 40% of test-takers pass. Examination Statistics - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

- Historically, a score of about 55% (+ or -) is needed to pass. Examination Statistics - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

- After you take the exam(s). The wait time for results is about 6 to 8 weeks (+ or -). Results are released around the same time BPELSG releases the NCEES 8-hr results. (The Board plans to reduce the Survey and Seismic results wait time to about 4 to 6 weeks in the near future) When results are ready, two e-mails are sent out: one with a password (applicant ID #) which states that results will be e-mailed within 24 hours of this e-mail, the second e-mail contains the password protected file. A failing diagnostic report lists the exam categories and the competency level you earned in that category (Deficient, Marginal, and Proficient).

- Study/Preparation hours. For each of the survey and seismic exams, plan on dedicating about 50% of the time you'd dedicate to the 8hr exam. If the national 8hr exam requires 300 hrs as they say, figure on about 150 +/- 50 total study/prep hours for each of the CA-Survey and CA-Seismic exams. The exact hours will depend on your strengths. For instance, if you are a Structural person, you'll have an advantage with Seismic. If you are a Land Development or roadway person, you'll have an advantage with Survey.

- Study/Preparation material. See below for links to study/review/preparation resources. In general, your core review material should be a very good workbook for each CA-Survey and CA-Seismic. Along with the workbook, try to get your hands on as many practice problems/sample exams as you can. The workbook and supplemental problems alone is enough to successfully prepare and pass the exams. If you are taking a review class, the class should provide all the material you need. To be completely honest, you most certainly can be very successful on these exams without obtaining the long list of references listed on the Board's website. Of all the references listed on the Board's site, the two most worth consideration are the CBC and the ASCE/SEI 7 for the Seismic exam. But, depending on the workbook you buy or the class you take, you may be provided all of the important excerpts from these books so you may not need to buy them separately. It should be noted that BPELSG writes their exam questions from the content in these listed references. But, again, your workbook and/or class notes should adequately cover all test topics.

[SIZE= 10px][COLOR= rgb(34, 34, 34)]- Prometric Test Centers: Small cubicles that each fit one computer, monitor, and mouse, leaving room for maybe one book on each side. Any remaining reference books have to stay in your box next to your chair (only one box worth of references allowed). Sometimes the lighting is limited. You might hear other examinees typing away as they may be taking different exams (but Prometric does provide noise cancelling headphones). Before entering the test room, you will be asked to turn your pockets inside out - nothing is allowed in the testing room. Everything else goes in a locker. If you bring a jacket, you must wear it, or put it in your locker. You will be provided a Prometric pencil and blank paper – both will be surrendered after the exam. If you need anything out of your locker during the exam, or if you need to use the restroom, you’ll raise your hand and the person watching will come over to help (your 2.5 hour clock does not stop when you get up). There is an optional tutorial before the exam begins which does not dig into your 2.5 hours. There is an optional computer-based survey asking about your experience, offered to you after your 2.5 hour exam is over.

You are permitted to visit a Prometric test center before your scheduled exam date and view the facility's layout and discuss the CBT procedures with staff. You may also try out the computers for an additional fee. You are welcome to show up early to your scheduled exam. [/COLOR]
[/SIZE]

Study/Reference Material and Class Information (no particular order):

EET Seismic class, book, and CBT practice simulation exam: http://www.eet-california.com/seismic_class_info

EET Survey: http://www.eetusa.com/classes/ca-specific/surveying

PPI Survey: http://ppi2pass.com/shop/pe-exam/ca-civil-surveying-exam

PPI Seismic: http://ppi2pass.com/shop/pe-exam/ca-civil-seismic-exam

Civil Survey Workshop: http://surveyingreview.com/

Seismic Design Review: http://www.seismicreview.com/

PassPE Survey and Seismic: https://www.passpe.com/seismic-cbt-course

Civil PE Survey Review: http://www.civilpesurveyingreview.com/

Caltrans LS/LSIT Video Exam Preparation Course Workbook (free!): http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/row/landsurveys/LSITWorkbook/WorkbookTOC.html

(This can be useful. A lot (but not all) of the material found in the workbook and videos includes topics found on the CA-Survey test plan.)

NCEES FS Reference Handbook: http://ncees.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/fs_references_1013.pdf

(Could come in handy for the CA-Survey exam. Some useful conversions and formulas)

California Building Code: http://www.bsc.ca.gov/codes.aspx (you'll need Volume 2 or Part 2)

(Free, but I think each section needs to be downloaded individually) (The California Building Code (CBC) and the International Building Code (IBC), in regard to the Seismic Exam, are essentially the same. You may use either)

[updated January 2017]
 
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