January 2021 Post Exam Wait Period - Welcome to the Suck

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Nucflash
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Welcome to the January 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.
 

RBHeadge PE

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.


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.


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 yesterday?
 

RBHeadge PE

Nucflash
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Examinees who took the January 2021 exam are unable to take the April 2021 offering. Our best guess is, similar to Oct 2020, NCEES will delay the release of the January results until after the April registration deadline of March 4th 15:00 eastern. So the results will not come until after that date/time.
 

LyceeFruit PE

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Also, getting the survey means NOTHING. Just that you got a survey.

And do not harass the chat box people.
 

NJHHEngineer

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Board went pretty quiet leading up to this offering...I suppose the lesser # of examinees is the reason?
 

TerryR21

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Two of my super young colleagues took the test yesterday. I'll be sure to ask how they're feeling about the test next week when I see them.
 

RBHeadge PE

Nucflash
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Board went pretty quiet leading up to this offering...I suppose the lesser # of examinees is the reason?
That's probably a big reason for it. It's a special administration only for civils, and it's in limited cities. My WAG is that it's likely less than 2k people, compared to ~15k for a normal offering.

That reminds me. The exams were only offered in:
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
For map making purposes, do we have anyone who took that exam who have came from a different State?
 

NJHHEngineer

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That's probably a big reason for it. It's a special administration only for civils, and it's in limited cities. My WAG is that it's likely less than 2k people, compared to ~15k for a normal offering.

That reminds me. The exams were only offered in:
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
For map making purposes, do we have anyone who took that exam who have came from a different State?
True - I suspect it may have only been "locals" to the exam sites. I remember getting that email and being like "umm...so you want me to drive 3+ hours to Hartford, CT (closest to me), the night before, stay in a hotel in an unfamiliar city, and then wake up and take the biggest exam of my life?" No thanks...And to top it off, I recall the email saying something to the tune of "This list may change as other locations are procured...but you have like 2 weeks to make the decision to take the exam in January"
 

Blockchain_PE

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I took it. It is not as bad your mind telling you. The best thing was small crowd and full hotel conference desk to splatter your reference materials.
 

NJHHEngineer

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I took it. It is not as bad your mind telling you. The best thing was small crowd and full hotel conference desk to splatter your reference materials.
I guess that works. I sucked it up and took the October. I was originally registered for April. I couldn't bear pushing it off another few months.
 

dsp002

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Also, getting the survey means NOTHING. Just that you got a survey.

And do not harass the chat box people.
This is true.
I got the survey and passed.
I did not complete it in time. I clicked the link 9 days from the time I received it, but the link said the survey was not available anymore. I emailed NCEES about this and they said that the link lasted 7 days, but that I was free to give a review on the exam via email.
I did just that in about 400 words including 8/10 specific questions I remembered. I was very stressed because of the 'get survey = fail' legend, but it proved not true in this case.

I still think we should troll with birdies and puppies...imho

Good luck to everyone that took the Exam this last time!!!
 
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That's probably a big reason for it. It's a special administration only for civils, and it's in limited cities. My WAG is that it's likely less than 2k people, compared to ~15k for a normal offering.

That reminds me. The exams were only offered in:
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
For map making purposes, do we have anyone who took that exam who have came from a different State?
I am in Ga and took it in NC.
 
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How does everyone feel that took it in January? The morning went ok for me and the afternoon felt like a dumpster fire. To be specific the first 15 questions or so of the afternoon seemed really rough and then i was trying to play catch up the whole time. Remember, not to talk details when you answer.
 

CE_2_CE

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Welcome to the January 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.
One worry I had was remembering if I signed the PM exam booklet. I remember signing the AM, but couldn't remember signing the PM.
I passed Oct. 2020.

Later on, it will be a fun story to tell future engineers. "Back in my day...we took the exam with a face mask and had to wait months for the results. You kids these days can take it in an "x" of time and get the results in seconds." Ha ha ha.
 
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This is my 4th time taking the PE and waiting. I haven't decided if this board being so quite and slow is better or worse than the previous 3 times.

I did see something new this last time that I hadn't the previous 3 times. A individual was asked to leave the testing center after having his phone on him in the exam. Its what nightmares are made of. You think you left it in the car but actually left it in a bag you bring in the test. The proctors where understanding that it was 350 bucks he was loosing....Clearly they didn't understand it was really about the 400 hrs he had just spent studying.
 

NJHHEngineer

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I did see something new this last time that I hadn't the previous 3 times. A individual was asked to leave the testing center after having his phone on him in the exam. Its what nightmares are made of. You think you left it in the car but actually left it in a bag you bring in the test. The proctors where understanding that it was 350 bucks he was loosing....Clearly they didn't understand it was really about the 400 hrs he had just spent studying.
THAAAAT SUCKS!....when I took it in October they made everyone raise their hands if they had a phone on them. Then made everyone get up and walk to the front of the room and put their phones on a little "stage" they had set up in the front of the room.
 
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