Just took the CBT Civil Construction PE exam in TX

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JRB

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What an improvement over the paper exams!
Yeah, I said it.

I took the P&P in April 2021 and October 2021 for water resources and I failed them both magnificently.
I switched to Construction because of my background, in retrospect I'm glad I did.

The nuts and bolts of the exam:
The NCEES reference guide is available in a separate tab, and all the referenced codes for concrete, steel, OSHA, etc are available in a separate tab from that.
Ergo, you have the test in one side of the screen and the ref guide/codes on a separate part of the screen. I could not find a way to have both the reference guide and the codes open at the same time.
There is a line tool for cross referencing tables and graphs, but mine would not work correctly. I guess we just don't have the technology yet.🙃

The exam is not easy, but it's not supposed to be. It is VERY similar to the P&P in how the questions were organized and the types of questions.
However, my experience with the P&P was that it wasn't made on the same planet as the NCEES practice exam guide. The two were not even close.
The CBT, on the other hand, makes the NCEES guide almost useful.
There's some deviation in the questions and question types, but the underpinnings of the question topics and methodology are there (if that makes any sense).
Some questions can be solved by reading and/or interpolating data from the reference guide/s, but many of the questions rely on you to know how to work the problem.

The "morning session" was rough and although I know it's organized at random, it had mostly CE breadth questions, or so it seemed. Very similar to the P&P in content overview.
I knew at least 20 of them out of the gate, I was pretty sure about my answers on another 10 questions, and couldn't have answered the remaining 10 with a gun to my head. However, I was starting to get brain fried at that point, and by pacing myself to 10 questions per hour, I was able to comfortably answer all 41 questions before taking a break and clearing my head.
I walked out of the test center and spent my break drinking water, eating protein bars, and generally just questioning my life choices and career path, as I usually do during the PE exam lunch break. After about 35 minutes, I assumed that my prayers for a meteor strike or a plague of giant locusts were going to go unanswered, so I went back to take the rest of the exam since my backup plan had apparently failed.

The "afternoon session" was a breeze by comparison. Almost all the questions were construction related and many leaned heavily on the OSHA and ASPCA AISC guides. I answered the first twenty questions in about an hour and wound up finishing the remaining 19 questions almost an hour ahead of schedule. I went back and checked my work on all of my answers and clocked out with an hour to spare.


Altogether, I rate the PE Construction CBT an 8.5/10, would take again (but only if I have to).
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
 

LAMEngineer

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Congrats on taking the exam. I will be sitting for the construction depth soon as well. Glad to hear some feedback, very valuable. Any guidance on AISC topics you encountered would be helpful as well, (but dont mention specific question details please).

Let us know how the results turned out!
 

JRB

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Congrats on taking the exam. I will be sitting for the construction depth soon as well. Glad to hear some feedback, very valuable. Any guidance on AISC topics you encountered would be helpful as well, (but dont mention specific question details please).

Let us know how the results turned out!

Thank you!
It was a difficult enough exam that by the time I left the building, I was so brain fried that I couldn't tell you exact questions or details from the exam even if I wanted to. 🙂

As to the codes:
LOTS of focus on ASCE 37. There were even a couple of questions that referenced ASCE37, but you had to find the answer elsewhere.
Several questions that focus specifically on OSHA, many of which you have to dig for, or do some interpolation of data/results.
 

LAMEngineer

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Very cool!

Did you feel the search tool was useful, or were you more relying on your knowledge of the bookmarks & general page location of a given topic?

I have not had the opportunity to review ASCE 37-14, was the bookmark & general chapter layout pretty intuitive?
 

JRB

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The search tool is very useful, almost necessary. I used it constantly in the exam. I had reviewed the codes very little before the exam, thus if you take the time to read up in advance, it may not be as crucial.
The code book layout was the guide/textbook taken directly from exact industry sources.
 
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Pra4surf1

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What an improvement over the paper exams!
Yeah, I said it.

I took the P&P in April 2021 and October 2021 for water resources and I failed them both magnificently.
I switched to Construction because of my background, in retrospect I'm glad I did.

The nuts and bolts of the exam:
The NCEES reference guide is available in a separate tab, and all the referenced codes for concrete, steel, OSHA, etc are available in a separate tab from that.
Ergo, you have the test in one side of the screen and the ref guide/codes on a separate part of the screen. I could not find a way to have both the reference guide and the codes open at the same time.
There is a line tool for cross referencing tables and graphs, but mine would not work correctly. I guess we just don't have the technology yet.🙃

The exam is not easy, but it's not supposed to be. It is VERY similar to the P&P in how the questions were organized and the types of questions.
However, my experience with the P&P was that it wasn't made on the same planet as the NCEES practice exam guide. The two were not even close.
The CBT, on the other hand, makes the NCEES guide almost useful.
There's some deviation in the questions and question types, but the underpinnings of the question topics and methodology are there (if that makes any sense).
Some questions can be solved by reading and/or interpolating data from the reference guide/s, but many of the questions rely on you to know how to work the problem.

The "morning session" was rough and although I know it's organized at random, it had mostly CE breadth questions, or so it seemed. Very similar to the P&P in content overview.
I knew at least 20 of them out of the gate, I was pretty sure about my answers on another 10 questions, and couldn't have answered the remaining 10 with a gun to my head. However, I was starting to get brain fried at that point, and by pacing myself to 10 questions per hour, I was able to comfortably answer all 41 questions before taking a break and clearing my head.
I walked out of the test center and spent my break drinking water, eating protein bars, and generally just questioning my life choices and career path, as I usually do during the PE exam lunch break. After about 35 minutes, I assumed that my prayers for a meteor strike or a plague of giant locusts were going to go unanswered, so I went back to take the rest of the exam since my backup plan had apparently failed.

The "afternoon session" was a breeze by comparison. Almost all the questions were construction related and many leaned heavily on the OSHA and ASPCA AISC guides. I answered the first twenty questions in about an hour and wound up finishing the remaining 19 questions almost an hour ahead of schedule. I went back and checked my work on all of my answers and clocked out with an hour to spare.


Altogether, I rate the PE Construction CBT an 8.5/10, would take again (but only if I have to).
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
Thanks for the feedback hope you got it this time!! Please keep us posted.
 

JRB

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Well, despite feeling pretty good about the exam, I failed again.
The diagnostic is probably the most meaningless thing I've ever seen.
You don't even know how many questions you answered incorrectly in a given category.
That was the third one, so now I have to request permission to retest.
 

Pra4surf1

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Well, despite feeling pretty good about the exam, I failed again.
The diagnostic is probably the most meaningless thing I've ever seen.
You don't even know how many questions you answered incorrectly in a given category.
That was the third one, so now I have to request permission to retest.
Sorry to hear you didn’t make it. Does the diagnostic show a bar graph in comparison to average passing score? Does Texas require that after 3 attempts?
 
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I am sorry you didn't make it. I just took my test yesterday and it was my 3rd attempt. I am scared that I have failed and worried on what I have to do to retake it. Since I am in TX too, I heard we have to wait to gain an additional year of experience or take 6 hours of college classes. I don't know how true that is.
 

KOKOMO777

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I am from Texas as we. You have to wait 1 year since your last exam to apply. Alternative is to have a different PE to sign off or verify your additional work experience.
 
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I am from Texas as we. You have to wait 1 year since your last exam to apply. Alternative is to have a different PE to sign off or verify your additional work experience.
I want to make sure I am understanding it correctly, an engineer can sign off on your additional experience and you will not have to wait a year to retake it?
 

KOKOMO777

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You will need to wait 1 year from your last attempt. For example if your last attempt was 4-12-22, you will not be allowed to re-apply until 5-12-23. A different licensed PE will need to sign off your SER and Reference Statement form. You will have to go through the same process like before.
 

pgheng

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That's weird because Texas has decoupled the exam so you can take exam with no references. I know because I did it.
 

JRB

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A coworker passed on his fourth attempt, he had to apply for his PE in order to be allowed to test the fourth time.
 

pgheng

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Does your coworker have an ncees record with 4 years experience? If so, he can test with Maine.
 

JRB

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Does your coworker have an ncees record with 4 years experience? If so, he can test with Maine.
He already passed in Texas. He had to request permission from the Texas board of engineers before he was allowed to test the fourth time.
 

pgheng

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Maine just decoupled, so he can test for Maine with ncees record. No experience or education. Then when he gets experience, he can apply for license in tx with test credit from Maine.
 

pgheng

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Texas eit certs expire so he should test soon. Maine has no limit on attempts- 3 times a year, one time per calendar quarter.
 

Pra4surf1

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Well the failed run continues for me as well. 3rd attempt.
 
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