October 2021 Post Exam Wait Period - Welcome to the Suck

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Welcome to the October 2021 PE post-exam wait period. This is it: the final Suck. The end of an era. After this session no PE candidate will have to wait months for their results.* Every PE exam will now be held in the CBT format and examinees will get their results the Wednesday of the following week. Future generations of PEs won't know the pain and suffering of this century long rite of passage. But you kind reader, you'll know what the struggle was real, that waiting was the hardest part of the process. You may be young now but eventually you'll be the greybeard of the office that can tell the youngens how easy they have it.

*Of course SE-candidates will still have to wait weeks for their results for another couple years. But they've already gone through the PE process and they make the big bucks so they can deal with it ;)

A few years ago @Dexman PE PMP wrote a famous post (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:


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.
 
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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. 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.


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.

PE Release History

I started to make a spreadsheet of the release dates. While going to previous maps for the dates, I got to the April 2014 forum and found out someone else has done the same thing. I have a much more simpler spreadsheet than the one previously posted in the forum below...
engineerboards.com

engineerboards.com

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.
 
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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.

engineerboards.com


EB Mafia



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 last week?
 
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steel

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The final suck is here!

Real talk, though, my exam site was incredibly small this time around. I'm in Pittsburgh, and what usually encompasses three rooms in the convention center was actually a single room with about 20 people. No more. Did any other cities have this happen last week? I feel a lot of people waited to take it CBT next year.

Either way, I feel much more confident than when I took it in April, despite how I also feel the exam was much more difficult this time. Schrodinger's Test, I guess.
 

DoctorWho-PE

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The final suck is here!

Real talk, though, my exam site was incredibly small this time around. I'm in Pittsburgh, and what usually encompasses three rooms in the convention center was actually a single room with about 20 people. No more. Did any other cities have this happen last week? I feel a lot of people waited to take it CBT next year.

Either way, I feel much more confident than when I took it in April, despite how I also feel the exam was much more difficult this time. Schrodinger's Test, I guess.
There were 26 (well 25, with 1 no show) at my test site last week. 23 PE, 2 SE. I am not sure what the breakdown is between the Thursday group and the Friday Group. There is one test location in the state of Iowa.
 

steel

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There were 26 (well 25, with 1 no show) at my test site last week. 23 PE, 2 SE. I am not sure what the breakdown is between the Thursday group and the Friday Group. There is one test location in the state of Iowa.
I actually forgot half the disciplines take it Thursday, so that day may have had more. Still, I suspected about 2-3 times as many examinees on my day as we actually had. Still sucked though. Told us to show up at 6:45, but legally couldn't start the test until 7:55. Then when the first session ended at 11:55, they said they weren't allowed to start the afternoon session until 1:30! I won't complain cause I finished the morning session at 11:30, so I had a nice 2 hour block to sit in my car on my phone and eat my italian sub! Perfect fuel for the afternoon!
 

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I've been a member here since I first started preparing for the exam. I suffered through 2 WTTS periods, but I wasn't really an active member on here until my second WTTS, which was October 2019. After hanging out in the WTTS and Spam threads, I got suckered into the mafia game (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!) and been super active on here since. The group of friends I've made on here really helped me through several really tough times, from career crises, Covid, and PE exam stuff in general. I can definitely be sincere when I say, "I know what you're going through!", to those going through WTTS.
 
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I am not sure what the breakdown is between the Thursday group and the Friday Group.
I never saw anything official but a year ago I looked at the historic examinee numbers for the CE exams being offered on Thursday and Friday and it looked like they tried to make it a 50/50 split between the two days. Logistically and logically it makes the most sense too. I could be wrong though.

my exam site was incredibly small this time around. I'm in Pittsburgh, and what usually encompasses three rooms in the convention center was actually a single room with about 20 people. No more. Did any other cities have this happen last week?
Those are some tiny numbers for Western PA. OOC what were the numbers for the April Exam? Did you take any exams pre-Covid? If so what were those numbers like?

There were 26 (well 25, with 1 no show) at my test site last week. 23 PE, 2 SE.
What were the Iowa numbers like pre-covid?

I'm trying to get an idea of how diminished the examinee load was this session.

I feel a lot of people waited to take it CBT next year.
^It's probably this^
If I were a first time CE taker then I would wait wait until January to take the CBT exam. Not because the exam will have different content or questions, (and too be clear: it's the same exam!) but because they studying method is too different. It's only a 3 month difference and it makes sense to start studying only with the PDF instead of using an assortment of books.
However if I were a repeat taker then I would have certainly tried to for the final P&P exam. Having already invested enough time in hardcopy studying I might as well keep up the momentum and study with the "traditional methods" and be damn sure to pass it.
 

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Those are some tiny numbers for Western PA. OOC what were the numbers for the April Exam? Did you take any exams pre-Covid? If so what were those numbers like?

I remember for the April 2021 exam, there were at least three rooms full, about 20 people each, and that was even with the numbers split between Thursday and Friday. This time around it was identical circumstances (COVID-19 rampant) and still a third of the size on Friday, probably similar for Thursday.

^It's probably this^
If I were a first time CE taker then I would wait wait until January to take the CBT exam. Not because the exam will have different content or questions, (and too be clear: it's the same exam!) but because they studying method is too different. It's only a 3 month difference and it makes sense to start studying only with the PDF instead of using an assortment of books.
However if I were a repeat taker then I would have certainly tried to for the final P&P exam. Having already invested enough time in hardcopy studying I might as well keep up the momentum and study with the "traditional methods" and be damn sure to pass it.

That was my reasoning for taking it again this time, since I was a repeat taker. I'm going to love seeing the updated pass rates, cause I bet we're gonna see a very low number under "first time takers"
 
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This time around it was identical circumstances (COVID-19 rampant) and still a third of the size on Friday, probably similar for Thursday.

, cause I bet we're gonna see a very low number under "first time takers"
I'd have to agree with you there. A quick back-of-the-envelope calc is about a third of exam takers are repeat takers. Might be a coincidence.
 

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I never saw anything official but a year ago I looked at the historic examinee numbers for the CE exams being offered on Thursday and Friday and it looked like they tried to make it a 50/50 split between the two days. Logistically and logically it makes the most sense too. I could be wrong though.


Those are some tiny numbers for Western PA. OOC what were the numbers for the April Exam? Did you take any exams pre-Covid? If so what were those numbers like?


What were the Iowa numbers like pre-covid?

I'm trying to get an idea of how diminished the examinee load was this session.


^It's probably this^
If I were a first time CE taker then I would wait wait until January to take the CBT exam. Not because the exam will have different content or questions, (and too be clear: it's the same exam!) but because they studying method is too different. It's only a 3 month difference and it makes sense to start studying only with the PDF instead of using an assortment of books.
However if I were a repeat taker then I would have certainly tried to for the final P&P exam. Having already invested enough time in hardcopy studying I might as well keep up the momentum and study with the "traditional methods" and be damn sure to pass it.
First Covid exam I have no idea how many total there were, they had us broken into very small groups, there were 6 PE and 2 SE in my group day 1, and 9 PE and 3 SE for day 2, but there were several rooms of testers. Last April there were maybe 20 PE 2/3 SE each day, and we were all in the same room, I think?
Compared to 2017 when I took the PE, when all tests were still P&P, there were probably 60-70 PE and 2-3 SE (they were so far away, I have no idea how many people were actually over there.)
 

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This was my 2nd dance with the Civil Construction PE, I personally found the breadth section to be much easier this go around, and the Depth was comparable if not a bit easier. I did however change my study practices pretty drastically after my first attempt.

On my first attempt, I did a PPI prep course and pretty much followed that course and did 2 practice tests including one mock exam before test day. I had other friends of mine that did this same method and took the Water Resources and Transportation depths and passed. I feel like I had to be pretty close to the cut-off score but it's obviously impossible to say for sure. The passing rate for Construction was crazy low for April 2021 in comparison to the other Civil disciplines, it was even lower than Structural.

This time around I purchased/borrowed around 10 practice exams and other problem books and worked through all of them. Also did a mock Exam two weeks prior to the test date to gauge my preparation which I passed easily (I used the PE Prepared breadth and depth practice tests for this as I used the NCEES one last time and found it to be unrealistically easy compared to the actual exam). I didn't use any particular prep course this go around, I believed the foundation from my previous course was strong enough to build upon by just doing copious amounts of problems.

If I somehow do not pass this time I am not sure how to prepare any better for the next time. I really do not want to waste all this investment on my resources as the exam is moving to CBT closed book.
 
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Compared to 2017 when I took the PE, when all tests were still P&P, there were probably 60-70 PE and 2-3 SE (they were so far away, I have no idea how many people were actually over there.)
If there were 25 on Friday, then its not too different from 2017.

Assume 75 examinees in 2017, and roughly 2/3 were CE's gets your 50 people. 50 people split over two days is 25.

@RBHeadge PE
None of your links in the original post / replies work for me. I think the url format changed when the site moved to the new platform.
Thanks. I fixed a few of the links and deleted a few others that weren't worth digging up anymore.
 
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The morning portion wasn't bad at all. I felt really great about the morning. I think I at least got 75% for that. Then the afternoon portion for structural was so brutal. I'm sure I failed again. But I feel closer to passing for this exam than the other 2 I've taken. I keep thinking MAYBE I got enough lucky guesses to pass....but probably not. But the wait for results this time will probably be the hardest for me lol. I hope it doesn't take as long to get results as it took this spring and Oct 2019
 
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April 2021 results were out in 40 days. Totally normal. Very few times was it less than 40 days and those were always for the April exams. You won't see an October release in <40 days.

It'll never be as bad at Oct 2019 again. Full stop. The Control Systems cut score meeting wasn't scheduled until the last minute and that delayed the release for everyone. There aren't any cut score meetings required this administration so they're aren't going to be any excessive delays.

I think we're looking at a more normal October release schedule.
 

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I think we're looking at a more normal October release schedule.
Honestly, if other sites were as lite as mine, I'd imagine a *slightly* quicker turnaround. April release was June 2 for the first day of results. That's 40 days. 35 days from Oct 22 is the week of thanksgiving, so add an extra week. So I'd say anywhere from 47-50 days for these results. Dec 8-10 is my unofficial guess. At least that's when I'm going to start panicking.
 

civilrobot PE etc etc

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I've been a member here since I first started preparing for the exam. I suffered through 2 WTTS periods, but I wasn't really an active member on here until my second WTTS, which was October 2019. After hanging out in the WTTS and Spam threads, I got suckered into the mafia game (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!) and been super active on here since. The group of friends I've made on here really helped me through several really tough times, from career crises, Covid, and PE exam stuff in general. I can definitely be sincere when I say, "I know what you're going through!", to those going through WTTS.
Same here (minus mafia because I got snuffed out like the first day). I'm pretty sure I passed the second time solely because of this board. I received the biggest push of encouragement and help from you guys. I'm here to pay it forward and makes this WTTS the best and final one of this long tradition.
 

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