The future of the California seismic & survey exams?

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calypso699

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I sat for the seismic and survey exams today in Del Mar, CA. While we were waiting for the whole survey issue to be worked out, I was chatting with the proctor for my row when he told me "this is the last time California will be giving the seismic and survey exams. NCEES will be doing them from now on." I asked him to elaborate and he said "that's just what they told us."

Has anyone heard anything about this? Does this mean NCEES will be writing the exam in addition to administering it?

 

ptatohed

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See page 4.

http://www.pels.ca.g...spring_2012.pdf

I believe this may also answer the question as to what will be done about the 'postponed' survey test. Or perhaps they will 'postpone' implementation of CBT in fear of another fiasco....which is the appropriate word for what happened last week.

Thanks breich. The newsletter also mentions a new fee structure.

http://www.pels.ca.gov/about_us/notice_rev_4-25-11.pdf

Looks like the exam fees are proposed to change from the current $275 for one or all three of the 8-hr, Survey, Seismic exams to $110 for the NCEES 8-hr and $110 for each of the State Survey / Seismic. Also, the FE application fee is to go from $100 to $40 and the PE license 2-yr renewal fee to go from $125 to $110.

 

passpepasspe

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wow. i m shocked. I am only used to prices going up. :juggle:

too bad i have already spent 1000 for the 4 times i took it.

 

bongowiza

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Does this mean to take all three: seismic+survey+8-hour is 110*3=330? so I don't see decrease in fees there in my opinion. Unless the 110 is for both Seismic+Survey...anybody knows this

 

ptatohed

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Does this mean to take all three: seismic+survey+8-hour is 110*3=330? so I don't see decrease in fees there in my opinion. Unless the 110 is for both Seismic+Survey...anybody knows this
You're right, there would be no decrease in fees (there would be an increase in fact) for the person signing up for all 3 exams. Where the decrease would be is when someone is only taking 1 or 2 of the 3 exams (this is very common). They'd pay $110 or $220 instead of $275. In my case, I studied for and passed one exam very 6 months. I paid $275 x 3 = $825 (ouch). With the proposed fee structure (and using me as an example), I could have paid $110 + $110 + $110 = $330.

 

monkeywinky

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Anybody check out the new fee structure yet? It's broken up into application fees and test administration fees.

8 hr = $125 app + $275 admin

Seismic/survey = $150 app + $59 admin / each

Comes out to over $800 for a first timer...

Does anyone know if just retaking, do you still need to pay the "application fees" or just the admin fees?

Thanks

Reference: http://www.pels.ca.gov/applicants/fee_schedule_new.shtml

 

CAPLS

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"Does anyone know if just retaking, do you still need to pay the "application fees" or just the admin fees?"

Yes, you still need to pay the Board's application fee of $125 when refiling for sitting again.

 

ptatohed

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"Does anyone know if just retaking, do you still need to pay the "application fees" or just the admin fees?"

Yes, you still need to pay the Board's application fee of $125 when refiling for sitting again.
Wow, this is crazy. I can maybe (maybe) see $125 for a first time applicant because of the review/approval process. But $125 just to reapply? How is this justified? This new fee structure is way too steep. I'm confused by this whole increase anyway. What happened to the proposed reasonable/fair $110 per exam? http://www.pels.ca.gov/about_us/notice_rev_4-25-11.pdf With all due respect Ric, this fee increase is unfairly excessive.

 

passpepasspe

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"Does anyone know if just retaking, do you still need to pay the "application fees" or just the admin fees?"

Yes, you still need to pay the Board's application fee of $125 when refiling for sitting again.
what about the admin fee????

 

CAPLS

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ptatohed - The $110 is part of what we originally proposed, but Department of Finance recommended different numbers based on the budgetary goals established by the current administration.

I'm not going to sugar coat it with you guys. You are intelligent individuals who understand financial situations. It's actually pretty basic as most financial aspects generally are...money coming in needs to cover costs going out. The fees you are all seeing today are EXACTLY the costs that the Board used to pay with regards to national exams, development of our state exams and administration to all of you. The costs associated with the old way of administering exams was dramatically more than the revenues received in the form of the old $275 or $100 fee that applicants were paying. The $125 application fee was determined by evaluating all costs associated with processing the applications, including those refile applications for candidates having to retake exams. The $150 state exam fee was determined by evaluating all of the costs associated with developing our state exams, which also took into account all the standardization that we have implemented over the last couple of years in an effort to more efficiently produce more appropriate practice-level, professional exams. Moving to CBT allows the Board to use it's resources more efficiently towards development of better exams rather than paying for 5-6 large fairground facilities, 500 proctors, tables, chairs, shipping, etc.

We realize the costs that each and every one of you are required to spend. But realize this, that $807.60 that each civil engineer applicant will be required to ultimately pay is exactly what each applicant cost the Board when receiving $275.

One more thing to think about...the average civil engineer applicant takes almost 3 separate exam administrations to pass all required exams for licensure in California. That totals $825. Yes, there are a few that pass all three exams the first time, but those are a minority. And there are quite a few that sit for 8-10 times...or more! In that vein, the costs are not that out of line.

Passpepasspe - I assume you mean the CBT administration fee that each candidate will be required to pay the CBT vendor. That is simply a hard cost for seat time that up until now, the Board has absorbed. The amount of that fee is directly related to the length of the exam...longer exams cost more. As the CBT administration matures and we receive more stastical reports on how our exams are performing, we may be able to produce a more cost effective exam...shorter in length...that measures the candidates minimal competency in better ways. You'll see over the next few years how the industry will begin to veer away from referring to the exams as the "8 hour or 2.5 hour" exam. It will become more about the candidate demonstrating minimum competency, nothing more, nothing less.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions. This is the same information that we have reported during our Board meetings and during outreach efforts when we speak in front of professional groups.

 

ptatohed

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Thank so much Ric for the detailed response. It's very appreciated. I do understand the need to ensure that the fees cover expenses. The new fees just seems excessively high to me. Additionally, it's a shockingly large jump. Perhaps the increases should have been phased in, starting years ago. Taking the Seis/Surv out of it and looking at just the 8-hour - is $265 + $125 = $390 on par with other states? It seems high to me, but I don't know.

 

cdframe

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http://www.pels.ca.gov/applicants/fee_schedule_new.shtml#exam_fees

So to clear things up for first-time applicants who are going for the full 8-hour exam plus Seismic and Surveying:

$125 for application + $150 seismic + $150 surveying = $425 is due WITH the application

$265 for 8-hour exam + $56.80 seismic admin. + $56.80 surveying admin. = $378.60 due later through the NCEES website

Total: $803.60

Is this correct? I am preparing my initial application for the first time and do not want to be discredited for writing the check for the wrong things.

 

CAPLS

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cdframe - I can appreciate you wanting clarification on this and have no problem helping you out. You are very close:

"$125 for application + $150 seismic + $150 surveying = $425 is due WITH the application" - Yes, payable to the Board (Department of Consumer Affairs)

"$265 for 8-hour exam + $56.80 seismic admin. + $56.80 surveying admin. = $378.60 due later through the NCEES website" - Not quite. Only the $265 for the national PE exam is payable directly to NCEES during the open registration period.

"...$56.80 seismic admin. + $56.80 surveying admin..." - State exam administration fee payable directly to Prometric during the scheduling process.

Hope this helps.

 

JustAnotherCE

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I would like additional clarification... Previously we paid $275 for all 3 exams. Now that all the costs are split up, will a refile applicant that has not passed any of the exams be required to pay for all 3 exams? Or would they be able to for example, take just the 1 of the exam (i.e. survey or seismic)? ($125 app + $150 exam + $60 prometric fee?)

 

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