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October 2020 Post Exam Wait Period - Welcome to the Suck


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Welcome to the post October 2020 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.

 

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 other websites like  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.

 

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 last week?

Edited by RBHeadge PE
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Anyone else have an odd test morning? I scoped out the test venue the day before, and planned for the next morning. I arrived on test day without issue, and was 4th in line. Then it began...

I partially agree. I think you're right and the exams have mostly been graded at this point and they are sitting on them. Without any evidence other than knowing how some of our software works I belie

The way 2020 is going, I figure 82/80.

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It was my first time, and to be honest,  i feel like i was misguided by the official NCEES sample exam that was way easier than the real PE. Am i the only one???

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Nah, you're not the only one, Rom. I took Civil-Geotech for the 2nd time, and while feeling better than the previous time I took it, this one had many questions that I literally muttered "WTF" after reading. 

 

A lot of times, you do end up doing better than what you thought you did. I know I did the first time around, even though I didn't pass. 

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31 minutes ago, Rom said:

It was my first time, and to be honest,  i feel like i was misguided by the official NCEES sample exam that was way easier than the real PE. Am i the only one???

Nope. This was my third time, and while I think I was prepared enough this round, I agree that there are always curveball questions on the exam that are not on par with a lot of practice exams.  It's hard to know what to expect. 

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Was it me or were there a lot of concept questions that are either a hit or miss? Basically questions that no matter how prepared you think you are, it is a matter of finding the right paragraph in your textbooks quick enough. 

Anyhow, time to be patient and wait... mid-December, right?

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Took the Geotech PM and have been swaying between Phase 1 and Phase 4 ever since the evening of the exam. I know I missed a ton of problems, but hoping to get just enough to pass. I probably got mid-20's correct on the AM and upper-20's on the PM.

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23 minutes ago, MadamPirate PE said:
1 hour ago, martinv said:

 

Anyhow, time to be patient and wait... mid-December, right?

ish?

more or less.

I would expect Pennsylvania, Georgia, and *maybe* Colorado to be mid-December.  

There aren't any new exams this administration so there won't be any cut score meetings to delay things. Nor do I think that COVID or the larger number of exam takers to delay things either.

 

8 minutes ago, NatDog said:

Took the Geotech PM and have been swaying between Phase 1 and Phase 4 ever since the evening of the exam. 

You're still in phase zero. ;)

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2 hours ago, martinv said:

Was it me or were there a lot of concept questions that are either a hit or miss? Basically questions that no matter how prepared you think you are, it is a matter of finding the right paragraph in your textbooks quick enough. 

Anyhow, time to be patient and wait... mid-December, right?

Results being released is 100% dependent on if the spam thread reaches its goal. Also, the more you spam, the more likely you are to pass. There isn't a new spam thread for this exam cycle yet, but there should be soon. If the wrong person creates the spam thread, the goal will not be reached. I know, it sounds weird and perhaps outlandish, but it's the truth. Just ask @matt267 PE.

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2 hours ago, martinv said:

Anyhow, time to be patient and wait... mid-December, right?

Sure.

🙂😕😢😭

Yeah.

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I really hope I can stay in phase 0 for as long as possible, just relieved that it's over after what ended up being a 10 month journey, with my April exam getting canceled. I would love to just stay unbothered about the result and just continue to enjoy my free time. 

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6 minutes ago, rebecca1 said:

I really hope I can stay in phase 0 for as long as possible, just relieved that it's over after what ended up being a 10 month journey, with my April exam getting canceled. I would love to just stay unbothered about the result and just continue to enjoy my free time. 

If you're ever getting agitated, the Spam thread is a great way to blow off steam!

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2 hours ago, leggo PE said:

Results being released is 100% dependent on if the spam thread reaches its goal. Also, the more you spam, the more likely you are to pass.

Listen to your elders, kids. @leggo PE will not lead you astray.

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7 minutes ago, jean15paul_PE said:

Welcome to the suck everyone.

My advice for dealing with it.

  • Eat good food
  • Have a drink (or a few)
  • Have sex
  • Take a nap
  • Repeat until exam results are released. 

:D 

I recommend chocolate icecream. To replace all of the above bullet points.

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I’m sorry everyone, I can’t help it. I have to do it! Despite better judgment, I can’t help but fall into temptation! I’m going to break Futile Exercise C, a forum favourite.

I’m putting $5 good ol’ American dollars on:

Tuesday December 1, 2020

being the release date for the scores!

Anyone want to back me up on this?

Edited by 5 to 9
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37 minutes ago, 5 to 9 said:

I’m sorry everyone, I can’t help it. I have to do it! Despite better judgment, I can’t help but fall into temptation! I’m going to break Futile Exercise C, a forum favourite.

I’m putting $5 good ol’ American dollars on:

Tuesday December 1, 2020

being the release date for the scores!

Anyone want to back me up on this?

Too soon lol, I’m guessing December 7th, 2020

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If not CBT, I’m saying December 18. Because that’s my day off. So I won’t need to see the thread implode when it happens. 😂

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27 minutes ago, JayKay PE said:

If not CBT, I’m saying December 18. Because that’s my day off. So I won’t need to see the thread implode when it happens. 😂

That is where my money is for the SE. Or Thereabouts.

But, the exam was a week earlier this year. Although in 2017, the results came out December 4th, and the test was later than last year's. So Ionno.

So basically, no clue.

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I think the AM was very easy but very tricky only because of the more concept questions. However the other problems (non-concepts) were simple calcs. The concept questions make it really hard to think you did right or wrong. To be honest the Concept Questions were not in any of the notes, I used School of PE notes, the concepts questions were not in any of those notes, but most of them were familiar more of practical ones. You could make a good guess on most of them based on your field experience. 

I took Construction in the PM, I think it was easier than when I took in October 2019. There were only three to four that were really hard, other than that they were much easier this time. But still I don't know how the results would be. It was my 2nd time, I think I did very much better than the 1st time, I hope I pass this time. 

Time to wait, stay motivated, be positive and drink green tea with dates. 💙

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I propose a new Phase 7, @RBHeadge PE.  Frantically checking NCEES, even though you've already passed/have stamped things, terrified that they're somehow going to delete your exam and it was all a farce and you need to re-sit for the exam because you're not really an engineer:

image.png.afe875f80ac8f218b59c883c024129b5.png

*existential dread rises as I wait for this to be modified somehow*

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47 minutes ago, JayKay PE said:

I propose a new Phase 7, @RBHeadge PE.  Frantically checking NCEES, even though you've already passed/have stamped things, terrified that they're somehow going to delete your exam and it was all a farce and you need to re-sit for the exam because you're not really an engineer:

image.png.afe875f80ac8f218b59c883c024129b5.png

*existential dread rises as I wait for this to be modified somehow*

This.  I am in Phase 7.

 

NCEES.jpg

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14 hours ago, 5 to 9 said:

I’m sorry everyone, I can’t help it. I have to do it! Despite better judgment, I can’t help but fall into temptation! I’m going to break Futile Exercise C, a forum favourite.

I’m putting $5 good ol’ American dollars on:

Tuesday December 1, 2020

being the release date for the scores!

Anyone want to back me up on this?

@Will.I.Am PE is that you?

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