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SE Licensing in Washington State, Exam Results

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Here?s an excerpt from the minutes of the August 22 meeting of the Exam Qualification Committee of the Washington State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

?3. Examination Issues
3.1 Locally Prepared Exams
3.1.1 Structural III ? Washington?

The minimum passing score session was held on August 8th. Ms. Duevel (1 of 2 SE?s on the 7 member Board of Registration) attended the meeting and participated in the process.?

The recommended minimum passing score is 21.4 points out of 40. This score resulted in 6 out of 67 examinees succeeding for a 9% pass rate overall.?

This is the lowest minimum passing score ever set for this exam and an extremely low pass percentage. It was thought by some that the earthquake might have had some impact on (the examinees) preparation. Two of the passing engineer specialize in bridges. Eleven bridge engineers sat for the exam.?

The unfair SE examination procedure in Washington results largely from SEAW?s aggressive involvement in the examination process. This benefits the licensed SE?s in Washington, especially if they have one of those examinees working for them. It creates an obvious inequity for unlicensed engineering graduates, Washington-licensed Civil engineers and any SE from another state who would like an SE in Washington. The process includes: 1) Already having a professional engineer?s license in another discipline and two years of structural experience. 2) If you don?t make the 1 in 10 odds of passing the examination this year you can always wait another year to take it again. 3) No one has ever had a failing score changed to a passing score by appealing the grading of the Washington SE examination written by Mr. Huston and his SEAW committee. In fact you will end up with a lower score than the original. They can do this with impunity because the rules governing engineering examination appeals in Washington do not allow a 2nd appeal to the Board. If you want to make a 2nd appeal of Washington SE exam results have your attorney and expert witness ready because you must plead the case in Superior Court. Don?t forget to ask the Board to retain your SE exam work because otherwise they will shred it soon after the review period has finished.

So much for a national standard for structural engineering licensing.

Send any comments to this list serve and:
1) George Twiss, Director of the Washington State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors at:
2) Edwin Huston, Chairman of the Structural Engineers Association of Washington Exam Writing Committee at:

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