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Fw: Feedback on this years 12% SE Exam pass rate???

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Over the last five years the pass scores for the SE exams are as follows:

1998 - 26 %  passed with a cut score of 54%  (71 of  272 passed)
1999 - 40%   passed with a cut score of 51%   (98 of 246 passed)
2000 - 23%   passed with a cut score of 49.7%  (51 of 226 passed)
2001 - 12%   passed with a cut score of  48.4%  (34 of 247 passed)

In response to your comment regarding the basis for establishing the cut
score.  I do not think we can assume any specific standards are followed
related to the cut score.  To my knowledge this information is not public
and there appears to be far too much variability in the cut score, pass rate
and exam format.

There is a huge difference in test difficulty from 1999  and 2001.  During
these two years nearly the same number of applicants took the test.  If we
assume a relatively even distribution of ability between the two years, it
is safe to state that the 2001 test was unreasonably difficult.  The variety
of response to the test itself indicates that the test is not prepared in a
judicious manner.  In other words from 1998 to 2000, it is highly likely
that 25-45% of the examinees scored at least 50% on the test (regardless of
the cut score) which is NOT TRUE for 2001! It is likely that only 10% (less
than half the 25%-45% mentioned above) scored 50%.

I would agree that the cut score appears arbitrary as the pass rates/cut
scores do not appear related for the previous years.  I could not find a
source for the historical pass rates beyond 5 years, but I think the test
format (introduction of multiple choice questions) and private nature of the
exam questions voids broader comparison. By private nature, past exam
questions are not available to the public.

 It appears that SEAONC member CE is stating that too few individuals passed
the test.  I agree.  All of the examinees have been screened by the work
experience portion of the applicantion.  Are only 12% of those taking the
test this year competent in the eyes of the board.  Past performance on
tests indicates this number should AT LEAST be around 20%, which is still
lower than all other engineering disciplines (25%-55%).

The cut score should be lowered.  Applicants should not be penalized because
the test was was poorly prepared and unreasonably difficult.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Paul Feather" <pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net>
> To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 10:56 AM
> Subject: Re: Feedback on this years 12% SE Exam pass rate???
>
>
> > I am not sure what you are asking.  Are you saying the cut score should
> have
> > remained at 50%? or are you saying the cut rate should have been lower?
> > Review the SE pass rates for the last ten years and you will see that
the
> > low is around 10% and the high is around 30%.
> >
> > In what way did the board arbitrarily lower the cut score?  Cut scores
> have
> > ranged from 45% to 55% over the past several years.  I am sure there is
> some
> > statistical basis for the decision on where to set the cut score.  What
> > basis do you have for saying the board has arbitrarily decided anything,
> and
> > in what way are you saying this affects the public safety?
> >
> > Paul Feather
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "D W" <lateral(--nospam--at)engineer.com>
> > To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> > Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 10:09 AM
> > Subject: Feedback on this years 12% SE Exam pass rate???
> >
> >
> > > The pass rate on the 2001 SE was only 12%.
> > > This is nearly half of the previous lowest pass rate of 22%
considering
> > results available for the last 5 years. It appears that the Board
prepared
> > an extremely difficult test that included new formats and problem
> groupings.
> > In order to achieve a 12% pass rate the Board arbitrarily lowered the
> > standard cut score from 50% to 48%. Does this seem reasonable? Is it
fair
> > for test takers to question the rationale of the Board?
> > >
> > > Pass rates of 25% to 60% are common for the other engineering
> disciplines.
> > The purpose of these tests is also to ensure the public safety. Do you
> > believe that the arbitrary decision by the Board ensures public safety?
> > >
> > > SEAONC Member, CE
> > > --
> > >
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