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RE: codifying engineering judgement, not possible

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Jake,

It is no different here in Michigan...the State of Michigan does not offer
the option/choice to take the Structural I (a friend of mine was
mistakenly allowed to take it by the testing company that ran the tests
for Michigan and came pretty close to having to re-take the exam but the
Civil exam).  Thus, in Michigan I am "technically" able to do full civil
engineering services (even though I don't and won't) since I am a civil
engineer in their eyes.  There are quite a few stats that operate in this
fashion (i.e. only permit you to take the civil exam).

I must agree that I am not particularly a fan of the switch from the "old"
system (half multiple guess and half short answer) to the all multiple
guess system.  Someone who works closely with NCEES as a state's SE board
member mentioned that the test makers are able to adjust difficultly of 
the all multiple guess test such that the same level of "difficulty"
exists as before the change (i.e. same percentage of people pass/fail).  I
am sure that this is true on face value but to me the thing that cannot be
changed is that on an all multiple guess test you cannot adjust for the
fact that someone who is just a good test taker can have an increased
chance of passing without really knowing the material.  In otherwords, I
believe that the percentage of people who can pass the test on "luck" is
higher for an all multiple guess test than for a test with some short
answer problems.

OK, enough of being on the soapbox for one day (at least for now <grin>).

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Fri, 16 Aug 2002, Jake Watson wrote:

> As someone that the PPE exam last year, I tried to take the SE I exam and
> wasn't allowed.  My state DOPL told me I must take the Civil exam to get the
> Civil license.  Go figure - I would have much rather spent time studying
> concrete than open channel flow.  That said, both the SE I exam and Civil
> exams quite frankly are pretty easy now.  All multiple choice problems that
> generally can be answered without writing anything down.  There are
> exceptions, maybe 10% would require you write an equation to solve it.
> 
> Jake Watson, P.E.
> Salt Lake City, UT
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Haan, Scott M. [mailto:HaanSM(--nospam--at)ci.anchorage.ak.us]
> Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 12:33 PM
> To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> Subject: RE: codifying engineering judgement, not possible
> 
> 
> I agree, I thought the structural problems were easier and studied mostly
> for them because that is all I did at work and I enjoy structural
> engineering [isn't that sick], but maybe everyone on the list who has said
> this [or thought it] are the exception proving the rule.  How many people
> doing structural work that went for civil problems on the exam would be on
> this list?  Maybe those people could not care less about staying on top of
> structural issues.
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
> Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 9:52 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: codifying engineering judgement, not possible
> 
> 
> I actually perferred to do the structural problems on the civil PE
> exam...I couldn't do a waste water problem (no would want to) even if I
> was knee deep in $hit (sorry, could help the pun).  And I thought that the
> Structural I exam was way easier for me than the Civil exam, mainly
> because it was testing me on things that I did day to day (I don't do
> horizontal curves or channel flow, but I do design reinforced concrete
> beams, etc).
> 
> HTH,
> 
> Scott
> Ypsilanti, MI
> 
> 
> On Fri, 16 Aug 2002, Albert Meyer wrote:
> 
> > Scott,
> >
> > I took the PE exam when a portion of it was still essay.  I was told by
> more
> > than a few engineers, including one of my college professors to take the
> > Civil PE exam instead of Structural I because structural problems are
> > generally more complex and take more time to solve.  It wasn't that I
> > couldn't solve the structural problems, it is a simple fact that if
> > arbitrarily on average it takes 2 hours to solve a structural problem and
> 1
> > hour to solve a civil problem the odds are not in your favor to
> successfully
> > complete a timed exam in a stressful environment.
> >
> > For my own edification I subsequently took and passed the Structural I
> exam,
> > am in the process of completing the Structural II exam and I also intend
> to
> > take the Western Zone (California) structural exam.  I also am one who
> > believes continuing education is necessary and I regularly attend seminars
> > for this purpose even though most of the states in which I am registered
> > don't require continuing education credits.
> >
> > Albert J. Meyer, Jr., P.E.
> > Senior Project Engineer
> > Cagley, Harman and Associates
> > Structural Engineers / Parking Consultants
> > 1015 West Ninth Avenue
> > King of Prussia PA 19406-1222
> > ameyer(--nospam--at)cagleyharman.com
> > (610) 337-3360
> > (610) 337-3359 Fax
> > www.cagleyharman.com
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Haan, Scott M. [mailto:HaanSM(--nospam--at)ci.anchorage.ak.us]
> > Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 11:38 AM
> > To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> > Subject: RE: codifying engineering judgement, not possible
> >
> >
> > <snip> I am sorry but I know people practicing structural engineering that
> > have told me they went for the civil problems on the exam because the
> > structural problems are too hard.<snip>
> >
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