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Re: SE Tests

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Andrew,

The California SE exam is referred to as the Western States exam.  It has
always been a two day 16 hour event with an all or nothing passing basis, no
way you can pass in "parts".  Yes the exam is quite difficult and there is a
distinct time factor.  Basically if you have to look for the sections and
info you require you will not have time, you need to know the sections and
info you require.  The passing percentage is typically low, both the
required percentage to pass and the actual percentage of people passing ( I
believe it was 9% passing when I took the exam).  The required score ends up
low because few people have the time to actually thoroughly complete all the
required sections, which can be demoralizing during the exam.

The Washington SE III exam came into being when Washington switched from the
Western States exam to the NCEES format.  The State board did not feel the
NCEES SE I and II format combined was rigorous enough to be comparable to
the Western States exam and created the SE III to make up the difference.  I
believe the move to the NCEES format was to become more compatible with the
rest of the country.  There has been talk of California moving to the NCEES
format similar to Washington, but I have not looked at the requirements for
a while and do not know where the current policy stands.


Paul Feather PE, SE
pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net
www.SE-Solutions.net
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andrew Kester" <akester(--nospam--at)bbma.com>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 6:52 AM
Subject: SE Tests


> Michael:
>
> Sorry to hear aboot your frustrations up der in Minnesota, oh yah. NCEES
sounds like a bunch of real hosers, yah. But what do you expect from the
land of Goldern Gophers and Vikings :)..... (Just some friendly ribbing from
a former cheesehead, I have family in Minnesota too...)
>
> In Florida, amazingly, for the SE I , they still have enough common sense
enough to let us use any calculator without QWERT alpha pads. So I brought
my trusty HP 48G which is only good to me for the stack method, not because
I know how to program it. Also, it is what I have been using for a number of
years so I am quick with it. I don't see a big advantage to a programmable
calculator in an open book test, but then again I am not to fluent with
those capabilities of my calculator so maybe I am missing out.
>
> Also, the NCEES SE I exam sample book that I ordered was amazingly similar
and helpful for the actual exam. I brought the UBC 97 but never had to crack
it once, since any seismic or wind loads were pretty much supplied to us.
Also the SE Ref. Manual by Williams was extremely helpful, and was a real
time saver.
>
> So my one complaint about the NCEES test, which is really a licensing
issue, is that bridge and buildings should be separate exams. Besides an
occasional pedestrian bridge, I do not know many engineers are building
structural consultants who also design bridges , or vice versa. I would
think separate exams would be a logical solution. Since the test was about
20% bridge, I think the real disadvantage would be for bridge engineers,
having to learn or relearn masonry, wood, and basic building stuff....
>
>  However, in fairness to NCEES, the bridge problems were not so bad even
for an engineer who picked up AASHTO for the first time a couple of months
ago. Also, the seismic wasn't too bad either which is good for us wind guys
down here in FL. But I am glad I was forced to get into some seismic for
when we do projects in low seismic areas, which is pretty much anywhere but
FL nowadays...
>
> So which states/jurisdictions require a SE II and SE III? I know Scott
tried to explain it to me once before but my brain was fried from taking the
test I think. So does CA have their own SE test completely unrelated to
NCEES? One of my previous bosses took the CA SE exam a couple of times back
in the early 80s, and it was amazingly difficult, and you were very short on
time. It was all show your work and get partial credit. I saw some of his
example tests, and it made my brain hurt.
>
> So, finally, off topic, can anyone beat Oklahoma this year? I am FSU alumn
and I don't think I want to see us play them in New Orleans, could be
ugly... Figure some of you CA/ USC guys would have an opinion. Hope you guys
are ok out there with all the fires.
>
> Andrew Kester, EI
> Longwood, FL
>
>
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