File Name: principles and practice of surveying practice exam .zip
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Almost every land surveyor who has gained professional licensure in the past 50 years has likely taken two exams created and administered by The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying NCEES. While both of these exams have been administered by NCEES for several decades, the content, scope, and delivery methods have drastically changed since many current licensed surveyors took the exams early in their careers. I wrote this article primarily to educate soon-to-be test takers about the upcoming changes to the PS exam effective January But many lessons discussed here are applicable to all NCEES exams because how the NCEES exams are created and how they are graded—two important topics for any surveying or engineering examinee—are also explained. Every six to eight years, each NCEES exam undergoes a thorough review to determine what changes have occurred in a particular industry civil, structural, surveying, etc.
Almost every land surveyor who has gained professional licensure in the past 50 years has likely taken two exams created and administered by The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying NCEES. While both of these exams have been administered by NCEES for several decades, the content, scope, and delivery methods have drastically changed since many current licensed surveyors took the exams early in their careers. I wrote this article primarily to educate soon-to-be test takers about the upcoming changes to the PS exam effective January But many lessons discussed here are applicable to all NCEES exams because how the NCEES exams are created and how they are graded—two important topics for any surveying or engineering examinee—are also explained.
Every six to eight years, each NCEES exam undergoes a thorough review to determine what changes have occurred in a particular industry civil, structural, surveying, etc. The PS was last updated in April , so the PS exam blueprint was scheduled to be updated between and NCEES leadership pushed for the PS exam blueprint to be updated at the earliest time possible—January —because of the rapid adoption of unmanned aerial systems, laser scanning, and other new technologies by the surveying community.
The process of revising an existing NCEES exam occurs in five phases and typically takes about one and a half years to complete. First, a team of subject matter experts SMEs is assembled by combining the existing exam-development committee with a group of new volunteers. Second, this newly created questionnaire is sent to many individual volunteers who are currently practicing, as well as every state society, the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and other stakeholders in the surveying community.
The goal is to define a minimally competent surveyor in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Third, the questionnaire results are reviewed by a second committee of SMEs.
This committee transforms the results into a hierarchy of subjects i. This yields the blueprint that is published for the exam. Fourth, SMEs who are practicing surveyors are given the blueprint and asked to write questions, answers, and explanations for the relevant concepts. These questions are entered into a pool of potential exam questions and reviewed by other SMEs on the exam development committee.
Fifth, current examinees are given a few of the newly written items, and the results are used to verify that these questions are correct and proper. The process described above is used for every update of an NCEES computer-based exam question pool, including surveying and engineering exams. Unlike many state-specific surveying exams, NCEES applies a statistical rigor and formal process that are second to none when updating the exams. The updated PS exam has the same five subject categories, with somewhat updated sub-categories which account for the biggest change in the updated exam blueprint.
But the subcategories within each category are very similar to previous exams. In the first subject category, Legal Principles, the number of subcategories has shrunk from ten to five.
But now, under each subcategory, there are sub-subcategories that fully explain the expectations from each subject. This is a great improvement because specific expectations are set for each subcategory. This is a welcome change. The second subject category, Professional Survey Practices, tests the applicant on his or her practical surveying knowledge: how to plan surveys, find record documents, conduct field surveys using conventional and GNSS instruments, and apply the necessary theories to complete such surveys.
Again, the number of subcategories has decreased, and the number of sub-subcategories, which clearly explain expectations, has increased. Monument standards, GIS data collection and development practices are welcome additions to the category. The number of questions in this category has not changed. The third subject category, Standards and Specifications, has been severely reduced, both in terms of the number of questions from to and the scope of the category from nine subcategories to three.
Concepts about local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations were also tested. Some of the topics previously covered were moved to other sections of the exam blueprint.
This is probably the most significant change in exam content from the to the exam. Still tested are business concepts, communication oral and written , and risk management. But each of these subcategories has been more fully explained.
For example, under risk management, the examinee is expected to understand safety procedures, quality control methods, and how much and what type of insurance a surveying business likely needs.
The number of questions in this category has been slightly reduced from to questions. The fifth and final subject category, Areas of Practice, formerly known as Types of Surveys, has been substantially expanded from to questions.
While the core knowledge areas of topographic, boundary, geodetic, flood mapping, and subdivision have not been expanded, consulting services, a very lucrative and growing market, has been added as a subcategory. In the old PS exam blueprint, none of the subcategories were explained at all.
But now, each of the nine subcategories has complete descriptions of the concepts and theories the examinee is required to know. This deep explanation of each type of survey removes much of the mystery associated with past versions of the PS exam blueprint.
Two things are clear from this discussion on changes. First, the exam has not changed much in terms of the content or material that examinees are required to master before undertaking the final step towards professional licensure.
Listing specific concepts under each topic allows the examinees to focus on learning important concepts instead of guessing what they might be tested on.
Among university students preparing for the FS exam, this is the question that they always ask me. First, during the creation or revision of an exam question pool, each question is calibrated using known statistics.
Then, a unique, but statically equivalent, exam is generated for each applicant. If a unique exam is composed of many difficult questions, the applicant is required to get a lower number of questions correct.
While this method may not feel fulfilling because examinees will never know the exact number of items they must get correct to pass, the IRT system is statistically defensible and creates a more fair, robust exam for all the applicants.
Want to pass your FS or PS exam on the first try? Join us at www. Thank you, Thomas Dodd, Ph. That is absolutely true I just took it last week and most of it is GIS and Photogrammetry which make sense.
Your email address will not be published. Revision Process The process of revising an existing NCEES exam occurs in five phases and typically takes about one and a half years to complete. Previous Article Next Article. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.
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It is the second exam required, coming after the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. Upon passing the PE exam and meeting other eligibility requirements, that vary by state, such as education and experience, an engineer can then become registered in their State to stamp and sign engineering drawings and calculations as a PE. While the PE itself is sufficient for most engineering fields, some states require a further certification for structural engineers. NCEES is a national non-profit organization composed of engineering and surveying licensing boards representing all states and U. Exams are offered twice a year, once in April and once in October, and are discipline-specific.
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cations and format of the National Council of Exami- ners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam. The practice.
An applicant may qualify for the Principles and Practice of Surveying exam by meeting the educational and experience requirements specified in one of the following subsections of the Professional Land Surveyors law:. Update to Title Professional Land Surveyors Educational Requirements. Required Experience Applicants must demonstrate in their applications that they possess the required experience as outlined in the Guidelines for Experience Requirements for Professional Surveyor License chart. Minor Engineering - An applicant for the principles and practice examination shall have two years of experience generally known as "minor engineering experience.
Principles and Practice of Land. Surveying Exam which are prepared and scored by the National Council of. Examiners for Engineering and. Surveying.