Top Ten List to Prepare For and Take The Land Survey Exam
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Top Ten List to Prepare For and Take The Land Survey Exam


Hi, I’m Joe Paiva with a mini course on the
top ten tips that I recommend to prepare for and to take the Land Surveying Examination. Let’s start with the top ten tips. Number 10 is when possible, attend an exam
review course. Why? For one thing, you’ll get the viewpoint of other attendees, as well
as the instructor, on the material that you need to know. Sometimes, hearing other peoples’
viewpoints can help you understand the material better or hear it expressed differently. You’ll also hear anecdotes about exam day
and how to prepare for the exam that other people have gone through. Finally, if you have some issues with trying
to figure out how to get into the discipline of preparing for the exam, it can help you
a lot by giving you a boost for that purpose. Number nine. Calculate how many minutes you
have for every question on the exam. You’ll be given information on how many questions
you’ll have for each exam segment. So calculate it out and be prepared so that you can do
a time check periodically to see if you’re keeping on track, and maybe it’ll help you
to stay away from spending too much time, when perhaps it should move on and come back
to answer a tough question later. Number eight. The bubble sheet. The bubble
sheet is the sheet that you fill in, let me point to it here. Look very carefully, there’s
lots of bubbles and lots of numbers. And it’s very easy to lose track of which particular
question you’re answering. And if you make a misstep and, for example, color in the bubble
on exam question 24, when you actually intend to color in the bubble of exam question 23,
you may then answer several in sequence that are perhaps correct, but applied to the wrong
bubbles on the answer sheet. So do check that. Actually budget some time to check this thing
periodically. Number eight Special Accommodations. You should
know that if you have special needs, perhaps you’re on crutches, you’re using a wheelchair
that day, you have to take special medications, perhaps during the exam or even inject insulin,
do check ahead of time and let them know that you will be needing these special accommodations. It’s not just those kinds of things, it may
also include things like special cushions for your back and so forth. Perhaps you have
trouble hearing. These are all things, if you let them know way in advance and not hours
or days, but weeks and months, then you will be properly accommodated and have a much better
exam experience. Number six. ID. Make sure that you bring a
government issued photo ID to the exam. This is essential. No photo ID, no exam. That’s
basically it. Now I have as an illustration a university
student ID card. These may not be considered official government ID, so be very careful.
A driver’s license, so if you don’t drive, a non-driver’s license or passport, something
like that is a much better option for your official ID. Traffic. Understand the traffic situation
at your exam location. Check out your exam location if you’ve never been there before,
and preferably, you check it out on the day and at the time that you’ll be taking it.
Because traffic patterns can change and if you’re in a metropolitan area, you may discover
that you can’t make it to the exam on time. And if you can’t make it on time, you will
miss the exam. You will not be admitted late. So understand traffic patterns. And subsidiary to that is figuring out things
like parking. It may be that it’s impossible, and so you may have to go to other choices,
like staying in a nearby hotel, having somebody drive you there, using public transportation. Same thing with checking out where you might
have a meal. Your best option most people will recommend is bringing a sack lunch. Number four. Acquire a good library of books.
You’ll need some during the exam and you’ll certainly want them as part of your preparation
process. You want to be a professional, so be a professional and start building your
library. If you haven’t started, this is a good time to do it. So over here on my table I have some of the
recommendations. So let me first point out some of the must-haves that I think you should
have, at least for the open book part of the exam, which will be the two-hour state-specific
portion. As you know, the rest of the exam, which is administered by NCEES, is now closed
book. So the first thing, there is Definitions of
Surveying and Associated Terms. This is an older copy, there are newer copies. Having
the newest one is helpful, but if you don’t, at least bring the copy that you do have. Something else that I strongly recommend is
Black’s Law Dictionary. Now for this, I will have to walk over and show you what Black’s
Law Dictionary looks like. Quite a hefty thing. If you can’t get your hands on one of these,
another good option is the abridged version of the dictionary. Still a good reference
to have, not just for the exam, but for study purposes, as well. And then, a general surveying text, something
like, I have a couple of examples here. Elementary Surveying by Wolf and Ghilani. Or Surveying
by Moffitt and Bossler. You will note that these are all not the latest editions and
that’ll be good enough, as long as you don’t have one that’s not the original 1940 version. And finally, a general text on legal principles
by…the ones I recommend are the ones that were done a long time ago by Brown. One of
them, and I have the original copy I bought when I was studying for the exam. This one
is Boundary Control and Legal Principles. There are new editions now by Robillard and
others. Or Evidence and Procedures for Boundary Location. And here’s my older, my original
copy, and a much newer one by Robillard, Brown and Wilson. So work on those and make sure for the open
book part of the exam, you have these along, at a very minimum. Number three. Look up and get and learn how
to use the approved calculator on the exam. What do I mean by look up? There are only
certain calculators that are permitted on the exam. I have one of them here, which happens
to be the HP33S. You may not be an HP person, you may prefer one of the others. You really
only have three manufacturers to choose from. But you need to know how to use it. So use
it as part of your study program. It’s fine to have the instruction manual on hand during
the open book part of the exam, but remember, a lot of the exam is closed book, so you need
to know how to use the calculator before you get to the exam. Also remember to bring spare batteries or
a charger or if there’s no way to replace the batteries or the battery pack, then a
spare calculator. You definitely want to be without that. So go the NCEES.org website and look up calculators,
because in November of each year, NCEES will publish the calculator policy for the subsequent
year. And you will see the calculators that are permitted and only those calculators will
be allowed at the exam. Number two. Do get the typical exam question
and solution booklets from NCEES. They’re very helpful in preparing to know the style
of the questions and so forth. There are other books similar, in the sense
that they’re called typical exam questions. And they’re nice to have as study aids and
certainly do look at them and perhaps you’ll want to acquire some. But really, the NEES
booklets are essential to help you get into that mode of question. If you do take a sample test, because there
are some sample tests that you can take as part of the process, then do it under similar
conditions to the exam. So if it’s supposed to be closed book, make sure it’s closed book. Time yourself if you know how many minutes
you’re supposed to allocate yourself for the exam. Use the appropriate calculator and so
forth. Here’s an excerpt from the NCEES website.
This has to do with the Fundamentals of Surveying Exam, what we call the first part. This part
has now become computer-based testing, which means there’s no exam booklet any longer.
Instead, what you do is you go to the NCEES website, download the practice exam and try
it out, so that you can have a simulated exam under those conditions and similar to what
you’ll experience when you go in to take the official exam. And finally, number one. Read, read all about
it. Read about what you are going to experience. Read about the syllabus. NCEES publishes the
equations and other reference material that you’re given. You need to look all those things
up. So go to the NCEES.org site and read everything about the exam. Go to your licensing board’s
website and read all about the exam and the licensing process. Plus, the Board will send you email or U.S.
mail documents that you should read thoroughly. There are numerous stories in my career as
an instructor of exam prep classes, where I’ve heard about people missing an exam because
they didn’t read the instructions carefully. And finally, in some states, there will be
a third party that’s contracted by the licensing board to actually proctor, or administer,
the exam. You will usually be informed of who they are when you get the authorization
to take the exam from the licensing board. So make sure you read those documents carefully
and login or register, if that’s needed, online before you get to the exam. Also, there may be extra fees that you need
to pay this third party. What you don’t want to have happen is to find out about what you
didn’t read, only during the exam. That can be one of the most demoralizing things that
can affect your performance and the exam, regardless of how well you have prepared yourself. So that’s it for my top 10 tips. This is an
excerpt from the NCEES website. Again, this one happens to be on the Fundamentals of Surveying
Exam, but you can read, read them, all, you need to read them all when you go to the website
yourself. And with that, I’ll end my top 10 tips and
wish you good luck on your exam experience.

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