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Montana exam

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thebionicman
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I suddenly find myself looking at some work in Montana. We have one person there, but I need to build up to being the backup guy.

Any tips on study material specific to this exam?

Thanks, Tom 

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jpb
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Of the 5 tests I've taken, it's probably the most well rounded test. It covers the general survey knowledge which should be fairly easy. 

 

The last I heard, the pass rate is about 50% for first time test takers.  The reason is montana has subdivision and platting defined in the state states. Give a good reading of the various laws on subdivision and platting and the types of surveys which are exempt from the subdivision and platting requirements. Also give the DEQ requirements relating to surveying a good review.

Pay attention to the time requirements for the different requirements. Their were a few questions relating to that.

 

It's not hard, but if you don't have any experience dealing with subdivision and platting in Montana, it would be beneficial to spend time reviewing for it.

 

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Skeeter1996
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Most out of staters pass the Idaho test and apply for reciprocity in Montana.

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Ric Moore
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@skeeter1996 Then this should be very easy for thebionicman 🙂

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Skeeter1996
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I've always said "If you have to study for it, you shouldn't be taking it."

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holy cow
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@skeeter1996 

Interesting viewpoint.

My view is that if you aren't willing to study for the test, you should not expect to pass it.  It doesn't matter what the subject of the test happens to be.  You need to become familiar with how the test is prepared and how it is scored and by whom.  Why risk needing to have a do-over when a better understanding of the test procedure is so important?

The easiest such test I have ever taken was the one for real estate salesperson.  It seems like it was on the order of 250 questions with multiple choice answers.  Most of the wrong answers listed would be obvious to most people with an IQ number larger than their age.  However, in many cases, two answers appeared to be the one correct answer.  Arriving at a conclusion as to which was "more correct" was crucial.  Many times the correct answer seemed easy because I had run through some example problems from prior testing.  It would have been a coin flip without the experience of going through the examples.

The PE exam was definitely an example of a case where only a blithering idiot would stroll in and assume they could pass it without a serious amount of studying being done in advance.  The vast majority of questions were tied to things you had not done in the five or more years since getting one's degree.  You needed to be back in the mindset of taking extremely challenging examinations and preparing yourself to allot time properly.

I have succeeded on the first try for all of my professional licenses.  But, no one is going to confuse me with Einstein or Sheldon Cooper.  Preparation tops perspiration every time.

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Bill93
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Posted by: @holy-cow

I took the EIT as a college senior and the PE as soon as I could.  With all that schooling relatively fresh in mind I passed without a lot of study aimed just at the tests.  If one waits a few years, it would be a monumental task to refresh all of that.

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holy cow
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@bill93 

You are absolutely correct.  The further one gets from that last college class, the tougher test taking becomes.  My work experience in those first five years was so varied that I was not particularly confident of having enough practice in many of the areas over which testing would occur.  I had done civil, agricultural, electrical, chemical, mechanical and industrial engineering plus association management projects over that time.  With such a scattered resume it was easy to assume I would not do extremely well in any one of those categories.  So, I studied hard to have a fair shot at each possible category.  That worked quite well as I ended up doing problems in several of those areas.  That, of course, was in the days before the specialization PE's became the norm, but, rather, the general PE, for which I was well suited.

Success on the EIT was mainly a matter of searching out the somewhat easy challenges and tackling those first, thus leaving some time to make educated guesses on the remainder.  Doing them sequentially was not usually the best approach.

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Skeeter1996
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@holy-cow I guess  I am a blithering idiot because that's exactly what I did. I'm no Einstein or Sheldon either. I graduated last in my college class. I felt the PE test was freshman, maybe some sophomore engineering quality questions. Of course I graduated from the best Engineering School in the Country. MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY.

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holy cow
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@skeeter1996 

I would be a blithering idiot if I  were to believe that load of BS.

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Skeeter1996
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@holy-cow You honor I rest my case.

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holy cow
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@skeeter1996 

Those of us who actually took the PE exam are fully aware of what a crock you are presenting here.  The only problem I solved that was easy was one from the Civil Engineering category that involved determining the lifespan of a certain landfill based on certain provided information.  Every other potential problem to solve in any category from Chemical to Nuclear required certain assumptions to be made beyond the provided data.  Solving a statically indeterminate loading circumstance is not a freshman or sophomore level test problem.  The chemical engineering problem I solved was thanks to the graduate course I took in Heat Transfer not merely the introduction to the concept in the sophomore Engineering Physics courses.  The mechanical engineering problem involving vibration theory and acoustic calculations was extremely challenging and definitely not a beginner level task.

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Skeeter1996
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@holy-cow Well pin a rose on you. Youre so smart.

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Jitterboogie
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@holy-cow 

H&MT is the best weed out class ever.

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thebionicman
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@skeeter1996 

If I were teaching graduate courses in Montana Land Surveying I would still study. I over-prep for everything, and I've passed every exam I've taken since high school. Preparing to work in a new State is a serious undertaking that deserves that kind of attention. 

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Skeeter1996
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@thebionicman There were no graduate courses in Montana Land Surveying when I was preparing for the Registered Land Surveying test. There was a paper spiral book by O.I. Jackson that consolidated all the regulations you needed to know. I don't know how one would "memorize" study the current planning, sanitation, zoning, and filing regulations you would need to learn the week before your test. There isn't an up to date booklet available that even has the correct laws in it. Can you use the internet during your test now days? It's a mess you could never "study" to learn. The Government regulators in charge of enforcing the laws don't even have enough knowledge to interpret them half the time. I've not been in the test taking mode for several years. I've never considered it as proving you knew how to be a knowledgeable Surveyor or Engineer. I took the Professional Engineer's test on a lark to see what it was like. I only took one reference book into the test with me. Civil Engineering Handbook by Uruhart. That test certainly didn't make me a competent Engineer when I came out of it. I probably didn't excel in the test, but I did pass it. I was practicing doing engineering and land surveying everyday up to the test. Hence my statement "If you have to study for it, you probably shouldn't be taking it." Or take the Idaho test first.

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thebionicman
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@skeeter1996 

I took Idaho 12 years ago and missed one question. Not a tough exam. 

MT is not processing applications terribly fast and I'd be surprised if I sit in less than two months. I've done 5 states and CFedS without any struggles by using the same technique. I build my own law book and get to know it. I was curious if anyone had knowledge of other texts that would help.

I concur we need to stay within our expertise. I need the license to do Montana projects that I've been doing under another licensee. I stay in my lane and follow the adage, "A man's got to know his limitations ".  

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Skeeter1996
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@thebionicman I don't think you'll have any problem with the test.

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JPH
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@skeeter1996 

Don't know the last time you sat for a LS exam, but sometimes there's a lot of stupid quirky historical questions that don't really have anything to do with actual surveying.

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Hi-staker
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thebionicman
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@hi-staker 

That is exactly what I needed. I usually create my own law book by printing and reading one chapter at a time. That list will make it easy.

Thanks and have a great day..

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