PS Study Prep
I have been studying for the National PS test (taking the test in 2 days) and have been discouraged by the limited study materials out there that you don't have to shell out a few hundred bucks for. I have scraped together a lot of electronic resources and am putting it all together in a library of what I have so others in the future may have an easier time tracking things down. If anyone has any materials they think would be beneficial to add please let me know. One tricky part of doing this is the legal concerns of taking information from books and compiling it for study purposes. If anyone has advice on how to best not get in hot water while still helping others out please let me know.
-a six-hour-long exam
-the national standard for professional practice (and the last hurdle before taking the state-specific)
-you only have to take (OK, pass) it once
-many of the reference materials can go in your reference library
-there are a lot of topics covered
-it's setting the examinee up for a big bump in responsibility (and pay)
...I don't think a couple hundred bucks for re-usable references is really out of line.
I had Brown (both books), Wattles, Meyer's Geometric and Physical Geodesy, GPS for Land Surveyors, Surveying Solved Problems, BLM Manual of Surveying Instructions, and BLM Restoration of Lost Corners.
The last two are free, and of all the others the only one I didn't really refer to again was Solved Problems. Every one of the others went in my reference library, where they reside today, and I still go back to them occasionally.
I took the exam the year it went closed-book (2013 I think) and I didn't think I needed any extra references at all.
(In fact, based on my experience, coming out of there it seemed to me that any intelligent person with a moderately solid understanding of math could work the Surveying Solved Problems for 3-6 months leading up to the exam and be able to guess/get enough right to pass. Maybe it's changed since then.)
Your library needs to be a lifelong endeavor. Invest what you can, when you can. I stalk a lot of sources and rarely pay retail. A few generous posters here have contributed as well. It doesn't sound like that will help your situation. Learning your way around something that comes express mail the night before the test won't be helpful. Rely on your experience and current library now and build it after. If you pass, good for you. If you fail your diagnostic will tell you what subject to acquire first.
Best of luck, Tom
If you are going to share contraband then you best be very discreet about who you share it with.
In the meantime, I agree with others that a good Survey library is a small price to pay for entry to a life's work.
How was the Exam? How long to get the results? I'm taking it in two days (first time). Fingers crossed.