|Two NCEES committees endorse HP-33S|
Message #1 Posted by Norris on 6 July 2007, 6:02 p.m.
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) currently requires examinees to use one of four approved calculators (including the 33S) on professional engineering and surveying examinations. However, NCEES has been considering standardizing on a single calculator model, and issuing it in the exam room. There has been speculation that NCEES would choose a Casio or TI, rather than the HP-33S, given its relatively high cost.
Both the Examinations for Professional Engineers (EPE) committee and the Examinations for Professional Surveyors (EPS) committee were asked about their calculator preferences. The results:
The EPE and EPS committees also examined the Council policy allowing candidates to bring their own calculators to the exam site. The policy — which limits the approved calculators to four approved models — is the result of past work by EPE, EPS, and EPP to
develop a system of calculator usage to reduce the likelihood of candidates using calculators to cheat on or compromise the test.
Both EPE and EPS surveyed exam development volunteers, providing calculators from the Council-approved list of four and asking for their preferences among the models. The EPS Committee favored adopting the HP 33S as the sole approved calculator due to its
ability to convert angles to degrees, minutes, and seconds as well as its ability to work in algebraic and reverse Polish notation (RPN) modes.
The EPE Committee also favored the HP 33S for the same reasons, but noted that many exam development volunteers voiced strong preferences for the Texas Instruments and Casio models. The EPE Committee also pointed to an ELSES survey of exam candidates that found preferences evenly divided among the HP, TI, and Casio models. Pointing to this, EPE does not support the idea of supplying candidates with a single calculator model. It instead recommends that at least two models be provided if NCEES decides to
provide examinees with calculators.
Based on these results, it appears likely that the 33S (or its sucessor, the 35S) will continue to be approved for use on NCEES exams, even if NCEES decides to start supplying calculators to examinees. This would preserve a major market for the 33S/35S.
Reported in June 2007 issue of Licensure Exchange