|OT Re: NCEES approves 33S and 35S for 2008|
Message #57 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 16 Nov 2007, 12:58 p.m.,
in response to message #55 by Fred Lusk
I find this a fascinating discussion.
I had it so easy, not having to worry about calculator restrictions!
In Georgia in 1983, there were no calculator restrictions, except they had to be "battery powered". However, this proved only to be a logistical issue (not enough outlets), not a hard rule. I arrived early, and chose a table near a wall, and had no problems from the proctors using my TI-59 even with the printer cradle plugged in!
This was all proved moot, though, because the most important factor in succeeding on the exam turned out to be the ability to efficiently define the problem and develop a solution, not calculation speed (sort of like real engineering, huh?).
BTW, the old test gave you 21 word problems to choose from (20 civil + 1 required seismic), of which you had to solve 8 in 8 hours, showing all your work.
Yes, and then those exam booklets with solutions "showing all your work" had to be separated, and the individual questions grouped together, to be sent to the question authors to be graded, then the grades transmitted back to the central location to be tabulated, before you could be notified of the exam results. All this effort is why the state boards agreed to the present method of multiple choice short questions, with "answers only" grading.
BTW, the questions were new for each exam, so copying the questions wasn't an issue. But this also made more work (constantly preparing new questions).
So we have a dumbed down, if you will, list of approved calculators, to make it easier on the exam proctors, and a dumbed down method of testing, to make it easier on the exam preparers and graders. But does this serve the interests of the profession?
Ah, for the good old days!
Not because they are old, but because they had some good procedures that have been lost in the interest of mass production. In this case, of engineers, but the same could be said of the calculators themselves. Why don't we just outsource the testing to China?