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The following item was (no kidding!) published in the Minutes of the May 11, 2006 Board Meeting of the California Board for Engineers and Land Surveyors:

Ms. Christenson reported that there are approximately 68 exam subversion cases from the April 2006 examination administration. Of these 68 cases, most of them are related to the NCEES calculator policy, which required us to eject candidates from the examination if they were found to be using an unapproved calculator after the examination began.

Ms. Christenson reported that at the Pomona site, a mob of candidates formed outside of the test area after they had been removed from the examination because they had unapproved calculators. Board staff had to be escorted by the CHP back to their hotels for security reasons.

Ms. Christenson has informed NCEES of this issue and told them that she will not put staff at risk.

President Tuttle requested that the calculator issues be included in the next agenda.

I was at the Pomona exam site for the first of the two April 2006 exam days. I didn't see any "mob" (possibly because I was inside the exam room with my approved HP-33S), but I did notice the presence of CHP (California state police) officers.

It's possible that the California Board may be exaggerating the seriousness of the situation to put pressure on NCEES, in hopes that they will relax their stringent calculator policies. The California Board has apparently never wanted to enforce the NCEES calculator restrictions; they continue to allow any non-QWERTY calculator on state-specific, non-NCEES PE and PS exams.

Edited: 12 July 2006, 12:34 a.m.

Ooops, sounds like QWERTY is a problem in the USA?

*If true*, then all hobby designers of new calcs (i.e. us ;) ) must beware: Add a version with *reduced* capabilities for the US market! Full features for the ROW only ;) :))