NCEES calculator update


NCEES considered possible changes to their calculator policy at the August 2004 annual meeting. NCEES has not yet officially announced the results. However, the Virginia APELSCIDLA Board (don't ask about the abbreviation) hinted at the outcome in a recently-published newsletter, as follows:


During the August 2004 NCEES Annual Meeting, a motion was passed that modifies the calculator policy to state that “only models of calculators as specified by NCEES are permitted in the examination room.” Therefore, in the near future, there will not be a prohibited list, only acceptable calculators will be published, and only calculators on that list will be permitted. Please check the NCEES website for updates.


Currently, the only HP calculators that are specifically NCEES-approved are the 9S, 9G, 30S, 32S, 32SII, and 33S. This list may or may not be subject to change. If it doesn't change, then *all* other HP models will be banned on future NCEES exams, including previously acceptable older models such as the 11C, 15C, and 20S.


I taught myself how to use my Dad's Aristo slide rule in case all calculators get banned by these pinheads...


If slide rules are not mentioned, then they cannot be used!

Even if they are mentioned, if your particular brand and model (I had a K&E Log-Log Duplex Decitrig, and it may be too powerful) is not mentioned, too bad.


Slide rules are cool, and learning about their operation is worthwhile. However, slide rule skills are no longer of any value on NCEES exams, so don't bother to acquire them for that reason.

In fact, slide rules seem to have faded completely out of the picture so far as NCEES and the state boards are concerned. I have not seen any current guidelines that address slide rule use on exams. My *guesses* are as follows:

PE and PLS exams: These are open-book exams, and there are typically few restrictions on the books, charts, etc. that can be used. You could probably use any slide rule without problems (as long as you didn't write on it).

EIT and LSIT exams: These are closed-book exams; the typical rule is that you cannot bring in anything except an approved calculator. It is therefore quite possible that a slide rule might be challenged or barred by exam proctors.

The best approach would be to get an opinion from the state board prior to the exam. If they indicate that slide rules are OK, then bring a copy of their response to the exam, to show to the proctors if necessary.

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