New NCEES testing calculator policy?


I've heard some info through the grapevine originating at a recent NCEES Western Zone meeting: NCEES is proposing, starting in October 2008, calculators will be issued to license candidates for which they will be charged $25. Likely a TI model. Has anyone heard how far this has gone and whether or not it's a done deal?


Here are some more hints:

From the August 2006 issue of Licensure Exchange (p. 6):

Calculators have been the subject of much discussion over the past few years, and the Council will continue to discuss them at this year’s Annual Meeting.

The approved calculator list has settled the issue for now, but we need to continue to look for the best solution. The solution should increase consistency by simplifying enforcement. It should also be logistically and economically feasible. I believe that we have the ability to find such a solution. The Council is made up of innovative, talented members who are definitely capable of working through this challenge.

And from the agenda of the September 2006 meeting of the California Board for Engineers & Land Surveyors:
5. NCEES Annual Meeting (Possible Action)


d. Proposal to Supply Calculators (Possible Action)

So it wouldn't surprise me. If it does happen, it could be a significant blow to sales of the 33S.

Edited: 7 Sept 2006, 5:19 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Why the possible new policy? It may be because state boards are reporting issues with examinees that show up with non-approved calculators, and who therefore have to be turned away. In some cases, it has gotten surprisingly ugly, as shown by the May 2006 minutes of the California Board:

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 [state police] 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.

Note that the California Board has never been sympathetic to the NCEES calculator policy, and continues to allow all non-QWERTY calculators on its own state-specific exams. However, the California Board is obliged to enforce the NCEES policy on NCEES exams.

Similar problems have been reported in Ohio.


If that ever happens that would be totally unfair in my opinion. I am thankful that in 1997 when I took the test they didn't have this policy. I took the test using a 32Sii as my primary with an 11c as my backup. The thought of making someone who prefers RPN use a TI is outrageous, and this would put the RPN user at a serious disadvantage.


One would think that HP should be lobbeying on this matter and not just let things happen.



For whatever good it will do, you can email the NCEES. They have an online feedback form at the bottom of their web page. I sent an email because I am considering taking an additional NCEES test to get more certifications. This policy, if enacted could pose a huge additional burden.

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