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Passed my California LSIT!!!

Sorry for barging in here.  No one here knows me, I joined this site a couple weeks ago and I finally have a moment to get acquainted with this very cool place for Surveyors to hang out.

I thought I'd drop in and gloat about my LSIT exam, I received the notice in the mail about two weeks ago and I was ecstatic. I dang near cried.  And I just received the actual cert a couple days ago.  I wasn't expecting that for four to six weeks, but it came early. 

Ok, enough of that, thanks for putting up with my gloat, now I need to apply for the PLS. I have the verifiable time, field and office, now just need to study study study.

See yall around the corner!

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  • Congrats! I am licensed in Florida and Illinois, and it is no small feat. Good luck on part 2, which I thought was easier.
    • Why thank you Barry! And when you say part two, are you talking about the PLS? Because that would be part two in my parts.

      What part of Illinois are from, or what part do you practice in?
      • I was president of a surveying firm, 30+/- employees, in Sarasota, FL until 2002. I started as a rodman in 1983. I took parts 1, 2 and the FL exam in 17 grueling hours in 10/92. Moved to Southern IL in '93 for personal reasons and took the IL exam in 10/93. Worked freelance for other firms until I went back to FL in '98, owner semi-retired. In 2001, age 37, I was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease and given 2-5 years to live.
        I now live near my family in Southcentral IL, 75 miles east of St. Louis, MO. I write for fun, 40+ published articles and "Living The Dream: A Historical Fiction Novel" about a small town surveyor and the relocation othe state capitol in 1819. Check out www.barrycoughlin.com for more info.

        PS Study!
  • GEO Ambassador
    congratulations on this...any tips you'd like to share with the group? there are a lot of surveyors on the network who are studying for their exam..great job!
    • Tips. Hmmmm. I took the exam 3 times. The first two times I studied hard for two months prior to taking the exam. For me personally, the studying, the build up to the moment, the excitement, the drive to the exam site, the crowd, it all added up to stress. And, in my company, that piece of paper called the LSIT is virtually your ticket to a party chief position and a better life for my family. So not only was there the build up to the exam, but the excitement of the possible financial benefits that went along with the possession of the LSIT. Where I work, no LSIT, no party chief. So the pressure is high. I had at least 3 guys pass me up on the promotional ladder and with less time in service then myself, and they deservedly won the promotion, not taking anything away from them.
      So now that I have established what was riding on this test, now maybe we can understand how stress can be ones worse enemy when test taking.

      As I said earlier, the first two tests, I had all this emotional baggage attached to the outcome of the results.

      The final 3rd round, I decided to approach the exam a little differently. And I do apologize if this post has a lot of "I" in it, but I am hoping that my experience might benefit a struggling test taker for the LSIT.
      My approach to this last exam was to not have an approach at all. I told myself that I would not let the exam prep become a part of my life for the months leading up to the exam. I told myself I was going to have fun, from the moment of awakening that morning, to the drive to the test site. I chose an alternative test site this time, instead of going to where I went the last two times (Pomona Fairplex, CA) I chose instead the beautiful city of San Diego at the San Diego Fairgrounds or commonly known as the Del Mar Fair. I wanted the experience to be pleasant. I wanted the drive to be fun. The drive into Pomona is awful, the drive into San Diego is lush and green, through rural routes from where I live, and after the test I could take a walk on the beach if I wanted to. And, I told myself, this is going to be fun, forget about work, just go have fun, take it easy. I did not study a single footnote this time around. I didn't get all worked up during the weeks running up to the test. I just kept it all in perspective, and if I passed cool, if not, there is always next time.

      As far as actually taking the test. No big secrets or tips here except to answer all the questions your comfortable with first, then tackle the ones your not too comfortable with last. I found that in this exam, the morning session consisted of mainly mathematical computations, boundary comps, some legals, some arbitrary questions that we are all familiar with like computer binary codes etc, I just blew by those binary questions, closed my eyes and plugged a hole in. It's quite ridiculous why they think surveyors need to know computer programming, but it's in there.
      The afternoon session was mainly word problems and historical questions. Heavy on the legals, public lands, etc. I thought the afternoon session was a nice break from the math heavy morning.

      My equipment I carried, an HP35, with about two or three programed formula's installed in it. If you really feel you need to load the HP35 with all those programmed formulas, go ahead, but I find it more of a hindrance remembering what directory you stored that formula in that you need at that moment, scratching your head and hitting the "XEQ" button searching for that curve formula.
      Believe me, it's much easier just brushing up on your math and memorizing the formulas straight out in your head.

      I finished about an hour and a half early on both sessions, I just went to my car, ate my lunch, and called my wife and said howdy to my kids. No studying, no second guessing myself, and do not ask your fellow exam takers how they answered on a particular question. You'll just get all worked up and head in to the afternoon session with a bad attitude and sense of failure. That was my mistake the first two times.

      So in a nutshell, what I went over above, worked for me, it might not work for you. But know yourself. If your the type that takes things pretty seriously sometimes, like I do, maybe you just need to not take this exam too seriously and relax, have fun with it, and let the rest take care of itself, it worked for me the third time around.

      Take care all, hope this helps someone.
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