Colorado State Specific ExamPosted by stlsurveyor on March 26, 2020 at 4:48 pm
Just received a notice that I can take the Colorado State Specific Exam. This will be my first computer based test.
I have copies of the Colorado handbook. But like everyone else….Looking for Study suggestions. Already revisiting all my PLSS class material from University of Wyoming. For those that have taken it, curious if there are section breakdown stuff on the exam or just straight forward law, requirements, regulation stuff.
Thanks – wash your hands!
MemberMarch 26, 2020 at 5:42 pm
Also, I know nothing about mining claims so if anyone can steer me in the right direction on where to start I would be appreciative.
MemberMarch 26, 2020 at 11:38 pm
While I restrict my boundary survey work to mineral surveys, I cannot offer you any insights into what to study regarding mining claims/mineral surveys. I’ll offer two reasons for this. One, mineral survey resurveys are something that only a few land surveyors do in Colorado and IMHO of those only a handful know what the heck they are doing. I doubt there are very many mineral survey questions on the Colorado-specific exam, and I would imagine that the few that are on the exam likely deal with the basics. Second, I took the PLS exam in October of 1984. I have no more recollection of what was on the PLS exam (including mineral surveys) than I do of the exam I took on partial differential equations that control groundwater flow in my Advanced Hydrogeology course in November 1984!
If you wait a week, you can look on the CFedS web site for the course materials of the CFedS mineral survey course Steve Parrish and I taught last month. One of the PDFs covers basic elements of mineral surveys. Other than that, I would not suggest you spend time studying mining claims, mineral surveys, etc. If you ever are inclined to do a resurvey of a mineral survey, prior to your start I’d suggest reading the resurvey of mineral surveys sections in Chapter X of the 2009 Manual and John Meldrum’s “Mineral Survey Procedures Guide,” 1980.
As for what I’d suggest you spend time looking at, I’d concentrate on reading ALL of the Practice Act and ALL the Board Rules pertaining to land surveyors.
- Know what to include on Land Survey Plats and Subdivision Plats – also, LSPs are deposited and Subdivision Plats are recorded at the county;
- You must show all recorded and apparent rights-of-way and easements on Land Survey Plats unless the landowner specifically states not to do so (include a narrative explaining that the landowner did not want them on the plat);
- Know what corners are required to have monument records filed, what actions trigger the filing of monument records, and what is required on one;
- Improvement Location Certificates are NOT surveys;
- There is a BIG difference between an Improvement Location Certificate and an Improvement Survey Plat;
- Carefully read through the definitions section of the statutes, esp. which corners are PLSMs;
- Carefully read what is regarded as an adequate basis of bearing statement in the Board Rules;
- Carefully read what is regarded as an adequate narrative on your plat of found and set monuments;
- Colorado does not allow virtual corners, unless it is a corner that cannot be monumented and then you must set two reference monuments or one online witness corner;
- If you are the first to subdivide a section, you must follow the instructions in the current Manual;
- If you reestablish a lost corner, explain how you arrived at your solution in the narrative of your plat;
- If you decide to set a corner where there is an existing corner set by another surveyor, include a full explanation for why you rejected their pin and set yours;
- Show any and all conflicting evidence on your plat;
- The current Manual should be regarded as a guidance document; and
- REREAD ALL OF THE STATUTES AND BOARD RULES.
As I said above, I took the exam over 35 years ago, so I have no idea of what is on the test. I do know that when you pass the exam, the above suggestions will serve you well in conducting your surveys in Colorado.
Last a question, are you attempting to become licensed in every state between Lat. N37?ø and N39?ø (I’m not including your Arkansas license)? Or just the “middle” ones?
MemberMarch 26, 2020 at 11:52 pm
If I had cause to jump into the mineral claim pool I would either refer or sub it out to Gene. He’s spot on with everything else too. The Colorado DORA website has a page specifically for Architects, Engineers and Surveyors. It has links to the relevant state statutes, rules and procedures. 75% or more of the state specific exam will be based on those 3 documents. Best of luck!
MemberMarch 27, 2020 at 1:00 am
@gene-kooper Oh my, I am very grateful for that reply! That is a very good list of things to consider. I truly like “I do know that when you pass the exam, the above suggestions will serve you well in conducting your surveys in Colorado.”
I applied to Colorado for two reasons, one we have an office in Denver (Lakewood) and our St. Louis and Denver offices sometimes have overlapping clients, both offices are in the same region so I can easily work in/for either office/client. Second, and most importantly, it would be nice to move to Colorado in the not too distant future, somewhere in the Western slope region where we can raise our kids in a nice little mountain town. Figured first step would be to get my license.
Thanks again for the suggestions.
BTW the application process took about 5 mins with a NCEES record and approval took all of about 5 days.
MemberMarch 27, 2020 at 4:12 pm
@stlsurveyor You won’t have any trouble passing the exam. I only mentioned that list to give you an idea of what is in the statutes and board rules. You’ve successfully passed all the exams for four states so all you really need to look at is what is different in Colorado (well, maybe a brief review of the Cookbook of Simple Squares, but you said you’re reviewing your PLSS course from the Univ. of Wyoming). As Cameron said, the Professional Practice Act and Board Rules are on the AES Board web site.
NOTE: The state changed a whole bunch of the numbering in the Professional Practice Acts for Architects, PEs and Professional Land Surveyors so don’t believe us old pharts, esp. us who’ve been licensed for a long time. Us (including me) need to look at Article 120 in detail. 12-120-306. Disciplinary actions – grounds for discipline also includes ethical duties for land surveyors, the main being to practice only in area(s) where you have a demonstrated expertise.
When you get your letter from the Board, let us know.
Also, I’m sure you’ll enjoy finding live bearing trees like this that was a 15″ pine and blazed nearly 147 years ago (June 10, 1873). I’m no tree expert, but I think the species is a limber pine. They grow just below timberline along with the Bristlecone pines!
And here is the 36″x24″x4″ tabular limestone that marks the N1/4 Cor. of Sec 3, T. 9 S., R. 78 W., 6th P.M. The notes say it is a white quartz rock, but the N1/4 of Sec. 4 is a quartzite with the original call being a limestone.
Close-up of the tabular lime mudstone with a distinct 1/4 chiseled on the north face.
Some eye candy while you read through those dry and boring statutes and rules.
ETA: Fixed the link to the AES Board and the date the township line was surveyed.
MemberApril 22, 2020 at 7:01 pm
So my study binder consists of:
Board Bylaws and Rules
CRS Title 12
CRS Title 38
BLM 09 Ch. 5
BLM 09 Ch. X
Mineral Survey Procedures Guide c1980
Anything else or suggestions?
Computer based testing is currently closed so plenty of time to study..
MemberApril 23, 2020 at 5:20 pm
MemberJuly 27, 2020 at 6:14 pm
Bump….Testing facility is open for registration. I’ll be signing up to take it in about 2-3 weeks. Been reading up some, time to cram.
Any last advice?
MemberJuly 28, 2020 at 2:01 am
This worked for Lane Meyer, and skiing the K12:
Go that way really fast. If something gets in your way, turn. 😉
In all seriousness, I wish you good fortune and strong testing with the Colorado based test. I’m trailing you in NM and prepping to first take the CST2 O/F which my employer requires for me to stay employed, and then the FS so I can follow in all the footsteps of the people cutting line before me.
Do well, you know this stuff. Surveying is the same math everywhere. The local laws/practice are probably the most germane things that would need any polishing.
Let us know how you do!
MemberAugust 7, 2020 at 4:26 pm
Well I took the exam this morning and I PASSED! Thanks for all the info, suggestions, etc. Just waiting on my official notice from the Board!
Time for Steaks and Bourbon….
MemberAugust 7, 2020 at 4:48 pm
Congrats and welcome!
I’ve waited to post about the new “Occupational Credential Portability Program” until you posted the results of your exam. On June 25, 2020 HB20-1326 became law (all but two sections). One of the changes was to eliminate the state-specific exam on Colorado law from the statutes and replace it with the Occupational Credential Portability Program. That program goes into effect after rulemaking on January 1, 2021. One of the questions I had about the timing of the Act’s enforcement, was whether between June 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021 there was ANY requirement to pass an exam. Maybe you slipped past because your application was already in the works and you were approved to take the exam before June 25….hmmm!
MemberAugust 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm
@gene-kooper Yes I was aware of that HB and wondered the same thing. I was approved to sit back in March so I assume since I was in before it passed I was still same ol same ol.
Thanks for the well wishes, Excited that I passed – wasn’t a walk in the park.
MemberAugust 8, 2020 at 3:19 pm
Congratulatioms! I’ve been concentrating on other education for a few years, but lately the CA exam has been on my mind…
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