Ready to ace the civil engineering seismic and survey exam?

This is THE place to crush of these exams.

The Ultimate California
Seismic Review Course

Join The Ultimate CA Seismic Review Course and be
prepared to crush your California exams.

Why Are We Different?

  • Personalized Support

    We pride ourselves on the support that we can offer you. You will no longer be just one student in a sea of others. We know how hard it is to take this and we know that when you need help you need it! Well, worry no longer – If you need help we will be there quickly. Whether it’s through email, personal instruction, or our private Facebook group, we are here to help any time you need it.

  • Constantly Growing Resource Library

    Not only do you gain access to our exams and already existing lecture modules and video practice problems, but the library of problems continues to grow as we continue to make them. We even take suggestions if you need a specific topic you’d like covered.

  • Best Chances to Pass

    Because you’re learning from someone that has been in the trenches, I can personally guide you through this tough exam. I’ve taken my model from Einstein who said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler.” I’ve developed this review to give you exactly what you need to pass.

  • Flexibility

    We know how busy you are. We all are! We developed this to be available any time you are ready to jump on and study. The flexibility of the course allows you to study on the train, in the office, or at home. Anywhere you have the internet you have this course ready to help. You can also review it at your own pace and schedule!

What’s Included in the Seismic Course?

Upon registering you’ll get immediate access to all 5 of our lectures INCLUDING survey course modules. You’re really getting two courses in one as part of this amazing bundle.

Earthquake Attributes and Seismology

  • Earthquake attributes
  • Earthquake descriptors
  • Continental drift and plate tectonics
  • Seismic waves
  • Measuring earthquake intensity
  • Earthquake probability, frequency, and prediction

Effects of Earthquakes and the Reaction of Structures

  • Earthquake damages and risk
  •  Maximum considered earthquake (MCE)
  • Continental drift and plate tectonics
  • Effective peak ground acceleration
  • Site period/liquefaction
  • Building period
  • Spectral attributes and Seismic Force (Base Shear)
  • Seismic design methods (dynamic vs. static)
  • Multiple DOF systems
  • Response Spectra
  • Ductility
  • Drift
  • P-delta effects
  • Torsional shear stress
  • Overturning moment

Building Codes and Seismic Design Criteria

  • Applicable CA Seismic Codes
  • Earthquake descriptors
  • Load types (wind, snow, seismic, etc)
    i. Risk Categories
    ii. Importance Factor
    iii. Site Class (A-F)
    iv. Seismic Response Coeff (Ss, S1)
    v. Seismic Design Category (A-F)
    vi. Seismic Design Category (A-F)
    vii. Overstrength Factor
  • Structural Systems
  • Regular vs Irregular Structures
  • Building Period (T)
  • Seismic Load Effect (E)
  • Lateral force procedure
  • Distribution of base shear to structure
  • Provisions for non-structural elements

Seismic Structural Design

  • Diaphragm theory and design
  • General structural design
  • Equivalent Lateral Force Procedure (ELF)

Details of Earthquake Resistant Structures

  • Wood Structures
  •  Steel Structures
  • Concrete Structures
  • Tilt-up Structures
  • Special seismic design & systems

Survey Materials

Topographic Surveys

  • Control surveys (purpose and procedures)
  • Route surveys (horizontal and vertical alignment)
  • Topographic surveys (e.g., surface and underground)
  • Leveling Methods (e.g., differential, trigonometric)
  • Horizontal and vertical datums
  • Aerial photogrammetry

Construction Surveys

  • Horizontal and vertical control layout
  • Procedures for establishing points on a line (horizontal and vertical)
  • Procedures for locating a single point
  • Calculating and setting horizontal, slope, and vertical distances
  • Measuring horizontal angles (e.g., azimuths, bearings, backbearings, deflections)
  • Calculating and setting horizontal curves (e.g., radius, curve length, tangent)
  • Calculating and setting vertical curves (e.g., high/low point, intermediate point, rate of grade)
  • Calculating and setting compound and reverse curves
  • The relationship between grade lines and cross-sections
  • Alignment and grade layout (e.g., street and utilities)
  • Determining vertical distances and interference (e.g., plan and profile, cross-sections)
  • Calculating offset distances M. Construction staking procedures (e.g., stationin

Accuracy and Error Analysis

  • Purpose and application of surveying equipment (e.g., total station, level, GPS, EDM)
  • Equipment errors (e.g., temperature and tension corrections)
  • Calculating error analysis (e.g., curvature and refraction, random and systematic errors)
  • Error of closure (e.g., horizontal and vertical)
  • Datum adjustments
  • Map accuracy standards

Preparation of Reports and Maps

  • Creating and checking level notes
  • Calculating areas
  • Calculating volumes (e.g., interpolating cut and fill)
  • Interpolating elevations from topographic data
  • Plotting topographical features from field information (e.g., contour intervals, fixed works, field points)
  • Plotting profiles and cross-sections
  • Map scales
  • Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Community Support

You also receive access to our private community of support where we will answer questions, celebrate your success and help when you need it the most.


As part of the course you’ll receive two 55 question practice exams that are life-like to the real exams. Each exam you take is a 2.5 hr exam that must be passed to be licensed in California. We’ll help you get there.

Practice Problems

The course includes a library of video practice problems with PDF downloads so you can work these on your own and then see how we do it. The secret to passing is practice and these were built to do just that.


We’ll be holding LIVE problem-solving workshops to help answer your questions and cover concepts that students might be struggling with. These are recorded and archived so you can review them any time you’d like.

Recommended Resources


  • Bound up notes from student's study sessions that are valued (maybe notes & problems taken from CEA course study)
  • IBC (latest edition)
  • ASCE-7 (latest edition)
  • California Building Code (latest edition)
  • Any textbook the student is familiar with from school coursework

Other References

  • ATC-20 Procedures for Post-earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings (latest edition)
  • SEAOC Structural/Seismic Design Manual Vol 1 (latest edition)
  • SEAOC Structural/Seismic Design Manual Vol 2 (latest edition)

Ready to Ace these Exams? Enroll Now!


Crammer course for 1 month

  •  2 Complete exams (Survey and Seismic)
  • All course modules
  • Video practice problems
  • Private FB community support
  • LIVE study sessions

6 Month Access

$697 or 4 x $179/mo
  •  2 Complete exams (Survey and Seismic)
  • All course modules
  • Video practice problems
  • Private FB community support
  • LIVE study sessions

Yearly Access

$897 or 4 x $229/mo
  •  2 Complete exams (Survey and Seismic)
  • All course modules
  • Video practice problems
  • Private FB community support
  • LIVE study sessions
Want to use Paypal? Click the button belowto check out with Paypal
100% Secure Payment.
* Monthly Payment Option by Credit Card Only


15-Day Money-Back Guarantee. Here at CEA, we believe it’s our policy to pass the test of your satisfaction. If you are not happy with the course then simply email us and we’ll refund you the course costs. Boom.

Your Instructors

Isaac Oakeson, CEA Founder:

Isaac Oakeson is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Utah. He created the Civil Engineering Academy to help other engineers on their journey to become professional engineers. He works for a local utility doing transmission design work, project management, and contracts. His videos and podcasts have helped thousands of engineers and now we want to help you! Let’s ace these exams!

Mark Oakeson

Mark Oakeson is a licensed structural and professional engineer. As a licensed engineer in multiple states, he has the knowledge and experience to help any engineer grasp the concepts taught for the CA seismic and survey exams and is excited to share this knowledge with you so you can ace these exams in proper fashion. Mark manages and engineers multi-million dollar projects for a heavy civil/structural firm.

This Course is for Who?

Engineers ready to pass the California Seismic and Survey exams as administered by Passing these is a must to earn your PE license. This will help you get there
Those that what just what they need to ace this - cutting through all the clutter and covering the topics you need to know.
Anyone needing practice problems or exams to hone their skills and knowledge of these topics.
Any first-time taker or repeat taker. Our support will help you no matter what - we aren’t judgemental as we are fully aware that exams aren’t representative of your worth as an engineer. This is a no-judgment zone. We are here to help!
You are looking for a complete course at a much better price than anything else out there (and that’s not to say anything of our amazing support).
You are ready to up your game and career and you know that earning your PE will get you there.
Anyone needing a complete college educational course on seismic material and all its intricacies (although we are quite extensive). We believe you are engineers with some engineering experience.
The same goes for survey material. This isn’t a college course taught by your professor. You are getting material from guys in the trenches that will help you cut the clutter.
You think you can rush through this material or the exam itself and not put in the effort. At the end of the day, you have to put a pencil to paper and actually do some work. If you aren’t ready to do that then this isn’t a fit.


Exam results just came in. I am very pleased to say I passed (on the first try). A big thanks to the tremendous help and guidance I got from the course. I highly doubt I could have achieved this otherwise. Civil Engineering Academy gets a gold start rating from me!!!

Troy Mackey, FE
/Civil Engineer

Your practice breadth and depth exams provide different questions that are completely explained, easy to follow and very much like the actual exam.  I would recommend the course and exams to anyone!

Adrian R., PE
/Civil Engineer

The practice problems in the course were great.  I was able to read them clearly and they really helped on the exam.  I fell very confident about the exam and I would recommend these practice problems to anyone studying the exam!

Jason, PE
/Civil Engineer

This exam and course helped me identify my weakest areas and determine where I need to spend more time.  The water resources and geotech questions were particularly helpful.  This course is a great tool for studying and for the price it is a steal.

Drew Thumb, PE
/Civil Engineer

Your course was definitely a huge help.  I learn and retain better from videos than I do from reading so this course was right up my alley!

Les Phillips, PE
/Civil Engineer


See below for a list of facts about the course and some frequently asked questions we get.

Yes! You’ll earn this by going through the course and at the end we can issue you a certificate.

Yes, they can. Most students have to find out if their employer will cover the costs but simply keep the receipt we email to you and there you go.

You can simply email and we’ll get it done!

Yes it does.

Yes, you get access to exams (PDF Downloads) and the ability to download the lectures slides as PDFs.

Yes, it’s kind of like getting a two for one deal. You get access to our survey and seismic modules as part of this course. Sweet!