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Recommended References (Building Tract)

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What references do people recommend for those taking the SE exam (Building Tract) in Oct 2016?

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All of them! :P

(See my PM to you.)

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Agree with TME, all of them.

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Here was my response in the PM if anyone else has a similar question. These are my recommendations for someone from a low seismic region studying for the SE.

19 hours ago, TehMightyEngineer said:

In order of priority I would make sure to have (these are tailored to your assumed experience):

  • All the design building codes required by the SE exam specifications (see here: http://ncees.org/exams/se-exam/)
    • You can possibly get away with not having the PCI design handbook and the AISI specification. However, doing this WILL cost you correct answers and in the SE exam every correct answer matters.
    • AASHTO is critical to have for the exam. Yes, it's stupidly expensive. Yes, it's 100% needed for the SE.
    • Enjoy updating to the 2012 IBC, 2010 ASCE, codes. This will be very expensive if you don't already have all these specifications.
    • The AISC Seismic Design Manual is worth it's weight in gold for lateral. Don't try to get by with just the free specification from AISC.
  • SEAOC Seismic Design Guide Volume I http://seaoc.org/bookstore/2012-ibc-structural-seismic-design-manual-vol-1-code-application-examples
    • THIS! This book is fantastic. I read it cover to cover multiple times during studying and following many of the examples during the exam. If you bought one book for lateral it would be this.
  • PCA Notes on ACI 318-11
    • Free download, but I'm including it here as I recommend printing out select sections for your notes
  • Breyer's Design of Wood Structures textbook (not required, but highly recommended)
  • A good structural analysis textbook
  • A good strength of materials textbook
  • SEAOC Seismic Design Guide Volume II and/or III
    • While very useful, there are sufficient examples elsewhere that these may not be needed, good for additional studies
    • Would recommend volume III more than II as steel is very nicely covered in the AISC Seismic Design Manual's examples
  • Either of these guides to wind loads in ASCE 7-10:
  • CRSI Design Guide for Pile Caps (not required, but highly recommended due to the lack of good references on pile caps)
  • ACI SP-17(11) volume I: https://www.concrete.org/store/productdetail.aspx?itemid=SP1711V1
    • not a bad guide for seismic and a few other things, useful around the office if you do a lot of concrete design in practice
    • not 100% needed though as PCA notes covers most of these
    • has some good quick reference figures for seismic design
    • volume II not needed for the exam
  • AISC Design Guide 1 - Bolted Anchor Bolt Design Guide: https://www.aisc.org/store/p-1749-design-guide-1-base-plate-and-anchor-rod-design-second.aspx
  • Masonry Designers Guide 7th Edition (not required, but recommended)
  • Zhao Tonias' Bridge Engineering textbook (not entirely recommended unless you want to get some good studying on basic bridge design in prior to the review course)

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I would add PPI's 16-Hour Structural Engineering Exam (Buildings) by Joseph Schuster. 

And of course, the bridge books written by yours truly for studying multiple choice bridge questions. :)

  

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7 minutes ago, David Connor, SE said:

I would add PPI's 16-Hour Structural Engineering Exam (Buildings) by Joseph Schuster. 

And of course, the bridge books written by yours truly for studying multiple choice bridge questions. :)

  

Oh, I left off the PPI material and NCEES sample exam as PE Stamps indicated they were considering taking the PPI SE Review course in the PM they sent me. 

For other people I would say the PPI Structural Engineering Reference Manual is mandatory to get, the PPI sample problem books are okay but good value for the money, and get either the NCEES sample exam and/or the PPI Sample Exam (I think the NCEES sample exam is best but the PPI sample exam is quite good as well).

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Ya the NCEES practice exam is very indicative of both content and problem difficulty.  I had the PPI 16hr practice exam as well and was worthwhile.  Its considerably more difficult than the actual NCEES exam but is a good tool for studying and a helpful barometer for figuring out where you are in terms of "readiness".  

My list of references wasn't quite as long as TME's, but still similar. 

IBC, ACI 318, ASCE 7, AISC Construction Manual, AISC Seismic Design Manual, NDS, AASHTO, ACI 530/531/TMS are all absolutely required without question.  Definitely get the latest edition ASCE 7, and maybe at least consider the others unless you know your outdated edition hasn't changed much from the new 1.  As Teh said, you could maybe get away with going without the AISI and PCI... but there are questions on the exam and so you will almost certainly miss a couple if you don't bring them.  

I've had people ask me about AASHTO.  Its absolutely mandatory.  I can't say more than that, but you will not pass if you don't bring it.  Remember there are 2 SE exams, one from bridges and one for buildings... and the AM portion of both the vertical and lateral is the SAME EXAM for both bridges and buildings.  Just think about that for a little bit.  Bridge SE examinees and Building SE examinees take the same AM portion of both exams.  Now ask yourself whether you should bring AASHTO.  

Realistically I'd bring everything I had though.  I'd hate to be too lazy to cart in a reference only to find out there was a question or 2 on the exam and miss that problem by default.  I did this on the PE thinking I could get away without a few references and the PM civil/str asked a few questions on both.  I passed so it wasn't a big deal, but I assume I had alot more leeway on the PE than I did the SE in terms of passing buffer.  

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O and I also brought the CERM and SERM from PPI.  I used the CERM once and never used the SERM for what it was worth.  And then I had some abbreviated class notes on topics and things like that.

I also had the PPI Masonry Design Guide.  Its super basic, and I love it.  I used it both during the exam and I use it all the time in practice.  So I guess I'd plug for that item for whatever that is worth.

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38 minutes ago, smahurin said:

I also had the PPI Masonry Design Guide.  Its super basic, and I love it.  I used it both during the exam and I use it all the time in practice.  So I guess I'd plug for that item for whatever that is worth.

What masonry design guide was that? The only PPI one I'm aware of is the Code Masters laminated pamphlet.

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Ya thats the one I mean, its just a few page pamphlet and is really basic, but I think its handy and helpful.  

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Get David Connor's book for Bridge Review.  They really are all you'll need for the morning Bridge Questions.  Seriously.

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There's a handful of things in there that might be useful; nail sizes, certain straps and things; but overall NCEES wont ask you to identify any specific hardware such as a holddown or strap beyond just saying that you would put such a device there. I'd leave the Simpson catalogue at home.

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I wouldn't bring it personally.  NCEES won't ask about, nor do they intend to steer someone toward a specific manufacturer on anything.  You might have to come up with a connector force or a holdown force, but you won't be asked to "select" a product to use for that specific force.  While the simpson manual is handy, it'll just take up space in your box or on your table for the exam.

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