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SE Review Courses


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#1 dwha

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:40 PM

I am looking at taking the Structural Exam coming up in the next year or so. I was wondering others experiences with review/prep courses. I have been looking at one by ASCE, which is aobut 22 total hours and is online. And one be Kaplan, which is about 24 hours and is online.

Has anyone had any positive or negative experiences with these? Or any recomenations for other prep courses?

Thanks!!

#2 McEngr

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:05 PM

QUOTE (dwha @ Jan 26 2011, 03:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am looking at taking the Structural Exam coming up in the next year or so. I was wondering others experiences with review/prep courses. I have been looking at one by ASCE, which is aobut 22 total hours and is online. And one be Kaplan, which is about 24 hours and is online.

Has anyone had any positive or negative experiences with these? Or any recomenations for other prep courses?

Thanks!!


Just as important, is it possible to get continuing education credits for these? Good question dwha!

#3 brosenbe

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 03:34 PM

Hi. First time poster, so apologies if this isn't the right format. I took the Kaplan Vertical Forces course this past weekend (12 hours, spread over two days). As you probably know, it's broken down into different lessons by subject matter. The quality varied pretty sharply between the lessons. Loads, Statics, Masonry, and Wood were good to excellent. These presentations were clearly geared towards engineers with experience preparing for a test. Masonry and Loads was especially good - code-based, tips on things to know (footnotes, etc.), example problems, etc. Steel was average - a good discussion of the code and then worked through an example problem, but nothing really new. Foundations was not great - more based on theory and qualitative geotech information than test-based problems. Concrete was terrible. It was essentially an introductory lesson, complete with a half-hour discussion on why the bottom of a concrete beam is in tension; it was clearly not geared toward the audience. If you're debating taking it, I'm not sure what to recommend: some were very helpful and some were useless. It's a matter of price and disposition, I suppose.

I'm also taking the Lateral Forces module in two weeks. Fortunately, the majority of those lessons are scheduled to be taught by some of the better instructors from the Vertical Portions, so I'm hopeful that it will be quite helpful.

You also get three Kaplan prep books - PE Review, Concrete, and Seismic - which have great examples and are very helpful.

Hope this helps.

#4 greatjohn

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 03:41 PM

Brosenbe: is this class on line or in house? what is the Link? Thanks

Edited by greatjohn, 31 January 2011 - 03:43 PM.


#5 dwha

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 05:46 PM

Thanks Brosenbe. That is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Unfortunatily you did not say it was completely worth while (or a complete waste of time), because that would have made my decision easy. But the honest info is what I was looking for.

I feel I can hold my own in Concrete and Steel, so this might still be a posibility. Please report back on the later force section when you complete it!!!

When are you planning on taking the exam??


Thanks again!!!

#6 brosenbe

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 07:22 PM

Glad I could help. Yep, I completely understand how helpful it would be to say, "Yep, do it!" or "No, stay away!". Because it is expensive ($749 per module or $1200 for both), it's a judgment call. I felt I'd rather make the most of my chances this time around and do all I could to pass on the first try. And, of course, the practice books are pretty good. I'm taking it in NY in April 2011.

If it helps, you can buy the lateral portion separately. I don't know if the vertical portion is still available, though all lessons are archived online for instant access up until the test (which is good because some went very quickly with a lot of good info). Based on the topics, the instructors (again, some of the better ones from the vertical portion), and my relatively weaker skill set on lateral forces, I think that the lateral portion (Feb. 12-13) will be very helpful and am looking forward to it.

Here is the link: http://www.kaplanaec...oduct_list.aspx

If it doesn't work, just search "Kaplan PE" and it's the Live SE review course option.

The classes are online. You watch live feeds of the instructors give their presentations, and then can access the lectures, slides, and any supplementary material 24/7 up until the test. There were no tech problems - everything went smooth with the feed and logistics. You can also ask questions during the presentations and the instructors are pretty responsive.

Let me know of any other questions. Hope this helps.

Edited by brosenbe, 31 January 2011 - 07:23 PM.


#7 brosenbe

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 07:33 PM

QUOTE (brosenbe @ Jan 31 2011, 07:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Glad I could help. Yep, I completely understand how helpful it would be to say, "Yep, do it!" or "No, stay away!". Because it is expensive ($749 per module or $1200 for both), it's a judgment call. I felt I'd rather make the most of my chances this time around and do all I could to pass on the first try. And, of course, the practice books are pretty good. I'm taking it in NY in April 2011.

If it helps, you can buy the lateral portion separately. I don't know if the vertical portion is still available, though all lessons are archived online for instant access up until the test (which is good because some went very quickly with a lot of good info). Based on the topics, the instructors (again, some of the better ones from the vertical portion), and my relatively weaker skill set on lateral forces, I think that the lateral portion (Feb. 12-13) will be very helpful and am looking forward to it.

Here is the link: http://www.kaplanaec...oduct_list.aspx

If it doesn't work, just search "Kaplan PE" and it's the Live SE review course option.

The classes are online. You watch live feeds of the instructors give their presentations, and then can access the lectures, slides, and any supplementary material 24/7 up until the test. There were no tech problems - everything went smooth with the feed and logistics. You can also ask questions during the presentations and the instructors are pretty responsive.

Let me know of any other questions. Hope this helps.


Also, I looked into the ASCE course as well. The format is good, and they include a bridge module, which the Kaplan course does not. (A bridge module would be helpful for a buildings person like me). However, they leave seismic design until the week before the test, which I wasn't comfortable with. Also, it's much more expensive, and a different time commitment (weekly instead of just a few full/half days). Finally, there's no mention of the videos being available online, which is a definite plus for the Kaplan course.

#8 Eric Engineering

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:47 PM

This is the best structural class is the USA:

http://se-es.org/

I highly recommend it.

#9 brosenbe

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:42 PM

QUOTE (Eric Engineering @ Mar 2 2011, 12:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is the best structural class is the USA:

http://se-es.org/

I highly recommend it.


Tim Mays was one of the presenters for the Kaplan course (for a number of seminars) and he was excellent!

#10 lccivil

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:22 AM

QUOTE (Eric Engineering @ Mar 1 2011, 11:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is the best structural class is the USA:

http://se-es.org/

I highly recommend it.



Hey Eric,

I guess you took this course last year. I was wondering if I could buy a set of the PDF notes from you. The file may be to big to send so maybe we can set up a file share ftp.

Let me know if you're open to this idea. PM me your email or email me at lawchan83 at gmail.com

Edited by lccivil, 15 March 2011 - 06:26 AM.


#11 ipswitch

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 05:02 PM

QUOTE (Eric Engineering @ Mar 1 2011, 11:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is the best structural class is the USA:

http://se-es.org/

I highly recommend it.



Seems as if this link is dead. Can anyone fix it or redirect it?

#12 lbut_21

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 01:30 PM

I am a new poster from Nebraska. I have taken the Vertical and Lateral forces Kaplan classes. I agree with the persons assessment of the Kaplan vertical classes. For the Lateral forces the only bad instruction was the foundations. Some of the instructor may have been boring, but after taking both exams, the content of the classes was on point. Kaplan provided a thorough discussion of topics. Concrete covered chapter 21 of the ACI. Concrete should have been given more time even though the handouts outlined the material very well. Steel covered AISC 341-05. Steel was by the same person that did the Vertical portion but the content was better than the lateral forces. Masonry was taught by the same lady which was outstanding because she gave tables for quickly calculating area and MOI for partially grouted walls & examples. One strong note for Masonry is to use the correct code, ACI 530-05, not 02 or 08, they differ enough to throw you off. The Loads section was awesome. Tim Mays gave a lot of good relevant examples of what was to be expected on the test and went over chapters 12 and 13 in ASCE 7. Wood was taught well. The instructor taught from the NDS supplement which is the same as IBC chapter 23.

I would highly recommend taking the Kaplan courses even though there are a few duds as instructors. If you can get 4 or 5 people to split the cost, that would be even better. Even if you do not watch it live you will always have access to it 24-7 on their website, so you wont have the live questions that you can ask, but the content that they are providing is more valuable. I previously failed the SE 1 two times before taking the 16 hour exam in April. After taking the exam I feel confident that I did way better than the 43/80 I had on the SE I in October and honestly feel that I passed both Vertical and Lateral Parts.

During the break in the Lateral forces exam I ran into an engineer who passed the SE I in October and did not take the Kaplan course said he was completely blindsided by the switch to the new format and questions in the multiple choice on both the Vertical forces and Lateral forces exam.

An additional book I would recommend is the is the Concrete Design for the Civil and Structral Exams by C. Dale Buckner. From my standpoint it has oddball SE practice problems in the back of the book that I did not see on a daily basis and prepared me for the concrete portion. It also have good discussion on Chapter 21 of the ACI. Also the PCA notes are good for Concrete.

#13 ipswitch

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 04:55 PM

This looks like a pretty good review course but you have to live in CA.


structural solutions

#14 snowboarder99

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 03:52 PM

Can anyone speak to the ASCE course or the School of PE course?

#15 jillhill

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 04:23 AM

Can anyone speak to the ASCE course or the School of PE course?


When I was studying for the SE1 (2 yrs ago), I took both the ASCE and School of PE classes, they were both bad. The School of PE, I took both their SE1 and their CIvil class, their Structural teachers are Horrible!!!! their civil teachers were great, I wrote them an email and told them they need to get new structural teachers.

The ASCE for SE1 was ok at best, not enough time to get into anything significant and therefore a waste of money. I suggest either Kaplain or the Structural engineering association of Illinois webinar. I'm taking the SEAOI webinar, last day to sign up is this monday. it's a long haul, i've had a cowork take it and said he really learned a lot.
http://www.seaoi.org...her Course).pdf

#16 ipswitch

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 03:42 PM


Can anyone speak to the ASCE course or the School of PE course?


When I was studying for the SE1 (2 yrs ago), I took both the ASCE and School of PE classes, they were both bad. The School of PE, I took both their SE1 and their CIvil class, their Structural teachers are Horrible!!!! their civil teachers were great, I wrote them an email and told them they need to get new structural teachers.

The ASCE for SE1 was ok at best, not enough time to get into anything significant and therefore a waste of money. I suggest either Kaplain or the Structural engineering association of Illinois webinar. I'm taking the SEAOI webinar, last day to sign up is this monday. it's a long haul, i've had a cowork take it and said he really learned a lot.
http://www.seaoi.org...r%20Course).pdf


Seems like School of PE has revamped their SE course (boasting a 64% pass rate for the April 2011 SE Exam). They actually have an SE teaching now. You still have to drop some major coin, ~2K for the 120 hour review. I don't mean to sound like I'm stumping for these guys but they may have paid attention to your email.

#17 jillhill

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:44 AM



Can anyone speak to the ASCE course or the School of PE course?


When I was studying for the SE1 (2 yrs ago), I took both the ASCE and School of PE classes, they were both bad. The School of PE, I took both their SE1 and their CIvil class, their Structural teachers are Horrible!!!! their civil teachers were great, I wrote them an email and told them they need to get new structural teachers.

The ASCE for SE1 was ok at best, not enough time to get into anything significant and therefore a waste of money. I suggest either Kaplain or the Structural engineering association of Illinois webinar. I'm taking the SEAOI webinar, last day to sign up is this monday. it's a long haul, i've had a cowork take it and said he really learned a lot.
http://www.seaoi.org...r%20Course).pdf


Seems like School of PE has revamped their SE course (boasting a 64% pass rate for the April 2011 SE Exam). They actually have an SE teaching now. You still have to drop some major coin, ~2K for the 120 hour review. I don't mean to sound like I'm stumping for these guys but they may have paid attention to your email.


I really hope they listened. I've been keeping an eye on the website to see if they change the instructors or how their classes unfold. I would be surprised if they did change, because after the SE1 class a lot of people in the class said they were going to write emails. then i took the Civil PE class about a year later and i was very happy with the other lecturers, but then the structural classes hit, and it was the same old teachers with the same old notes. the notes were not even to the current code, they were too focused on theory, where as the other lecturers were focused on real world questoins you'd get on the test. I really hope someone takes it and posts their thoughts, i'm not opposed to taking another one of their classes again. I think their 64% is misleading because they didn't even offer a lateral review session last time, only vertical, so they are comparing their 64% to NCEES 27% which was for both tests. they do sneaky stuff like that. Either they are intentionally misleading people online, or they really don't have enough sense in them to know they can't compare their 64% pass of 1 Session, to the NCEES % of both sessions. Even if School of PE did ask the test taker, did you Pass BOTH sessions and 64% said yes, School of PE did nothing to prepare those students for that lateral session,

#18 Bombo_Buster

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:22 PM

This post is about vertical exam, the next one will be about horizontal.

Background: I took April Exam (Vertical) Buildings -> Results AM 27/40, PM 2 Acceptable / 2 Unacceptable (Concrete & Wood). I did not study much for this exam, I went through the NCEES sample book. At this exam I did not use any other material except the codes and some data sheets for masonry. I did not buy the AISI (light gage cold formed steel)code, since it was only one problem and the code was about $300 or so and actually I answered that question correctly.

I took the Kaplan Review Course (Vertical) in July, 2 days of webinars.
Vertical Loads - Very good, it pointed me to the examples in the Commentary for snow that I had no idea that were there.
Bridges - Same instructor as Vertical loads, very good content about loads calculation and some design problems - tailored to non-bridge engineers
Reinforced Concrete - (Instructor Lary Nowak) - wasted a lot of time on basics (concrete good in compression, steel in tension non-sense)
Wood Design - Good presentation, fast-paced right to the essentials
Analysis Methods - very basic but I guess useful based on the likely question exams
Steel Design - Competent, very balanced presentation, covered most of the issues
Geotechnical, Soils and Foundations - Decent presentation, most of the subjects covered
Masonry - Sue Frey - By far the best, good presentation showing how the masonry code is superseded by IBC, lots of give away data sheets and worked examples

I re-took the Vertical Building last Friday. From the course material I used the masonry data sheets, also I bought the recommended laminated Code Master design summaries, very helpful I used them both on Vertical and Lateral days for both AM and PM (the best $15 spent for this exam). Also I used the Reinforced Concrete reference sheets that were given away by Ravi, the concrete instructor for the Lateral forces module. Other than that I did a better job putting post-it notes in my codes.

#19 Bombo_Buster

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:37 PM

The horizontal exam part, now.

Again, I took the Kaplan two-day course in August.

Tim Mays did the lateral forces (general) + seismic - Good presentation, good pace, lots of stuff covered. Donal scott did the lateral wind forces distribution, highly recommended, basically what you need to know about the subject, not much left out.
Bridges - Tim Mays - good information covering the bridge loads questions for the lateral exam, nothing however on the bridge design.
Reinforced Concrete - It was a pre-recorded session (the guy had to be out of the country) but vey good quality, especially after the Vertical Forces fiasco. In addition to the presentation he had a reinforced concrete design summaries handout that I used on both Vertical and Horizontal days.
Steel Design - good performance similar to Vertical days
Wood Design - good again, I wished he spent more time on collectors, drag ties
Masonry - very good performance, lots of material to give out.




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