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  1. The old WA state exam had many years with 0% pass rates. That's one of the tests that this exam was designed to replace. So 30% is quite an improvement for people in WA.
  2. That may be oversimplifying it a bit. You may have seen a problem before, but you: A) Don't know how you did on it the first time, so you may get it wrong again (in this case recognizing a problem may be a downside) B) Have likely seen many similar problems if you took practice tests and studied books specifically designed for this exam. I actually had a question on my last test that I had seen the day before on a practice exam. Almost word for word, with the the only difference being a single dimension. Additionally, it's unlikely they're going to repeat the same question in back to back tests. There's probably an algorithm that prevents that from happening. So at best a question may appear two or three cycles later. If you can remember specific questions from that far back, then good on you, you probably deserve the bonus point. Think of it like this, they probably have a few hundred (maybe even a thousand) questions with lots of small variations. If they started releasing diagnostics with specific questions, that number would whittle away pretty quickly. They'd likely need to hire way more test makers to keep the pool of fresh questions up, which would increase the cost of the test even more. Also, the lateral test seems rigged towards specific structures and areas because the ultimate goal was to eliminate the state exams in WA and CA. So to appease the strictest you needed to screw over the the others requiring the test. I can imagine a breaking point in the future, where Illinois, and Georgia, and anywhere else that decides to require this exam are forced with either allowing structural design with a PE (or just getting rid of that weird law in GA regarding which test you can take, which is dumb for many reasons), or they push back hard on NCEES and force them to soften the exam, which will likely force CA and WA back to state exams. The goal to eliminate those exams was to allow easier license comity. So it really appears like someone will need to make a hard decision, either NCEES, or the state boards. CA specifically calls this exam a "mastery" exam, so it stands as bizarre that you need it for very simple structures in some non-seismic states, but I guess that's why I'm not an administrator.
  3. In one of my failed attempts I made a mistake very early on in a basic stiffness calculation. I noticed it later on but since it was fundamental to the essay question I would have had to redo everything. So I just added a star at that calc and a note saying I should have done this instead but due to time constraints will continue using what I had calculated. I received an Acceptable on that problem, so they definitely are fairly lenient. I always figured their grading was: Acceptable: You understand the problem and all the required steps to get each part of the answer (even if you messed up a calc but realized your error) Improvement Required: You mostly understood the problem, but may have struggled on a part of it (or really messed up the calcs) Unacceptable: Runs the gambit from you were completely lost to you just didn't understand enough of the parts. Also if you made a really bad assumption or a really poor design choice. Also, for folks complaining about the grading time. A couple of tests ago the wait was ridiculously long due to a grading workshop, it happens. Just keep in the back of your mind that about a week after you find out you passed, you'll have a really hard time remembering this waiting period. All that frustration just washes away. Also, you gotta give these graders some slack. They're mostly folks just like yourselves. They also have to deal with horrific handwriting (like mine), and have to really try and understand how much a person understands about a topic from a simple question, which is insanely difficult. As far as a more detailed diagnostic, it's never going to happen. These questions take a while to come up with and fine tune to make sure they're as clear as possible. They reuse them a lot, so letting people know more about how they did on specific questions is going to make their lives incredibly difficult, as each test will require a full new round of questions. Not sure why they don't break down categories by building or bridge though, maybe again to help reduce the chances of figuring out which questions you got right or wrong from the diagnostic. MAKE SURE YOU LET NCEES KNOW ABOUT ANY QUESTIONS YOU FELT WERE POORLY WORDED, WRONG, AND/OR UNNECESSARILY CONFUSING!!! They take it seriously, and it may affect your scores.
  4. Just my 2 cents, I think the test is pretty reasonable if you are A) A building engineer B) Working frequently in high seismic areas and C) work frequently with at least 3 out of the 4 major materials. I work primarily in high seismic zones but only work in bridge design (all requiring displacement-based design, which is out of the scope of this exam), so the hill to climb for passing this test without a class was a bit too steep. I found that out the hard way...twice. Vertical on the other hand I passed first try self studying, and fairly minimal self study at that. Taking a class showed me how big my gaps were in ASCE and in building-centric concrete and steel design. My experience was as follows: -Try one: minimal self study (same level as vertical) - Shell shocked -Try two: rigorous self study - Felt better but only got one or two more questions -Try three: EET lateral class - Finished both morning and afternoon with a lot of extra time and left knowing I passed Beyond that, in terms of reference materials, I personally needed to just be way more familiar with the codes (so primary references were ASCE/ACI/AISC/AASHTO/etc). The best way for me to do that was a lot of practice problems and tests, with deliberate tabbing and quick reference binders (pulled tables from the codes, sample guides, how-to type stuff). I own all the SEAOC books, Williams S&W, Hiner, CMACN book, all the PPI seismic books and sample questions and probably a half dozen others, but in the end I attributed my success to the class and familiarity with the codes. A quick note (this may be how others feel about the steel or concrete or wind or whatever) but the AASHTO questions in the morning are super basic. They're essentially testing your ability to find the section in the code, and follow a super simple calc. If you're familiar with loads (chapter 3) and basic analysis (chapter 4) you'll probably get about 75-80% of the bridge questions pretty easily. Just pay attention to any boundary condition-related terminology in the question. They're usually tell you if something is fixed transversely at an abutment or not, or if there's some other stiffness for you to consider (like a foundation or passive resistance). If you're a building engineer working with a bunch of different materials in a high seismic zone you'll probably do pretty well with deliberate study. Good luck and remember to email NCEES about any questions you thought were unclear or misleading. Even though most probably go nowhere you may be the person the pushes that particular question over the line and get it thrown out.
  5. In my experience (and as someone with some ink), tattoos are like all preferences... People that like them can't really communicate why they like them, and people that don't like them will never understand anyway. Neither side is correct, taste is personal and subjective. That said, if you're going to compare yourself to a ferrari with a bumper sticker all I can say is congrats for having one hell of a self esteem. Then again, the Rock seems to be cool with his bumper stickers...
  6. Looks like it's a polar moment of inertia calc. So for three bolts your polar moment of inertia for the bolt group is 2 x s^2= 2 x (6^2). If you had 4 bolts it would be 2 x ((0.5s)^2+(1.5s)^2) and for 5 bolts its 2 x (s^2+(2s)^2), with "s" being the spacing of the bolts. If the bolts spacing varies you need to sum the "d^2" terms, with "d" being the distance to the group centroid.
  7. Not trolling, just got results (previously passed the vert): Take EET, it's worth it's weight in GOLD!
  8. Sorry, didn't recheck the forum. The original design had a single rod with each floor (and therefore each nut) supporting the weight of 1 floor. By offsetting the rod connecting the lower floor, the upper floor now supports both the lower and upper floor weight. So the nut in question (and the floorbeam) now has to support both floors, and was not resized for the additional forces.
  9. Looks like a case study of the Hyatt Regency Collapse. Load on the nut doubles with the offset.
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