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Reverse Polish

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  1. Also, I might still be having nightmares about a few specific problems from October. Not sure if post-exam PTSD is a thing, but some research might be warranted here.
  2. This is just me personally, but because I'm so naturally optimistic 😉, I assumed worst-case scenario at every opportunity. If NCEES says "Load Distribution and Analysis Methods", I interpreted that to mean, "Be able to take any kind of load, applied anywhere on a structure, transmit it to the foundation, and calculate any reaction/deflection/rotation along the load path". Truth. In reality, I think that category is intended to be a "catch-all", in order for NCEES to cover their behinds when a sadistic beast of a problem finds its way onto the exam.
  3. Working problems is at least as important as knowing the codes. No disagreement there. But to understand and apply the codes, you have to know the content of the codes (as well as how to interpret them). Most of us don't use every provision in every code on a daily basis in our professional work. For those of us who have been out of school more than a few years, some codes are drastically different (and twice as thick) from those we learned in school, or as young engineers taking the FE/PE exams.
  4. E720, you asked a valid question. I'm not trying to shred you for it. Rather, I'm trying to illustrate that your question relates to a very, very small fraction of the scope of this exam. Don't get too fixated on any one thing. No matter what, there will be problems on the exam that you never anticipated, and you'll have to be able to roll with it. I organized my study by topic, going through one book at a time, page by page, making notes for my own comprehension. While a certain table of coefficients may not specifically apply to "Load Distribution and Analysis Methods", it remains fair game if it's in any of the codes in the exam specification. If there's a table somewhere in a code, know how to apply it. In other words--don't just limit yourself to the letter of the specification. Because honestly, it doesn't matter. The exam can have a problem that the exam writers think a Structural Engineer should be able to solve, and the graders aren't going to care which portion of the exam specification covers it. For the afternoon problems, especially, the most important concept is how well you understand and apply proper methodology and judgment.
  5. ALL the coefficients and tables. In all the codes. Period. If you try to slice-and-dice, second-guess the exam writers, and study cafeteria-style, you will not pass. Guaranteed. The only certain way to pass the exam is to know every letter in every code in the exam specification--AND how to apply it. The vertical forces exam, in particular, is going to throw the house at you. What's fair game for a question on the SE exam? Quite literally, anything. I think that, in over 300 hours of studying, I spent less than an hour reviewing the exam specification. Rather than try to match components to what is stated in the specification, you'll be much better off spending that time devouring the listed codes. All of them. Roughly two-thirds of everyone who takes each part of the exam will not pass. Your course of study thus has to be sufficient to surpass two-thirds of your peers on both days. Don't short yourself by rationalizing the spec while everyone else is becoming intimate with every last footnote in the codes. Best of success in your studies.
  6. Well, that's a means-and-methods question that I can't answer. 😉 There are a lot of good study suggestions on these threads. Keep in mind, however, that everyone is different. We all have different study habits, aptitudes, and work experience, so what has worked for one may not work for you. I personally had success with some tactics that others here have recommended against. That's not to say those people are wrong--I just wasn't comfortable using their approaches in my own study. You know yourself better than any of us do. The goal is to develop mastery over the content and application of the codes. Whatever approach gets you to that point will be successful. At a minimum, know the codes in the exam specifications inside-and-out. Best of luck!
  7. If your jurisdiction requires sealed drawings to be submitted for permit, you may wish to discuss this with your Professional Engineer *prior* to beginning your calculations. I have never (and will never) place my seal upon work done by others, where I was not in Responsible Charge of the work--especially ex-post-facto. Plan Stamping is considered a serious offense by the state engineering boards. Don't put a fellow engineer in this position. If your residence is beyond the prescriptive requirements of the IRC, you don't want to be doing this yourself.
  8. NCEES posts the April exam specifications in November. Looks like there will be no changes for April 2020. Best of luck!
  9. Structural Analysis by Hibbeler David Connor's Book O' Bridge Problems SEAOC Structural / Seismic Design Manuals 1-4 are great for learning/refreshing seismic, and make a terrific addition to your permanent library.
  10. Congratulations to all the newly-minted Professional Engineers! For those of you in Georgia (and elsewhere--but especially in Georgia), make sure you pay your biennial renewal fee. You would totally believe how many months it takes to get a PE license reinstated by the Georgia Board.
  11. Somewhat surprisingly passed both exams. What a relief. Huge thanks to everyone who has been posting on this forum. Your insights and experiences helped me establish a course of successful study. Congratulations to those of you who still persist--you are making yourselves better engineers, which we desperately need. I recall a quote from a sub-2:30 marathoner who stated that his heroes are not the people who finish first, but the people who are still on the course after 4 hours and persevering. Chin up, and keep working diligently both in the office and in your studies. You owe it to yourself and your profession! Remember--if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
  12. This is nausea-inducing. The pass rates support my suspicion that the Practice Exam was absolutely useless in preparing for the PM. Abandon hope, (most of) ye who enter....
  13. Hi all, Been lurking for about the past year. Also waiting on Illinois/CTS. Thought I would join this merry anxiety/depression support group. Felt reasonably confident for seven weeks. Stomach dropped into a pit on Monday, and been living on the edge of my dupa since. Still having nightmares about two PM problems in particular. In the meantime, I'm trying to convince myself there's no way I passed, so as to avoid letdown (in the case of any false sense of security I may have enjoyed). Good thing I've had plenty of humbling experiences in my career to prepare me for this psychological beatdown. Crossing my fingers.
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