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I recently failed the gravity portion of the structural exam. I believe I misunderstood as to what one portion of one of the afternoon problems was asking and thus missed a "critical" design check. However, I was wondering, does anyone have theories as to what the bread and butter of the afternoon exam is? I'm assuming that bending AND shear will be asked on each problem - thus if for some reason you didn't calculate shear on a particular problem you'd know to double check your answers on the problems? Also, in general does anyone have advice for second time takers of the exam?
A couple of ways I have been building my confidence in my study process: 1. Believe that the actual exam will only be slightly harder than the NCEES exam. 2. Go through the NCEES sample problems. If you can do the problems, that bodes well for you on the exam. 3. Go through the lateral seismic and wind chapters of ASCE 7. Tab all the stuff that you frequently go to. 4. Know the basics of seismic detailing of SMF and shearwalls of ACI chapter 21. 5. Know the basics of seismic detailing of SCBFs, SMFs, IMFs, and ECBFs. AISC 341 has a pretty good organization for the student so tab the heck out of the example problems and know where they are. 6. Don't even get bogged down on the slender wall design stuff of the MSJC... the P-delta effects would take more than an hour to crank through to get a resolved solution (<5% diff in iteration). 7. Don't worry about complex building structures except to identify irregularities. There's just not enough time. Anyone else can chime in. These are the issues that I'm wrestling with.