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  1. Hello Everyone, I am planning to take PE Civil Structural exam in April 2020. I am a repeat test taker. In October 2019 exam I got 19/40 in the Structural depth and an overall score of 46/80 as per NCEES diagnostic. At first, I’m giving a brief introduction to my educational background. Then I’m trying to analyze my NCEES diagnostic. I am not looking for any shortcut but a smart way to pass the exam. I am in quest of your valuable advice and recommendation to prepare for my April 2020 exam. Though quite long, I believe this thread will help colleagues (other examinees) to prepare for PE exam. My background: I am an international student enrolled in PhD (final year) program in a US university. My research area is Computational Mechanics mostly focusing on computational tool development for advanced materials, e.g. fiber composite. I did my Bachelor of engineering (Civil Engineering) in 2006. After that I briefly worked as a structural engineer in my country of origin. Then I mostly focused on mechanics related research. As a foreign national I don’t have very good knowledge of using US codes used in design practice. I have never studied wood and masonry design in my home country. My university (at US) doesn’t offer those classes either. During October 2019 exam I was able to study thoroughly only for 2 weeks before the exam. Didn’t do any practice problem. As an obvious reason I failed. Analysis of my PE exam diagnostic and April 2020 plan: Looking at my NCEES diagnostic report I would say my performance in ‘Analysis of Structures: Forces and load effects’ is the only knowledge area where my performance was above average (7/10). I need your valuable guidance to improve following knowledge area: Analysis of Structures: Loads and load application (4 pts.): In October 2019, I scored zero in this module. For April 2020, I am preparing this module using ASCE 7-10 and ASCE 37-14. I don’t want to miss these 4 points. Design and Details of Structures- Materials (5 pts.): In October 2019, I scored 3/5 in this module. For April 2020, only focusing on code specifications in AISC 360, ACI 318-14, NDS 2015 edition and TMS402. Any suggestions for finding specification of cold-formed steel? Design and Details of Structures-Component design (15 pts): In October 2019, I scored 7/15 in this module. I believe this is a vast but the most important part in the exam to make a difference. NCEES suggested outlines are here: Horizontal members (e.g., beams, slabs, diaphragms), Vertical members (e.g., columns, bearing walls, shear walls), Systems (e.g., trusses, braces, frames, composite construction), Connections (e.g., bearing, bolted, welded, embedded, anchored), Foundations (e.g., retaining walls, footings, combined footings, slabs, mats, piers, piles, caissons, drilled shafts). Any missing item on the NCEES spec you want me to be prepared based on your experience as a structural engineer. Codes and Construction- codes (4 pts.): During October 2019 I brought IBC, AISC, ACI 318 and ASCE 7-10. I scored 1/4 in this module. For April 2020, I am including OSHA 1910 and 1926. Will it be useful to bring PCI, AWS and AASHTO even if I haven’t read those codes at least once before exam? Codes and Construction- Temporary structures and other topics (2 pts.): This portion carries least amount of points for the Structural depth. In October 2019, I scored 1/2 in this module. NCEES mentions a very broad area for this item also. I am thinking if you could suggest any resource (book, website, video) for each topic. NCEES specified topics are here: Special inspections Submittals Formwork Falsework and scaffolding Shoring and reshoring Concrete maturity and early strength evaluation Bracing Anchorage OSHA regulations Safety management Thanks in advance for any valuable suggestion.
  2. Hey All, I'm taking civil structural this week and I've got all my codes. The only outdated one that I have is NDS 2012. Considering that the only real major changes to the NDS 2015 include the incorporation of cross-laminated timber, I'm wondering if anyone else is taking this risk using the older code? Thanks everyone.
  3. Hi All, I'm not a huge fan of taking classes to study for things, especially standardized exams. I feel like the most effective solution is to do as many sample problems as possible that are as similar to the exam as possible, that cover all subject areas. Some questions: 1.) Does anyone know of any good resources for sample exam problems? 2.) NCEES appears to have a single sample exam for the civil breadth + structural depth, do you know where we can find more? Are there different versions? 3.) My boss has a sample exam from NCEES, copyrighted in 2014 (I think this is the same as the current sample exam), does anyone have any older/alternate NCEES practice exams? 4.) Does anyone know of any good study resources in addition to sample exams? Thanks! Regards, Spencer
  4. Hi All, I purchased several books to study for the Civil PE exam (Structural Depth) and wanted to give some info on which ones helped me pass the Nov 2016 exam on the first try. Practice Problems: 1) "Civil Engineering PE Practice Exams: Breadth and Depth" by Goswami. Problems are ever so slightly more difficult than what I saw on the exam. But it served as great preparation. Some of the solutions referenced out of date concrete and steel codes but I was still able to solve the problems using the current codes. 2) "Practice Exams for the Civil PE Examination: Two practice exams (and solutions) geared towards the breadth portion of the Civil PE Exam" by Goswami. Problems were about the difficulty level I saw on the exam. Great practice for the AM portion of the exam. 3) "Six-Minute Solutions for Civil PE Exam Structural Problems, 6th Ed" by Subasic. Some of these problems were much harder than what I saw on the structural depth portion of the exam. I worked through some but not all of them. 4) PE Civil Engineering Structural Practice exam by NCEES. 1 full exam. Great practice problems. Difficulty level was the easiest of all the aforementioned books but representative of the difficulty level of questions I saw on the exam. 5) “Practice Problems for the Civil Engineering PE Exam: A Companion to the Civil Engineering Reference Manual” by Lindeburg. To me this book had way too many practice problems on topics that were not covered on the exam. I sold the book and focused on the previously mentioned books with questions designed to simulate what you’d see on the exam. Review Books: 1) “Civil Breadth Reference Manual” by Mansour. This provided a good overview for the AM portion of the exam but I found myself using the Goswami's All-in-One guide more in my studies and during the exam. 2) Civil Engineering All-In-One PE Exam Guide: Breadth and Depth, Third Edition by Goswami. Excellent prep for both the AM and PM sections. I probably could have gotten by with just this one review book. It’s succinct and only covers topics you will see on the exam so you can just read through the chapters to prepare for the exam. I was able to follow 1-2 examples in the book during the exam to solve problems that I was unfamiliar with. 3) Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam by Lindeburg. Has way more information than you will need to pass the exam. But the index is comprehensive. I answered 2-3 unfamiliar questions on the exam just by looking things up in the index and following example problems. 4) I also used steel, concrete, and wood textbooks that I kept from college to fill in the blanks where the review books were occasionally broad. Codes: Here is a list of the codes that I purchased for the exam. I probably could have gotten by without purchasing 1) and 2). 2012 International Building Code (International Code Council Series). Minimal use during studies and during the exam OSHA Construction Regulations Book (January 2015 Edition). Did not use in my studies or during the exam. Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures. Steel Construction Manual. Definitely needed it to study and pass the structural PM. Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, 3rd Printing (Standard ASCE/SEI 7-10) ACI 318-11: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete and Commentary (318-11) 2012 Wood Design Package - including the National Design Specification® for Wood Construction (NDS®) & NDS Supplement: Design Values for Wood Construction.
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