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Geotechnical Depth References

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Hello all,

Just created an account and this is my first post.

I wanted to run by you all what references I am currently planning on bringing with me to the afternoon module (GEO) to the PE exam April 2016.

1. Das textbooks - Principles of Geotechnical Engineering and Principles of Foundation Engineering

2. Soils and Foundations - NHI Course No. 132012 _ Reference Manual - Volumes I & II

3. A few sections out of the FHWA Manual - Design and Construction of Driven Pile Foundations

3. Steel Sheet Piling Design Manual

4. Geotechnical Engineering Circular No. 4 _ Ground Anchors and Anchored Systems

5. CERM - 15th edition

6. Maybe a couple sample exams and practice problems

Are there any other references you guys recommend? I am bringing the FHWA manuals due to a friend of mine who took the exam this past October and said they were needed.

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You might print out the two NavFac manuals ncees recommends if you have room & money.  And a dictionary with engineering terms (just in case).  Other than that, you've got a pretty thorough list.  I'd recommend focusing on only a handful during your preparation (the ones you keep going back to the most) and keep these as your primary source during the exam with the rest as backup if you finish early and are trying to find those last elusive answers.

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Just took the PE Civil Geotech and passed 1st try (October 2015).

I can't remember if it was the latest NCEES practice test or the Six minute solutions, but I kept seeing references to the Geotechnical engineering handbook in the solutions.   I wished that I had found this book for the test.  I still passed the test, but it was not the 1-Hour breeze that I found each portion of the practice test to be.  There were a lot of conceptual questions that seemed simple but I could not find the answers to these questions in all of my geotech references from grad school.  Also, I would recommend getting a copy of the old Holtz and Kovacs textbook "An Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering" (1981)--my copy had too many loose pages to bring to the exam but again, i wished i would've had it. I think they've issued an updated version.  This textbook will come in handy for conceptual questions. Also, if you can borrow a geosynthetics book from a friend that might be good for at least one conceptual problem on the afternoon.  I found that the afternoon was really about how many obscure references you had, and if you could figure out their weird presentation of otherwise simple problems.   Maybe some other guys can chime in who took the Geotech October 2015.  Good luck.  

Edited by Lukus
strike references to specific exam problems

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11 minutes ago, Lukus said:

is that acceptable?

:thumbs:

And congrats on passing.

Edited by matt267 PE

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i second the recommendation to pay attention to what references NCEES uses to develop their sample problems. i bought a few of the texts (construction depth) and they were invaluable during my studying and then during the exam.

Edited by NYCProjectEngineer PE PMP

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14 hours ago, NYCProjectEngineer PE PMP said:

i second the recommendation to pay attention to what references NCEES uses to develop their sample problems. i bought a few of the texts (construction depth) and they were invaluable during my studying and then during the exam.

^^ Definitely agree here.  Make sure to have references that cover all of the possible topics though - if you have an extra 30 minutes after finishing, you may end up finding an extra answer or two from a subject/topic you did not spend much time on or one that never appeared on practice exams.  It's more than likely these will end up staying on the floor and not be opened, but...the choice is yours.

 

On 12/13/2015, 12:35:46, ptatohed said:

I believe the only two Geotech references NCEES lists is ASCE 7: Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, and OSHA:  Safety and Health Regulations for Construction. 

https://cdn.ncees.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Civ-Geo-April-2015_Combined2.pdf

 

 

Thanks for the clarification @ptatohed.  The references I was referring too were actually recommended in the CERM (13th edition) - not by NCEES.  The two references are UFC 3-220-01N and UFC 3-220-10N, both searchable/downloadable on Google

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Thanks for all the replies. I feel now that I need to add to my references. Not necessarily change the books I am currently using; however, having a couple of extra references with me for the strange questions.

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3 hours ago, Jmcc06 said:

Thanks for all the replies. I feel now that I need to add to my references. Not necessarily change the books I am currently using; however, having a couple of extra references with me for the strange questions.

I didn't take Geo so take what I say with a grain of salt.  But I'd recommend not going too nuts with the references.  The benefit of the Water and Geotech depths is they don't require a lot of references.  Water is water and dirt is dirt - not a whole lot changes over time and there aren't too many NCEES listed references/codes/standards.  I think it is better to know one or two good references inside and out than to have a half dozen or more references that you only know so-so.  Best of luck.

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On Thursday, December 10, 2015 12:17:11, Jmcc06 said:

Are there any other references you guys recommend? I am bringing the FHWA manuals due to a friend of mine who took the exam this past October and said they were needed.

I took the Geotech in Oct 2015 and did not pass, but I have a good idea of what to expect for April 2016. The problem with taking SO many reference manuals is that it takes too much time flipping through looking for help. Also, spending time tabbing them takes away from working problems. For me, my texts from school will be sufficient along with the CERM. The two NAVFAC reference manuals (which I took into the exam) are VERY detailed and difficult to navigate. They may be good for practice, but I do not see how they would be much help for the exam. People were bringing in 30 gal, wheeled totes or multiple crates on large two wheel dolly's. There is NO WAY they had time to dig through all that stuff during the exam.

 

My not passing was due to lack of working problems and test anxiety. I spent half my time battling myself. My approach for April is to work problems, work problems, work problems. The more problems I can squeeze in from now until then will help me overcome myself. I had intended to reschedule the exam due to family problems, but missed the deadline and was forced to take it unprepared or to lose out on the registration fee.

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7 minutes ago, JeffCTN said:

I took the Geotech in Oct 2015 and did not pass, but I have a good idea of what to expect for April 2016. The problem with taking SO many reference manuals is that it takes too much time flipping through looking for help. Also, spending time tabbing them takes away from working problems. For me, my texts from school will be sufficient along with the CERM. The two NAVFAC reference manuals (which I took into the exam) are VERY detailed and difficult to navigate. They may be good for practice, but I do not see how they would be much help for the exam. People were bringing in 30 gal, wheeled totes or multiple crates on large two wheel dolly's. There is NO WAY they had time to dig through all that stuff during the exam.

 

My not passing was due to lack of working problems and test anxiety. I spent half my time battling myself. My approach for April is to work problems, work problems, work problems. The more problems I can squeeze in from now until then will help me overcome myself. I had intended to reschedule the exam due to family problems, but missed the deadline and was forced to take it unprepared or to lose out on the registration fee.

JeffCTN,

I am sorry to hear that you did not pass. From what I have read, working as many problems as you can get your hands on is one of the keys to passing the exam. I have so many practice problems it's kind of ridiculous. I have the review course problems from both PPI and School of PE that I received from my boss and a co-worker; I am also enrolled for the Testmasters classroom course in Birmingham, Alabama. This is in addition to all the other sample tests and practice problems I have.

If you have some sample tests or practice problems that I do not, I would be willing to share if you are.

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Jmcc06,

I would suggest Six Minutes Geotechnical problems. Like JeffCTN I didn't pass the first time, I also wasn't very well prepared. Need to do a lot a problems, I ended up doing about 95 of the six minute problems using Das' foundation engineering and CERM to answer the questions. I also answered all the construction and geotech afternoon questions in the NCEES 2008 Example problems.

I also had an old transportation book by Garber which helped for several morning questions and two or three afternoon problems. Some I was able to look up in the index and find either an answer or way to solve some slightly obscure problems.

You might try Goswami's books and sample test. I got one before I passed.

I believe it is important to pass the first time if you can. Doing well in the morning is important as you know you did well in the morning it takes some stress off in the afternoon.

Since it took me three tries to pass, I had way more books then I needed the last time, and was real familiar with the CERM and Das book. I think the NAVFAC but  are good to look at but they are hard to navigate and the charts are fuzzy when I downloaded them.

One book I had was Elements of Soil Mechanics by McCarthy, I got it used through Barnes and Noble for about $12 (like new), I had some useful charts. I was helpful on some of the concept questions. Not necessary but I thought was worth it. I look at work occasionally.

You probably heard this before, but read all the questions first and get the low hanging fruit.

Good luck to both you and JeffCTN.

 

 

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On Tuesday, December 29, 2015 11:46:53, Jmcc06 said:

If you have some sample tests or practice problems that I do not, I would be willing to share if you are.

I'll have to dig out my box of study material to see what I have and do not have. Thanks for the offer! I am still trying to decide whether I want to retake it in April or October. There is no huge rush for me since passing is only a personal goal and will not have any impact on my current career situation.

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On December 10, 2015 at 11:17:11 AM, Jmcc06 said:

Hello all,

Just created an account and this is my first post.

I wanted to run by you all what references I am currently planning on bringing with me to the afternoon module (GEO) to the PE exam April 2016.

1. Das textbooks - Principles of Geotechnical Engineering and Principles of Foundation Engineering

2. Soils and Foundations - NHI Course No. 132012 _ Reference Manual - Volumes I & II

3. A few sections out of the FHWA Manual - Design and Construction of Driven Pile Foundations

3. Steel Sheet Piling Design Manual

4. Geotechnical Engineering Circular No. 4 _ Ground Anchors and Anchored Systems

5. CERM - 15th edition

6. Maybe a couple sample exams and practice problems

Are there any other references you guys recommend? I am bringing the FHWA manuals due to a friend of mine who took the exam this past October and said they were needed.

You may want to bring ASCE Foundation engineering handbook and an engineering dictionary. Assume you will have the OSHA manual as well.

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