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Code coefficients and tables

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In the NCEES Exam specifications for the Vertical AM exam it has listed "code coefficients and tables" under the Load Distribution and Analysis Methods. What sort of things do you think would fall into this topic? The only thing I can really think of is the ACI simplified analysis procedures for beams and maybe a situation where they would expect you to use coefficients from the Continuous Beam Tables in the Steel Manual. Any other thoughts on this?

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allllll the tables in the steel manual - beam tables, bolt capacities, on and on and on. just saying you're allowed to use code developed tables and coefficients. 

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It seems like most tables in the Steel Manual would not help with "Load Distribution and Analysis Methods" with maybe the exception of the beam formula tables.

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When I analyze a beam I use the tables to determine if it's adequate. You have to use load dist & analysis methods to get answers on some of the material specific questions. eccentric bolt groups, welds, etc. 

if you have two beams of different sizes carrying a load, you can use the property tables to help analyze which of the beams will take more of that load etc. 

In terms of a specific question related to coefficients tables I think it's more like I looked at the continuous beam table to determine what load configuration would create the highest negative moment at this support. Maybe they ask what percentage is distributed to a certain location.

Edited by tj_PE

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2 hours ago, E720 said:

In the NCEES Exam specifications for the Vertical AM exam it has listed "code coefficients and tables" under the Load Distribution and Analysis Methods. What sort of things do you think would fall into this topic? The only thing I can really think of is the ACI simplified analysis procedures for beams and maybe a situation where they would expect you to use coefficients from the Continuous Beam Tables in the Steel Manual. Any other thoughts on this?

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.

 

Edited by Reverse Polish
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Totally agree with you on reading all of the codes, RP. Like every single line AND commentary of every single code. I have found that my time was better spent reading through all of ASCE7 + commentary than it was by doing several dozen practice problems focused on the same subject.

 

I disagree that it's a waste of time looking at the exam spec. I am not limiting my study to those topics listed there. I am just trying to organize my study. And I am not trying to be "exclusive" in what I study by saying "Those tables clearly don't fit into this category so I am not going to study them", rather I am trying to be more inclusive in my study by saying "I don't think those bolt capacity tables are what this is talking about in this instance so WHAT THE HELL ELSE IS THIS TALKING ABOUT so I can study that too!".

 

So any other comments on my original question?

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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.

 

 

Edited by Reverse Polish

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Sounds like some of the replies above are saying it's better to "read" the code rather than working out problems that test you on how to "use" the code. I disagree with this. Simply reading the code does not give you the context of what the code provisions are intended for. There is no way you will have time to read all of the codes, but be very familiar with them? YES. Some chapters you will need to know much more than others. ASCE 7 Chapter 11 - Seismic Design Criteria you should know better than Chapter 18 - Structures with Damping Systems. Concentrate more on what will most likely be tested.  

But you should definitely work out practice problems. While you are working out problems you will "read' the code, but also learn how to apply it and will get practice on calculating what they are looking for in a timely fashion. I studied by reading important portions of the code and then summarizing the code provisions in written notes and then finding problems that applied to the code provision and worked them out. Keeping them together and organized. I also closely followed the NCEES SE exam spec. While there will be questions that come of out "left-field", for the most part they follow the exam spec as far as subject matter and quantity of specific questions (i.e. percentage of steel, concrete, masonry, 1 aisi question, etc.).  

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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.       

 

Edited by Reverse Polish

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So I am anticipating that "Code coefficients and tables" under the heading of "Load Distribution and Analysis Methods" is going to make up somewhere between 0/40 and 1/40 of the AM portion of the Vertical exam. I have started studying "Load Distribution and Analysis Methods" because it is the section that has the most questions(20% according to the exam spec, who knows if that is correct but that is the only information NCEES will give me 😉). So, seeing as there is a good possibility that there will be a question regarding this, it seems prudent to try and get a general feeling of what they mean by this. (and I know that you are not trying to shred me RP). 

Thanks David for the reply. I bought your book from a member on this forum and I recommend! Sorry that you didn't profit from that sale though.

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19 minutes ago, E720 said:

So I am anticipating that "Code coefficients and tables" under the heading of "Load Distribution and Analysis Methods" is going to make up somewhere between 0/40 and 1/40 of the AM portion of the Vertical exam. I have started studying "Load Distribution and Analysis Methods" because it is the section that has the most questions(20% according to the exam spec, who knows if that is correct but that is the only information NCEES will give me 😉). So, seeing as there is a good possibility that there will be a question regarding this, it seems prudent to try and get a general feeling of what they mean by this. (and I know that you are not trying to shred me RP). 

 

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.  

Edited by Reverse Polish
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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. 

 

Edited by Reverse Polish

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On 1/15/2020 at 10:32 AM, E720 said:

In the NCEES Exam specifications for the Vertical AM exam it has listed "code coefficients and tables" under the Load Distribution and Analysis Methods. What sort of things do you think would fall into this topic?

Other than what you stated, the first thing that comes to mind for me is reduced live loads (see section 4.7 of ASCE 7-10).  Another is the coefficients used for Crane Loads and Impact loads. I'm not sure whether you would define these as "Load Generation" or "Load Distribution" however. It may also be referring to something in AASHTO - I am not familiar enough with that code to comment further though.

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Reading the code books cover to cover is a waste of two important resources, time and memory. The average person would retain 5% of the text and understand 2% at best given the codes can be quite ambiguous. As Connor stated, it's best to work problems and read the code as you work problems. Rewrite portions of code in your own words as they relate to problems you do to gain a better understanding of the code. More problems you do that are from different attack angles, the more resourceful your code books become as you'll find tables, text, shortcuts and diagrams that can help you out. 

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I'm going out on a limb here but I understand generally more than 2 percent of the codes I read. 

If I read 100 code provisions I'm sure at least 3 would make sense.  

As far as rote memory, well everyone has a different level of if that but I'm thinking 5 percent is low.  

I don't necessarily think reading codes cover to, cover is the best way to study but there is something to be said for recognition and even if I only read something once then when I encounter a problem related to that topic I may not remember every nuance of code provision related but I will remember that.... Oh yeah NDS discusses unblocked shear walls... Or whatever. 

 

I think the best way to study is whatever works for you.  I like working problems bc it's going to exercise your math , code look up, and problem solving skills all at once.  

The only code for a bldg person I'd recommend reading or at least spending a lot of time in is AAAHTO bc it's so foreign to many of us.  

But it's a highly personal thing.  

One thing I noticed after taking the SE vs studying was that the code stuff wasn't that deep (except bridges)... For me it came down in almost every case to speed and efficiency. 

For example in ASCE 7 for each wind procedure all 10 or whatever of them I went to the step by step procedures that code lists and hand wrote in every single page number for each step.  Bc in an office you have time to dick around and find figure this or table that... But on the test going straight to a page number saves a lot of time.  

I call this leaving bread crumbs.  I leave bread crumbs EVERYWHERE... Anything that can save me 5 seconds here 10 there 15 over there and so on..... Next thing you know you just saved 5 minutes and can finish another problem.  

The two areas in my opinion that needs this the most are first, like I said above the wind provisions and secondly the NDS.  

Having to go from the supplement to the main code to the spidwizz takes so effin long so I cross reference that hell out of those.  

I make a list of all the stress equations with Cfactors... Which is pretty obvious, but for each C factor write in blue pen the page number for sawn lumber and maybe in red pen the glulam page number.   That's the stuff that separates the passes and fails imo.  Anyone studying as hard as we all are likely can get the right answer eventually but its getting it fast.

 

Tbe reason I dread a code cycle change isn't the money or new stuff it's having to recreate all my bread crumbs.  

Edited by Titleistguy

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One other thing that came to mind today on this was AISC Appendix 7 material - effective length method and first order analysis method.

By the way Titleistguy, you have been bragging about David Panella's book so much that I bought it! I am excited for it.

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I wouldn't be recommending it if I didn't believe in it.  

His structural loads book has a free downloadable solutions manual too so pick that up once you get the book, I believe the url is inside one of the covers.  

Let me know what you think of it.  

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"Code Coefficients and Tables" covers a lot of ground.  One area that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread are the approximate analysis coefficients in ACI 318 - beams, one-way slabs, two-way slabs, moment distribution, etc.  It goes without saying that it's necessary to know the limits and applicability of these coefficients as well.  

You may or may not see a problem that directly pertains to "coefficients", per se, but that doesn't mean they can't crop up (or be useful) in another context--especially on the "free-form" afternoon problems.  

 

 

Edited by Reverse Polish

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