SE Buildings Vertical & Lateral - Fall 2022

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Engineerbabu

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Although I appreciate your input, I think this decision will vary based on each individual. There are a multitude of people who take both exams together and pass both without issue. Some fail both. Some pass one and fail the other. Some individuals choose to take only one and fail repeatedly.

For me personally, taking both exams together is the path that makes the most sense. Life is busy. Blocking out 4-6 months of time for continuous, dedicated studying of all material is my preference. I'm blocking out the time to study, I would much rather cover all the material in one go. From experience, I know this is how I (personally) will better retain information versus trying to spread it out into blocks. If it doesn't work out I have the ability to retake the exam, in full or in parts, as required.

I spoke with a number of colleagues on the topic and, honestly, most of them took the same approach. Again, personal preference. There is no right or wrong way, it's just what works best for you personally.
 

Engineerbabu

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I agree it’s depends on personal choice/work experience/ exposure to seismic and wind projects in the past/exposure to various construction materials at work etc. I couldn’t agree more with you on that.
However, for someone who is young and has less than 3 years of work experience, working in East coast and doing a single type of lateral force resisting system, it’s impossible (unless some crazy talented dude) to pass both exams with 4 months of preparation while working full time. I passed both exams on my first attempt but I didn’t feel confident at all after I got out of the exam. I thought I failed the lateral because I was only able to do half of one of the question in the PM and I never even aimed to solve more than 36 questions in the AM. But I was confident that I solved 36 of them properly and used the time I saved from 4 questions I was gonna miss anyways. To gain that confidence I had to overwork. I spent a lot of time for Lateral. I lost track of my progress at some point. I spent a month just on Concrete shear walls when I should have finished all concrete in that period. So for anyone who is relatively new to the industry, feel free to spend about 1.5 years to 2 years in preparation including PE. Just my couple cents in here. Hope it helps!
 

leggo PE

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Did you pre-listen on your own time and try and attend the 'live' classes? Or what was your approach?

Bummer that you didn't pass - was your first attempt in Spring 2022? Are you choosing to wait until 2023 to just give yourself more time to study, rather than trying for the Fall 2022 exam? The whole CBT is stressful, I don't want to get stuck taking that exam..
I pre-listened to the vertical class from the prior session on my own time, before the classes started. Once both classes started, I listened in live to all classes. It was a lot.

No, my first attempt was in spring 2021. I got so burned out I couldn’t reattempt in the fall and didn’t get my life in line to try again (on just the vertical test) this spring. I’m punting to next year because I generally prefer to study in the fall and winter, vs the spring and summer.
 

Engineerbabu

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That's my same approach. I plan on purchasing David Connor's SE book (David Connor, SE | Structural Engineer) to go through examples and tab everything I come across. Not sure if there are other good resources for bridge problems that are made for "Building Depth" folks.

It's just frustrating that this is the only reference I have trouble with. While I am unfamiliar with bridge analysis and design, I'm also unfamiliar with wood and masonry design and have had no issues becoming familiar with those references. AASHTO is daunting to look at, let alone to open and read.

It makes me have a greater appreciation for AISC and ACI for their well-written references (even if it took ACI up to 2019 to make that happen).
Brad,

David Conners book for Bridge is a good book and I recommend you to solve all the problems at least once but that being said don’t expect more than 20% similar questions at the exam. I would focus on Steel, Concrete and Foundation related portion of AASTHO independently using FHWA design examples available for free. In case you don’t have any time left for bridge after completing David’s book, just print FHWA design examples and spend about a couple days just to be able to browse the example problem in the book. (This is something I didn’t do during the exam, if only I knew about this book before exam.)
 

David Connor SE

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That's my same approach. I plan on purchasing David Connor's SE book (David Connor, SE | Structural Engineer) to go through examples and tab everything I come across. Not sure if there are other good resources for bridge problems that are made for "Building Depth" folks.

It's just frustrating that this is the only reference I have trouble with. While I am unfamiliar with bridge analysis and design, I'm also unfamiliar with wood and masonry design and have had no issues becoming familiar with those references. AASHTO is daunting to look at, let alone to open and read.

It makes me have a greater appreciation for AISC and ACI for their well-written references (even if it took ACI up to 2019 to make that happen).
I am a "Building Depth" engineer and took the building SE exam. I wrote my book (Bridge Problems for the Structural Engineering (SE) Exam for the building engineer who needs some review for the 10-12 bridge multiple choice questions you will see on both components of the SE exam. I think if you work through all of the problems in my book you will have a great basis for how bridge structural analysis and design is done and how AASHTO is laid out. It's actually not as daunting when you realize the AASHTO code is a one stop shop for everything, no shuffling between codes like us building engineers have to do. Some of the problems in my book are a little more in-depth than a typical "6 minute question", but I wanted to cover as much as I could.

I also give some testing tips and other study guide recommendations in my book as well. For instance, someone mentioned tabbing the codes. But don't get too carried away with it. I "overtabbed" some of my codes before the exam and rendered the tabs almost useless. Also, leave a gap in the middle of the page edges between your tabs so you can still thumb through the pages and not get caught on the tabs.
 

andyliu

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having taken AEI, you will easily eat up 18 hours a week just attending class. the lateral is twice as intensive as vertical and often runs twice as long as expected with multiple additional classes. it is worth it as Dr I id fantastic at going through a lot of lateral fundamentals

I am a "Building Depth" engineer and took the building SE exam. I wrote my book (Bridge Problems for the Structural Engineering (SE) Exam for the building engineer who needs some review for the 10-12 bridge multiple choice questions you will see on both components of the SE exam. I think if you work through all of the problems in my book you will have a great basis for how bridge structural analysis and design is done and how AASHTO is laid out. It's actually not as daunting when you realize the AASHTO code is a one stop shop for everything, no shuffling between codes like us building engineers have to do. Some of the problems in my book are a little more in-depth than a typical "6 minute question", but I wanted to cover as much as I could.

I also give some testing tips and other study guide recommendations in my book as well. For instance, someone mentioned tabbing the codes. But don't get too carried away with it. I "overtabbed" some of my codes before the exam and rendered the tabs almost useless. Also, leave a gap in the middle of the page edges between your tabs so you can still thumb through the pages and not get caught on the tabs.
Agree. David's book is very good and I reviewed the questions twice before the exam. I would say I did 5/6 correct in lateral and the only one left was due to time limit, but I actually knew how to do it.
 

bonniferous

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Is anyone in this thread in the AEI course? I'm retaking the lateral exam this october and somehow I have misplaced a portion of my seismic notes. The HW set with problems 1-18. I believe they are pages 2H-1 - 2H-6. If anyone would be willing to share those pages with me that would be great!
 

DoctorWho-PE

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Is anyone in this thread in the AEI course? I'm retaking the lateral exam this october and somehow I have misplaced a portion of my seismic notes. The HW set with problems 1-18. I believe they are pages 2H-1 - 2H-6. If anyone would be willing to share those pages with me that would be great!
Please don't post the same thing in multiple places. You could reach out to Dr I, he will likely send you those sheets. (I lost a whole section once somehow.)
 

bonniferous

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Please don't post the same thing in multiple places. You could reach out to Dr I, he will likely send you those sheets. (I lost a whole section once somehow.)
Thanks so much! I just posted in two different threads :). I'll try reaching out to Dr I!
 

Justover

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I pre-listened to the vertical class from the prior session on my own time, before the classes started. Once both classes started, I listened in live to all classes. It was a lot.

No, my first attempt was in spring 2021. I got so burned out I couldn’t reattempt in the fall and didn’t get my life in line to try again (on just the vertical test) this spring. I’m punting to next year because I generally prefer to study in the fall and winter, vs the spring and summer.
Definitely sounds like a lot to run through them twice like that. I've been going through the old videos and listening on my own time since I got access to them, just torn on if I should also listen live given how time consuming it'll be. Did you find it to be beneficial? Or do you think it would have been more beneficial to approach it differently?

That's fair. Summer for me is a much better time to study, given the weather in Phoenix..
 

JNS

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Although I appreciate your input, I think this decision will vary based on each individual. There are a multitude of people who take both exams together and pass both without issue. Some fail both. Some pass one and fail the other. Some individuals choose to take only one and fail repeatedly.

For me personally, taking both exams together is the path that makes the most sense. Life is busy. Blocking out 4-6 months of time for continuous, dedicated studying of all material is my preference. I'm blocking out the time to study, I would much rather cover all the material in one go. From experience, I know this is how I (personally) will better retain information versus trying to spread it out into blocks. If it doesn't work out I have the ability to retake the exam, in full or in parts, as required.

I spoke with a number of colleagues on the topic and, honestly, most of them took the same approach. Again, personal preference. There is no right or wrong way, it's just what works best for you personally.
Agree with this. I did this for both April 2022 and passed Vert and came close for Lateral. I only really studied for 3 1/2 months (Self Study). I was doing maybe 25-30 hours a week Now I get to just do lateral for my next attempts.

IMO I think people overwhelm themselves taking the refresher courses. If you do a lot of engineering at work just going through SERM is enough for Vertical. Maybe complement with some review books for bridges. Obviously this depends on your comfort level with a lot of topics and how you learn but taking a review course probably doubles the time you need to study, since the review course by itself takes like 20 hours a week and it won't be enough by itself for you to learn the material.

Lateral a course might be warranted, specially since the SERM barely has any lateral content. I had to get other sources just to get problems. I also read through the entire chapter for Seismic design for ACI and through part of the AISC SDM. I'm definitely considering a course for my next attempt.
 
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_tslewis

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Brad,

David Conners book for Bridge is a good book and I recommend you to solve all the problems at least once but that being said don’t expect more than 20% similar questions at the exam. I would focus on Steel, Concrete and Foundation related portion of AASTHO independently using FHWA design examples available for free. In case you don’t have any time left for bridge after completing David’s book, just print FHWA design examples and spend about a couple days just to be able to browse the example problem in the book. (This is something I didn’t do during the exam, if only I knew about this book before exam.)
what are the FHWA design examples? I hace Conners book and am taking AEI class
 

Serg305

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My plan's to take the Vertical test in April and Lateral in October. I passed the PE (Civil / Structural Depth) back in 2008 and getting back into studying has been an adventure of itself.

That said, I have the whole set from PPI, and of course , have to get AASHTO.
 

Br_Engr

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Agree with this. I did this for both April 2022 and passed Vert and came close for Lateral. I only really studied for 3 1/2 months (Self Study). I was doing maybe 25-30 hours a week Now I get to just do lateral for my next attempts.

IMO I think people overwhelm themselves taking the refresher courses. If you do a lot of engineering at work just going through SERM is enough for Vertical. Maybe complement with some review books for bridges. Obviously this depends on your comfort level with a lot of topics and how you learn but taking a review course probably doubles the time you need to study, since the review course by itself takes like 20 hours a week and it won't be enough by itself for you to learn the material.

Lateral a course might be warranted, specially since the SERM barely has any lateral content. I had to get other sources just to get problems. I also read through the entire chapter for Seismic design for ACI and through part of the AISC SDM. I'm definitely considering a course for my next attempt.
 
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psustruct

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Took lateral. I felt the morning went well until about halfway. I was keeping good time, but then she called the 15 minute warning, and I just got to problem 139--somewhere between halfway and the end I lost track..... I still needed to go back for the bridge questions. I went back and got a few of them solved, guessed on the rest.
I felt the afternoon went very well. I suspect I may get a IR for one of the concrete problems. NOW WE WAIT!!!!
 
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