Mailed on March 22, 1999:
Passed the California SE Exam on the first attempt!
Self-studied, intensively used SE Review Manual by Ben Yousefi &
I have two copies. The one with my notes I leave for my own reference;
the other - a brand new one (1998) - is for sale.
If interested - contact me at scgordin(--nospam--at)hotmail.com
Vyacheslav "Steve" Gordin, SE
Here are the answers to your questions:
This book was written by two SE's from San Diego. It essentially
represents a compilation of the 1990-95 SE exam problems (without the
bridge problems) with detailed solutions.
The book favorably differs from other materials (for example, I tried
books by Chelapati, by Buchner "247...", and the latest one,
by Williams), as it is very simple, exhaustive, and right to the point.
The best thing about the book is that it is a "no-nonsense"
engineering manual (essentially, an extra-thick structural calculation
pad) with the accurate references to the pages and chapters of the UBC,
ACI, AISC, and other manuals. From my perspective, those references
are, in fact, the most valuable thing for the exam.
There are some misprints and some solutions I do not necessarily agree
with. However, I found some professional pleasure in detecting those
flaws and in doing some "on-the-margins" arguing with the
The book for sale is based upon the 1994 UBC. That obviously affects
the seismic (references to FEMA 267) and steel provisions. However, the
book can be successfully used for the preparation for the exam, as well
as for the routine engineering, in conjunction with the aforementioned
1997-UBC-based book by Williams (Seismic Design of Buildings and
The extra book I have was never used or even opened (you should see my
"working copy", now totally priceless). I bought the book for
~$200, and I am asking $140 plus S&H (Priority Mail, $10.00).
Vyacheslav "Steve" Gordin
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