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Donna Friis wrote:

<A quick question for those who took the October NCEES Stru I exam: any
advice on whether an expensive HP or TI calculator is worth the investment?>


I wrote the exam last Friday in Washington using my trusty HP 32S II (Just
the basics, Ma'am) and barely needed anything more than +, -, x and /. I
don't think I even used a trig function. I had an HP 48G as a backup but
didn't pull it out.

I've used HP calculators for years and really recommend them for
Engineering. Unfortunately they seem to be drifting away from RPN (Reverse
Polish Notation) with most of their new models which I think is a shame. RPN
is great!

You should have spare batteries or a backup calculator. Having your only
calculator go down halfway through the exam would be a real shame!

Not having an AASHTO Code caused me a lot more grief! But I don't think even
that was a show stopper.

I understand that the pass rate for the April 00 exam, at least in
Washington state, was about 88%. I found the exam pretty straight forward
with ample time to do the questions the long way.

I have a couple of further questions on the exam process if anyone has a
quick answer:

1.  What's the deal with the $450 fee to write the Structural II exam? It
seems rather large!

2.  Does anyone know anything about the special Washington State Structural
III (Seismic) exam? The April results for it were less than 20% pass. How
does the exam compare to the Special California Seismic exam for Civil

3.  Does anyone know anything about the British Institute of Structural
Engineers exam process? There is some talk that it will be introduced up
here in British Columbia to qualify Structural Engineers.

John MacLean