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Re: NCEES Struc II Exam

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When I took the exam, I found the NCEES practice exam to be useful if for
no other reason than it gave some idea of what the problems might look
like in overall "form".  It also had a section (if I recall correctly)
explaining the grading process and "mentality" (i.e. what they look for in
your solutions).  This helped me when I took it for the second time (I
had taken and passed the morning part previous...without having purchased
the practice exam).

To me, the best thing to do is make sure you know the code and reference
material standards/codes.  One "part" of the exam in essence is being
about to find the right stuff in a timely manner.  And you need to know
ALL the major materials (wood, steel, concrete, masonry) as all of them
are fair game and in fact, you will likely see questions on all the

I also found it useful to take my textbooks from my steel, concrete, wood
and masonry courses (actually did not have a masonry course, but had
gotten a textbook).  As I can find stuff in those books quickly, I found
that they can sometimes help you find stuff in the codes as they will
frequently list section references in the codes.  Of course, it certainly
helps more if the textbooks are up to date (i.e. use the same codes that
you will use).  I also found that they could be useful if I got stuck on a
problem and they had an example in the textbook that was similar.

As to studying, to me, that is largely a "personal matter" as how one
studies is largely dependent on the person.  For me, I did not study all
that much, but that is largely because I am fortuante enough to not need
to study much for tests (I have a semi-photo graphic memory...although it
is getting a little rusty) but also cause I was fortunate enough to get
good, practical design experience in ALL major materials.  Thus, my
studying was largely just doing my day to day job.  The main actually
"studying" I did was re-read (VERY BORING) through some sections of the
code (at that time, I used the BOCA code for Struct II exam...but did the
same thing with the 97 UBC code when doing the Struct III exam for my WA
SE license) that I was a little rusty on.

My only potentially useful advice on studying is to figure out which areas
you are weak on and "bone up" on those areas the most.  What "boning up"
entails will depend on you.  It could be doing a bunch of example
problems.  It could be reading a bunch of books.  It could be placing a
brick under your pillow.  <grin>

Ultimately, what worked for me or someone else on the list, may or may not
work for you.

My best overall advice is don't stress about it too much.  You can always
take it again and when you do take it again (I am playing the odds...VERY
few people pass it on the first try), you will have a better idea of what
you might need to do prepare for it.

Good luck.

Adrian, MI

On Thu, 8 Jun 2006, Eric Tompos wrote:

> I am schedule to take the Struc II exam this October.  Aside from the
> obvious required references such as the material design codes what
> references and/or study guides have people found to be 'essential' to their
> success on the exam.  I have already obtained the PPI reference manual and
> study guide as well as the NCEES practice exams.
> Regards,
> Eric Tompos, PE
> NTA, Inc.

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