Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: California SE exam

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

I agree with Scott's thoughts here.  When I took and passed the SE a few years back, it was when they had just changed to the 8-hr NCEES exam on Friday, and had the CA state specific 8-hr exam on Saturday.  As Scott mentioned, you have to know the footnotes and exceptions that are throughout the California Building Code as they apply to hospitals (OSHPD) and to public schools (DSA).  Things like using a 2x sill plate where the shear exceeds 350 plf as long as plate washers are placed...

If you don't know where all those little footnotes are at, you will lose a lot of time searching for those things.  The state specific portion was an absolute bear.  To pass the exam, you must manage your time.  

I was fried, dejected and deflated as I walked out of the testing hall.  I was seriously considering a career change.  But, here I am.

Good luck with the exam.

On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 10:51 PM, Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)> wrote:
You threw for a loop with the "seismic only" bit.  While I have no direct experience the the new or old California SE exams, I would expect the state specific exam for CA SE is similar to what Wasington does with the Srtuct III exam for their SE license, which I do have direct experience with.  If so, while will be heavily dominated by seismic design, you likely will also need to know non-seismic stuff as well.  To my knowledge, the only "pure" seismic only exam that I am aware of in CA is the one that is part of getting your PE exam.

If the state specific CA SE exam is like WA's, then you will want to be VERY familar with all materials (wood, masonry, concrete, and steel) for both seismic and non-seismic.  It might have less wind design stuff than WA's exam, but I suspect you will still see some.  If nothing else, you will see some wind design on the NCEES Struct II exam.  And try to be as familiar as possible with where stuff is in the code(s) as these exams tend to have MAJOR time component...if you spend a lot of time looking stuff up to figure out how to do a problem, you are more than likely "toast".


Adrian, MI

On Oct 8, 2009, at 8:05 PM, "Lakhani, Sid" <slakhani(--nospam--at)> wrote:





No, I already have PE.

This is a recent change.  Few years ago one had to take 16 hour California test (CBC reference code)

Now it is required to pass 8 hour National (IBC reference code) test which includes general structural analysis and design; and 8 hour California Seismic (CBC reference code)




From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2009 3:49 PM
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Re: California SE exam


Do you mean the Seismic exam for the CA PE or do you mean the state specific exam (which to my knowledge is NOT "seismic only" along though it will certainly cover seismic stuff) portion for your CA SE?  Those are two COMPLETELY different animals.





Adrian, MI

On Oct 8, 2009, at 4:42 PM, "Lakhani, Sid" <slakhani(--nospam--at)> wrote:

I am preparing for California SE exam (Seismic portion only).  I passed the National portion in April which was based on IBC 06.

I have Seismic and Wind Forces Structural Design Examples 3rd edition by Alan Williams,updated to IBC 2006.

Is there any similar guide/reference available with CBC 07 reference?






David Topete, SE