Structural Formulas, Variables, & Calculations

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    Kurt Fanderclai (Edited )

    "the Structural references are 39 pages long!!"

    Are those pages in there?  Didn't even notice -- honestly never looked at them. 

     And not because I'm of incredibly advanced ability (I'm not.)  Really because the exam is simply not set to be "incredibly calculation heavy".  I'm sure some candidates feel like that due to the stress of the exam, etc., but Section 1 of PDD, which could include structural calcs, is 37 - 45 questions, which are then divided by 6 Objectives, of which really only one looks like structural calcs -- so 45/6 = 7.5 questions on the higher end, 6.2 questions on the lower end if the objectives are split up roughly equally.

    So out of 100 MC questions (20 Case study) -- that's easy math at structural calcs comprising 6.2 to 7.5 percent of the exam.  

    Point is, there is very little ROI in studying for structural calcs.  A basic knowledge of the formulas on pg 169 of the 5.0 handbook plus free body diagrams -- that's really it.

    Good luck with your exam -- see you on the other side. 

    (oh, and the Ballast structural -- don't get so deep in the weeds with that.)

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    Daniel Alderman

    Thanks for the feedback, Kurt. I share Justin's anxiety over the structural calculations.. it's good to keep in perspective that these questions really take up a minor portion of the exam.

    Good luck Justin! I'm taking PDD in a few days, I hope your studying is fruitful.

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    Justin Pelland

    Daniel,
    I passed my last exam in December. I meant to post some thoughts here, but to summarize - I didn't end up needing much, if any formulas for the exam. I had some questions where math was involved, but it was always really basic and very easy to do without formulas assuming you understand the basics of structural engineering. Things like how to calculate reactions based on uniform and point loads. It was definitely not as bad as the Ballast book makes it seem.

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