Structural Formulas, Variables, & Calculations
I've been studying from the Ballast guide to start (not the best resource by any means, but it's what I have) and will eventually be reading Building Structures Illustrated and watching the Black Spectacles videos, but as I go through these chapters on structural design, I'm getting increasingly nervous about the volume of things we might need to know to pass this exam. There are so many different variables, equations, and symbols representing so many different applications and materials that I'm having a lot of trouble keeping them all straight. I understand concepts well, but am terrible with memorizing specifics.
I checked into the references on the exam, and while Acoustics, Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing references are all 1 page long, the Structural references are 39 pages long!! I'm definitely glad, because they list the typical beam nomenclatures, moment and shear formulas, etc. but wow does this feel like a lot to pack into my head.
I've been told by some people that their exams weren't very calculation heavy (having only 4 or 5 calculation questions) and by others that their exams were incredibly calculation heavy.
I guess I'm looking for some feedback (and maybe some reassurance?) that a good understanding of the principals of structural design is more important than being able to regurgitate the difference between Fc', Fy, Fd, Mu, Mn, Mp, Pn, tw, Z, BF, L, Lb, Lp, Lr, Vc, Vu, Bc, B1, Lambda, Theta, Omega, Naught, p, Pb............ etc.
Any advice?

"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.)

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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