Exam Questions Involving IBC 2012



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    Scott Barber

    Hi Cua, 

    I wouldn't focus on memorizing anything in the code book. The more familiar you are with it, the more prepared you'll be, but it's more about understanding and applying it. This is one of those areas that can be hard to study for, but your work experience will be very helpful. If you've ever dealt with fire separation distances, calculating egress requirements and occupant loads, allowable height and area, it'll come in handy. 

    I don't remember any questions that require you to have memorized a certain part of the code book by the section number. The case studies usually have some questions that require you to find the answer in the code book, but they provide a few chapters or sections so you have it to reference in the provided documentation. Being familiar with where to find things will save you time for these questions, but you won't need to have it memorized. 
    One thing I've learned (and had a conversation about two nights ago, actually), is that nobody actually "knows" all of the code book. They are familiar with all the concepts and know where to find things, but nobody has it memorized. People of all levels of experience still grab the code book or open it online to reference a certain section, since things get changed and different jurisdictions have different requirements. 

    Also keep in mind the concepts that PA focuses on. This exam is more about information you'll need for the schematic design phase, so if you're reviewing the code book keep that in mind. Thing big picture stuff, like placing a building on a site, construction types, fire separation, etc. 

    Good luck!

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    David Kaplan


    100% agree with the above advice.  No need to memorize.  Just know how to use the book and you'll be fine.  90% of the code-related questions I got on ALL of my 5.0 tests (PA, PPD, and PDD) I was given the code excerpt needed to look it up.  Some things that you should familiarize yourself with going into these exams:

    -Know how to calculate the largest area building based on a Use Group and Construction Type (and be able to identify what that use group is btw), incorporating Table 503, and frontage and sprinkler increases

    -Know about separate mixed-use occupancies and how to determine the required fire rating between them

    -Know about accessible routes and the basics of their design: ADA ramp slopes, minimum door clearances, what accessible route provisions are required, restroom design

    -General egress design: minimum door sizes, stair design.  Look at that one stair design example in the Handbook which asks you to determine the minimum width of the stair flight and entry door. 

    Aside from that, take Scott's post above fully to heart.  Hope this helps.

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    Cua Hester

    Thanks so much Scott and David!  This is great info and direction.  Exactly what I wanted to know.

    I know it's impossible to memorize the code.  I just didn't want to come out of the test feeling like I didn't "study" the IBC enough, because I'm pretty comfortable navigating through the physical code in real life.

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    Scott Barber

    I can definitely relate! I felt the same way about code and specs, being pretty familiar but not having very much memorized. Sounds like you're well prepared for it in that regard.

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    Tyler Dallison

    Remember for PA the Demonstration Exam provides the relevant IBC Ch 3, 5, 6, 10, & 11.  The resources for the Example Case Study are for Programming & Analysis. I'm using this to study and it's really helpful, only 60 pages of Code is much easier to understand & apply.


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    Cua Hester

    Right!  I didn't realize that the demo case study was was for PA - I haven't gone back to look at the demo exam since my first exam.  Thanks for the tip Tyler!

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