• Paulina,

Can't overstate this enough: do not overstudy structural formulas.  I passed PPD and PDD (I'm done with the ARE) and I took the approach of:

1) Know concepts.  Know when one structural system would be more appropriate to use in a building vs. another.  Elements such as construction timeframe, cost, and flexibility all come into play.   Highly recommend Architect's Studio Companion for this.  Have a solid knowledge of what all the systems available to us are.

2) Know the ramifications of how structure affects our work.  All of a sudden a beam has to be way deeper for some reason - what else gets affected?  How do we coordinate this?

3) Know as well how structure itself gets affected when we the architects change things on them.  We tell them "you can't have a column here."  What else gets affected for them?  Foundations would be one.

4) When it comes to equations, I literally walked into the exams knowing how to calculate the moments about point B on a standard free body diagram, and knowing how to do the sample problems in the ARE Handbook and that's it.  I refused to waste my time on "what thickness steel plate should be used for 12K of force?" or "what size beam should be used for...."  If NCARB was going to ask me that, I decided I would guess my best, take the loss of ONE POINT, and move on with my life.  It worked.

5) Know seismic design strategies.  FEMA Chapters 4 and 5 were great for this.  Know the affects of earthquakes and the damages they cause.  How can we prevent this when designing our building?

6) Know the effects of wind on buildings too.  Similar to earthquakes but understand how wind affects facades of the building and distorts the structure.  Basic diagram stuff.

• Focus on the concepts, and do not spend too much time on complicated calculations. Thank like an architect. You job is to coordinate with structural engineers, not be a structural engineer yourself.

Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

• Thank you Gang!

I was stuck getting to do the calcs of every formula..

• Thank you David! was really stressed with all this formulas and material

• (Edited )

David,

Well said. Also make sure you know which side is tension, which side is compression for cantilever beams. This is so important, I am sure it will be tested one way or another.

Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

• Thank you David and Gang!!!!!!!!