Structures 3rd retake

Structural Layout Vignette and Multiple Choice

Structures 3rd retake

Postby zags » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:44 am

Hey all, looking for some advice / help, thanks in advance for reading:

I took my 3rd re-take of the structures exam. :O (Some background, took 1st in 2013, then a break/time off, and just started testing again, thus 2nd structures exam one in September this year).

I failed again, passed all sections but general structures. I'm still having trouble with the calculation questions and understanding what they are asking & how to calculate to get an answer. I locked myself up in my apartment all weekend several weekends prior to the test, and read and read and watched videos on the bus, on weekday nights, etc. I do the practice tests and will also miss most of these, but then reading the solution I feel like I get it. But, problem is that I must NOT be really getting concepts as I think I missed every calculation question on the exam! Has anyone used a tutor that they would recommend? I'm in NYC and ideally need someone local that can meet with me. Or any other resources to really get the calculation question concepts?

Material used:
Thaddeus lecture vids
Black Spectacles (wasn't that helpful except for concepts
Ballast book
Kaplan practice tests
youtube, etc.

Thanks for reading!
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Re: Structures 3rd retake

Postby Raja » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:50 am

Is there anyone at your firm or maybe through the AIA or your school?
Stay on it, you can do it. Wishing you all the best luck and a breakthrough for the 4th round.

Some other thoughts (I'm studying for the exam, taking it this week and sure to fail due to my own math weakness)...

- Re-read the NCARB guide portion on General Structures to make sure it's really the math that's tripping you up and not missing code study or something

- Study Materials you didn't mention, if you haven't looked at them yet:

- Mike's SS Study Guides on this forum
- Jenny's Notes
- Rich's GS Study Guide
- "Why Buildings Stand Up", "Why Buildings Fall Down"
Last edited by Raja on Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Structures 3rd retake

Postby Coach » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:47 am

The most common error I see in calcs is mishandling of units. Don't take shortcuts. When laying out the problem, always write down each unit.
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Re: Structures 3rd retake

Postby kotharin78 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:46 am

My method to retain the calculations:

focus on one formula at a time.
repeat the same exact problem at least three times in the same study session.
then do a similar problems with same formula in that same study session.
then try the problem again the next day.

Practice tests for formulas is not effective for retaining formulas if only 1 problem deals with the formula you are trying to master... its good for reinforcing all the other knowledge/.

re-doing the same thing twice After 30 minutes and before 16hours is suppose to be a good way to remember something. I re-do it about 24hrs later and then move on to another formula.

The units in the Deflection problem is the trickiest one IMO, I can send you a screenshot why later if I have time.

I also rewrite my formula cheat sheets once a week and include step by step from memory (or I try)... each time I re-write them on graph paper they look better and better....I was inspired by how nice Mike's notes, Thaddeus, Marty and Jenny notes look... Yes, they give you the formulas on the test but I wanted to really know the formulas and how they work..

I passed the MC part of the test and did some silly fatal error on the vignette... and now I am relearning the formulas all over again. Keep up the battle and goodluck!
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Re: Structures 3rd retake

Postby shar.ak » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:13 am

Hi Zags,

I am in NYC too - happy to meet with you if you need help.

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