Pass or Fail I am pissed off
To say the least, the structural exam was not what I expected. I think my time would have been better spent studying the intricacies of the English language than studying real world structures. The questions were unbelievably ambiguous, subversive and misleading. Prior to the test, I read so much online about everyone being unprepared for the "calculations" and the "concepts behind the equations" that I focused on this too much. I killed every question that dealt in logic and calculation which was only about 12 out of the 125 questions!! I left the test feeling that I failed it without a doubt, but from reading online it sounds like this happens to everyone!? Pass or fail I will be pissed off. I definitely feel that this test is not a good judgement of an aspiring architect's knowledge of structures but instead a good judgement of a person's ability to read beyond the facts into a realm of subversive and ambiguous language. Is that what architecture is?? If I have to retake this test (which I'm sure I will) I will not even study the established study materials since it is of minimal help but will simply meditate on not letting the ambiguous nature of the questions psych me out.
I believe a psychiatrist wrote this test as opposed to a structural engineer. Disclaimer, either a psychiatrist did write this test and they are far more brilliant than I and understand the underlying movements that make architects great entrepeneurs of structures OR Ncarb and Prometric did not put in the proper effort and time into make a test that is representative of what a "good" architect should know about structures. You can probably tell that I'm leaning towards the latter.
Ok, now that I've properly vented, here are some constructive thoughts on how to approach this bullshit. Do not get bogged down in the equations and calculations as Kaplan and Ballast encourage and force you to do. Instead, consume every written piece of material you can get your hands on. You need to approach this as being a "scholar of structures" as opposed to a "structural engineer". Quickly read everything and anything you can get your hands on and only understand the very basic concepts of the equations and calculations. Skip over 75% of the calcs in Kaplan and purely try to get at the basic concept which is usually 10000000 times simpler than Kaplan or Ballast presents it as. For instance, I quickly read through the entire IBC chapter 16 in a half hour at 11pm the night before my test and I honestly can say that I answered more questions from this quick reading than sitting down for endless weeks cranking out equations in Kaplan.
Bottom line is consume everything and everything quickly and be ready for ambiguous language
At least you knew the calcs. More than I could say for the majority of them. That will definitely help your case for a pass!
I hope you will do just fine. I'm on my way to the test center in an about an hour so I'm going to keep in mind your recommendation.... No matter what, this test is not going to dictate who I am. We will see soon....! Crossing fingers for you and me, and for now let's roll the dice!
No doubt these exams test your ability to translate the questions and boil them down. With that said, if you took your time and read carefully and looked for the tricks inherent in most of them, you may have succeeded in passing! I hope you did. It sounds like a very frustrating experience. Just try to shake it off and keep on moving to the next one....
First test huh?
Hopefully you only have to go through it 5 more times! (SD is gibberish free!)
Originally Posted by Birddog
I feel the same way after every exam: confused, frustrated, out for vengeance - pass or fail. Unfortunately, won't just happen to you during SS. And while SD is gibberish free, you still have to interpret the nuances of the software. That alone is enough to have you leave the center weeping...
Originally Posted by kathmor
On an up note, a PASS washes all that frustration away. So hang in there! I've been pleasantly surprised a number of times...