Structural Engineering Courses

Structural Engineering courses are a great way to learn the basics of both the lateral and vertical forces. They will improve your scores in the SE examination.


The SE exam

This is a 16-hour test for engineers who practice in special jurisdictions. These areas require them to have a license separately from other professionally licensed engineers. You will have 2 days of examination in morning and afternoon sessions.

The exam specification is quite complex and detailed. You certainly need a lot of hard work and smart strategies to learn and give the exam.

SE exam course

Most people who register for the SE exam have only a few months until the exam. In that period, it is very difficult to start learning individual topics. An SE exam course is beneficial because:

  • Experts teach you new concepts and topics
  • It helps you refresh concepts you have studied in college
  • It has workshop sessions for both the lateral and vertical discipline
  • These sessions help you quickly prepare
  • Scheduled sessions help you focus more
  • They identify high probability question areas

Choosing right structural engineering courses

There are good structural engineering courses that you can choose. Pick from classroom sessions or online classes. Make sure you check for student testimonials online. You can also verify the expert list before making a choice.

Such courses cost you money, but it is worth considering the high pass percentages they have. Make use of them and give your SE exam to your best.


Why Do You Need Practice Exams For The Structural Engineering Exam

The grueling structural engineering exam is tough to pass. With two different sessions and a low pass rate, students are often worried about the results. Here are a few tips about how you can use practice exams to improve your score.


  1. Improve Your Score

Practice exams are an essential part of any exam preparation. Since the structural engineering exam is quite difficult, practicing with structural engineering exam questions can have positive effect on your score.

  1. Simulating The Real Exam

Another advantage of including practice exams in your study schedule is that it simulates the real exam. You now know what to expect on the day of the exam. Practice exams will help you prepare yourself mentally for the big day.

  1. Less Memorization, More Application

The structural engineering exam is less about memorizing concepts and more about applying them. Structural engineering sample questions and solutions are instrumental in helping you practice how to apply concepts.

  1. Practice Time Management

This exam is incredibly long, spanning sixteen hours. The exam is in two parts. With an overwhelming number of questions to get through, students need to know how much time they can spend one such question. Practice exams can help you manage your time.

  1. Familiarity With References

The structural engineering exam is an open book exam. It is impossible to take all your books with you on the actual day. You need to first find out which references are useful. Then, familiarize yourself with the important ones. Use your practice exams to create a list of references.

Structural Engineering Exam Practice Problems

The Structural Engineering (SE) exam is all about how effectively you manage time and how skilled you are at your basics. Structural engineering exam practice problems are a sure way to improve your scores.

strucutral engineering course

Why should you give the SE exam?

Few jurisdictions do not allow licensing a structural engineer when he/she appears for just general professional engineering exams. You must write a separate test for qualifying as a structural engineer. California is one such unique jurisdiction.

It is inevitable that structural engineers are skilled enough to construct buildings that stay strong in high seismicity and high wind areas. This SE exam tests your skills in vertical forces and lateral forces and ensures you are technically strong to work as a professional.

How do practice problems help?

The importance of practicing is often underrated. Students spend so much time studying and memorizing for an exam. On the D-Day, they are not able to remember half of what they studied because there was not enough practice.

You can approach structural engineering exam questions easily and with more confidence if you have been working on mock/practice questions regularly. Practicing helps in more than one way.

  • It improves your speed. Speed is important in this 16-hour exam
  • It gets you used to different types of problems
  • It makes you more confident
  • It helps you remember key information

Unlike most competitive exams, this also includes two sessions of an in-depth (written) test. On both days of the exam, the first half has multiple-choice questions and the afternoons have essay type questions. If it was several years since you wrote an exam, practicing a couple of times is even more important.

How can you use practice problems to make yourself better?

  1. Question banks

Question banks are very important for your everyday preparation. These include hundreds of problems and detailed solutions from all topics from the vertical and lateral forces. As and when you finish preparing a particular topic, take out the question bank, and solve from it.

  1. Mock/ Practice exams

Take up timed practice exams for the MCQs. You have to solve 40 problems in four hours. Every question will need detailed analysis and understanding. Find out if you are taking more time than required for each problem and change your working style based on it. Such timed exams make you very confident and focused.

Question banks and practice exams are important SE exam study materials that you cannot ignore. Have a plan on how to approach both the morning and the afternoon sessions. If you are spending more time than you decided on a question, let go and move on. Ensure you leave time at the end to be able to answer these questions later.

The SE exam is definitely a level more difficult than other PE exams. However, if you plan right, practice well, and know what you are doing, it is not an impossible target.

Structural Engineering (SE) Vertical and Lateral Sample Questions

Structural Engineering exam is specifically designed for Civil Engineering professionals and has a different exam format than Professional Engineering (PE) exam. To pass in the exam, one should have a basic knowledge about structural engineering exam sample questions to solve them confidently.

In this article, we will cover few practice problems for both vertical and lateral components.

structural engineering

Vertical Forces Sample Questions:

1.You are hired as a quality control associate on a project and you have noticed a possible hazardous condition at the site. What would be your first action?

(A) Inform the condition to the owner
(B) Halt the construction
(C) Inform the condition to OSHA
(D) Bring this to contractor’s notice.

2.The beam displayed is administered to a constant load and a moving concentrated load.

Design details:
Uniform live load: 1 Kilopounds per Linear Foot (KLF)
Concentrated live load: 10 Kilopounds

The constant live load may lengthen the beam from A to C.

The ultimate live load shear (kips) on the right of Support B is most nearly:

(A) 36
(B) 46
(C) 32
(D) 40
Lateral Forces Sample Questions:

1.The below figure shows the view of a tilt-up concrete wall warehouse roof.

Design Code:
ASCE 7: Min. Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, 2010.

Design Data:
Roof: 26 feet, A.F.F.
Top of panel: 26 feet, A.F.F.
Roof DL: 15 psf
Panel DL: 70 psf


Assumption: Cs = 0.15

The seismic chord force (Kilopounds) at Point A is most nearly:

(A) 21.1
(B) 11.3
(C) 45.5
(D) 24.9

2.The below figure shows the plan of a rigid floor diaphragm.

Design Codes:
IBC: International Building Code, 2012 edition (without supplements).
ASCE 7: Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures,2010.

Design Data:
There are shear walls on all the four sides.
The calculated story of a seismic shear is 75 Kilopounds.
The calculated center of gravity is shown.

The total torsion (ft-kips) is to be distributed to the shear walls is most nearly:

(A) 563
(B) 375
(C) 0
(D) 750
These are some of the sample problems and you can see more sample questions from the study guides or from any other offline or online resources.

A Practical Guide to Preparing for SE Exam

The SE exam conducted by the NCEES is something you should pass for you to be able to practice as a structural engineer in any state. Here is a practical guide for you to register, prepare, and write the SE examination.

  1. se exam study guideGet all information on the exam

Visit the NCEES website and go through all information under the structural engineering section. You can collect all details including registration deadlines, special accommodation procedure, exam specification and other details. The better informed you are before the exam, the easier will it be to prepare.

Keep referring the website regularly and if there are any changes or information passed on, you will be up-to-date on it.

  1. Know more about the exam pattern

Understand the depth of the exam to get an idea of how much you will need to prepare. This is a 16- hour test and it is quite tedious. You will have 4 modules of 4 hours each and questions in vertical and lateral forces. The morning session for both forces will be multiple-choice questions while the afternoon sessions would require you to answer in depth.

The exam specifications give you the details of the weightage of individual topics. Keep this as a base and prepare.

  1. Get hold of the right materials

Make sure you study with the right SE exam study materials. This is an open-book exam. It means that you can bring your own sources and refer from them. Therefore, the better and more structured your references are, the easier will it be to find the right information.

Reference books with detailed indexes and references that cover all topics important are intelligent choices.

  1. Study the right way

Start creating a pattern when you study. Use tabs and labels throughout the references to ensure you are quickly able to reach the right topic. Have your own notes that will give you an overall compressed version of all information you have prepared on.  Use the same books to study and to refer during the final exam.

The in-depth structural engineering exam questions require you to understand concepts in detail. Make sure you are clear on what you study. If you feel like you need extra help, do not hesitate to join a prep course. It is good to be fully prepared.

  1. Practice and practice more

Spend considerable time on practicing sample questions. You can find sample questions and answers online and you can even buy few full-length tests and try taking them. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will get and the faster you will be during the final examination.

The pass percentage for SE exam has been average compared to other streams. Lateral forces have around 35-38% while vertical forces are slightly better. This means that you will need to plan right and give it your best shot. Keep track of time, read the questions completely, and be confident.

Structural Engineering Exam Practice Problems

Structural engineering exam has its own importance in the lives of engineers. If you have studied structural engineering then you must be aware of the problems related to it. The problems given in the syllabus of structural engineering are varied and are based on different topics. You have to understand the difficulty level of and problems. After that you have to solve them accordingly. The problems are very important as they are asked in the exams. The more numbers of problems you solve correctly the more marks you get. Scoring in your structural engineering exam is not that tough but you have to work hard for it.

strucutral engineering exam

Structural engineering contains problems related to structuring and designing of certain things which involves various concepts of physics. You have to be very particular about solving them. You should be aware of the various formulas and methods. Some problems are time taking while some can be solved in no time. You have to judge accordingly and only after that you should proceed. Make sure to judge the problem and then start solving it. If you think that a problem will take time then do not give all your time on it. Go for other simple problems so that you can score marks by solving them.

This way you can attempt most of the problems and assure certain marks in the exam. Structural engineering exams have different topics from where questions are asked. You have to study all the topics given in it. The more you will practice the problems the faster you will be able to solve them. If possible take up practice tests and brush up your skills. You will also be able to find various structural engineering exam practice problems that will help you understand the concept clearly. Once you do this thing you will also know about different types of problems. Practice problems will help you to improve in a systematic manner.

The practice problems also come with solutions which you can check if you get stuck. The different types of solution will also help you to solve problems in a varied way. The solutions and tricks will give you idea and approach to solve a problem in less time. The more time you will get the more problems you can solve. It is not important how fast you solve bit how correctly you solve them. Only if you solve the problems correctly you will be scored. You should know this very well and should study accordingly. The problem solving skills will help you to beat other candidates on the examination. You can then come out as the best scorer and that will help you to do better in your career.

Structural Engineering Exam: What Review Class Should You Pick?

The structural engineering exam is one of the hardest exams out there. With different disciplines tested on different days, it is hard to prepare for the entire course in a short amount of time. Which is why most professors and students will recommend review courses. However, there are so many different formats available that students can get confused about which type of course works well for them. Here is your guide to the type of courses available and which one you should pick.

structural engineer exam courseIn Class Review Course

In class review courses offer students a chance to interact with tutors. Studying with other like-minded students also creates an atmosphere that is conducive to studying. One on one interaction with the tutors is also beneficial for students who are learning new concepts. It makes understanding and asking questions much easier. Students can also solve problems and ask for solutions immediately. The in class review courses makes it easy to practice structural engineering exam questions.

On Demand Course

On demand review courses are extremely popular with students right now. The primary reason is that students can set their own schedule and pace for studying. The SE exam is quite difficult and requires a lot of focused preparation. The on demand course gives students access to review course notes, pre-recorded lectures, and a proper syllabus to keep them on track and SE exam study materials. The flexibility is a key reason in picking an on demand review course.

Live Online Course

A live online course is similar to attending an in person course. Just that you can access a live course from wherever you are. Students can tune into lectures as long as they have Internet access. Apart from notes, practice exams and access to SE exam study materials, students get a lot more benefits. They can talk to the instructor during a live lecture, attend office hours, and work on home assignments that receive grades from the instructor. The live online course is perfect for engineering students who prefer interactive courses but face obstacles when it comes to travelling.

Self Study

Self-study is always an option for students appearing for the SE exam. Online forums are a great way to begin your search for study materials with the most realistic structural engineering exam questions. Students can create their own schedule based around their other responsibilities. The NCEES handbook is extremely useful in making a list of topics that will be on the exam. For students who can motivate themselves to study, a review course is not necessary.

It does not matter what type of course you pick. Success in the SE exam is entirely dependent on how well you focus on your preparation.