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.

SE Structural Engineering Exam Course

Structural engineering exam is a very important exam for those candidates who have completed their engineering in the same. The course deals with the structuring of various things such as buildings, bridges, etc which involves a lot of knowledge and information. The course of structural engineering is vast and many topics are there in the course of structural engineering. There are other things as well which you need to about the course. The topics involve a number of problems which needs to be solved accordingly.

se exam courseStructural engineering like all other engineering branches has its own significance and will help the candidates to build their career. You can also look for various exams conducted for structural engineering students. The exam will help you to improve your knowledge and skills in the same. Apart from that you can also get new opportunities after you go for a professional exam for structural engineering. You will get a certification after giving the exam. The certificate will increase your value as an engineer and you can get numerous job opportunities.

However, qualifying the examination is not that easy and you have to prepare well for the exam. You will find SE exam study materials from which you can start your preparation. You can also make sure that you get the best information from the book. You should also take up different problems from different books which will help you to understand various ways of problem solving. These tips will help you to qualify the exam in a better way. Do not forget to check with the SE exam course as it keeps on revising. You are also advised to follow books and guides of reputed authors. From there you will get sufficient information and knowledge.

Whenever you are facing any difficulty you can simply check out for solutions in the reference book. You can also take up practice tests which will help you to improve your preparation. You can also do one thing which is solving previous year questions. It will give you an idea as how to brush up your knowledge and skills. If you follow this pattern of study then you can simply increase your chances of qualifying the exam. Structural engineering exam is not that easy and you have to study hard. Only if your preparation is good then only you will qualify. So, make sure that you are confident about appearing for the exam.

This is because unless you are well prepared appearing for the exam is not worth. You should first be confident and then you should work hard to achieve the target. This way you can ensure your success in the exam and as an engineer.

SE Engineering Exam Review Course

When you have set your goals high to attain success in your next Structural Engineering (SE) examination, stress upon a foolproof strategy. Several SE exam courses are available that gives absolute direction to your studies. Since it is a race against time, the focus should be on important things only.

se engineering exam courseAre you a candidate for SE examination?

The structural engineering discipline focuses on structures, related building framework, construction materials, and forces acting on structures. To emphasize, this is a fascinating subject. However, to qualify, you have to become a civil engineering undergraduate. Then again, you have to gain 4-year work experience in the related field. Once done you can definitely sit for the SE examination.

Developing a successful study plan

How competent are you to practice as an engineer? This exam will test your competence as a professional engineer. Not everyone who sits for the SE examination is able to attain success. The reason behind this is simple. They do not have the right study plan.

It is a 16-hour examination involving two parts, namely,

  1. Lateral forces exam
  2. Vertical forces exam

Before one begins preparing, it is important to review exam design standards and specifications. Get information on examination pattern, passing grade requirement, and gather any reference material that you could find. You have to understand the reporting and scoring protocols. Finally, it is also useful to know the current passing grade score in the exam to have an idea of the competition.

Now, chalk out a foolproof study plan. It should have practice exercises and cover key theoretical topics. One can divide the study plan further into study volume, daily targets, and overall planning.

Understanding the basic study plan

  • Overall plan: The overall plan is your goal. A plan to design what you have to do from the current date right up to the exam.
  • Daily plan: You set daily milestones to achieve your target based on your overall plan.
  • Studying: This refers to the actual volumes covered on a daily basis.

To begin with, many of you are not only preparing for the exam but are also busy professionals with prior commitments. Thus, when planning to study this schedule, do make way for your work schedule. A periodic progress review is imperative as this lets you know what you have achieved and how much more to go. This keeps you on the track.

Complement preparation with review courses

SE review courses unlade all the roadblocks to your exam preparation and give you realistic chances of success. This will complement any study plan you prepare. Such courses facilitate progressive preparations. For optimizing the results, you need to choose your course right. Things to look for include experienced tutors having sound industrial, academic backgrounds.

You need detailed feedback on your practice test performances from time to time. This helps you to identify your strengths and weaknesses that you need to improve on. You get exhaustive resources to practice for the exam. This includes question banks, test papers, puzzles, handouts, and quizzes. Save valuable time at the exam by learning how to best use the calculator.

Once you are through, you will have both the skills and confidence to attain excellence in your SE exam.