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.
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?
- 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.
- 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.