alright fears, it’s go time.

i knew i kept these for a reason

I have a serious love/hate relationship with Structures.

On one hand, it was the course I struggled with the most during school, but on the other, it was one of the most fascinating subjects I studied. I was fortunate to have Ken Carper (an expert in forensic engineering and all around awesome guy) as my professor for multiple terms. While his courses were difficult, I feel like they exposed me to many of the concepts that I’ll need to know for the SS exam. Now I just have to dust of my old textbooks/notes and remember it all.

I took a shot at the sample questions in the NCARB Exam Guide and got a 17/38 correct. Ouch. While I obviously didn’t know all of the concepts or equations, almost everything looked familiar. With some serious study, I should be able to pull this off.

I scheduled my exam for May 20, which gives me about 9 weeks to prepare. That’s probably a little bit longer than I need, but it was one of the only weekend appointments available in May, and the sooner I can get this over with (or at least attempted) the better. That being said, I do have a lot of material to learn, as well as a little design competition I’ve been considering entering, and a whole slew of Timbers matches to attend, so I’m sure the dreaded day will be here before I know it. And speaking of Timbers, the last time I took an exam on match day I passed. Here’s hoping history repeats itself!

This exam has had me worried since I first heard about the whole ARE process (you mean I’m going to be tested on this stuff again?!) but now that I have a few other subjects under my belt I’m ready to finally face my fears. I just never would have guessed they’d be in the form of 125 multiple choice questions.

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4 thoughts on “alright fears, it’s go time.

  1. thomas c. says:

    Well you already scheduled your exam…. so this might not be available.

    I am a big fan of David Thaddeus and his Structures Seminar. I was a fairly decent structures student but his seminar was able to bring all the knowledge and concepts together. Without a doubt, I can say that his seminar played a huge part in my passing SS on the first try. Just my 2cents.

    By the way, thanks for the awesome notes.

    • jennypdx says:

      Thanks for the recommendation, I appreciate all the help I can get on this exam! It doesn’t look like he’s coming to the northwest this year, but I’ll be sure to look around to see if I can find a summary as I prepare. Cheers!

  2. Hey Jenny I wanted to thank you for your great blog. I have taken two exams SPD (passed) and CDS(hoping I passed) with my PPP next week. It’s a relief to read what other people are thinking. I used to FEAR these exams, as much as my THESIS, and I finally realized if other people can do it so can I. Structures has never been my forte but I see these exams as a way to get over my fear. You rock!

    • jennypdx says:

      Wow, remember the good ol’ days when the biggest thing to panic about was you thesis project? (What do you mean my concept isn’t conceptual enough?! How did glue get all over that model?!)

      Thanks for the kind words and for reading, Casey. Preparing for these exams has been a bizarre mix of thrill, isolation, panic, and celebration. It’s always nice to connect with others who understand the feeling. Congrats on SPD and I hope you hear good things from CDS and PPP. Sounds like you’re off to a great start already. Cheers!

      P.S., I checked out your website, you do BRILLIANT work. Well done!

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