ARE - Lateral Forces / by Michelle Linden

As I mentioned before, I had decided to combine studying efforts for the general structures exam and the lateral forces exam. I was extremely nervous about the exam because I did not feel good at all about the general structures exam I had taken only 10 days prior. Still, I knew that I needed to focus on the exam at hand and not worry about the previous test.
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Like all of the other tests, I used the Kaplan General Structures/Lateral Forces Book and CD as well as the Archiflash cards as my main study materials. Also, make sure that if you use the Kaplan books, that you realize that the lateral forces portion is combined with one of the general structures book. I thought that this Kaplan book was the most lacking of all of the books, as there were only 3 small chapters devoted to lateral forces. Luckily, I felt like the cd and archiflash cards really made up for what was lacking in the book. I also decided to go over a few of the concepts with one of the structural engineers that my office works with, which was quite helpful.
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I can imagine that the lateral forces exam can be a bit daunting if you have never dealt with lateral forces. However, in the pacific northwest, this is an issue all of our structures must address, so I felt pretty comfortable with the material. Compared to the general structures exam, lateral forces is actually much more generalized. The lateral forces section focuses much more on concepts and ideas, rather than calculations. If you get a good understanding of the concepts, you should be able to deduce any mathematical problems using the formulas they give you. Although the formulas are given to you, so you don't need to memorize them... if you can, it will only make your life easier. It can be a waste of time to go back and forth from the formula page to the questions.
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All in all, I thought that this was one of the simplest (if not the simplest) exam of the bunch. I realize that everyone takes a different test and therefore you can never guarantee that your exam will be easy... the breadth of material for this exam is much less than others, which makes it much easier to study.
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Good Luck!
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