California Seismic Exam Preparation
While you prepare for your California State Specific Seismic Exam (or any other PE exam component), you will face a learning curve in chapter applicability recognition. One of the most important differentiations is to pattern yourself to quickly move to chapter 12- for Building Structures, and to chapter 13- for Nonstructural Components.
The problem is: the ASCE is a very bland mix of uniform type and random equations (at a glance, at least.) When you are maximizing your time (rushing), this can frustrate, confuse, and waste your precious minutes. To break the power of black and white type on paper:
Break up the page by highlighting the Section Titles.
I used blue for chapter 12 and pink for chapter 13. As you practice, you will begin to associate the blue with building equations and the pink with nonstructural equations. Additionally, the unique positions of the pink horizontal bars gives each two-page open book layout a unique look. You will begin to recognize these pages as the pages containing certain information and equations. This will help you visually recognize the location of certain pages.
Of course, the most important pages for referencing should be tabbed. For about $3, you can get some packs of see-through tabs in Office Depot or Office Max. The sticky part is clear. The tab which overhangs the edge of the page is in four colors: green, red, yellow, and blue. You will want these in all your reference books. It really speeds up referencing tables.
Where to find great books for the PE Exam:
You will need several reference books for the PE exam. Most people also purchase the CERM, two or more practice exam books, and other study materials. The best of these are compiled here:
Best PE Exam Review Materials