Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Best Book for Seismic PE Exam

If someone is going to fail a portion of the California PE Exam, the state-specific Seismic Principles exam is the second most likely to be that portion. (Slightly more people fail the California Civil Surveying exam.) The primary reason is that most engineers do not need to perform seismic force calculations. The second reason is people fail to study properly.

The #1 book for the seismic test is "the Hiner book". This refers to the Seismic Design Review Workbook: for the California Civil Professional Engineering Examination. The author is Steven T. Hiner. I expect the long title is the reason examinees refer to this as "the Hiner book."

If you see one for sale, buy it!

The print date for common circulation, older edition, if you seek it in the usual places, is 1997. It has been out of print since then. I checked Amazon several times recently: none available just now. In red letters on the page: "limited availability."

You really do want the Hiner book first when studying for the California Seismic Principles exam. It is a real go-to. I have only seen these with other examinees. Personally, I've never even held one!

Should you buy the ATC-20 to study for the seismic portion? Most people say no. But, read my post. This link will also take you to a list of all the required books for the Seismic Exam.

Other resources for the Seismic PE Exam:





1. Best Seismic Review Book for the PE Exam has several options.  One of the best seismic sample problems books is Seismic Principles Practice Exams for the California Special Seismic Exam. Pass rates for the civil engineering exams are just 64% in the U.S., and slightly lower in California. Even lower: pass rates for the seismic exam. Only 47% pass. People don't prepare adequately. Be sure to get your books early. And, use them well.


PE Exam Review Materials are an Investment
Study materials for the PE exam are tax deductible, so keep your receipts. The books you purchase today are not only to advance your professional credentials. They will line your reference book shelves for years to come.

2. 345 Solved Seismic Design Problems (5th Edition) by Majid Baradar, PE. This book is a little underrated. Overall, it has an average Amazon user review rating of 3.6/5.0 stars. However, this includes at least three editions. Some of the older (and lower) ratings refer to the third edition. The current, 5th, edition has an average 4.0 rating. When it comes to the review of Professional Engineering products, the ratings are typically about a 3, plus or minus 0.2 stars. So, with an average 4.0 rating, the 5th edition looks like a quality edition.

3. For other seismic review books and media, as well as other PE exam review materials, visit: PE Exam Study Materials

4. Practice Exams for the California Seismic Principles Civil P.E. Examination: This is a relatively new book. But, it already has three 5-star reviews. This book is 180 pages. It includes two 55-question practice seismic exams. Cost: $70.

The Hiner Book
5. seismicreview.com  Okay, this appears to be the new source for the Hiner book. I wish I had found this when I was preparing for the seismic exam! And, this version is updated for the 2012 IBC (CBC 2013.) Cost: just $105 including taxes and shipping for California residents. For all other residents: $101. Not bad, if you want to pass. I recommend you get this as a minimum. I did pass without it- at the second sitting.







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