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Lateral Forces 2008 by David M. Berg
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Lateral Forces 2008

by David M. Berg

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Oh, where do I begin? First I would say that this is physically half the size of the other which, upon initial inspection, promotes sugar-plum visions of scheduling the exam for a week hence. I would strongly advise that you restrain the temptation and actually open the book. Indeed, I conquered almost all of my exam preparations (most of this book, a stack of flash cards and the Kaplan CD – a piece of crap that deserves it’s own zero-star review) in one week, but this was only after a FOUR MONTH process of fits and starts with the first 20-or-so pages of this book. One can’t quite describe my enthusiasm towards the Equivalent Lateral Force Procedure with all the lengthy equations THAT ARE NOWHERE TO BE FOUND ON THE EXAM! The wind portion went much more smoothly. Be advised, instead of multiple, 20-page lessons, this is broken up into two 50-page lessons which only exacerbates the sensation that the seismic portion will never, ever end! Spoiler Alert – it does finally end, but I would advise everyone to simply read through this thing and don’t bother with notes and certainly don’t look at any of the seismic calculations – do NOT write down the various formulas and memorize them frantically before arriving to the testing center. They aren’t part of the exam (some of the wind examples relate, but not the p=q(C C) – (c C) where q= 0.00256KKKVI stuff. It’s simply not there!).

The Kaplan disk, so far as I could tell, was sloppily pieced together by orphan children who lack experience with such things as English and counting. The Kaplan Q and A book – also with a few egregious errors – is perhaps the best thing you could spend time on. The wording and type of questions are somewhat close to the exam (though, again, the Kaplan equations are far more complicated). The flash cards (not by Kaplan, thus explaining correct grammar) are also a good tool with which one can absorb the basic theoretical principals (as you will need for most of the exam). I found this one to be especially annoying and, other than my primary advice to run far, far away from architecture(!), if you’re Hell-bent on taking this exam, then I suggest, at most, a cursory engagement with the Kaplan book – at least the seismic half – while spending more time with other study options. ( )
  mjgrogan | Jun 3, 2009 |
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