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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 7 reviews
on October 19, 2015
The other book, "Vol. 2: Non-Structural Topics", was excellent preparation for the non-structural topics on the ARE. This structural book was not as spot-on in its content or delivery. This one is overly dense, and tends toward calculations that are more complex than most of what is actually covered by the exams. I understand that some people like this approach - they have the "better over-prepared than under" philosophy, and if that's you then this might fit the bill. I just felt a little bogged down in working through this book, and after taking and passing the exams I realized that the time I spent on this book was largely unnecessary, and may even have made me less confident in my abilities in this area.. This book takes al lot of time that might be better put toward studying a broader variety of relevant sources.

This book is big on calculations - but those make up a limited part of the exam. Some sources that I used that were better targeted to the structural portions of the exam were: ArchiFlash cards; "Why Buildings Stand Up"; and "Why Buildings Fall Down".

All in all this book is a good review, and may be the kind of study that works better for some people than others. I'm happy I never have to take the ARE again, but if I did I'd probably skip or just skim this one.
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on December 2, 2007
Disappointingly, this book is full of formula errors. This book must be used in conjunction with a formal Structural Analysis book in order to check and or correct many of the formulas given. This book does give you a broad over view of Structural Systems, but do not rely on it to be correct. My firm has both this book and the study series by Kaplan. Suffice it to say, Kaplan's Structural series is a much better study guide and so far I have found no formula errata. My Structural Engineer Colleagues can not believe that this book by Steven E. O'Hara and David Kent Ballast ever made it through any type of pre-production review with this many errors.

Updated 12.15.2012: To be fair, the Kaplan book was not perfect either, but, in my opinion, was still a much better study guide.
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on May 12, 2013
I know the Ballasts are not always the favorite sources among the ARE exam candidates but I do like them. I do not find them too dense or hard to understand and I do feel like they provide a very complete source of the basics - naturally it is best used in combination with other reference materials.
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on March 24, 2007
A good location to find many different subjects to the topic. Each chapter has sample exam questions for review. A good resource but not the ONLY resource you should use if you are taking the Architectural Registration Exam.
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