Top critical review
Too Dense. It was a time and confidence sucker.
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.