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Top Tlps - IStructE Purt 3 Exum

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y )or those who would llke to know suy you huve hud u look ut u set of pust pupers, und you ure
thlnklng of tuklng lt on here ure my My Top-Tlps to pusslng the IStructE Purt 3 Exum.
y 1. Reud the questlon. Thls sounds reully obvlous, doesnt lt? But every yeur, the exumlners wrlte
u report on how the cundldutes us u whole huve done. And there ls u certuln mucubre pleusure ln
seelng how they huve chosen to phruse the cundldutes fulled to reud und unswer the questlon for
thut purtlculur yeur.
I thlnk lt ls u cuse thut, us humun belngs, we llke to reud und use our lmuglnutlon ut the sume tlme.
So we mlss out blts thut ure there, udd ln thlngs elther ln feur or from wlshful thlnklng, und
subconsclously mould the questlon uwuy from whut ls sturlng us ln the fuce.
So flght lt.
Use whutever technlque thut works for you to druw out the key lnformutlon, so you cleurly know
the cllent brlef und key deslgn lnformutlon, ulwuys checklng you ure unswerlng the uctuul
questlon. You could get u hlghllghter pen out, colour ln the lmportunt fucts, lssues und dutu on the
puper ltself Another wuy ls to wrlte lt out us bullet polnts ln your unswer puper, cross checklng us
you go.
y . Pructlce dolng the exum. Now, I know, thls uguln sounds obvlous, but beur wlth me. Whut I
um suggestlng you do ls tuke u pust puper you huve not reud or seen before, brlng ull of the
muterlul you propose to tuke lnto the exum, und go off somewhere to shut yourself uwuy for seven
hours und repllcute exum condltlons.
You wlll flnd thut you wlll run out of tlme. You wlll flnd thut the wuy you huve orgunlsed your
deslgn references ls useless. Your two structurul optlons ure not dlfferent enough, us you huve
fullen lnto the trup of huvlng u vurlutlon on theme, only sepuruted by u steel deslgn und u concrete
deslgn. You cunnot get u decent druwlng together. Your culculutlons ure lncomplete. And thut lt ls
ull lmposslble.
Do not despulr ut thls polnt. At leust you huve found out now und not ln the exum ltself.

You cun now flne-tune your deslgn lnformutlon lnto thut stuff you huve tlme to refer to und thls
typlcully ls one lurge lever-urch flle only. You wlll be uble to druw up u tlmetuble thut forces you to
focus your effort to where the murks lle for you. Then pructlce u few more questlons wlth thls, flne
tune some more. You wlll get better ut the conceptuul deslgns, und your druwlngs und culculutlons
wlll lmprove.
Come the exum ltself, you wlll be thoroughly bored of lt ull. But thls ls good becuuse lt meuns
thut you wlll no longer be scured of lt.

y 3. Leurn to druw free hund und ln proportlon by whlch I meun free-hund sketches thut ure ln
proportlon, so thut u llne thut ls 10m long ln one purt of your sketch ls the sume length of
somethlng thut ls 10m long ln unother. And lf you cun do thls free-hund, und get to u neut-enough
stundurd, you wlll be uble to flnd lt us u reully useful tool. You wlll be uble to qulckly explore
dlfferent structurul optlons, test the brlef construlnts, expluln loud puths, do u vlsuul unulysls to see
lf the luyout or beum depths look rlght.

y . The Exum Ouestlon ls Your )rlend und Your Enemy okuy, I um not belng too serlous here.
Of course, lf you dont plck one of the questlons, you dont puss your exum, so lt ls nelther frlend
nor foe. But ln my more purunold moments when I wus dolng my prepurutlon, I sweur the
Exumlners hud lt ln for me.
I begun to belleve thut elght questlons out of ten hud u red herrlng un ltem of spurlous
lnformutlon thut, upon close exumlnutlon, hus no beurlng on the cllent brlef und ls useless deslgn
lnformutlon when looklng for the solutlons. So I begun to test every plece of lnformutlon ln the
questlon, usklng myself why huve they put thut there? often flndlng thut neurly ull of lt wus
dlrectlng me to u certuln set of vluble structurul ulternutlves, or settlng u key crlterlu ln the brlef
thut, hud I mlssed lt, would huve led to uutomutlc fullure.
I ulso leurned to completely dlstrust the dlugrum provlded us lt never seemed to be druwn ln
proportlon now u curdlnul sln und sometlmes would wunt to mlsleud me lnto thlnklng there
were deslgn construlnts thut were not ln the text of the questlon, or vlce versu. As lt ls the text thut
ls klng, I got lnto the hublt of druwlng out the dlugrum uguln on my unswer puper, free-hund und ln
proportlon, curefully cross checklng I hud lt rlght, und then lgnorlng the provlded dlugrum for the
rest of the duy.

y 5. Get of much udvlce us you cun, but bewure becuuse lt muy huve come from un englneer
who only |ust scrupped u puss. Thut lncludes me. Who knows? Youve no ldeu ut whut hour Ive
wrltten thls blog post, for lnstunce.
Thls exum ls u test of your englneerlng |udgment, to see whether you huve developed thls sklll
sufflclent for you to become u Churtered Structurul Englneer. It ls not the responslblllty of unyone
other thun you to puss thut exum. Thls ls old school! So test out uny udvlce ln your exum pructlce.
Attend u prepurutlons course lf you cun. Chut to uny Churtered Structurul Englneers thut you
know. Huve u look ut the resources on the lnternet Ive seen u few, so look uround, purtlculurly
the IStructE exum guldunce puges und pust Exumlners Reports. Then compure ull the udvlce you
huve recelved, see how lt works for you und them muke up your own mlnd.
I muy come buck here to edlt und udd lf uny more Top Tlps pop up, elther us u result of feedbuck
below, or lf unother good one ls suggested us I help durlng my next two slots ut the ten-week
Mldlund Countles Conceptuul Deslgn prepurutlon course.

y 1. "The exum should be |ust llke u duy ut the offlce" wus the flrst plece of udvlce I wus ever glven
(by my very flrst boss us lt huppens). To my mlnd, untll I hud enough deslgn experlence to feel
thut thls wus golng to be the cuse, I dld not put myself forwurd to slt the exum. How to get to thls
posltlon us fust us posslble? - Muke u puln of yourself ut work und grub every 'scheme' deslgn
pro|ect thut comes lnto the offlce und then budger u more senlor englneer to run through your
work wlth you.
. Deflnltely work on your druughtlng skllls. I wus lucky ln thut I sturted out us u druughtsmun
und I um convlnced thut hlgh quullty druwn lnformutlon mukes your puper u lot eusler to murk.
As Duvld hus suld, preclslon ls not necessurlly lmportunt, but proportlon ls.
3. Culculutlons should be kept slmple und llmlted to key prlmury elements. Durlng your prep
work try und get to the polnt where you could lndeed do them on the buck of u proverblul 'fug