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Statics For Dummies by James H. Allen, III, PE, PhD

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Chapter 26. Ten Tips for Surviving a Statics Exam

Although any science or math test can be a frustrating or intimidating experience, a statics test can reach a whole other level of intimidation. In this chapter, I present ten suggestions that help make your life a little easier during those stressful statics exams.

Find Problems You Know How to Solve

After you've received your exam (and you've taken a deep breath to help you gather your composure), flip through the test and quickly read each problem, highlight what you're being asked to find, and then choose a problem that you're confident you can solve. I outline in Chapter 25 how to break the problems down into simple, bite-sized pieces. Nothing is worse than sitting in an exam and struggling with a difficult problem for far too long. If you spend too much time struggling, you may miss really quick and easy point-getters later in the exam. Also, if you find and solve the easy problems first, you build up some momentum and confidence as you proceed to the hard problems.

State Your Assumptions

Start a problem by listing a few of the necessary assumptions. One or two words usually suffice. Check out the following example; you answer the questions and then jot down your answer in the test margin.

  • Does this problem need to consider self weight? Is mass or weight mentioned somewhere on the picture or in the problem statement?

  • Does this problem need to consider ...

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