Elementary Structural Design (Civ-A2, Str-A2) - Solutions

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Next Technical Exam Sitting: November 30 - December 11, 2020

Your exam is fast approaching.  You might be working a job and have a family that needs your time.  The last thing you want to do is spend $1,000 on a course to re-learn this material.

If that sounds like you, our Civ-A2 (Str-A2) help is for you.

About: The Elementary Structural Design (Civ-A2) exam is written nationally for civil/structural engineers.  The code for this exam is:

  • Civil - 98-Civ-A2 (or you may see it like YY-Civ-A2, Civ-A2)
  • Structural - 07-Str-A2 (or YY-Str-A2, Str-A2). 

This exam tests the candidate’s ability to design simple structures and structural elements in Reinforced Concrete, Steel and Wood structures. You will be asked to determine maximum factored loads, maximum factored moment of resistance for given structural members. Also, you will be asked to design members with loads given. In the case of RC members, this will be along with reinforcement design. In steel members, design of joints, welded or bolted.

Format: 3-hour long, closed book exam. The exam is divided into three parts, RC, Steel and Wood. There are three questions each in RC and Steel sections. Out of which you have to attempt two in each section. In the third section, Wood, there is one question asked, which you have to attempt. So, out of the seven questions that are asked in the exam, five needs to be attempted (⅔ in RC and Steel and 1 in Wood).

Dates written: The exam is offered twice every year in the months of May and December.

Approved aids: Since the course is highly computational, an approved scientific calculator is permitted.

Though it is a closed book exam, you are permitted to take along with your textbooks and/or handbooks. No notes/sheets are allowed.


Questions in part A are asked to test your skills in steel design and applications of code CSA- S16

Question 1.  Load carrying capacity (Axial Resistance) of steel column

You are expected to determine effective length factor K based on end support conditions then determine slenderness ration KL/r for the section and factor l. Calculate factored compressive axial resistance using the equation of clause 13.3.1. For doubly symmetric shapes torsional flexural buckling may be applicable hence use clause 13.3.2 to calculate axial resistance.

Question 2. Design of Connections - Bolted / Welded

You will be asked to design a column to beam or beam to beam connection using welded or bolted connection subjected to shear or shear and moment both. Check load carried by a single bolt or stress in weld with respect to its capacity. Check connecting plate and members for different failure modes. Use clause 13.12 for bolt design and 13.13 for welding design.

Question 3. Moment Resistance of a steel built-up section

You will be given a built-up section of plates to determine the moment resistance about two perpendicular axis. Find out the location of the neutral axis in both directions. Calculate section modulus about both axis. Determine section classification as per clause 11.1. Calculate moment of resistance Mr using equations in clauses 13.5 or 13.6 for laterally supported members or laterally unsupported members respectively.



Questions in part B are asked to test your skills in concrete design and applications of code CAN/CSA- A23.3

Question 4. Moment resistance of a RCC section

You will be given a reinforced concrete section to calculate moment. You are expected to determine the depth of neutral axis and use clauses in section 10.1 to find out if the section is under-reinforced or over-reinforced. Based on these findings, take moment of area of concrete under compression or area of steel in tension about the neutral axis to calculate moment of resistance of the section.

Question 5. RCC column design

You will be given a frame and asked to design a vertical member as a reinforced concrete column. You may also be asked to show the layout of the reinforcement. Analyze the frame to find out axial load and moment if there are any on the column member. Use appropriate equation is clause 10.10 to design flexural reinforcement and clause 11.3 to design shear reinforcement.

Question 6. RCC beam design

You will be given a frame and asked to design a horizontal member as a reinforced concrete beam. You may also be asked to show the reinforcement detail. Analyze the frame to find out axial load and moment on the beam. Using the appropriate equation of clause 10.1 to design flexural reinforcement and clause 11.3 to design shear reinforcement.


Questions in part C are asked to test your skills in timber design and applications of code CSA- O86

Question 7. Timber member design

You will be asked to design a glulam column or simply supported sawn joist for self-weight, live load wind load or snow load under dry or wet conditions. Use appropriate load combinations and determine maximum factored moment and axial load. Find out the effective length of the member and slenderness ratio. Select a trial member size. Use clauses based on material selection (5.5 for sawn or 6.5 for glulam) to check capacities for axial compressive, bending moments and shear force.

If you order a solutions package or have a technical question about the exam, here is the person that will be providing you with help between now and your exam:

Arshia Mousavi, Msc - Probability and Statistics exam solutions reviewerArshia Mousavi, Msc, works as civil and structural engineering researcher and assistant at Queen’s University and is currently active in diagnosis, analysis for e.g. punching shear and bonding behavior and retrofitting design of different types of structures such as fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) and reinforced concrete (RC) structures in ordinary, fire or severe conditions, in developing new testing setups. He has dedicated experience in civil and structural engineering. He has worked both in design and construction firms as well as laboratory.

The recommended textbooks for this exam are:

  • Limit States Design in Structural Steel by Grondin, G. Y. and Kulak, G. L.. Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, 2010. ISBN: 9780888111975
  • Reinforced Concrete Design: A Practice Approach by Brezev, S. and Pao, J.. 2nd Edition. Prentice-Hall, 2013. ISBN: 978-1323496558
  • Handbook of Steel Construction. Current edition. Canadian Institute of Steel Construction. http://www.ciscicca.ca
  • Concrete Design Handbook. Current edition. Canadian Portland Cement Association. www.cement.ca
  • Wood Design Manual. Current edition. Canadian Wood Council. www.cwc.ca

While we don't reference them in the course, owning one or both will give you more opportunities to re-learn the theory and practice questions from the textbook.  It is not necessary to own them to take the course, but it might be a good idea as an additional resource for you.

Based on your education and experience, we've put together a few different options to help you out.  If you are feeling confident in the material and believe you are knowledgeable on the exam topics, then a less expensive option may be best for you.  For those who need more help and support, the more expensive packages would be recommended. 

$350, $250

Elementary Structural Design (98-Civ-A2) icon
Format:   Solutions, support & course
Skill level:   All levels
Language:   English

Includes the following: (depending on your package):

  • We'll provide solutions to two previous exams
  • We'll provide you with email support for your technical exam questions


# Exam solutions

(Date of exam(s) solved)

Email support tickets

Length of access





(May '17)




1 year







(May '17 & Dec '16)




1 year


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