Plan Reading

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The Plan Reading Competition is a challenge of the ability to read and interpret various sets of engineering and construction plans. Points will be awarded for each correct answer (all questions will be weighted equally unless otherwise noted), and the placement of the competing teams will be based on the highest number of correct answers received in the shortest amount of time. This ability shall be demonstrated during a timed test in which each competing team attempts to correctly answer as many questions as possible.


The objective of this competition is to score as many points as possible based on a timed test designed to evaluate plan reading and plan interpretation ability. The plans will be distributed at the contest site.


Each Student Chapter will be allowed to have up to three (3) members on the Plan Reading Team. All members must be current undergraduate students. One team will be allowed per University. Teams are not allowed to solicit help from individuals not participating as team members. All members of each team must report promptly to the testing location at the time of the competition. Teams or team members that arrive late will not be allowed to participate in the competition.


Each team will only be allowed to bring the following items into the competition room:

  • Up to three (3) competing team members
  • Engineering scale
  • Up to two (2) calculators are allowed. Both calculators must be F.E. approved in accordance with the NCEES calculator policy.
  • Stopwatch or other dedicated timing device. Note: the judges will maintain the official timing for the competition.
  • Cell phones are NOT permitted for use as stopwatch or dedicated timing devices.
  • Cell phones, laptops, tablets, notebooks, or other internet devices will not be allowed into the competition room.
  • Additional notes: paper and pencils will be provided. All paper, including calculations, drawings, sketches, etc. must be turned in at the end of the competition. Correct calculations are not required to support answers provided.


A maximum time of one (1) hour will be allowed to complete the competition. Time will begin as stated by the judges and will end based on the official judges’ time. Any work that is observed to continue after the team has been advised to stop work will result in a deduction of points. No partial points will be given for incomplete solutions or answers.


Each team will complete and turn in a single test. Questions will be in the form of “fill in the blank.” Teams’ scores will be based on a combination of time completed and number of questions answered correctly. Scores will first be ranked by the highest number of correct answers and then by the shortest amount of time.

Example: School “A” gets 19 out of 20 questions correct in 30 minutes
School “B” gets 18 out of 20 questions correct in 30 minutes
School “C” gets 19 out of 20 questions correct in 45 minutes

1st School A
2nd School C
3rd School B


Judging will be performed by a panel of professionals. The decision of the judges is final.

  • All questions regarding interpretation of the rules must be referred to the event coordinator who will have final say.
  • When units are specified for the answer format, answers in other units will be considered incorrect.
  • Unless otherwise specified, numerical answers should be stated in whole numbers (no decimal points).
  • NEATNESS COUNTS. Answers that are, in the opinion of the judges, illegible, will not be counted as correct.
  • Teams may be disqualified if they fail to meet stated rules and eligibility requirements, do not maintain the spirit of the competition, or upon the judges’ discretion.


Send questions to 2017asce@fau.edu. Answers will be posted on the Q&A page.