Photo via : John Donges  In this "dissecting" series of posts we discuss every problem in the NCEES "Sample Questions + Solutions" book. The afternoon section problems in this book are numbered 501 through 540. This post is about problem 514 for the Machine Design and Materials exam. 
Description of Problem 514: The problem statement shows a sketch of a simply supported beam. The beam is subject to some external loads. You are asked to obtain the maximum bending moment within the beam. Analysis of Problem 514: Here you just have to draw the shear force diagram and then the bending moment diagram for the beam. Once you have these diagrams you locate where the maximum bending moment occurs. The most efficient way to do this is with the graphical approach you learned back in the day in engineering school. This approach is reviewed well in the Mechanical Engineering Review Manual by M. Lindeburg, and also in any Strength of Materials textbook (e.g., Mechanics of Materials by R.C. Hibbeler). Here's a similar problem that is a little more challenging than Problem 514, yet it is not harder than anything you did in school: Mechanical Systems and Materials Depth (PM) Exam Sample Problem #3 Post CD is fixed to beam AB as shown. The length d of post CD is such that the system is in static equilibrium. 
The maximum bending moment within the beam is most nearly: (A) P (L/3) (B) P (2L/3) (C) PL (D) 3PL You may download the solution via the link below. Have any questions? Need help? Leave a comment!
