## ABSTRACT

Three different test methodologies used in the evaluation of the shear strength of soils are presented in this chapter. The laboratory procedures described include the direct shear, unconfined compression, and triaxial tests. These tests permit not only the establishment of the maximum strength of soil specimens but also the evaluation of the contractive and dilative tendencies of soils, the generation of excess pore water pressure, and under proper boundary conditions, the generation of data to establish the constitutive parameters for the analysis of complex geotechnical structures using finite elements solutions.