Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Board Exam

One of my unforgettable experiences is the Licensure Board Exam. Although it happened twenty plus years ago, it’s still vivid in my mind. It was exhausting, demanding and suspenseful. It leaves you nothing short of a vegetable after you’re done.

I took my review from Merit Review Center managed by Engr. Domenechi. A board placer himself, top two, to be exact. It offers two training, the refresher course which last six months and an “in-house” preparation for one month. I took both.

During my college days, I’ve solved problems using formulas, tables and charts but I have no inkling what are they for. I mean, I’ll give the “dry”, “saturated” or “condensed” temperature of steam passing through a turbine using those formulas and tables. But ask me what is it used for and why do I have to compute it and I’ll give you a blank stare.

I only have a comprehensible idea of my field when I took the review. Ironically, it only took 6 months to have a grasp of what I was studying for the last 5 years. Not only were we doing refresher course, we were also coached on how to get extra points even if your solution is wrong. Like writing the facts (“given” in engineering lingo), writing in a readable manner by using “print” characters and avoiding too many erasures on the test paper by using “scratch”.

In-house training is a completely different ball game. We are housed in a building somewhere outside the city and for one month we do nothing but eat, sleep, study and take test. Every morning, 6 days a week, they gave us 5 problems to solve and we dissect and study the solutions in the afternoon. Everything is strict and PRC board rules are applied. It’s like taking the board exam everyday but without proctor. One thing good about Engr. Domenechi is that he has a copy of all the previous board exams since 19 ”kupong-kupong”. That is where the 5 problems we have to solved each day came from.

Our board examination is a two days test consists of 4 subjects and 5 problems for each subject. But on the last day of the last subject, I run out of time that I only finished 3 of the 5 problems. I have a “given” on the fourth but the fifth was completely blank. I was nervous but when the result came out, I passed. I got a 60% on my last subject but I got a 96% on my math subject, enough to pull my failed subject and gave me an overall grade of 76%. A point higher than the required passing grade. Our topnotcher got a score of 80% flat.

All these years I still speculate what if I have enough time to finish the last two problems. Was that good enough to land in the top 10? I still wonder.


  1. ahh... this just brought me to my bar review days....

  2. I was in luck. I did not have to take any exam to embark on a career. Maybe you could have landed on the top ten but I don't think that matters now, does it? Imagine the pressure that could have given you.

  3. wow! i think you could have been in the top ten! this reminds me of my borad exam 6years back.

  4. That is the reason why I'm "forcing" my son to study harder and do a lot of practice specially in math subjects,practice and practice makes it perfect."sayang" if I tried harder before I should have had accomplished more,it doesn't matter now but I will not let my son do the same mistake I made over again.

  5. I was awful with anything related to Math back in my school days but I agree with your other readers who said that Practice does indeed make Perfect. That's what I did in college when I was studying and preparing for examinations. I went back to all of the Math problems that were given during the semester and solved each one again. The approach worked for me for not only did I become familiar with the "how", I also got to understood the "why". Once you have mastery of both, you can pretty much tackle anything.

  6. R-yo, I think bar exams are much tougher. I have a cousin who is a take 3 before he got his A-T-T-Y.

    Ka Rolly, you're right it doesn't matter now but I still have nightmares.

    donG, when you experienced something that challenges your mental or physical well being, it's hard to forget.

    ed v., "iskol bukol" din ako noon kaya doble-trabaho to catch-up. But I don't regret what I did in my past. You're right, I don't like my child to be like me. I want her to be better.

    panaderos, my batch mates intimidates me in math. They could derive where value of Pi came from. I concentrated on the basic. Luckily yun ang lumabas.