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TIPS & TRICKS IN THE BOARD EXAMINATION

Prepared by ARCHITECT RAISON JOHN J. BASSIG 1st Placer – June 2006 PRC Architect Licensure Examination 10th Placer – March 2007 PRC Master Plumber Licensure Examination

So you are about to take the board exam. Nervous? You should be. A few months before I took mine, I have experienced what every board examinee goes through: Unexplainable nervousness. Butteflies in the stomach. Catatonic looks. Am I ready? For one thing, it's better to be nervous NOW than to feel your sweat dripping and your veins popping ON the day of the exam itself. Imagine yourself staring blankly at those test questionnaires. 45 minutes have passed. You are already at question number 31, yet your answer sheet remains blank - a complete mental blackout. Your mind then wanders. As you look along the walls of the quiet classroom, you begin to reminisce your days in college. How you wish you remembered what that professor had taught you. You gaze up the ceiling and wonder about the future of your career, hanging in the balance, through these test questions you are holding right now. You inhale deeply and pour out a sigh of air. You pray for luck, hoping the next question would be something that you have read in your 1-week review. You turn the next page. Tsk. Where in God's name did they get all these questions??? Mi... ni... mi...ni... mai... ni... mu. This is a typical story of what could go through a mind of a board examinee. A board examinee who did not prepare, relied on luck, and had no idea how to go about answering the board exam questions. Thankfully, that did not happen to me. When I took the Board Exams for Architects in June 2006 and for Master Plumbers in March 2007, my confidence was sky-high. All because I was prepared. This leads me to my conclusion: "Talo ng preparado ang matalino.". So for almost 12 months now, I have been sharing to others through seminars, lectures and informal discussions, how I prepared for the board examination. Allow me to share with you some tips and tricks based on my own experience that can help you prepare for your own review. SETTING YOUR GOAL The first and most important tip that I would give you is SET YOUR GOAL. Whether you just want to pass and get a license, or maybe land a place among the top 10, or probably get a grade of 90+ on the most dreaded subject, it helps if you have direction. The more specific your goal is the better. Try to write it on paper and feel committed to it. Mine was to top the board exams - and I did. Now in order for you to work on that goal, you must have the RIGHT MOTIVATION. This is the second and equally important tip. Your motivation is your drive in achieving your goal. It could be anything from a person that inspires you (an idol, a crush, or a loved one) to a material promise (like an all-expense out-ofthe-country trip or a brand new car). It's up to you! Use this to keep you going everyday. Use this to get you up early in the morning when you normally wake up late. When you are motivated, you feel like you can do anything. Yes, ANYTHING! So, this gives you a psychological advantage. The board examination, just like any other sport or competition, is all about how you prepare for a fight. It is all about setting your mind, body, and emotions straight before the main event. During the preparations, YOU ARE YOUR OWN ENEMY. The less you know about yourself, the harder it is to succeed in this undertaking. That is why you have to train hard. What you do to your time is all up to you. You could sit back and relax if you want, but keep in mind, all the others might have already gone far ahead in their reviews while you are still sitting pretty waiting for that right moment.

It is a 125-item exam that starts 8:00am to 5:00pm. KNOW THE COVERAGE OF THE EXAM YOU SHOULD KNOW what subjects you are to tackle in your review. You will have to go from one place to another to buy metered documentary stamps. NSO-issued birth certificates can take 1 day to 1 week (depending where you were born). Submit the requirements ASAP! Don't cram. Please. In my case. Once time goes by. The 2nd exam is Structural Design. it would take WEEKS sometimes MONTHS to complete the requirements. take a picture. Imagine yourself already 4 months deep in your review. You have to know how many days the exam is and what subjects would be taken in which days. Please. Believe me. which is scheduled 6 months or 1 year later. For Day 3: we have the subject Architectural Design and Site Planning. it becomes tighter with a little above 2 minutes per question. Filing for a board exam application should be the least of your problems once you are already studying for the board exam. You are lucky if you don't encounter any problems here and there. But these subjects are compressed into one exam only. Please. they should have not enrolled immediately. it can never be brought back. only to back out 3 weeks before the exam. And expect long lines in the PRC building when applying. paid a lot of money for their review classes. a drawing-type exam that starts 8:00am to 5:00pm. Given all these data. The diploma and transcipt of records usually takes 2 weeks minimum. . "Todo Na 'To!". PRC REQUIREMENTS: ALL THE HASSLES INVOLVED Completing the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) requirements for filing a board exam application is a total hassle. Uhoh. I had 8 months preparation. For Day 2. once you have decided that you are going to take the board -. expect yourself to be all tired and sweaty. you are still worrying if you going to beat the deadline for application because you havn't got your documents ready yet. this simple question will determine how much extraordinary effort you may have to exert throughout the rest of your review. the Architects board exam is scheduled for 3 days. For some unexplainable reason. what with all the red tape involved. the better your chances of making the most out of your time. You know. I decided to take the June 2006 Board Exam for Architects as early as November 2005. a 40-item exam that starts 1:00pm to 2:15pm. In my opinion. Day 2 is divided into three exams for each three subjects. Now that's a lot of time gap until the next exam.DECIDING WHEN TO TAKE THE EXAM Time is one of the most critical resources in your entire preparation. I knew how to balance my time and create some strategies in answering come exam day. the PRC requires certain documents you have to submit to their office (which is located in Morayta) before a certain deadline (usually 3 weeks before your examination date). Principles of Planning. Check the PRC website for the required documents. and Architectural Practice. I knew I have less than 5 minutes to answer one question in Day 1. For Day 1: we have the subjects History and Theory of Architecture. That's why the sooner you decide. For example. Unlike the subjects in the first day. The PRC board usually issues a curriculum showing the coverage of the examination. the only logical explanation for their backing out is that they were half-hearted with their review. etc. The 1st exam is Building Utilities. YOU DON'T WANT THIS TO INTERFERE WITH YOUR STUDY SCHEDULE. a 60-item exam that starts 2:30pm to 5:00pm. I know some people who spent 4 months studying. It's not going to be a breeze. NBI clearance can be from 1 to 3 days. You would easily forget most of the topics discussed in the review center and you would be forced to take refresher courses again later on. the first question you have to ask yourself is: "WHEN AM I GOING TO TAKE THE EXAM?" It may sound simple but believe me. and in the back of your mind. Getting all the documents consumes a LOT of time (and money). Depending on the board exam you are going to take. It's a waste of time and a waste of money. Never ever be half-hearted. The 3rd exam is Building Materials and Methods of Construction.GO FULL-FORCE!! As the saying goes. By the time you are finished. pay the cashier. So speaking of time. a 100-item exam that starts 8:00am to 12:00nn. If they were unsure. they found themselves "not yet ready" and would just opt to take the next board exam.

you should determine which subjects covered by the exam are you most comfortable with and which subjects are you having problems with. you have to practice waking up early and studying in the morning . This is where we feel we are more progressive studying.not at night anymore. The idea is to get you "IN THE ZONE". you should just be browsing through your notes to refresh your memory. They would be greeting you 'good luck'. About 2 to 3 weeks before the exam. No more all-nighters. you'll feel sleepy and nauseaous during the exam. be conscious of the food you eat 1 week before the exam. The 2 remaining weeks should give you time to relax and psych yourself. Ideally. Nobody wants to have an upset stomach on the day of the exam. preparing for the board is not just a walk in the park (especially if you have set high goals in the beginning). you should have studied what you needed to study. TAKE ALL THESE PRESSURES AND PUT IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. in time. A board examinee must also expect pressure from a lot of people. Also. We would even buy paraphernalia and bring our pencils. There are pressures from your family. but others would also expect you to do really good. everybody will still know that you took the exams. No more burning your eyebrows. Once you get going on one subject. feel free to use it as you please. Depends on your religious belief. a week before the exam. spiritual. social. I know some people who did not tell a single soul that they'll take the board exam.But going back to your review. If you really want to make the most out of your review and achieve the goals you have set. Are you a fast reader? Do you easily comprehend anything that you read? How good are you at numbers? Can you memorize dates well? Would you appreciate a book by looking at illustrations or by reading the article itself? You have to know yourself and seek for self-improvement. then that's the time you absorb the other subjects along the way. Besides. whether you pass or fail. Whatever your comfy zone is. and I really mean ALL: physical. This is our comfort zone. Find out your strengths and your weaknesses. Prayers help a lot. So don't stay up all night exhausting your energy cramming for more information. I had to exert more effort in my studies . By this time. The moment you decide you'll take the board exam and tell it to someone. there is a need to re-adjust your study habits. KNOW YOURSELF The key to a successful board exam preparation is knowing one's self.more than what my body can take. Since I only had a month's preparation (because I was also working). Think of yourself as a car that needs a jump start. But as the board exam nears. Sleep early the night before the exam. That's ok as long as you still have 6 to 8 hours of sleep. TOTAL CONDITIONING Believe it or not. mental and even financial :) Most of us are night-owls. emotional. I was on Tylenol because of a fever. The idea here is to get yourself comfortable "thinking" in the morning because the board exam starts in the morning. these pressures would even help propel you to study harder. rulers. Ask for His divine . These subjects are usually the ones you are really interested in. word really travels fast. I usually study from 11pm up to 6 am the next morning. There are a lot of ways for you to improve. That was my mistake when I took the Board Exam for Master Plumber last March. Else. we begin to study at night until the wee hours of the morning. then sleep and wake up around 2 pm. and books blessed. Maybe they were too pressured or shy. then you must be prepared in all aspects. there are pressures from your relatives (especially those successful ones). Use your strengths to concentrate on building up your weak points. The hard-core reviewing should end at least 2 weeks before the exam. It's a good strategy to study your favorite subjects first. You don't have to be mum about it. there are pressures from your friends and barkadas. Come board exams. from your office and even from your girlfriend/boyfriend. it's already a habit that board examinees be going to Baclaran or celebrate Holy Week in Manaog or complete the midnight mass during advent. If you are motivated.

online gaming. As the saying goes: 'genius is 1% inspiration. you could have understood and memorized a large portion of the book your reading already. review centers are businesses. they are there to get your money. Use your time wisely. Have discussions with some professors or friends about inconsistent info. Aside from helping you prepare for the boards. So you have to be sure you are getting your money's worth.but nobody really wants to fail. TRIPLE-CHECK TWICE AND ORGANIZE This might still be a bit of an understatement. I enrolled the basic course in one review center and the design course in another. Learn how to prioritize. PRIORITIZING THINGS An effective board exam review relies on discipline on the examinees part. Instead of watching TV for 3 hours. Ask previous board examinees the advantages and disadvantages of the review centers they enrolled into. But always remember all these will be useless if not complemented by studying. DO NOT RELY ON ONE REFERENCE ALONE. they have a schedule. Through these contacts. Use color-coded pens for highlighting old and new data. you will be able to create study groups. Equally damaging is reviewing notes you photocopied from your classmate only to find out that it was a typographical error on his part. You could browse through them while riding the bus or jeep. The only disadvantage is the financial aspect. The only way to be safe from this is to triple-check your review materials. Think of the board exam as a one-time deal (although if you fail. But review centers offer a lot of advantages.guidance. Review centers should help you familiarize again . etc. but check. Be wary of misinformation (errors on handouts.not learn everything from scratch. check your review materials again and again and again. In my case. Put information that you need to memorize in index cards and always keep them handy. and 99% perspiration. This happens a lot. Students from other schools have different lecture notes and different methods of reviewing. We borrow and photocopy a lot of books and handouts only to find itself stacked up on your bedroom floor. The index card would be your best friend in your review. outdated information. Use post-it on books to help you keep track of notes and points of discussions. You'll have access to books and other references (if they have a library) or photocopied handouts (which they sell for a price). it is true that you have to make the most out of it and grab as much information as you possibly can.' TO ENROLL OR NOT TO ENROLL? Enrolling in a review center is NOT a guarantee that you will pass the board exam. So you are 'forced' to pattern your self-study with their schedule. The idea is to learn the subjects ahead before they even teach them. Nothing is more sour than spending a lot of time memorizing a table of information from a code or law only to find out that it is already amended by a newer one. Another advantage is the review materials. check. And pray for others too. You could exchange ideas with them. Counter-check every information from other sources. There are so many temptations around: your favorite TV shows. Know the centers' strengths and weaknesses. For one. right?) YOU WILL HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD AFTER THE BOARD EXAM. You have to shell out A LOT of money. During the course of your review. You may also be able to borrow review materials from their friends who are enrolled in other review centers as well. Scout for possible review centers to enroll. . The best strategy to make the most out of the review centers is that YOU STUDY BEFORE YOU ENROLL. It happens. But I think the best advantage in review centers is you gain a lot of contacts. Search the internet. But it is also true that you can only take as much information for a certain period of time. Try to check other books and crossreference it. the billiards hall. etc.). check. you can take the board exam again . Remember. Don't start the day in the classroom all shocked and awed about the topic the lecturer is teaching because it is the first time you heard it.

Take the case of the National Building Code. I know that the architect of Greenbelt 2 is "Recio + Casas" because they are two (2) individuals (note the number 2 in Greenbelt). Well. When you are familiar with the topic.. "Why is this so?" and "Why is that so?". In the book. It takes hardwork and a lot of patience.F. There are lots of other tricks like forming Acronyms or Creating a Song or Story. They say it only reflects how good a person can memorize. Nor is it about mi. Use letters as symbols. "Which is denoted by its Inside Diameter? a) Pipe or b) Tube" I know that the PIPE is denoted by its Inside Diameter because I always write it "pIpe" (note the capital I. "Who is the architect of Greenbelt 3?". I know the the TUBE is denoted by its Outside Diameter because I always write it "tubO" (tubo is tagalog for tube.. you try to analyze. It's not just about memorizing. You ask questions. What I did was I arranged it by pipe color. Orange.. Most of the time what is printed in books is not the best way how you would read and memorize it. But then again. Rearrange information found in books. BUT FAMILIARIZE. Here's another example that appeared in the Master Plumber exam. Yellow. it is arranged alphabetically by pipe type. mai.. meaning Inside). they could not fully explain. you try to understand. I was memorizing 30+ types of pipe and their colors. BOARD EXAM: IS IT JUST MEMORIZING? Most people would say that the board examination is not really a gauge on how good a person is. mu. try using the cellphone keypad as a guide. So are you ready? . You'll remember the pattern you create while typing in the numbers more than the date or law itself.. memorizing is not as easy as A-B-C. Voila. Equally advantageous is if you are a fast reader with good reading comprehension..F. If you ask them what it's all about or how it works. they are partly correct. Try to create your own memorization tricks up your sleeves... note the capital O. Easier to remember and understand. and wrote in each paper the corresponding pipes. Get the idea? If your having trouble with numbers (like dates and laws) but good in memorizing visual patterns.. When you fully understand.. The board exam is about setting a goal and working hard to achieve it. Example of questions in our review: "Who was is the architect of Greenbelt 2?". ni..MEMORIZATION TECHNIQUES If you have good photographic memory. painted them Red. you'll find it easier to memorize. you have an advantage.ni. For Greenbelt 3.. I found out that there are only 4 pipe colors so its easier to memorize. So I got 4 pieces of paper. The most common mistake of board examinees is that they memorize just for the sake of 'enumerating' it. Through word association. and Green respectively. Then after you have achieved all this. Try using play of words and numbers through word association. The basic trick is: DO NOT MEMORIZE. Formoso). Formoso because I associate the 3G phone (note the G in G. meaning Outside). I know the architect is G. mi. ni.

Inalter ko lang ng konti para personalized ko. 600 life points nalang ang natitira sakin. Ano ngayon kun isang buwan ka lang nagreview?.. Let me give you some background in history…. I have the option to surrender pero hindi ko yun pinili. amg importante. porke‟t isang buwan nalang ang natitira for the review at board exam na.Hindi naman talaga yun ang gusting ipahiwatig ni Jesus sa salitang yun eh. nanalo pa ako. mentality. Palagi nalang simple. Mali yung pag-iisip na “sapat na ang simpleng buhay”. Kung minsan pa nga eh sugal. Another example. Sige nga.naaply ko na rin yan sa paglalaro ng Yugi-Oh cards game with a friend..patay kung patay Sabi nga ni Rocky Balboa: “It aint over till it‟s over”! To what implications? Karamihan sa „tin.? dahil sa mga maling turo nay un ng mga Kastila. pagyamanin mo.. A .diba mas masarap pakinggan yung natalo ka pero lumaban ka hanggang sa huli kaysa sa natalo ka kasi sumuko ka. Padilla.S. Mexico.Magbanggit nga kayo ng bansang sinakop dati ng mga Kastila na nagging maunlad. kadalasan nadedemoralized na yung mga players.? diba third world countries ang mga yun?. in order to top the board exam. Believe it or not.. For a typical basketball team. Think about this….. umaatras. Big deal para sa akin yun kasi P200 pusta ko sa laro eh…. see? No progress at all because of that mentality. at iba pang kasimplehan sa buhay. etc. At the end of the game. Cuba. 26 points ang lamang sa kanila ng kalaban. Yun ang dahilan kaya nila tinuro yun sa atin. Philippines. That‟s a very pathetic way of thinking. Para umasenso po ang buhay natin.Eh kung hindi ba naman sangkatutak na sira-ulo ang mga Kastilang yun. hindi natin alam ang posibleng kahihinatnan ng lahat ng ginagawa natin. buo ang pamilya natin! . nagiging sunod-sunuran sa kanila. Na – uplift talaga ang pagkatao ko nung narinig ko „yun. But now I‟m opening your eyes to reality.kahit magdildil na lamang tayo ng asin para may pagkain. anong nangyari sa mga sinaunang Pilipino? Nagiging mga tanga. one should follow the P.A. Sabi niya. EVSU product tayo! We don‟t just pass. Masyadong malayo ang mga examples ko para sa inyo pero sakin ang buhay ay isang komplikadong laro. Anak: Nanay.S. Minsan pa nga meron tayong mga narinig na ganitong scenario….Take this as an example.Natutunan ngmga Pilipino ang mediocrity sa mga Kastila nung sinakop nila tayo. But not for Ginebra. tatay.800 pa.. Kadalasan kailangan nating magtiwala nalang sa kakayahan natin.. Ano ang ibig sabihin nun? P . In one game.. Sinabi nilang masama ang maging mayaman dahil nakasulat din sa bibliya na “mas madaling makapasok ang isang baka sa butas ng karayom kaysa sa isang mayaman sa kaharian ng Diyos”. The problem is 5 minutes nalang ang natitira. nanalo sila with a lead of 5 points. Pagkatapos i-achieve mo..nilaban parin nila.Do you know why nakilala si Robert Jaworski as a very good coach? Kasi magaling siya sa encouragement sa players... sa kanya 5. Ano ba ang sinabi nila? Sinabi nilang masama ang maghangad ng sobra at kasalanan ito sa Diyos.we TOP! That‟s why I will share some inspirational words of Engr. Magkaroon ka ng mataas na pangarap sa buhay.mahirap pa sa daga. “sapat na ang kumain tayo ng tatlong beses sa isang araw”.. Yan ang tinatawag nating MEDIOCRITY.mag aabroad po ako para magkatrabaho. Nabasa niyo ba yung parable of talents? Diba ang lesson dun eh kung anong meron ka. Tatay: hindi ako makakapayag anak…. Wag ganun! Ano ngayon kung isang buwan nalang? Mahaba pa nman yun ah..Most of us na kukuha ng board exam iniisip kung paano pumasa. Peru.aim Magset ka ng goals mo. at higit sa lahat. Ang dapat niyo lang tandaan.

Paano kung gumawa ka nga nun tapos nakita mong ang dami mong hindi naacomplish? Don‟t give up! Diba nga meron kayong “patay kung patay” mentality. lubus – lubusin niyo na. kalat ang direction ng ilaw. it was found out that there is a common habit on most successful people. Kung sasamahan pa ng focus sa pagrereview. isang direction lang ang ilaw. Nagsayang ka lang ng pera. We should make sure that we also have time for other things but not affecting our focus in our study. Ganun din sa pagrereview. balewala rin ang lahat. magfocus na kayo dun.. Kung ganyan ang gagawin mo. In that way? Diba gusto niyong magtop sa board? Then review…. No offense sa mga tinamaan ha. Masama bang mag – Counter Strike habang nagre2view? Hindi ko gusting patamaan si pareng Bob dito OK? In a study conducted by experts in sociology. 100% efficiency dahil ang parabola ay may FOCUS. for the week. uso rin yung may luluwas ka nalang ng Maynila para mag-aral.. my golly! Baka ma perfect pa natin ang board. How? Just make a list which should be done the previous night or at the beginning of the day.Cute bang tingnan? Yan ang realidad ng buhay natin sa ngayon. Ang gusto kung sabihin eh kung magrereview na rin lang kayo.” yan naman ang Jubilee song noong year 2000. There is always time. As a result. And there are always people around who can help you achieve your goals. Sayang ang talino mo. Sabi yan ng student catalogue natin.etc. Best explained ang principle nay an sa analytic geometry. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”... It should contain the things that you should accomplish for the day. a time of peace. Whereas pag parabolic ang headlight.With that list. u can assess yourself kung naaacomplish mo ba yung mga dapat mong gawin.Balak niyo bang ilawan ang buong kalsada? Kahit gamitin niyo ang pinakamataas na wattage ng bumbilya na pwedeng gamitin sa kotse.. we should also learn how to make a schedule.. I‟m not joking on this. S – solve Syimpre hindi naming pwedeng pana‟y pangarap lang tayo tapos wala namang gagawing paraan para makamit ang mga yun. In relevance to the board exam. ang point ko ditto is we should learn how to balance our time. “There‟s a time of joy. Kelangan din nating kumilos. . Anyways. o kung gusto niyo for the whole year na.solve problems… It‟s common sense to say that to be on top.Aim for the top. isang barangay na yung nag-iiyakan sa araw ng pag-alis. Bakit ang headlights ng kotse parabolic at hindi circular? Get‟s niyo kung bakit? Pag circular ang headlight. for the month. kung wala ka namang focus you‟re not 100% efficient. 50% efficiency pa rin ang kalalabasan niyan. Alam nyo kung anu yun? Meron silang TO-DO-LIST.I-try niyo. mag aaim ka nalang.. Kahit ikaw na ang pinakamatinong tao sa buong mundo. S – schedule To complete the set. Mali naman yung wala kang nang ginawa sa buhay mo kundi mag-aral. The one that was given to us when we were still freshmen. we should review.Minsan pa nga sa mga probinsya.