Lessons from Dhax Sensei

It’s already December. If you’re an aspiring geodetic engineer, the next board exam starts in around 10 months. I decided to start this series of posts on my website because I found so few online resources for people who are trying to prepare for their board exams. Sure, I saw a lot of how-to articles. But they were general and not really that tailored to the Philippine setting. Here begins a series of posts that I hope can help future board exam takers. Just find the tag board exam tips in my blog and you will be directed to them all when I’m done writing them.

I googled board exam tips when I was a reviewee. I only got board exam results and general techniques that helped me a little. Most of the things that really, really helped me top the board exam were gotten offline. Either the topnotchers do not like to share their secrets or probably they just no longer had time to write and pay the blessing forward. I hope that this is one good search engine result that will come out for aspiring board passers and topnotchers in the future.

The quest for reviewing for the board exam started when a guy named P.M. proposed to do a strategy for me (He prefers to be low profile and so we keep all his strategies low profile too. I will just share the stuff I can.). However, prior to him fixing things up for me that time, I was already on the lookout for board exam tips. One useful support system I found was the Pinoy Money Talk forum thread on Board Exam tips, started by yours truly.

Let’s talk about the memory work for a little. (more to come in succeeding posts) Many practicing engineers hate memorizing. And that’s the tough part of having to take the board exam: you have to memorize what you don’t like to memorize. I had Memory Power classes during college and some techniques taken from good old Google that helped me memorize the stuff I needed to memorize. Repetition is key. And more tangible techniques include these:

-Cartolina and Manila Papers all over the home walls with important terms and formula

-Attaching hard terms to the familiar stuff of my life (parts of my house turned into Republic Acts and Presidential Decree numbers and many others. I even memorized the 78 sections of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act for a week! Harhar. I can still remember some of them now. Agh.)

-Index cards to flip when riding the jeepney, bus or any form or public transport

-Audio Feeds for your earphones (This strategy was not really mine, though. My bestfriend Fairy, who is our Top 8 and with me in the featured image of this post, did this. She would not share her sleep-inducing voice as she recited the laws on her recorder. Bwahahaha. I still wonder how she sounded. Hahahaha.)

One of the things that helped me achieve my goals is making it achievable. How did I do it? Aside from praying and studying hard, I talked to the people who did top the board exam.

Three key people worth noting are Engr. Daximillian Baldonado (top 1, 2004 GE exam), Engr. Magnolia Garcia (top 4, 2009 GE exam) and Engr. Anjillyn Mae Cruz (top 10, 2007 GE exam). I totally pestered Magi and Jill the whole review through text messaging for tips. I have to thank my three orgmates from UP GE Club for helping us achieve what we had last board exam.

This is Kuya Dhax…

Here’s Jill and Me in Nueva Ecija field work:

And the lovely Magnolia with my favorite picture of her: (sorry mags, grabbed your pic.) Kiko is her happy boyfriend. Sorry boys. haha.

And Kuya Dhax totally went beyond! He taught us. For the past 5 years, he has been mentoring GE Clubbers who will be taking the board exams. Most of them get good scores after having been helped by him. We call him Dhax Sensei, for he was our teacher. We had a good review center too (Review Innovations), but I will save that part for later articles.

On our first “session” with Kuya Dhax (that means me and my 4 other topnotch orgmates: Machele (top 1), Homer (top 3), Ed Carla (top 5) and Ruby Ann (top 10)), we did not solve yet. He just asked us to HAVE A VISION. Mindsetting was the most important thing. If you cannot visualize yourself achieving your license with flying colors, you will not be able to make it.

I had one very ambitious vision for our batch at that time: for UP GE graduates to take 10 out of the top 10 slots. And 100% passing at that.

Wanna know the actual result?

We were 100% passing and we got 7 out of 10 of the top slots.

That vision and mind-setting helped a lot. We were so excited to give it as a gift for UP College of Engineering’s centennial year, because we happen to be the college’s centennial graduates. Other topnotchers had their respective motivations. A strong motivation ensures you work so hard for it even when others are already getting lazy or behind the game.

I continued to feed my study buddies’ minds that we can achieve that 10 out of 10 feat. We got 70% of that goal. Aiming for the moon makes you land in the stars, still. It’s a bit fabulous already that we were one of the three schools who were 100% passing for that particular batch. It was a national exam with a 38.5% passing rate, so that’s pretty big for us already.

So that’s the first of the many steps to passing or topping the boards. You are as huge as you can imagine yourself to become. Have a vision. Have a whiff of your techniques. And soon, your road map for passing (even topnotching!) will emerge.

I believe that’s already quite a handful to digest for now. We still have a few months left.

There will be more tips on the coming days. :mrgreen: