Diagrams, Flippers and Board Exam Success

In reviewing for the board exam, you cannot, for the life of you, carry all of your books wherever you go. But the main idea is that you ought to read the must-read books three to five times for mastery. So how do you exactly go about mastering the thing in time for the exam and maximize your resources? There were two things that helped me a lot, and I truly suggest you make them too. Their names are diagrams and flippers. And here they are:

Well, Dhax Sensei just called them flippers, because they are a set of index cards that you bind and flip from time to time. They have been most useful to me especially during those final weeks of review, when I already stopped reading the textbooks and was already on the phase of refreshing everything in my memory. Crammers and early, organized reviewees alike shall benefit from the use of these flippers and diagrams.

A picture paints a thousand words, so if you are able to draw it, you will most likely remember it. My most favorite index card drawings were the ones I did for Geodetic Astronomy subject. I LOVE ASTROOOOO! The perfect circles were courtesy of dried McDonald’s cups:


What exactly makes a good flipper? It actually depends on what you are reviewing. For me it meant, terms;

concepts or questions with answers on the back;

and the engineer’s favorite and must memorize: formulae.

I matters little how big or what shape it is in. What matters more is how you use. I used it A LOT. And since I had buddies who had their own flipper sets, we swapped them every two or three days. It was so effective for us, and I totally recommend you to use it too. Flippers are the portable version of your books and heavy review materials, and they supplement the stuff you posted on your walls and your doors.

If in case you have not yet noticed, the colors I used were yellow, mostly. And there were also orange ones, when yellow is unavailable. I did that because the color yellow sort of tells your brain to REMEMBER. I don’t exactly know the nuances of color psychology, but I can guarantee you that it actually works. So, even my notebooks and my solution sets were all in yellow. I surely made the yellow pad manufacturers and yellow index card makers very rich that time! LOL.

I hope that really helps. I have often seen websites that give only the general guidelines on how you can top the boards. But most of them are sadly, fluff, if not completely useless.

Coming up next on this series of board exam tip posts: the skill of “reverse engineering” and maximizing multiple choice questions. Do watch out for that and subscribe by entering your email address on the right side bar. 😀 But subscriptions include all of my posts, including the non-board exam related content, which you might also want to check out. 🙂

14 thoughts on “Diagrams, Flippers and Board Exam Success

  1. twinnie, i thought you didn’t like geodetic astronomy during your undergrad days… hahaha, naaalala ko you didn’t want to take the long exam na kasi ayam mo ng iba’t ibang coordinate systems. haha. >_< o dahil sa teacher lang yun? "_"

    1. hahahaha. Teacher factor? Nooo. Haha. More of STUDENT factor… Haha. I think i forgot to tell you that during the actual board exam, astro was my highest score among the five subjects. Hahahaha. Major thanks to drawing them using colored pens sa index cards na nasa pic, nabawasan yung inis ko sa kanya at napagtiyagaan kong aralin at basahin yung Mueller. Hahahaha. Nag-undergo lang ako ng change of study habits for astro, for the better, and somehow that transformed how I view it. But I still hate the coordinate systems hahahaha.

  2. wow! that’s so nice of you Helen Mary, you really shared your secrets with visual(and drawings) pa! 😛

    hope that aspiring engineers and exam reviewers read your blog and follow your great advice. 🙂

    …and speaking of yellow color, that also explained why most internet marketers always used black bold text with yellow background on their sells and landing pages.. lol

    1. Hi metalpig!! Actually they are not secrets…just not openly talked about… During my review, it helped to use thèse tools and a lot of people in our review classes used it too… I guess i just organized the info to help future exam takers… 😉

  3. Hi,

    I came across to your blogs through google search engine.It’s so nice of you to share your secrets on how to top the board exam.

    I’m on CPA review right now, at the same time currently working. I attend my class on weekends and work on weekdays from 9am to 6pm.

    Can you advise me on how to manage time and strategy for studying?
    Hope you could help me Helen.

    Thank you:)

  4. Hello po Ms. Helen san po ba nabibili yung bilog na bakal? pasensya na po kung medyo limitado ang aking creativity,, kahinaan ko po kasi yan..

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