Opinion Stage

Saturday, June 22, 2013

STAGES OF CIVIL ENGINEERING REVIEW CONDUCTED BY REVIEWEES/STUDENTS

STAGES OF CIVIL ENGINEERING REVIEW CONDUCTED BY REVIEWEES/STUDENTS

(CE BOARD EXAM REVIEW TIPS/STRATEGIES SERIES)


By: Dindo Mojica, C.E., M.Eng


Civil Engineering review is a long and tedious process; you must be aware of the review process. On the average, you have to spent about 4-6 months to prepare for the CE board exams. In this matter, I would like to share with you my experiences, routines and some techniques I encounter during my review last 2003. This will not be applicable to all due to different personalities and lifestyles.







Highlights of the CE Board Exam

###The passing rate of CE Board exams ranges from 34% to 42%. (last 5 CE board exams)



CE BOARD EXAM STATISTICS

Examination Date
Number of Examinees
Passed
Passing Percentage
May 2000
3,550
895
25.21%
November 2000
5,760
1,907
33.11%
May 2001
3,075
1,099
35.74%
November 2001
5,618
1,990
35.42%
May 2002
3,001
907
30.22%
November 2002
5,583
1,961
35.12%
May 2003
3,317
1,228
37.02%
November 2003
5,289
1,924
36.38%
May 2004
3,197
1,071
33.50%
November 2004
4,889
1,772
36.24%
May 2005
3,218
1,151
35.77%
November 2005
5,067
1,720
33.95%
May 2006
3,015
1,070
35.49%
November 2006
4,654
2,065
44.37%
May 2007
2,754
914
33.19%
November 2007**
3,263
1,342
41.13%
May 2008
2,985
1,094
36.65%
November 2008
4,831
1,672
34.61%
May 2009
2,744
1,199
43.70%
November 2009
4,878
2,257
46.29%
May 2010
3,024
1,097
36.28%
November 2010
5,028
2,040
40.57%
May 2011
3,117
1,195
38.34%
November 2011
5,163
1,770
34.28%
May 2012
3,317
1,130
34.07%
November 2012
5,747
2,380
41.41%
May 2013
3,601
1,542
42.82%
November 2013
6,584
3,168
48.12%
May 2014
4,289 
  1,862 
43.41%
December 2014
8,127
4,021
           49.48%
May 2015
4,311
 1,361
31.57%
November 2015
9,482
3,935
41.50%
May 2016
5,882
2,245
38.17%
November 2016
10,972
5,036
45.90%
May 2017


November 2017



Data updated: November 20, 2016


**November 2007 Civil Engineering Board Exam Invalidated


Note: Results of retake exam (Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engineering) was released last January 2008

Note: This year, the Civil Engineering Board Exam schedule was changed from first week of November to first week of December. Please check the Professional Regulations Commission for the updated schedule.


###Since November 2006 CE Board Exam, the Professional Regulation Commission releases only Top 10 Board Exam Performers and stopped releasing the 11th to 20th places

###November 2007 CE Board Exam was invalidated (retake last January 2008 for Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engineering)


###Last March 2012, the Board of Civil Engineering wrote to Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) that the board exam questions will be increased from 30/35 to 100 problems  per subject effective for May 2012 CE Board Exams. Please see attached pictures.

Source: Besavilla Manila Facebook Timeline

PRC Board of Civil Engineering Resolution No. 4 Series 2012: 
Increasing the Number of Test Items from 30 to 100







Inspirational Quote: “I will! I am! I can! I will actualize my dream. I will press ahead. I will settle down and see it through. I will solve the problems. I will pay the price. I will never walk away from my dream until I see my dream walk away: Alert! Alive! Achieved!” - Robert Schuller





STAGE 1: DECIDE WHAT REVIEW METHOD TO UNDERTAKE








Which Review Method/Program would you choose? There are two kinds of Review Method: Self-Study Method and the Commercial Review Method. Selecting the right option is a matter of making an honest self-evaluation and deciding which review method is suitable for your needs in order to pass the CE board exams. You must consider how knowledgeable you are in CE topics, how many lessons must be learned easily at the required period of time if necessary, how much time you have to devote to review and other factors to be considered.

Kinds of Review Method
1. Self–Study Review Method
2. Commercial Review Method



SELF-STUDY REVIEW METHOD

Self-Study Method
Advantages:
1. Advantageous in terms of out-of-pocket costs
2. Students/reviewees perform their own review style and then design a program of study based on their pace of study

Disadvantages:
1. Students/reviewees may fail to get the correct picture of the examination form and content




OTHER SELF-STUDY REVIEW OPTIONS

Online Review

For reviewees/students who prefer Self-Study Review Method, I also encourage you to review with the help of the internet if you don't have enough money to enroll in a civil engineering review center. There are online reviewers there like MATHalino.com, an online Engineering Math reviewer where you can learn more about Math and Civil Engineering for preparations in your incoming board exams. Other suggested online reviewer is CEReview.net


VIDEO CD REVIEW LECTURE

When I went to Morayta Street, Sampaloc, Manila last March 2013 (specifically Merriam-Webster Bookstore), I noticed in the Civil Engineering section of the bookstore that there is also a Video-CD (VCD) available for review. I remember during my review last 2003 when I visit the bookstore for some Civil Engineering review books; this is also the same video that the bookstore sells.

I remember the name of the video CD as Speechbuilder (Video review tutorial for Civil Engineering). It was priced at around P 400.00 (good for 2 volumes/set). It has titles like Mathematics Made Easy, Surveying Made Easy and Hydraulics Made Easy (please check if there are other titles available) when I saw this on the bookstore. Just ask the bookstore personnel for the availability of other titles and volumes. This will be very helpful to those reviewees who intend to review with this method: VCD Learning System. Just ask the Merriam Webster personnel for inquiries and assistance.


COMMERCIAL REVIEW METHOD

Commercial Review Method

Advantages:
1. Advantageous when a student/examinee pays for the knowledge & skills of CE’s who have made a special study of the CE Board Exam forms and contents           

Disadvantages:
1. It will not be successful if the candidate/examinee will not do his part

For commercial review method, I have a previous blog titled: Manila-Based Civil Engineering Review Centers, a directory of existing CE review centers in Manila in order for students to choose their preferred review centers. (Data is limited only in Manila area)

I have also a recent blog post titled: Lists of Civil Engineering Review Centers in the Philippines  where I compiled a directory of existing CE review centers in the Philippines. (based on brochures and online sources) 



*TIPS AND STRATEGIES IN USING SELF-REVIEW METHOD

How to Review with the aid of your textbooks

1. Make a review schedule
2. Read the summary of learning objectives in the chapter review. Be sure you know all the words in the review of concepts, formulas and principles.
3. Take the chapter self-test and chapter review questions.
4. Review all assigned exercises, problems and situations.
5. Determine the learning objectives to which most of the problems were assigned.
6. Be sure to see your instructor (if you’re going to visit your college or university) during consultation hours to get more assistance.

Some textbooks


For lists of some books, please refer to the following links on my blog:

CHED-Suggested Civil Engineering Reference Books - 

use of self-review with the aid of your College textbooks

Civil Engineering Review Books - 

use of self-review with the aid of your CE Review books

Combination of Technical, Review and Textbooks - 

guide and reference in addition to the 2 links




How to Review with the aid of your review books
(Adopted from How to have an effective self-review method by Padilla - Math Book)

  1. Make a review schedule
  2. Divide your review book into parts, each part to be reviewed per day depending on the student's desired pacing and capacity.
  3. Read, study and understand the principles and formulas.
  4. Read and study the solved problems scheduled for that day. Take note: don't attempt to solve problems right away. Study the solutions first. It is recommended for a backward style of studying. After going through with all the solutions and you think you already understand them, try to solve them this time.
  5. Solved the sample problems again. Check your answers. After checking, try to rate yourself. If you got above 70%, advance to the other problem set. When solving sample problems, the allotted time is about 4 hours (or depending on your review program)
  6. (Make your standards; if you got low grades on the evaluation, repeat the process; if not, advance to the other chapter)
Sample Evaluation:

Rating
Recommendation
0-40%
Go back to part 1 of this book
41-50%
Study the solutions to this quiz and then repeat the quiz
51-60%
Study the solutions to this quiz and move to the next quiz
61-70%
Try to solve more quizzes per day and you have a chance of making to the top 10
71-80%
Try to solve a minimum of 100 problems per day and you will most likely make it to the top 10
81-100%
You will be a topnotcher
Important: Don’t be overconfident. Keep practicing daily

Some review books




For partial lists of CE Review Books

Civil Engineering Review Books - 


*TIPS AND STRATEGIES IN USING COMMERCIAL REVIEW METHOD

Reasons Why Newly-Graduate CE Students Don’t Enroll in a CE Review Center

1.  Financial factor – some graduates can’t afford to enroll in a review center due to financial reasons (and they prefer self-review). The tuition fee in a CE review center costs about P10,000 (minimum; prices as of March 2013) plus everyday/monthly allowance (baon, transportation, food, boarding house, miscellaneous)
2.   Work factor – some graduates who can’t afford to enroll in a review center needs to work immediately due to financial reasons. Some of them save in order to review in their preferred review center.
3.  Self-Belief – some students believe that Self-review method is “ENOUGH” in order for them to pass the CE board exams. In military terms, you enter war without preparations.



Tips (Factors) on How to Select a CE Review Center of Your Choice
  1.  Highly-Recommended by your close friends, schoolmates, and professors/instructors
  2. Great Facilities and Equipments for Learning (e.g. Air-conditioned rooms, Audio-Visual Equipment, Well-Lighting, etc.)
  3. Offers Comprehensive Review Program (Review Lecture, Refresher and Coaching)
  4. Manageable class-size to serve and monitor every reviewee’s needs/progress
  5. Competent, Dedicated, Passionate and Experienced Review Lecturers
  6. Value for your money (Please study their promos if their worthy of your money)
  7. Provides Proven/Tested Techniques to Pass Board Exams
  8. High Passing Percentage (Best Performance of a Review Center – Very Important!)



The Do’s and Don’ts When You Enrolled in a CE Review Center

The Do’s
1.       Always attend your classes. (Number One Rule)
2.       Listen Aggressively.
3.       Take Notes
4.       Don’t be afraid to ask questions from your lecturers/reviewers
5.       Follow reviewer’s tips and advices
6.       Try to solve problems and make decisions. Practice makes perfect.











The Don’ts
1.       Don’t be lazy during review class
2.       Never Cram
3.       Don’t Get Too Confident (especially when you know the topic)
4.       Never Get Distracted



MOST IMPORTANT: NEVER WASTE TIME, OPPORTUNITY AND CHANCES OF MAXIMIZING THE CHANCES WHEN ENROLLED IN A CE REVIEW CENTER!!!

As an advice to the students/reviewees, the chances of passing the actual CE board exams is higher when you enroll in a CE review center of your choice than conducting your self-review. Just save enough money for your tuition fees and then enroll on a CE review center, rent of boarding house (site must be near your review center), and other miscellaneous expenses if you choose the commercial review method.


STAGE 2: ARRANGE YOUR LIFE TO ACCOMMODATE THE NECESSITIES OF REVIEW


You must make a proposed review schedule. For self-review, you must set aside a minimum of 8 to 10 hours per day and for commercial review, you must attend your review class and set your preferred hours of review per day together with solving 100 problems per subject per day (that’s a secret for those who want to top the board exam). For beginners, you may start solving at least 50 problems per subject per day.This represents a sizable chunk of time which will force dislocation in other areas of your life. That in turn may adversely affect your friends, family and work. Review for the civil engineering board exams is your topmost priority so you must set your schedule, savings and available time so that your priorities may not be sacrificed.

3 subjects covered in Civil Engineering Board Exams
  1. Mathematics, Surveying and Transportation Engineering
  2. Hydraulic and Geotechnical Engineering
  3. Structural Engineering and Construction

Tip: If you are working, you must resign at your work or apply for a definite leave if you want to have a serious review and to pass the actual CE board exams.

How To Make A Schedule?

Planning is the key in preparing an effective study and review schedule. You have 24 hours a day. You spend 8 hours for sleeping. The remaining 16 hours will be available for your review/study and your personal necessities. If you are determined to achieve your goal, you can do it because you have already identified the available time for studying or reviewing. The danger here is you might fall prey to the “mamaya na” syndrome. Just stick to your schedule.




Sample Allocation of Hours                   
(for exclusive reviewees)

Allocation of hours
Hours
Total Hours in a day
24
Less: Hours for sleeping
8
Balance
16
Less: Hours for personal necessities
3
Balance
13
Less: Hours in CE review center
5
Hours available for review
8



Sample Allocation of Hours                   
(for part-time working reviewees)

Allocation of hours
Hours
Total Hours in a day
24
Less: Hours for sleeping
6
Balance
18
Less: Hours for personal necessities
2
Balance
16
Less: Hours in CE review center
4
Balance
12
Less: Hours in workplace
9
Hours available for review
3


Sample Review Schedule


TIME
M.W.F
T.Th.S
Sunday
4:30am-5:30am
Wake up, exercise, personal necessities
5:00am-7:00am
math
transportation
surveying
7:00am-7:30am
Prepare breakfast
7:30am-8:00am
Go to school/class
Go to church
8:00am-12:00pm
Attend review/school
Attend mass
12:00pm-1:00pm
Lunch break, take a short nap
1:00pm-5:00pm
hydro
soil
highway
5:00pm-6:30pm
Relax, Take dinner
6:30pm-9:00pm
concrete
steel
timber
9:00pm-9:30pm
Take a self-evaluation test
9:30pm-4:30am
Take a good night sleep and pray!


STAGE 3: START YOUR REVIEW RIGHT AWAY




After the necessary decisions you had made, it’s time for you to start the review process. Do not make any delays when you start your review proper. Anticipate any problems you might encounter so that your review routine must not be sacrificed and delayed. You must remember that Procrastination (related to “bahala na” syndrome) is the thief of time, and time is the candidate’s scarcest resources.

Usually the hardest part of any large undertaking is getting started. Some people procrastinate by busying themselves or being lazy (tinatamad) factor. Just take note that if you have made a decision, your desire action must be followed.



Where to Review

It is advisable to have your review in a place far from your family and intimate friends so as to avoid distractions. Bear in mind that you have four to five months left available in your hands to prepare for the battle. It would be appropriate to tell them your desire to pass and tell them that you want full concentration.


THE SINS/TEMPTATIONS (TUKSO) DURING REVIEW



Courtship (During Review)/Love Issues

This advice is preferably for young single male candidates. I’d known many of them (during my time). Inspiration is good, but courtship during the preparation certainly steals your precious time during that important period. The worst part is when the girl you love in a CE review center rejects your feelings, patay kang bata ka! This event will affect your performance in review. I’d remember my mentor telling stories like that. Courting during review will certainly divide your attention. It will lead to unfavorable results. But if despite this advice you still like to engage in courtship, the choice is yours. Just keep your professional goal at the forefront of your priorities. For those couples who are in a relationship, just talk to your love one that you’re going to prioritize review and not “dates” in order to not sacrifice your goal in passing CE board exams.











Just always remember Sir Francis Kong’s 7 B’s for boys and girls:


For Boys: Books Before Babes Because Babes Bring Bankruptcy


For Girls: Books Before Boys Because Boys Bring Babies











Barkada Factor

Some of your friends intends you to out go with them (hanging-out, gala, etc.). These are bad influences during your review. Just talk to them that you are preparing for your review so that you will not be distracted by anyone.



Avoid Drinking Alcohol and Smoking Cigarettes (if necessary)

Medical reports say that too much alcohol directly kills brain cells and smoking limits the blood flow to your organs, most especially the brain. It is an intelligent move to avoid alcohol and smoking during your review most especially if you want to enhance/conditioned your brain power for the incoming board exams.








Too Much Extra Activities

It is written in the Bible: “You can’t serve both masters at the same time.” It is a major waste of time causes you diverting your attention to not very important things instead of reviewing. (Old Proverb: A Double-minded person is unstable in all his ways.)






Neglecting Physical and Mental Activities

No exercise plus no practice solving problems plus improper food diet suitable for review plus no relaxation techniques equals poor performance in CE board exams. Just remember the phrase: "No Pain, No Gain!!!"






  1. Form a study group - yes you heard it right, a study group (not an eating group!). Some group of students (preferably their classmates in a college/university) forms a study group, enroll in different CE review centers (and later discuss each review center's techniques to the group and they will adopt the most effective among them) and resides in a boarding where they accommodate. This is what I'd heard to a group of students when I was reviewing at that time. (Effective strategy in maintaining a high passing percentage among schools)
  2. The "Writing" Technique - it is the technique wherein a reviewee will write essential Math/CE formulas in a medium, e.g. Manila Paper or in an Index Card. It is most effective in your rooms when you stick your Manila-Paper (with Masking Tape) to its walls so that you can remember formulas when you enter or leave your room. The purpose of this technique is to enhance the reviewee's Photographic Memorization skills.

    The Manila Paper Technique

    The Manila Paper Technique


    My Manila Paper in my room when I reviewed a decade ago




    For more studying tips, you may visit Effective Habits for Effective Study website.

    Harry Lorayne's e-book: How to Develop A Super Power Memory


    STAGE 4: MAINTAIN YOUR MOMENTUM/COMPOSURE













    As you might expect, it is not easy to sustain an intense, often tedious review effort over a long period of time. As one encounters setbacks or obstacles, it is very easy to be discouraged. But if you have self-discipline and motivation, you will not lose the momentum of the effort you have been established. Just focus on your preparations for review.

    Just always give your best shots during your review!

    I just had remember what my review lecturers said to us in order to boost our confidence during our review. "Class, lagi nyong tatandaan ang acronym na NURSE!!!" (Class, you shall always remember the acronym of the word NURSE) meaning:


    N=urse
    U=sually
    R=eserve
    S=pecially for
    E=ngineers

    (Credits to the original author)

    Tama nga naman ang sabi ng mga lecturers ko hehe... (My reviewers where right! haha!)

    They often said that in order for us to get a girlfriend, you must court pretty NURSES. You must remember this class, "Nurses are for Civil Engineers. But, Civil Engineers are for everybody." 

    I was laugh at this jokes but the review class was not boring due to this jokes. I missed the "green jokes" of my lecturers. hehe.







    Things to do to maintain your momentum:
    1.       Set your daily goals (e.g. I want to pass the CE board exams!!!)
    2.     Maintain a progress record of your study (for commercial review, the reviewee must take series of evaluation exams to know if you’re improving or not)
    3.       Monitor the number of questions answered
    4.       Keep fit – both physically and mentally


    The benefit of practicing solving problems:

    Diligent answering of the problems in review books/textbooks will enable the examinees to acquire acuity, speed and mastery in problem solving. Given these skills and ability, the examinees will have the required knowledge and self-confidence needed to pass the CE Board Examinations.






    STAGE 5: SELF APPRAISAL (SELF-EVALUATION) DURING REVIEW

    This is the crucial part of the stage; even if you maintain your momentum but your performance is not good enough to pass the incoming actual board exams.

    In this stage, you must assess your strengths and weakness. Meaning in your self-evaluation exams you encounter, for example you’re OK in most CE subjects except Math, you must revised your review schedule to devote more review time for Math.




    When I reviewed last 2003, I remember my mentor saying about the three (3) kinds of reviewees. These are:

    1. A reviewee who presently reviews for the board exam (whether by self-review or commercial review method) and he/she finally decide that he/she will take the actual board exams in November.
    2. A reviewee who presently reviews for the board exam, he/she is sure that he/she will not take the board exams in November but surely he/she will take the actual board exams in May.
    3. A reviewee who presently reviews for the board exam but he/she is not sure if he/she will take the actual board exams in November or May next year.




    My advice for those reviewees whom their performance is not good enough (due to low grades in intensive evaluation exams/pre-board exams) is that you may choose option 2. It says that your effort in review is not enough to pass the incoming exams so review again and this time, you must take board exams (e.g. in May 2014) prepared enough.

    For those reviewees whom their performance is good enough and maintain your composure and momentum, this is it. You must take the board exams by November 2013.

    But don’t be a reviewee where you had no vision on whether you will pass the exams on May or November/December.

    Just remember the four kinds of people as I learned from my former sensei.



     4 KINDS OF PEOPLE:

    1. Cop-outs. They set no goals and make no decisions.
    2. Hold-outs. They have a dream, but afraid of the challenges. They've lost their childlike faith.
    3. Drop-outs. When the going gets tough, they quit. They don't pay the toll.
    4. All-outs. They set goals. They never quit. They keep on keeping on, even when the toll gets heavy. They're dedicated. They're committed.


    STAGE 6: FINAL READINESS REVIEW (CONDITIONING STAGE)









    Ideally, the entire review program whether self-review method or commercial review method should be completed at least two weeks before the actual board exams. If that is accomplished, there will be no last-minute panic because you’re ready to go on the battlefield. At this stage, leisurely final readiness review can be undertaken in order to avoid cramming.

    For those who are enrolled in a civil engineering review center, there is also a third review program you must encounter which is coaching. Coaching is the process wherein the review lecturers perform special lectures, tips, tricks and strategies in order for their students to learn more on how to pass exams with their specialized techniques seven days (or depending on a CE review center's program) before the actual board exams.



    Most importantly, always pray! For list of prayers you may visit my Compilation of Prayers for CE Board Exams. Seek Divine guidance to GOD and He will help you. Just remember, GOD helps those who help themselves! Good luck!

    For more information on CE licensure exam rules, etc., you may visit the Professional Regulations Commission website:

    http://www.prc.gov.ph/licensure/?id=24



    Summary:


    4 Steps to Achievement (Passing the Board Exams)

    1.       Plan Purposefully
    2.       Prepare Prayerfully
    3.       Proceed Positively
    4.       Pursue Persistently






    JUST ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS:



    The real formula in passing the CE board exams is to:

    DREAM – BELIEVE – ACHIEVE
    (Mangarap – Maniwala – Magsikap)

    You must have VISION, PASSION AND ACTION in actual reviews!

    Real success comes from achieving the desires of your heart (Gusto kong maging licensed civil engineer). What your mind can dream (Gusto kong pumasa sa board exam/mapasama sa top 10), your heart must believe (Naniniwala ako na makakapasa ako sa board exam) and your hands can achieve (magagawa kong makapasa sa board exam pag nagsipag ako sa pagrereview).




    Good luck Future Fellow Engineers!

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