Tips Continuation!

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Tips Continuation!

Post  Rhythm on Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:49 pm

The key to a successful board exam preparation is knowing one's
self. Find out your strengths and your weaknesses. 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 reading the article?

You have to know yourself and seek for self-improvement. There are a
lot of ways for you to improve. Use your strengths to concentrate on
building up your weak points.

Believe it or not, preparing for the board is not just a walk in the
park (especially if you have high goals). If you really want to make
the most out of your review and achieve the goals you have set, then
you must be prepared in all aspects: physical, emotional, spiritual,
mental and even financial Smile

Most of us are night-owls, we begin to study at night until the wee
hours of the morning. This is our comfort zone. This is where we
feel we are more progressive studying. That's ok as long as you
still have 6 to 8 hours of sleep. I usually study from 11pm up to 6
am the next morning, then sleep and wake up around 2 pm. Whatever
your comfy zone is, feel free to use it as you please. But as the
board exam nears, there is a need to re-adjust your study habits.
About 2 to 3 weeks before the exam, you have to practice waking up
early and studying in the morning - not at night anymore. The idea
here is to get yourself comfortable "thinking" in the morning because
the board exam starts in the morning. Else, you'll feel sleepy and
nauseaous during the exam. Also, be conscious of the food you eat 1
week before the exam. Nobody wants to have an upset stomach on the
day of the exam.

The hard-core reviewing should end at least 2 weeks before the exam.
This should give you time to relax and psych yourself. Ideally, a
week before the exam, you should just be browsing through your notes
to refresh your memory. Don't stay up all night exhausting your
energy cramming for more information. That was my mistake when I took
the Board Exam for Master Plumber last March. Since I only had a
month's preparation (because I was also working), I had to exert more
effort in my studies - more than what my body can take. Come board
exams, I was on Tylenol because of a fever. Sleep early the night
before the exam.

A board examinee must also expect pressure from a lot of people.
There are pressures from family, from relatives (especially those
successful ones), from friends and barkadas, from your office and
even from your girlfriend/boyfrien d. The moment you decide you'll
take the board exam and tell it to someone, word really travels
fast. They would be greeting you 'good luck', but others would also
expect you to do really good. I know some people who did not tell a
single soul that they'll take the board exam. Maybe they were too
pressured or shy. You don't have to be mum about it. Besides,
whether you pass or fail, in time, everybody will still know that you
took the exams. You just have to find a way how to put these types
of pressure to your advantage.

Depends on your religious belief, 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. We would even buy
paraphernalia and bring our pencils, rulers, and books blessed.
Prayers help a lot. Ask for His divine guidance. And pray for
others too. But always remember all these will be useless if not
complemented by studying. As the saying goes: 'genius is 1%
inspiration, and 99% perspiration. '

Enrolling in a review center is NOT a guarantee that you will pass
the board exam. But review centers offer a lot of advantages. For
one, they have a schedule. So you are 'forced' to pattern your self-
study with their schedule. Another advantage is the review
materials. You'll have access to books and other references (if they
have a library) or photocopied handouts (which they sell for a
price). But I think the best advantage in review centers is you gain
a lot of contacts. Students from other schools have different
lecture notes and different methods of reviewing. You could exchange
ideas with them. Through these contacts, you will be able to create
study groups. You may also be able to borrow review materials from
their friends who are enrolled in other review centers as well.

The only disadvantage is the financial aspect. You have to shell out
a lot of money. Remember, review centers are businesses. Aside from
helping you prepare for the boards, they are there to get your
money. So you have to be sure you are getting your money's worth.
Scout for possible review centers to enroll. Ask previous board
examinees the advantages and disadvantages of the review centers they
enrolled into. Know the centers' strengths and weaknesses. In my
case, I enrolled the basic course in one review center and the design
course in another.

The best strategy to make the most out of the review centers is that
you study before you enroll. The idea is to learn the subjects ahead
before they even teach them. Don't start the day in the classroom
all awed and shocked about the topic the lecturer is teaching because
it is the first time you heard it. Review centers should help you
familiarize not learn everything from scratch.

This might still be a bit of an understatement, but check, check,
check, check your review materials again and again and again. Be
wary of misinformation (errors on handouts, outdated information,
etc.). It happens. 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. Equally damaging is
reviewing notes you photocopied from your classmate only to find out
that it was a typographical error on his part. The only way to be
safe from this is to triple-check your review materials. Counter-
check every information from other sources. Do not rely on one
reference alone. Try to check other books and cross-reference it.
Search the internet. Have discussions with some professors or
friends about inconsistent info.

During the course of your review, it is true that you have to make
the most out of it and grab as much information as you possibly can.
But it is also true that you can only take as much information for a
certain period of time. This happens a lot. 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. Put
information that you need to memorize in index cards and always keep
them handy. You could browse through them while riding the bus or
jeep. Use color-coded pens for highlighting old and new data. Use
post-it on books to help you keep track of notes and points of

An effective board exam review relies on discipline on the examinees
part. There are so many temptations around: your favorite TV shows,
the billiards hall, online gaming, etc. Learn how to prioritize.
Think of the board exam as a one-time deal (although if you fail, you
can take the board exam again - but nobody really wants to fail,
right?) You will have all the time in the world after the board
exam. Use your time wisely. Instead of watching TV for 3 hours, you
could have understood and memorized a large portion of the book your
reading already.

If you have good photographic memory, you have an advantage. Equally
advantageous is if you are a fast reader with good reading

Try using play of words and numbers through word association.
Example of questions in our review: "Who was is the architect of
Greenbelt 2?", "Who is the architect of Greenbelt 3?". Through word
association, I know that the architect of Greenbelt 2 is "Recio +
Casas" because they are two (2) individuals (note the number 2 in
Greenbelt). For Greenbelt 3, I know the architect is G.F. Formoso
because I associate the 3G phone (note the G in G.F. Formoso).

Here's another example that appeared in the Master Plumber
exam. "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, meaning Inside). I know
the the TUBE is denoted by its Outside Diameter because I always
write it "tubO" (tubo is tagalog for tube, note the capital O,
meaning Outside). Get the idea?

If your having trouble with numbers (like dates and laws) but good in
memorizing visual patterns, try using the cellphone keypad as a
guide. You'll remember the pattern you create while typing in the
numbers more than the date or law itself.

Most of the time what is printted in books is not the best way how
you would read and memorize it. Take the case of the National
Building Code. I was memorizing 30+ types of pipe and their colors.
In the book, it is arranged alphabetically by pipe type. What I did
was I arranged it by pipe color. I found out that there are only 4
pipe colors so its easier to memorize. So I got 4 pieces of paper,
painted them Red, Orange, Yellow, and Green respectively, and wrote
in each paper the corresponding pipes. Voila. Easier to remember
and understand.

There are lots of other tricks like forming Acronyms or Creating a
Song or Story. Try to create your own memorization tricks up your

Most people would say that the board examination is not really a
gauge on how good a person is. They say it only reflects how good a
person can memorize. Well, they are partly correct.

But then again, memorizing is not as easy as A-B-C. It takes
hardwork and a lot of patience. The most common mistake of board
examinees is that they memorize just for the sake of 'enumerating'
it. If you ask them what it's all about or how it works, they could
not fully explain. The basic trick is: DO NOT MEMORIZE; BUT
FAMILIARIZE. When you are familiar with the topic, you understand.
When you fully understand, you analyze. You ask questions, "Why is
this so?" and "Why is that so?". Then after you have achieved all
this, you'll find it easier to memorize.

The board exam is about setting a goal and working hard to achieve it.

It's not just about memorizing. Nor is it about mi... ni... mai... ni... mu.

So are you ready?


Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2008-07-21

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