Sunday, January 1, 2017

5 things to remember in preparing for the board exam

Me and my fellow board passers last 2015 gamely posing with their posters! Liza, Kristine, and Lenie.
As a board exam topnotcher, people always ask me for advice and tips on how I did it. The truth is, for all passers, it all boils down to prayer and hard work. Though I know that the recognition is temporary, I will always treasure the time I prepared for the board. For three months, I lived in UP Diliman campus during the review. I spent that time breathing the air of UP! It was a time that I was so focused on one thing, and I did achieve it.

I was asked to speak before the reviewees last year to motivate them in studying for CPU's review classes for the librarians' licensure exam. Good thing that 11 out of 13 test-takers passed from CPU last 2016! I'm just writing these here for future reference. Here we go:

Remember: passing, and topping, the exam begins with the MIND. The most important things are reviewing the basics, answering practice exams (and analyzing your mistakes), and keep up on new trends in the profession. 

Don't forget these five things:

1. Faith and Hard work. "Pray as if studying can't help you, and study as if praying can't help you." Believe that God will help you. He will give you what you ask for when you ask with a sincere heart. But also, you must do your part. Study everything you can, answer as much practice exams you can.

2. Visualize the positive. Imagine and feel as if you already passed. Someone from CPU's Review Center asked the school's topnotchers what was their 'secret'. They all visualized success and claiming that they already have the prize. While I was reviewing, I woke up early every morning and wrote 'affirmations' in my journal - positive statements of passing. 

Also, don't keep on saying or thinking that it will be 'difficult'. This may be hard because reviewing is a tough job. But if you tell yourself, 'The exam will be easy. I am relaxed. It will not be difficult as long as I do my best.' Saying positive things to yourself even if you don't really feel them can lift up your mood, and maybe soon you will feel it for real! The key is your thoughts affect how you feel. There's nothing to lose with thinking of the positive.

3. Rely on yourself and think like a librarian. Or whatever profession you aspire to be. The point is, be responsible for your own learning. I didn't just review the subjects for the exam, but before that, I researched on the best ways to study and retain information. I tried different methods and came up with the style I work best, that makes me study more efficiently. 

Please, rely on yourself and not just wait for your classmates to hand you the resources. I think it's already a bad sign if you still have to ask others without first looking for the resources you can get on your own. 

For the librarians' licensure exam, I always recommend that you study in the library. Get all the resources available to you. Being in the library is like a good luck charm to me.

4. Have some time to unwind. Your brain also needs a break. Set aside time to forget about the pressure. You need to rest so you can have energy for the next study session. Don't cram. You are not a robot, so take care of yourself, make sure you get enough sleep, water, and food.

5. Understand, do not memorize. This is the only thing you need to remember in studying. Of course, you do need to memorize, but memorizing will be easier if you first understand. 

Other practical tips we often overlook: Be alert on PRC schedules and deadlines. Prepare your required documents and apply for the exam as early as possible.

On exam day, keep your answer sheets clean, use the eraser sparingly, and use the allotted time until the last second. Review, review, review before passing, don't hurry up or be affected by those passing first.

PRAY. You actually don't need those rituals or fancy charms that promise luck. Those are for the unprepared and they are just a waste of money. "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." -James 1:5


{Click here for more board exam tips!}

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