Here you are finally, going up the graduation stage in your college auditorium and thinking that this is the best part of your life! Well… it is not, especially as a civil engineering graduate who plans to take the board exams right after graduation. 

Most civil engineering seniors are already taking review classes during their last semester in time for the scheduled May exams. Whether you are taking the board on May or November, here are some tips to help you:


  1. USE YOUR PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS – There is no better way to hit your targets than by organizing your schedule – from going to the review center, self-review, mock exams and to taking the actual exams itself. Use a bar chart or Gantt chart, plot the subject titles, and monitor your progress.  Students are very lucky now that they can even download the syllabi of the exams and use it as a guide to cover all of the subject topics. 


  1. ENROLLING IN A REVIEW CENTER IS AN ADVANTAGE – Most TOP review centers are updated on scope and trends of the exams – it means they know topics and new questions given in the last board exam which might come out again. Their refresher courses and mock exams give you an initial feel which could help you prepare for the actual exam itself.


  1. DISCIPLINE AND ORGANIZE YOURSELF – The best way to retain your knowledge is by being in the best health condition. Sleep early and try to complete eight hours of sleep before you hit the books and solve problems. Eat healthy foods to give you energy for your mind and body.  Sacrifice for a few months and avoid late night parties so that you can have enough energy for the next day.


  1. PLAN YOUR SELF-STUDY AND GROUP STUDY – There are students who work best alone and there are students who work best in groups. Having a mix of both is the most efficient way of studying for the exams.  Studying alone keeps you focused on your own pace and style, while studying in groups means you have friends to help you out in topics that you are having difficulty in.  You can rent out for a month an apartment big enough to provide you and your friends your own rooms so you can have both self-study and group study times.


  1. RELAX ON THE DAY BEFORE THE EXAM – Make sure that you complete your study two days before the exam and leave the day before the exam as your relax time. You have probably exhausted so much energy from reviewing and it is time to relax your mind and body in preparation for the exams itself.  Do not listen to crammers who spread gossip of learning about leakages and new topics which were not covered.  Based on experience, these were not true and not helpful.


  1. ON THE DAY OF THE EXAM – Wear comfortable clothes on the day of the exam. Bring a jacket whether it’s a sunny or a rainy day.  You might be assigned to a room with strong air conditioning and you would need it to stay warm. Relax and pray.  Divide the time allotted per subject to the number of questions and leave around 5 to 10 minutes to review your answers.  Make the most of your time to ensure you placed the most number of correct answers.


  1. AFTER THE EXAM – You could instantly feel the mental and physical exhaustion of the board exam and yet you have enough energy to jump and even cry that the exams are done. Take a moment, pray and leave it to HIS hands. Thank everyone who supported you in this journey.  Go and rest, at home or in a resort. The results will come out in less than a week. You’d want to buy a newspaper and frame it when you pass the exams!

With just a few months of sacrifice, you can equip yourself with one of your best tools to take on the challenges of the real world – that is, passing the board exams.  Earning the title of “Engineer” is truly the pinnacle of a Civil Engineering student’s life.  Good luck!


By Engr. John Edward V. Reyes

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