DLSU grads top ECE licensure exams

Frustration and distress were just some of what Malcolm Kwok (BSMSECE, ‘18) and Jethro Ocean (ECE2, ‘18) felt when they took the Electronics Engineer Licensure Examination last April 3 and 4. Despite the odds, both individuals reaped the fruits of their labor when they ranked first and second place, respectively, on the exam.

A total of 2,790 examinees took the recent board exam, with only 1,365 making the cut. Kwok and Ocean were just two of the 26 test takers from DLSU who passed the licensure exam; 31 took the exam from the University, giving DLSU an overall passing rate of 83.87 percent against the national passing rate of 48.92 percent.

In online interviews with The LaSallian, the two top performers shared their experiences and insights for future examinees.

Charged and ready

Both Kwok and Ocean revealed that one of the preparations they made for the exam was enrolling in review centers. “I rarely read [textbooks] during college, but when I was ‘grad-waiting’, I read a textbook on a subject that I know I was weak at, and I finished it shortly after I started attending a review center,” Kwok shared.

Sharing similar strategies, Ocean focused on the subjects he lagged behind in, making sure that he familiarized himself with the topics. This, he explained, was in order to take lesser time working on questions related to that topic in the actual exam. Ocean started reviewing during the first week of November, boasting that he had never missed a session at the review center.

“Sometimes I would even take Saturday and Sunday classes just to have extra free time during the weekdays,” he added.

Although Kwok emphasized the importance of preparing for the board examinations, he also compared it to adding the “finishing touches” to the overall knowledge one would need for the examination. “Everything that we have learned since childhood until college is part of the preparation,” Kwok stated, quoting a line from his review instructor.

Resistance in yielding

As the exams drew closer, having feelings of anxiety and stress was inevitable. Ocean, like all aspiring engineers heading into the exam, was no exemption. “There were countless nights that I had breakdowns because of the fear of letting people down—even letting myself down,” he recounted. “You really need a strong heart, [or] else you’ll end up not being able to study.”

Kwok, on the other hand, found difficulty in sleeping, often going to bed past midnight. He revealed insomnia contributed to his sleepiness during lectures and mock exam practices. “There were times when I was waiting for dinner but I ended up sleeping until the next day out of tiredness,” he confessed.

The exam proper proved to be a challenge for the two—Ocean called it a “mental, emotional, and physical battle.” He also added that the room he was assigned to was hot, which only made taking the exam more difficult. “I was wiping my sweat every 15 minutes in order to keep my answer sheets safe since those answer sheets were my lifeline,” he lamented.

Kwok expressed his frustrations on some of the exam questions being too “trivial”, stating he could not even remember some of his answers because he could not fully understand what the questions meant. He also noted that there were some errors in the questions during the exam, such as incorrect decimal point placements on the figures.

Shocking results

Kwok and Ocean’s worries soon washed away when the list of top 10 passers was released on the Professional Regulation Commission website. The two garnered a rating of 90.70 percent and 89.40 percent, respectively. “It was not really my goal to be a topnotcher, but in a sense, that is the highest possible achievement [I could aspire for],” Kwok admitted. He elaborated that his mindset was that when taking the exam, he might as well give it his all.

On the contrary, Ocean revealed that it was his goal to top the boards. “The main reason was that I wanted to have a special seat at the oathtaking [and] also to have a special entrance walk during it,” he jokingly noted.

For future test takers who aim to ace the test, Kwok recommended enrolling in review centers, noting how important concepts and techniques such as answering multiple choice questions can be learned there. Aside from this, he also stressed the importance of knowing when to take a break and finding the needed motivation to pursue the exam.

“Whether it’s for career progression, for family, or for self-satisfaction, your reasons will keep you sane and motivated,” Kwok declared.

Ocean, meanwhile, advised future test takers to simply study hard and trust in themselves. “The journey in taking the board exam is not easy, but I know for sure that when you give it your all, it’s going to be worth it,” he concluded.

Enrico Sebastian Salazar

By Enrico Sebastian Salazar

Contributor of University and Vanguard since TLS 58. Internal Development Manager in TLS 59. Currently designing the new website.

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