Hey there! It's the review season for this year's batch of Real Estate Management graduates, so if you're one of them, I would like to tell you how I passed (topped) my board exams.
Yes, I placed 2nd on the Real Estate Broker board exam last May 25, 2016, and 1st on the Real Estate Appraiser board exam last August 14, 2016. If you don't see a list of top-notchers for our board exams on the PRC website, it's because they have a rule that they won't recognize top-notchers if there are only less than 50 examinees. As pioneering graduates for the Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Management degree, there were only 39 takers for the RE broker board and 27 for the RE appraiser board. Our university is currently petitioning that the Philippine Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRBRES) will recognize the top-notchers, so we'll just stay updated for that.
Anyway, with no further ado, here are the things I did to top my board exams.
This does not only apply to the Real Estate board exams but also for other board exams as well.
1. Focus and Aim for number one
This is the mindset that you should instill in your minds while preparing for the board exam. Aiming for just a passing score of 75% from the start is a dangerous disposition for board takers. You know why? It's because you would tend to slack off a bit in studying just because you don't really aim for something higher. You see, if you aim for topping the board, you would give your best effort for that, and even though you wouldn't land being a top-notcher, the least you can achieve would be to pass it, so it's still a win-win situation.
Also, do not ever think about the possibility of failing because you may tend to justify it and think of other contingency plans even before you even took the board exams. This isn't a good "what-if" at all at times like these because the thought of it might just discourage you.
You should also avoid distractions as well. If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, set aside your time for him/her for a few months because no matter how you deny it, they will always have their share of hindrances to you in studying unless you have the same goal and you inspire each other to reach it. Having conflicts or breaking up with your significant other is one of the worst things that could happen during board exam preparations, so please avoid that. Minimize your time on social media - use this only for updates on current events and resource uploads from your classmates if ever.
2. Invest in reliable review sessions and materials
If you really want to have a good glimpse on what topics may come out in the board exams and if you want to be mentored well, you should invest in review sessions and materials that already have a reputation in producing top-notchers. Here in Cagayan de Oro, for the real estate board exams we have the Institute of Philippine Real Estate Education, Inc. (IPREE) and the CDO Real Estate & Education Center by Gigi Roa Realty (GCR). Both of these review centers have produced top-notchers through the years, and if you're a prospect student-reviewee, you can choose either one. I can't personally give you a comparison since I have been to only one of these review centers, but from the ones I heard, both of their feedbacks are good.
The only difference I can say is their scheduling. IPREE may schedule their reviews on weekends from 8 am to 5 pm, weekdays from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm or they might mix both based from my experience (if the primary schedule is weekends, they might include Thursdays and Fridays, if weekdays, they might include a Saturday). If you live far away from Philtown Hotel, you may want to invest an additional amount for hotel reservations if you're not comfortable going home at 10:30 pm. As for GCR, as what I have heard, they have a fixed schedule of reviews on weekdays from 5 to 9 pm.
But if you have a low tendency rate in procrastinating and if you're confident enough to focus at home to self-study, feel free to do so. Most of my classmates who self-studied also passed the board exams.
The good thing about enrolling in review centers though is that teach you pretty much everything on what you can expect. They will keep track of your performance in practice tests, mentor you constantly, teach you how to shade properly, and in general, teach you what you should do before and during the board exams. You will have a support system as well when you're feeling too anxious.
3. Find additional sources
For a more effective review, I advise you not to settle for only the review materials provided to you by your review center. Research about related topics that may come out of the board exam such as current events, statistics, laws, earthquake-related information, inflation rates, feng shui, lakes, regions in the Philippines, and etc. If only I wrote about this guide sooner, I could tell you a lot more. Haha! But anyway, aside from that, if you can dare to do so, you can ask a copy of a different set of review materials from your friends who passed the board exams. Also, there are review questions you can practice on the internet such as those on Quizlet and Cram.
If you don't want to have an information overload, it is okay to settle for the review materials provided to you, but you don't have to memorize the questions and answers. You just have to familiarize those and practice answering them like you would in the actual board exams. You need to understand how you come up with the correct answer. If you're doubting about the answers provided to you, don't hesitate to search the question itself on Google.
4. Take care of your health
Yes, keep yourself healthy all throughout your preparations and on the day of your board exams. I know it could be hard due to all the stress and pressure, but with proper diet and exercise, you can get through it. Like what they say, when you're healthy, you can do anything. Since the sickness you may feel during your preparations can be due to your anxiousness, it is good to try to relax and avoid pessimistic thoughts about the outcome of your board exams. Destress once in a while through ways like watching movies.
And oh, do not cram the day before. Have a good night's rest the day before the exams, but if you are not able to do so like me (I've had zero hours of sleep before my Appraiser board to tell you frankly), I guess you just have to let go and let God. But if there are some recommended ways I've heard from our moderator on how to sleep, she advised us to drink milk before going to bed, and that didn't work for me because apparently, I was immune to its effect.
If you ask those who passed the board exams, they will surely tell you that praying is a powerful thing you could do during these times. Praying gives you a sense of hope and guidance from God. There are miracles that are beyond what we can imagine, and God is Someone whom you can trust to make one of those happen to each one of us.
So yes, that's it for now. If you can add other tips, feel free to comment below. Also, why not share your board exam experiences as well? :)