Engineering Board Exam
My university has a record of producing engineering board exam topnotchers, majority of which are from 30 to 40 years ago. All departments with board exams have been on the topnotchers map, with the names of the engineers posted on a bulletin board. When I was a student, I would stare at that board from time to time wishing that my name would be included in the list in the future.
And despite of preparing since my final year in engineering school until the review, I was only able to pass and not get a top spot in the board exam. I did all what topnotchers do, as far as I know, but I fell short.
If only I succeeded, it could have been the first time in about a score that my university will have a civil engineering alum belonging to the board exam’s top 10. But since I didn’t, I pass this frustration in the next batches.
That’s one of the biggest advantages of becoming a topnotcher, especially when there are several in the same school: it represents the high quality of education the engineering school provides.
As a result of the good board exam performance, many aspiring engineers would prefer that school for a higher rate of passing.
But it was not just about giving my school the pride of having a topnotcher, but more of a personal fulfillment. The gains of being one of the top 10 examinees are beyond the school recognition: it would signify my excellence as an engineer and would be the ultimate reward after years of memorizing all those scientific calculator formulas and my engineering training. It would become my edge in finding a job, too.
Well, not really finding a job, but more of picking a job. Because in the Philippines, companies go after students who are the engineering board exam’s cream of the crop. This is not only in engineering.
So I have my new clothes bought online specifically for job interviews. My boyfriend who is also a newly graduate engineer also bought a new corporate suit online but Alas!!! we couldn’t land a decent job. Why? Because me and my boyfriend are not topnotchers.
In cases that only a selected few are given that kind of privilege, being a topnotcher is still an advantage in getting a job. Employers take note of that recognition because it tells a lot about the engineer’s dedication and learning skills.
Moreover, topnotchers get incentives. It could be a huge amount of money, perks like brand new laptop, top of the line smartphone and sometimes a cool transportation, depending on the generosity of the university and review centers. This is the icing on the cake that completes the topnotcher achievement.
Other engineering graduates may think that it’s too late to become a topnotcher. But here’s my tip: there is no such as thing as ‘too late’ in dreaming.
Even if you do not succeed in your goal, dreaming helps you to aim high and perform your best in your board exam. Your reward for dreaming, to the very least, is being a board exam passer – an achievement not equivalent to being a topnotcher, but still an achievement.