‘Top 1 ako!’ were the words Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) alumnus Rajiv Nooh Amil exclaimed when he saw his name on the topnotchers list for the 2021 Civil Engineering (CE) board exams.
With a rating of 93.25 percent, Amil dominated the 2,374 board passers in the November 2021 CE board exams held last November 14-15. The licensure examination results were released on November 25 by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
According to Amil, the news that he was among the topnotchers did not immediately reach him since he chose not to check the list, fearing that he might not belong to the ones who finished first-rated.
“After the second day of the board exam, I called my mother and told her that my dream to be included on the list of topnotchers might not come true,” Amil expressed.
“The first subject of the board exam was very difficult. Every problem I encountered in that exam felt like my wish of becoming a topnotcher fading away more and more,” he added.
When Amil saw his name on the first spot in the top 10 passers list, the civil engineer felt overwhelmed because he did not expect to lead the rankings anymore. He then called his mother right after hearing the news.
“After checking the list of passers and having known that I am already an engineer, I checked the list of the board topnotchers to see who made it and if, by the slightest chance, I was part of them,” he told Atenews.
“I wasn’t expecting anything but I was just hopeful that somehow my name would be on the list of topnotchers.”
According to the AdDU alumnus, the sudden change to an online review set-up and the inevitable delays of the board exams posed challenges to his preparation. Amil started studying for the licensure examination in June 2019 before the pandemic and shifted into a new mode of reviewing for the test due to the limitations brought by the health crisis.
“I admit that at first, I didn’t enjoy it. I had difficulty adjusting to the online setting. Taking assessment exams online wasn’t easy because I could only use my phone. It took a few months before I became accustomed to the new setup,” he said.
Originally scheduled for May 2020, the PRC moved the CE board exam three times which soon became tiring for Amil and made him lose motivation.
“It was heartbreaking because every time the date was moved, I knew that I had to review again for the next six months or so. I was exhausted. I lost my focus and felt demotivated to go over everything again from Algebra to Structural Design,” Amil said.
The civil engineering graduate then decided to take a break from academically preparing and went back to his hometown of Tawi-Tawi. When he started reviewing again in August 2021, he set a minimum study time of six hours every day for himself.
Amil shared that prayers to Allah, the love and support from his family, and words of affirmation from his mentor at the review center helped him overcome the challenges he encountered during his board exam preparations.
“Even though I was burning out physically and emotionally, I never left my prayers because it was my main source of relief and reassurance,” he mentioned.
With Amil and 24 other Atenean civil engineers passing the CE licensure examination, AdDU has accumulated a total passing rate of 83.33 percent for the November 2021 exam. The complete list of new Atenean civil engineers can be viewed here.
The November 2021 assessment had 6,474 examinees, a remarkably smaller turnout than the November 2019 exam’s 15,075 examinees. The recent licensure exam is also the first CE board exam conducted by the PRC during the pandemic.