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Should You Take the Board Exam This 2021?

All of us started the year 2020 hopeful, claiming that the year will be ours. However, a deadly virus has infiltrated the world in the first quarter, causing thousands of deaths and millions of people affected even up until today. COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we do things and basically shifted the dynamics of our everyday lives.

Dreams have also been postponed and cancelled. This holds true to engineering graduates (or any course for that matter) of batch 2020 who looked forward to taking the next step towards their dreams – take and pass the board exam and practice as licensed professionals right after.

Not one on-site board exam in the Philippines pushed through starting March 2020 due to safety concerns. Although the idea floated, even declaring several memos to update the takers but ending up moving the schedule each time, the Professional Regulation Commission did not take the risk and postponed all licensure exams. The safety of examinees and examination personnel prevailed. 

However, there is a silver lining now: Vaccination in the Philippines is steadily being conducted; plus the COVID-19 cases are being managed well than before despite the new variants. Such response to the pandemic provides an array of hope that board exams may soon be held again.

Let’s take the Board of Mechanical Engineering for example. It has scheduled a licensure exam in August 15-16, 2021 coming from an announcement in January 27, 2021. Today, it is still uncertain if it will proceed, since it is only more than a month away. In context, this year, PRC moved the February schedule to August a month before the February 27-28, 2021 board exam.

Now, the question begs:  Should you take the board exam this 2021?

Assuming that the safety protocols are not an issue, two main points of concern of examinees by now are urgency and preparedness. 

If you are in a hurry and are prepared, go for it.

It comes in pair, not either or. When you’ve waited for it for too long and have been setting yourself up in the last year to take the board exam, there is no reason to postpone it. Grab the chance and do not waste that Notice of Admission.

If you have some time or feel unprepared, better skip it.

There will always be another board exam schedule in the future. Don’t pressure yourself into taking the licensure exam unprepared. If you can afford to delay it, like you are currently still in the middle of review or have been employed already, the best thing to do is prepare for the next schedule.

Ultimately, the decision is yours. Whether or not you choose to take the licensure exam this year, don’t forget why you are taking it in the first place.

Top photo by Mart Production via Pexels

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