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The secret of 2 BUCENG topnotchers

September 20, 2022

In the concluded September 2022 Registered Electrical Engineer (REE) Licensure Examination and Registered Master Electrician (RME), Bicol University produced 75 passers out of 90 examinees, with two exceptional takers in the RME who placed in the top 8 and 10 ranks.

They are classmates who recently graduated from BU College of Engineering (CENG) and claimed to be average joes who, nevertheless, catapulted their way to the top.

Acads + Sports = Topnotcher?

Exercising the body is just as important as exercising the mind, as attested by these topnotchers who were not only intelligent but also talented athletes.

Daniel Ezra D. Octeza, 21, who finished top 8 with an impressive 91.50% average, shared that as a student, he learned through lectures, experiences, and from the people around him. Octeza admitted in an interview that he wasn’t exactly the type of student who enjoyed joining groups.

“But I am proud to be a member of RAJE, a band that was founded when its members were still in grade 12, whose members are all from BU. I am also proud to have been a part of the Quizzers who represented BU [Electrical Engineering] department in a quiz show (and won 2nd runner-up at regional and national level), and a team member of the BUCENG basketball team.”

However, Ryan Cristian P. Dagsil, 23, the top 10 standee who scored a commendable 90.50% average, mentioned that he was a typical student who enjoys learning and imparting knowledge. Similar to Octeza, Dagsil is also an athlete who represented his college as the “Tekong” server in Sepak Takraw and he occasionally plays basketball as well.

Aside from being student athletes, both were also recognized in the field of academics. They were included in the Dean’s Listers, where Octeza joined the President’s Listers in his later years and finished with a Cum Laude latin honor.

Studying style reveal

While both burn the midnight oil, their studying strategies differ. When asked how their studying styles are compared to others, Dagsil responded that by learning from the point of view of their former topnotchers and smart classmates, he saw how they approached it and applied it to his own methods by formulating his own.

“… that led me to be exempted in a few final exams during college, and now lead me to the top,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Octeza said that he is unlike other students who study by pulling an all-nighter.

“I often hear stories from my friends that they only had 2 or 3 hours of sleep. And I thought I’d be left behind because I couldn’t put in the amount of work they do. Because staying up too late would cause my migraine to act up and I would be less productive. The latest I can study is up to 1am in the morning. Then, if necessary, I would wake up at 5am that same morning to study again.”

He continued by saying that in order to be effective, he plans and organizes his studies and breaks. He adheres to the maxim “work hard, play hard,” by rewarding himself after a demanding study session, whereas Dagsil prefers the strategies of “studying smarter” and “studying harder.”

Faith, above all

Although both neither expecting to be topnotchers, Dagsil’s friends and peers were already anticipating him to be a topnotch.

“Because I’m not aware of what I’m capable of, that always lead me to continue doubting myself. I’m not expecting to be with the topnotchers because it’s an overwhelming mountain to climb and it scares me, but it’s not a reason for me not to try. Instead, I plan how to climb that mountain without losing myself to test how far I can go,” Dagsil said.

On the other hand, Octeza admitted that he had not gotten enough sleep and was exhausted because of his excitement and anxiousness on the day of the exam.

“But by God’s grace, I was able to answer well during the exam, though naturally I was unsure of some items. I am just overwhelmingly grateful that God blessed my efforts in studying and gave me this gift of being the 8th placer in the exams. All glory be to Him,” he said.

Inspirations are key

When asked who their inspirations are, Octeza said that they are his family, especially his parents. Despite the loss of his father, he is grateful to his mother for her unwavering love to the family.

“My [late] father, who did his very best to provide for our family and not let us experience the hardships he had in the past. And most importantly, for leading us to Christ. I am also inspired by my sister and brother, who also support me in little ways that may seem trivial, but have a big impact. If my family is proud of me, then I won’t care what the world thinks,” he shared.

While Dagsil’s number one inspiration is God, to whom he dedicates his success. His family and friends are also his sources of inspiration.

“I said to Him during Exam Prayer that He gives me talent that I didn’t ask for, so I want Him to be with me at my side until the last day because He is with me during my review process. Also, to the Man that I look up to, my mental image of victory, the Person who always gives me advice when everything is heavy.”

Advice from a topnotch

To all BUeños who will take any bar exams, the topnotch RMEs shared a heartfelt piece of advice that they believe helped them in achieving what they earned today.

Octeza said that the greatest keys are consistency and faith

“Consistency in studying for the exam, for there will always be times when you will just not have the motivation to study at all. Don’t give in to that feeling and don’t lose sight of your goal. Faith that all your efforts and sacrifices as you study will all be worth it in the end. Every problem you solve, no matter how simple, is a step forward towards your goal. So don’t be discouraged that you still have a lot to learn and study. Just take one step at a time. You will arrive at your destination. You will definitely reap what you sow. Keep moving forward. As Ranchoddas once said, ‘Chase excellence, and success will chase you’”

While Dagsil reminds the takers that you are your own enemy, so you need to conquer yourself first.

“Acknowledge that you’re not the best, embrace your flaws, learn yourself, study yourself and more importantly, forgive yourself. This is my first step that led me ahead to others. Then after that, your review process will be light and enjoyable. Don’t rely on motivation and inspiration because it fades away, but instead use it wisely. Rely on your work ethic and your study system. Consistency is the key, also rest with your comfort individual. Talk to them, it’s a rule.” | by Arnold C. Noda, CPRO

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