This is the second part of my board review blog series. Here, I’m giving an overview of the board exam.
Now that we’ve set your mindset and listed down your preparatory activities, you’ll want to know more about the exam.
The Environmental Planning Licensure Exam is held by the Professional Regulation Commission in June. Check out the PRC announcements for the exact dates. The boards are held once a year, and are held on weekdays. The exam lasts two whole days. It is usually held in Manila, Cebu, Legazpi, and Davao. I took mine in Manila, and our venue was the Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU).
The EnP board exam is written, and there are no practical parts, such as mapping or drawing. It is a multiple choice type of exam, where you have to shade the one correct answer out of four choices.
There are three subjects covered by the exam, namely:
- Planning history, concepts, theories, and principles (3 hours)
- Planning processes, techniques, and strategies (6 hours)
- Environmental plan implementation, legal aspect, and administration (4 hours)
I’ll be covering these in more detail in my next blog posts.
Although PRC will be handing out the details and checklist of things to bring upon your application, I’ll share my experience so you get to visualise your exam day beforehand.
When I took the exam, the second topic (processes) was given on the first day, while topics 1 (history) and 3 (implementation) were given on the second day. The six-hour exam did not have any lunch break, so if you get the same schedule, be prepared. Eat a regular breakfast and don’t drink too much, because even if examinees are allowed to have restroom breaks, proctors strictly have to accompany you to the comfort room to ensure compliance to no-cheating procedures. Snacks are allowed during the exam.
Examinees have to wear a white polo or blouse. For men, the polo should be tucked in. Pockets are turned out and inspected by proctors before the exam starts.
Checklist of things to bring
A checklist is also provided by PRC, but I’m writing it here as well:
- Exam permit. This is a one-page sheet given by PRC upon application.
- Pencils. You can bring about two to three. I brought Monggol #2. Sharpen all your pencils before every exam.
- Sharpener. Keep it close, it comes in handy, especially during math questions.
- Eraser. But please, as much as possible, do not erase. You can write on your questionnaires and scratch papers, just transfer your answers afterwards. Why? The answer sheets are checked by machines, so erasures give a 50-50 correct-wrong chance, or can be read by the machine as a double answer, making your answer invalid.
- Black ballpen. This is used for filling up your basic details and your sworn statement before the exam.
- Brown envelope. You’ll be submitting this to the proctors, this is where they are going to keep your exam answer sheets for the second day.
- Non-programmable calculator. I brought a scientific calculator, which was allowed. Proctors may reset them to ensure that there are no programmed formulas.
- Packed lunch, snacks and drinks. Place these in a plastic bag. Proctors will ask you to place these in front of you, and the plastic bags will be checked and left opened. I brought chocolates and water. You can also bring a sandwich for the six-hour exam as a snack. During my time, a lunch break was given between subjects 1 and 3 on the second day, so you can also bring packed lunch. In MLQU, a canteen was open and sold rice meals, but since all the examinees flocked there during the given lunch break, you’ll have to wait in a long line and there might be shortage on bottled drinks.
All your things should be in a transparent plastic envelope. Reviewers are not allowed inside the exam room. You can bring bags, but you have to leave them on a separate area inside your exam room.
A lot of vendors were present outside MLQU, selling pentel pens, calculators, pencils and white polo shirts to examinees. Pentel pens aren’t really needed, but you can bring one or use your ballpen to label your brown envelope.
For the ladies, it’s useful to tie your hair, clip your bangs or wear a headband so you don’t get distracted during the exam.
When I took the exam, the air conditioning of our exam room was faulty, so we had to whip out our hand fans. You might want to bring a fan when you take the exam, just in case that happens, but since the standard venue has air conditioning, also make sure to bring a light jacket.
That’s as far as Part 2 goes. You can read further parts of this series for more on the EnP board review.
- Part 1: Why take the exam, getting the right mindset, and preparatory activities
- Part 3: Your application
- Part 4: Exam expectations
- Part 5: Planning bibles
- Part 6A: History and Principles
- Part 7: Laws governing environmental planning
- Presentation on Planning and Information Management