TIME — Your friend, your enemy. Brian Martin Sioson’s LET topnotcher story

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The best advice I can give to LET takers is file for the test as soon as you can, fresh from college if at all possible. The more you put off the exam and procrastinate, the more you lose the drive and momentum and the less you retain the things you have learned during your schooling days.

Having graduated a long time ago, I had forgotten much of what I had learned in college and in high school. I did not anymore know how to solve mathematical problems, forgot a great deal of the Philippines’ history, and lost touch of the scientific concepts required to pass the LET. To make matters worse, I had been so busy working, being employed full-time, that I barely had enough time to prepare for the test. Factor in the transportation time and the amount of stress I get commuting around the metro, you can only imagine how much pressure I had to endure while reviewing. However, with the right strategy, these time constraints and obstacles can be hurdled, and here are some tips I can share to those who are under the same circumstances as mine:

1. Choose the Right Review Program

Who's that beside coach Albert? :)

Who’s that beside coach Albert? 🙂 With batchmates at MindGym LET review

Knowing my weaknesses and the things I have unlearned over time, I found it efficient and wise to enroll in a good review center. Even if I only attended on weekends, I was able to get decent and up-to-date materials that helped me during the course of my preparation. Additionally, I was able to monitor my progress and better know the areas that I had to work on and improve because of the drills and mock tests included in the review program.

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Make sure to answer all the drills and materials given to you

2. Sacrifices are Necessary

I did not let fate and destiny dictate my chances of passing the LET. I had to work hard for it. There were lots of sacrifices. I had to bring my review materials and read while traveling to and from work, do my drills in the office during my lunch and snack breaks, book and pay for library appointments to enable me to concentrate better, and forego many events and gatherings to prepare for the LET.

Yes, my social life died a quick and painful death the moment I started studying for the test. Nonetheless, all of these sacrifices did not end in vain, and the effort I had to put in to study paid off when I saw my name in the roster of passers.

Coach Albert passing on some LET topnotcher inspiration himself in class

Coach Albert passing on some LET topnotcher inspiration himself in class

3. Know the Essentials

I did not have all the time in the world to memorize all of the concepts. Therefore, to strategize, I thoroughly read my review materials once, researched a bit on things I had difficulty in, and took note of the essentials more than anything. In reviewing, you cannot expect to commit to memory everything you read unless you have some sort of eidetic memory, but at least you can remember the important details and concepts that will serve as a foundation to analyze questions and come up with insightful answers during the test.

To each his/her own memory techniques! Find one that works for you. To some classmates, listing down important names and terms and then connecting and visualizing them works

To each his/her own memory techniques! Find one that works for you. To some classmates, listing down important names and terms and then connecting and visualizing them works

4. Keep Track of Time

I cannot stress how important it is to manage your time not only during your review but also during the actual LET. Always practice under exam conditions and set a time limit for every set of test you are sitting. During the actual LET, I was not able to finish the General Education part and had to instinctively guess the answers to more than ten items since I barely had a minute left. The hard lesson I learned here is to work on easy questions in as little time as possible and if an item is too difficult, just let go and move on! After all, every correct answer in the test is just going to contribute one point regardless of its difficulty.

During our LET refresher, we practiced with a timed mock LET exam

During our LET refresher, we practiced with a timed mock LET exam

5. Stay Positive

Having the right attitude is imperative if anyone is to succeed in the LET. If one of the tests is too hard or if you feel you did not do well, just relax and try to do better in the next exam. If we let all the negative energy engulf us and start whining and complaining, we may not perform optimally in any of the components of the LET and ultimately flunk. Just relax and stay motivated. If intrinsic motivation is impossible to achieve, then try to munch on some of your favorite snacks to lift your spirits up. Better yet, pray or meditate if this calms and relaxes you. Exam stress affects your performance, so it is best to stay away from all kinds of stressors and avoid any negativity during the exam.

Keep positive always!

Stick around with positive, happy people when you know you are facing challenging times ahead.

Indeed, preparing for LET seems like a taxing and daunting task, especially if time is your enemy. Nevertheless, with these strategies, you can make the most out of your limited time and, in a way, make time your friend, enabling you to pass or even top the LET!

At the awarding ceremony for our LET victory party for topnotchers and passers

At the awarding ceremony for our LET victory party for topnotchers and passers

About Brian Martin Sioson

Brian Martin Sioson received the top 6 ranking in the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) for the Secondary cluster last 2015 September, as a Biological Science major. He graduated from the Far Eastern University Manila.

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