As the students at CDEP (Center for the Designed Environment Professions) are already stressed-out at the thought of the board examination, we at PSID are still having our orientation for the Interior Design board examination review on our first week.
Monday’s morning class was canceled. So was Tuesday’s afternoon class. Wednesday, we just talked about the board examination, and what to expect from it. By the end of Wednesday’s class, our professor asked us if we were scared to take the board examination. Most people raised their hands.
I get why most people are dreading the board examination. I mean, our title as “licensed designers” depends on it. In addition to that, it is only available once a year, unlike most courses. Investing 3 months (almost 24/7) immersed in studies is a risk. Time is gold, and who wants to waste one-fourth of a year? I know I don’t!
Scope of Examination
Here are the subjects that the Interior Design board examination will cover:
- Interior Design — 45%
- Furniture Design & Construction — 15%
- Materials of Decoration — 10%
- History of Arts & Period Styles — 10%
- Building Construction — 10%
- Professional Practice & Ethics — 10%
This year, the Interior Design will be given on the very first day. This is also known as the “drafting day”. Most people dread this subject the most, obviously, since it contributes 45% to the total grade. We will be given one design problem, and we only have one day (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) to work on it—which we are used to doing in at least one week! And they say that if you won’t be able to complete the requirements for this subject, there’s no point in attending the 2nd & 3rd day of the board examination since it guarantees failure.
If I heard correctly from one of our respected professors, they will reduce 5% from Interior Design, and add it to a new subject, Color Theory. I’m not sure about this, though. So don’t quote me on it! I also learned that swatchboards and individual (furniture) drawings will no longer be required this year! What a relief!
My Self-Study Schedule
I thought that the Interior Design board examination review would last for 3 months, but I was wrong. It will only be held for 2 months, then we have a whole month (September), to self-study. We were encouraged to get the handouts of CDEP to study for the exam. So I got it, and decided to make my own “self-study schedule” for each subject:
Aside from what I’ll learn during the review class in PSID, I will be studying the CDEP handouts (₱ 1,200). The schedule on the picture above is what my self-study schedule is going to be like. I divided the topics or pages (of the CDEP handouts) under each subject into 12 weeks. One day of the week will be dedicated to only one subject. On Saturdays, I will be reading and studying books recommended by our professors, such as The Visual Dictionary of Architecture by Francis D.K. Ching (₱ 1,700 in Nat’l Bookstore), among a few.
Tips & Advice for the ID Board Examination
Anyway, the whole point of this post was to encourage and share some tips & advice that I’ve learned during my first week reviewing in PSID. These are aimed at everyone who will be taking the Interior Design board examination. (But of course!)
Before I share my personal insight on this whole dreading-the-examination thing, let me share a few points from our professors in PSID and what I got out of their kwentos:
- Most people won’t eat at all during the examination. But your brain and body need the energy to think and perform well. Eat good & healthy food, and bring lots of water. Hydrate yourself. You want the best out of your brain and performance, don’t you?
- For Interior Design, exert effort into making your design rationale as best as possible. Don’t just run through your design, but defend and justify every detail and aspect of your design. In school, we got used to defending our design in front of our professors, but as for the board examination, we won’t get the chance to defend anything orally. So put it all in writing. Explain everything and anything that might be questioned.
- Never leave any question blank!
- Shade properly.
- Don’t let any paper get any marks, stains, or rips. A small drop of liquid can confuse the computer checking your papers, or ruin your overall design, causing you to automatically fail.
- Sir Jie Pambid on Interior Design: “Hindi pagandahan; It’s about sensibility.” You need to understand the problem, and your design has to be a smart solution.
My Personal Insight: Understand & Learn
Being the deep thinker that I am, thoughts raced through my head as I realized that the majority dreaded the ID board examination. Personally, I find it unnecessary to fear the exam. There is no need to make anything complicated, really. I believe that the bigger perspective you have on things, the simpler it is.
Here’s the deal: In the lapse of 3 days, we will be drawing for one day, and take the written examination for 2 days. But hey, it’s no longer in identification form, but in the form of multiple-choice. This is not harder. Don’t think of it as having a 25% chance of getting each answer right. Once you see the choices to the question, I’m sure you’ll know which is the right one, as long as you’ve read through it and understood it.
We already know which subjects will be required of us to study and review. So just simply study and review them! If you are concerned about having “too little” time, then manage your time, and divide the pages (or topics) into the days that you have left before the examination. It’s all about managing your time, really.
Don’t just study and read everything that needs to be studied and read for the sake of going through it. Rather: Understand.
Look at the bigger picture: We are taking this exam because everything it covers, we need to know as practicing designers. So don’t just study for the sake of passing the board exam, but make sure you understand everything and learn.
After all, it’s not just to earn yourself a license or a title, but it is for your own good, as a knowledgeable and competent licensed designer.