A PREVIEW of things to come?

Majority of incoming Architecture seniors flunked a six-part assessment test meant to prepare them for the board exams, data showed.

The results are dismal, according to the College of Architecture. In fact, among 369 examinees, only 19, or 5.15 percent, passed the subject Building Utilities of the Architecture Undergraduate Assessment Test (Ausat).

Examinees also registered a dismal performance in the subjects Engineering Science and History and Theory of Architecture—with only 23 or 6.23 percent passing. Only 24 (6.50 percent) passed in Design, while 135 (36.59 percent) passed in Building Technology. Professional Practice had the most number of passers with 156 (42.28 percent).

The results were “really bad,” Architecture Dean John Joseph Fernandez said.

Ausat, originally a measure of students’ knowledge retention, became an academic requirement in 2011. Students who failed the Ausat will not be allowed to take up Research Method in Architecture (RMA), a prerequisite for thesis writing, as the subjects included in the exam are necessary for the course.

Considerations

Fernandez expressed disappointment over this year’s Ausat results, but said the college will make adjustments in the spirit of “compassion.” Students will be allowed to retake failed subjects in June, while those who want to retake the whole exam may be allowed to do so before the second semester.

The college had attempted to adjust the 75-percent passing mark to raise the number of passers, but came up with a score way below standards. The Dean’s Council decided to retain the original passing score.

Fernandez admitted there may have been mistakes in the coverage of exam questions.

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“What we are doing right now is that we are evaluating every question [included in the Ausat]. The exam should only cover lessons from first to third year, but we might have included fourth- and fifth-year topics,” he said.

Evaluation results will be forwarded to professors, who will check whether or not the topics included in the exam were taught in the classroom.

Fernandez said questions have been raised by students regarding the exam coverage but described the complaints “too much and very improper.”

‘Desperate attempt’

Some examinees believe the Ausat is ineffective in preparing students for the board exams.

“Some students and faculty members believe [that] it’s a desperate attempt of our college to regain high ranks in the boards,” said an incoming architecture senior who asked not to be named.

Results could have been better if students were given a remedial exam for all six subjects prior to the Ausat, he claimed. “We have studied those except that there were too many things to review for the exam that we barely knew where to focus on,” he said.

Lyle la Madrid, who passed four subjects out of six, said that while the exam was meant to be a “refresher,” it was is impossible to recall everything. There were too many questions and not enough time to review, he said.

Some topics in Design were not even discussed in class, he added. “I never expected those topics (hotel codes and museum) to come out. We never had projects like that before,” he said, adding that no student passed in all six subjects.

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For Yan David, also an incoming architecture senior, the “mock test” was the college’s way of adjusting to changes in the licensure exam.

The number of Thomasian topnotchers in the Architecture boards has declined in past years purportedly because of the replacement of the drawing part—where UST Architecture students supposedly excel—with multiple choice questions, she said. Yuji Vincent B. Gonzales

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