THE UNIVERSITY has again proven itself as one of the country’s top producers of board topnotchers after two Thomasians shared the top spot in the recent licensure exams for certified public accountants (CPA), and nine of the top 10 spots were dominated by UST graduates in the board exams for interior designers.

Five Thomasians entered the Top 10 of the October CPA licensure exams with two of them taking the top spot, a first in the history of CPA board exams.

Tied for the top spot were Celaica Vibar, the batch valedictorian, and Bren Cruz. They got identical scores of 94.14 percent.

The last Thomasian to top the CPA exams was Jhoanna Go, who graduated magna cum laude in 2003 and took the exam two years later.

Other Thomasians in the Top 10 were Kervin Reyes (92.43) who ranked ninth, and Tristan John De Guzman and Eloisa Galang (92.29), who shared 10th place.

Accountancy Dean Minerva Cruz said the first-time takers’ performance in the exams was “outstanding.”

“On a personal note, what made them ready for the exams is the training that they had [in the College of Accountancy],” she said. “In a way, nag-pay-off ‘yung aming hard work.”

The University, which had the second most number of examinees next to Polytechnic University of the Philippines, recorded a significantly higher overall passing rate of 93.09 percent, with 377 out of the 405 examinees making the cut, compared with last year’s 88.86 percent when 343 out of 386 passed the exams.

UST produced the highest number of passers for first-time takers, recording a 94.99-percent passing rate (360 passers out of the 379 examinees). The highest passing rate for first-time takers was recorded in 2010, when the University obtained a 96-percent mark.

“[C]onfident kami [with the outcome] because of the IAC (Integrated Accounting Course). The passing rate for the IAC is different from the regular course. In the case of the IA, it is 75 [percent], [which is] patterned after the passing mark of the actual CPA boards,” Cruz said.

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The IAC, which is composed of 12 units, covers all CPA board subjects and is taken by third and fourth years for two summer semesters.

Cruz said IAC is considered as a “pre-review” course of the students and may serve as an “indicator” that one is ready to take the licensure exams.

“The first batch that had full implementation of the IAC was in 2003, [the batch] to which Jhoanna Go belongs,” Cruz said.

She also attributed the results to the college’s pool of faculty members, curriculum, and stringent retention policies.

However, UST slid down to third place in the roster of the top-performing schools, trailing behind the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, which recorded a 100-percent passing rate, and Bicol University-Daraga, which posted a 96.83-percent passing rate.

Last year, UST ranked second in the list of the top-performing schools.

“[Our rating went down] because of the number of examinees,” Cruz said. “It’s unfair for our part to be in the same rank [with] those who fielded less than a hundred [examinees],” Cruz said.

She added that the college had to “manage” the number of repeaters taking the exams as it has also affected the over-all performance of UST. This year, only 17 out of 26 repeaters passed the exam.

“The challenge for us [now] is to sustain or even outperform [the previous achievement] particularly the 2010, which was the highest,” she said.

The year’s national passing rate went up a little, to 47.78 percent as 4,772 out of 9,987 examinees passed the exam. Last year’s passing rate was 47.70 percent.

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Dominated

Meanwhile, graduates from the College of Fine Arts and Design conquered the October 2012 Interior Design licensure examinations, taking nine out of the Top 10 spots, including first place.

Leading the new crop of interior designers is Thomasian Kristel Blancas, who scored 91.45 percent.

Blancas was followed by Ianne Kleina Guillen (89.20 percent), Niña Katrina Kho (88.75 percent), Loida Bauto (88.40 percent), Pamela Leila Santos (88.25 percent), Farisha Manaloto (87.95 percent), Mara Beatrice Mercado (87.70 percent), John Carlo Beliganio (87.15 percent) and Biance Elliz Sabiñano (86.65 percent) who placed second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.

In a humorous turn of events, the only non-Thomasian topnotcher in Interior Design, Nadine Valerie Dela Cruz of the University of the Philippines-Diliman, who took the seventh place, was disclosed to be a Thomasian too. “She finished secondary education at the UST High School,” said Jose Wendell Capili, a Varsitarian alumnus and now the vice-president for alumni affairs of UP.

Last year, only three Thomasians entered the top 10 list, including the top spot.

No school was named top-performing school. All schools did not meet the requirement of the PRC of at least 80 percent passing rate and with 50 or more examinees.

The University recorded a 74.12-percent passing rate, with 63 passers out of 85 examinees this year. This was higher than last year’s 49.32 percent or 36 passers out of 73 examinees.

The national passing rate improved to 55.31 percent as 172 out of 311 passed the exam. Last year’s passing rate stood at 52.02 percent, with 129 out of 248 examinees making the cut.

No topnotchers from engineering

Similar with last year’s board exam results for electronics engineers, no Thomasian landed in the Top 10 list of passers.

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With a larger number of examinees this year compared with the October 2011 board exams, wherein there were only 90 examinees, the passing rate slipped to 62.73 percent (101 out of 161 examinees) from 64.58 percent last year.

First-time examinees from UST posted a 62.99-percent passing rate, as 94 out of 154 who took the exam made the cut. This was down from last year’s 65.56 percent.

Former Varsitarian science and technology writer Jan Eva Mari de Vera was among those who passed the exam.

The national passing rate also improved to 51.57 percent—with 2,508 successful examinees out of 4,863—from 36.87 percent last year.

Meanwhile, UST’s overall performance improved in the recent mechanical engineering licensure examination, data from PRC showed.

From fifth place in the roster of top-performing schools last year, UST slid down to sixth place despite posting a higher passing rate of 84.26, equivalent to 91 passers out of 108 examinees. This was higher than last year’s 80.25 percent, in which 65 out of 81 examinees passed the exam.

UST placed five notches behind this year’s top-performing school Batangas State University, which posted a 97.73-percent passing rate. The state-run school had 86 passers out of 88 examinees.

Other top-performing schools were Polytechnic University of the Philippines (91.04 percent), Technological University of the Philippines (TUP)-Visayas (89.19 percent), Saint Louis University (87.50 percent), and TUP-Manila (85.07 percent).

Like the previous year, no Thomasian entered the Top 10 list.

The national passing rate rose to 69.86 percent, as 2,026 examinees out of 2,900 passed. Last year, the passing rate was 67.09 percent, wherein 1,868 out of 2,513 examinees made the cut. With reports from Reden D. Madrid

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