AFTER recording the lowest passing rate in the mechanical engineering licensure examinations in the last 15 years, the UST Mechanical Engineering Department will soon require students to take pre-board examinations.

Faculty of Engineering Asst. Dean Nelson Pasamonte said the exams would be a part of a “correlation subject” and serve as a final requirement before graduation. In previous years, taking the mock board exams was optional.

“It served as our wake-up call to emphasize the need for remediation and quality assurance, so that when the University has once again achieved a higher passing rate in the exams, we can sustain it,” Pasamonte said in an interview.

The department plans to include the subject as an elective, but it will be a part of the curriculum in the future. Topics include general mathematics, engineering economy and thermodynamics, which are part of the licensure exams.

Pasamonte said the department also wanted greater control over complacent students through the correlation subject.

“I see no problem with the implementation, especially that the department is doing this for their sake. We have been reminding them that the board examination affects not only the students and their respective parents, but also the University,” Pasamonte said.

This year, the University’s passing rate dipped to 63.21 percent, with only 67 UST examinees passing the test out of 106.

UST failed to make it to the list of top-performing schools and no Thomasian landed on the top 10 list.

Pasamonte said the department was also looking at external factors as reasons for the low passing rate, such as “lack of visual representations of the problems such as charts and tables.”

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In 2014, UST placed fifth on the list of top-performing schools with a 92.03-percent passing rate.

Nico Andro Capiral of Batch 2014, who finished 10th, was the last Thomasian to secure a place in the top 10. It was in 2002 when the University last topped the mechanical engineering board exams. That year, 61 out of 68 examinees passed, equivalent to an 89.71-percent passing rate. Kathryn Jedi V. Baylon

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