Mikaella Gabrielle A. Esquejo, a BS in Forestry (BSF) graduate emerged as the 10th examinee with the highest rating in the Foresters Licensure Examination (FLE) held on October 2023. She scored 89.85% in the said exam.
Esquejo, who hails from Pangasinan, revealed that the forestry field was not her dream but she chose BSF, one of the degree programs prioritized by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in order to secure a scholarship. She may not have preferred BSF from the start but she shared that along the way, she came to enjoy being a Forestry student. She also expressed gratitude for the DOST scholarship that financially sustained her throughout her four-year study. She graduated magna cum laude during the BSU 98th Commencement Exercises on July 20-21, 2023.
As the only Latin honor graduate of her class, she felt pressured from the expectation that she would top the FLE. This further motivated her to excel and top the board exam. When asked about how her family reacted to her remarkable achievement, she replied that her family is proud of her. She added that she felt honored to be the CF alumna to secure a top spot in the FLE after 10 years.
Esquejo acknowledged the great contribution and support of the College of Forestry to the success of FLE examinees from BSU such as the refresher course offered to those who will be taking the board examination. She added that her review and preparation for the National Forestry Quiz Contest this year, where she landed first runner-up, also helped her in hurdling the examination.
For her, becoming successful in a licensure examination requires two values: discipline in getting things done and grit towards the end goal. She advices those who will soon take the FLE to stay focused, find motivation, do mock examinations, and know themselves.
“Una, mag-focus ka sa goal…pangalawa, mag-focus sa mock exams para ma-train yung utak mo na humanap ng keywords at mag-cross out ng mga malalayong options para ma-narrow down yung mga possible answers. At pangatlo, kilalanin ang sarili. Kung saan ka best na matututo at kung saan best na mag-work ang utak mo. Tulad sa akin, kung pagod ako, hindi ko pinipilit na mag-aral. Makinig ka sa utak mo at sa katawan mo. Kung pagod ka, rest para may energy ka ulit na mag-start [mag-aral] the next day. (First, focus on your goal, next, focus on the mock exams to train your brain to find keywords and cross out unlikely options. Third, observe the circumstances conducive for your study. For me, I don’t force myself to study when I’m tired. I rest to have the energy to start studying again),” she said.
Esquejo is currently exploring possibilities to further hone her knowledge and skills. She is also considering working at the College of Forestry in the future.
Out of the 70 first-timers and retakers of the FLE, 40 passed listing a BSU passing rate of 54.79%.
The Dean of the College of Forestry, Dr. Gerry M. Alfonso, assured that they will exert more effort in reviews and other necessary preparation for the next board examination and solicited cooperation among the faculty members. He hopes to surpass the national passing rate in the next FLE.
“We will continue the offering of a one and a half month-refresher course during weekdays to cater to those fresh graduates and non-working retakers. Since the result of the exam of retakers is very low, we try to offer weekend refresher courses for the working retakers. We did that before the year 2013-2016 and surpassed the national passing rate for successive years. Further, it really needs the cooperation of every faculty in the college,” he said.