I would have been lying if I said that I wasn’t worried when I finally arrived at the office last night. Since I slept up until five in the afternoon, I had very little time to study, especially since I had to leave early to avoid the massive lines at the MRT station. And since I got there at around eight, that left me about two-odd hours to try to refresh my memory of the three chapters we’ve just gone through over the past two weeks.
It’s a good thing that everything from the start of class (at ten) to lunchtime (at two in the morning) was devoted to a abbreviated review, though it was fairly obvious that everyone was on edge. No one wanted to be cut, and left out of a job (even temporarily; SYKES’ modus operandi for applicants who wash out during the training proper is to give them a re-evaluation via HR) after two grueling weeks of review and exams.
When lunchtime finally hit, I had a feeling that not everyone was in the mood to eat much. The atmosphere was tense, even then, but I’m sure that people were just trying to ignore it, if only to calm their own nerves. I knew I did, as I went down three floors to grab coffee (as the one on the 8th floor didn’t get refilled until after our lunch was done)… and in the process manage to pick up a twenty-peso bill that was just sitting there in the corridor.
I pocketed it, and used it to buy some sweet cassava flakes. Being broke makes people do strange things, and I’m no different in this regard.
As lunchtime ended, and we saw our instructor Mike arrive with the exam papers, we knew “this was it.” We filed in, sat down, and waited for both the answer sheets as well as the test questions to be given. Mike tried to give a few words of encouragement, but from that point on, we were on our own.
The two hours and fifteen minutes passed ridiculously quick, especially when you realize that the exam was a hundred points long, though I suppose that the time limit didn’t help things (everything had to be done and submitted by 5:15 as Mike and his boss still had to check the exam). It really came down the wire for some too, but it still surprised me how I ended up being the first one to turn in my answer sheet. That was at 5:12 am.
When the time limit came, and everyone turned in their answer sheets, the waiting began. Since I had also listed down my answers on the exam sheet (which we got to keep), once Mike gave out the answer key to the exam I was able to evaluate my answers… Meaning that I was probably the first person in the class who was able to get a fair idea about what my score was.
Not that it was anything to be proud of. Take note, the program’s sponsors were expecting 70s (the passing grade for the actual FINRA series 6 exam), and from my count I got 67. Not good at all.
The wait was positively nerve-wracking for my classmates too.
And then a maintenance worker finally came in with the booklets for the next chapters of the review (for next week).
It only had twenty booklets… except there were twenty-three of us.
Definitely not good.
Mike finally came up with the results, and called us in by groups. It turned out that my count was incorrect: I had, in fact, gotten 70, got the top score in the class for the exam, and came in 2nd overall (which meant that my weighted score was in the 69.85-something range for the pre-qualifiers). So this meant that I continue on to the second part of series 6 review, and I get that sign-in bonus. Yay.
What wasn’t good was the fact that we lost people again. Which always sucks, especially after going through all that. The attrition we experienced was ridiculous — I need to remind everyone that, two weeks ago, the class was made up of 37 people. Now we’re down to 20.
And because no one got 70%, the pressure is only going to rise.